Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Superfood for Babies: Egg Yolk & Liver

I am really going to try to post more consistently.  I was on a roll in the fall because Parks was in pre-school and my darling daughter was still sleeping a lot during the morning.  Now, Parks is no longer in pre-school and if I'm lucky I get a 45 minute nap out of Reese, hence the lack of blogging.

Nothing like a post on egg yolk and liver to get my readers excited though, right?!

As most of you know, I've been revamping my family's diet for several months now.  My interest in healthy, whole living began when Parks was born and has grown every year since.  One of my favorite resources has been the book Nourishing Traditions and blogs that follow those principles.  This book contains the wisdom of our ancestors in regards to food preparation.  So much of the standard American diet (SAD) is processed garbage lacking in nutrients.  This book helps you get back to how people have been cooking and eating for generations.  It's been very refreshing and eye-opening.

As a mother of two young children, I've been particularly interested in nutrition for children and comparing what I've learned to the advice and practice of most American pediatricians.  Usually, rice cereal is recommended as a first food for babies, often as early as 4 months.  No condemnation or judgment if you served/currently serve this to your baby.  For real, people!  I gave Parks rice cereal when he was 5 months old.  I did what I thought was best at the time.  However, after extensive research, I do not believe this is the optimal food for babies, especially as a first food.

Babies immature digestive systems do not produce sufficient amalyze (the enzyme for carbohydrate digestion) to properly digest grains.  If a food is not properly digested, it can putrify (rot) in the gut and lead to an imbalance of digestive flora and allergies.  Babies are much better equipped to handle animal proteins and fats.  So, the best first food for babies is: egg yolk and liver!

Egg yolk, preferably from pastured, foraging hens is an extremely nutrient dense food.  It contains cholesterol and fatty acids that are critical to proper brain development and also vitamins A, D, E, and K. Liver also contains cholesterol, fat-soluble vitamins and iron, which even breastfed babies can be low in.  In short, this combo is an amazing superfood for your baby!

How to:
- 1 pastured egg straight from the farm, or organic free-range from the store
- 1 grass-fed pastured beef liver (I got mine at the Heritage) Make sure the meat has been frozen for 14 days to ensure it is safe to consume.

Boil 1 egg in water for 3 or 3.5 minutes then crack (don't peel) and put the egg yolk in a bowl, take care to remove any egg white, egg white is allergenic to babies under 1.
Grate a small amount of frozen liver into the egg yolk.

You can totally skip the liver if you can't find it or it just grosses you out.  The egg yolk alone is still much more nutritious than rice cereal.

Bon Appetit!

Here is Reese after breakfast this morning!  She loves her egg yolk & liver!


Mama Bear said...

I agree on the cereals. It seems so strange to me to give them rice or oatmeal first. I'd much rather mash an avocado and offer that. It feels more natural and shouldn't cause gas like the other options. Did Reese eat the liver with no problems??

rachel said...

Yay for white-out!!! How is is she nursing? I seem to remember you weaning parks before he was 1? What are your plans with Reese?

mallory said...

Reese didn't mind the liver at all. When it is minced so finely like that it doesn't have a strong taste. I've tried it a couple times and it's not bad at all.

She is nursing great. Four times during the day and then 1 early morning feeding around 4 am. She's 9 months and just starting to get regular solids. I delayed that as much as possible. I plan on continuing nursing at least til 12 months but probably closer to 18 or 24 months. My (new) pediatrician encouraged me to nurse til 2. We will see :)

mallory said...

Mashed avo is a great first food as well!! So is mashed banana, it contains lots of amalyse.

rachel said...

Avocado was our first solid too!
That is fantastic with the nursing! Nursing a toddler is indescribable. Plus, it takes a quick minute so it isn't a hassle at all. You can even wear normal bras! :) Your ability to constantly improve and learn is very inspirational. You question everything and thoroughly research it. Very wise

Megan said...

Can you recommend other foods for first feedings besides egg yolk and liver? I see avocado and banana...any others? Really trying to make the best choices for us

mallory said...

For the very young baby 4-6 months, I would stick with food rich in enzymes like egg yolk, avocado, banana and whole milk organic yogurt. For older babies, you can branch out into other veggies. I let Reese eat steamed broccoli that is very soft. Butternut squash and sweet potato are good. I'd also introduce fish, (wild alaskan salmon or alaskan cod). Fish is so flaky and easy to eat and an older baby could definitely gum it. Homemade chicken stock is also very good. I'm going to try to give some to Reese in a bottle. I also do some homemade soaked oatmeal with Reese now. I'll do a post on soaking, I don't want to overwhelm you :)

Basically, try to food your baby "real" food. Avoid jars and boxes as much as possible. Try not to go down the "puffs" road. Those foods are very processed. With the exception of egg whites, honey, peanut butter and a few berries and exotic fruits, there isn't a whole lot that is "off limits".

Also-always serve veggies with butter, it provides the fat that helps your body digest the nutrients. The best grocery store butter is Kerrygold. It is from grass-fed cows and contains omega 3s and conjugated linoleic acid (proven to prevent cancer).

Julie Mills said...

Mallory, I love that you have totally done your research. Thanks so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge! Never knew that about serving the veggies with butter. Totally going to start that with my almost 10 month old Stella! Thanks.

luzanne phan said...

How about those freeze dried corn and blueberries