The first time she tried food.
Guess what? My baby is starting to eat real food. I seriously can’t believe it, it seems weird to me. She’s been living off of breastmilk for the last 6 months and I know some people may think that’s weird, but the thought of my baby eating food was a big thing to get my mind around.
I started doing research about first foods for baby around the time she was 4 months old. I dabbled in information and let it circulate around in my brain. There was a lot going on for me to think about so I gave myself some time. I’m glad I did that because the two months from when she was 4-6 months old went by so fast.
I asked other mom’s who are “crunchy” and tried to figure out what was best for Ottava. We decided to go with her first foods being boiled chicken livers and broth. Yummy, right? Good thing she doesn’t know any better. Another great baby feeding resource is the book Beautiful Babies.
Here’s what I’m doing and why I decided on these foods:
I learned from Jenny of Nourished Kitchen that meat broth is the best first food for a baby over bone broth. Yes, there’s a difference. I don’t think it matters that much. If you’ve been serving your baby bone broth, it’s totally fine. Meat broth is the broth from when you cook meat vs the beef soup bones or chicken bones we are used to making broth with. Meat broth is the goodness on the bottom of the crockpot. The reason I went with meat broth is because Jenny said she has a cookbook from the 1800’s that uses meat broth as a first food for babies. I’m all about following traditional ways of doing things that are deeply rooted in healthy history.
Here’s the difference between meat broth and bone broth. Meat broth is the broth made when you cook meat in a slow cooker. It can be chicken, beef, or lamb. It is cooked for about 2.5-5 hours (depending on the slow cooker setting) and contains a lot of gelatin and amino acids. The bone broth is cooked much longer and some of the gelatin is cooked out but it yields a richer mineral broth.
How do I Make Meat Broth?
I make meat broth by slow cooking a whole chicken, steak, roast, or even chicken breasts. It’s simple. Phil and I eat the meat and Tava eats the broth. I will usually take some of the meat and make a puree of sorts with broth. I throw it into my blender and mix it up. I put about a teaspoon or two of it on her high chair for her to play with/ eat. Her first meat is Liver. Why Liver? Well, you can find out in the next paragraph.
Drinking Meat Broth
Now we get to the real question, why was the first food I fed my kid liver? Most people have some sort of bad story or negative impression of liver. You don’t want to have anything to do with it, so why would I want to gross my kid out with liver as her first food? First off, she has no idea that liver may not taste the best. It’s her first taste of food and she has no preconceived notions or opinions of food at 6 months old.
The main reason I chose liver was because it is a nutrient-dense, iron-rich food. Going back to birth, letting the umbilical cord pulse allows more of the iron rich blood to get into the baby. The less time the cord has to pulse, the less iron stores a baby has. That’s the simple of it. Ottava was born via c-section (read our story here) and she only had 60 seconds of delayed cord clamping. I’m thankful for that amount of time, but it probably wasn’t enough for her to have as robust iron stores as she would have had if we could have waited longer to cut the cord (like we would have in a vaginal birth). I wanted to make sure if she was eating any food, it was one that was high in iron and met any needs she may have.
What are the benefits of Liver?
- Good High-quality source of protein
- Absorbable form of iron
- Concentrated form of Vitamin A
- Great source of B vitamins, including B12 and Folic Acid
What kind of liver did I choose? How did I cook the Liver?
I went with organic, free-range chicken liver. It cost me a whole $2.41. Don’t think feeding your baby food has to be an expensive thing. I boiled the chicken livers in water and when they were done I strained out the water. In my Vitamix blender I added the cooked chicken livers and the meat broth I made from a whole chicken. I pureed them until they were mixed. I froze them in a silicone baby food freezer tray because I knew she’d never eat it all. We are still less than 1/2 way through what I made and it’s been 2 weeks.
I love using liver because it’s easy to puree. We are going to do a mixture of baby led weaning and puree’s (which I know isn’t supposed to go together) because I’m a first time mom and I don’t want to be nervous when Tava’s eating. I feel more comfortable about doing some purees!
Beet stick with broth. The beet stick is a favorite!
We aren’t spoon feeding Tava and we don’t even own a baby spoon yet. She feeds herself (aka plays) with these veggie sticks I cut for her. She gets little tastes of food all while having something to teeth and play with. We use cucumber, carrots, and golden beets. Her favorite is by far the beet!
So How’s Food Going with Tava?
I have to be honest, there’s not a lot of eating going on in our home. Ottava doesn’t love food yet. She’s still trying to figure out that food goes in her mouth. That may concern some mom’s or some pediatricians because we are trained to believe babies need to be eating loads of food, rice cereal, purees, pouches and all fed (sometimes force fed) with a spoon. I’m not saying there’s a right or wrong way to feed your child. This is the way it sits well with us and how we’re doing food in our house.
For right now, food is more of a sensory play for Tava. It’s a learning experience for her. When we started, she hated getting her hands dirty and fussed a bit about it. Now she doesn’t mind the texture or the fact her hands are covered in food.