Almost 11 years ago, I had my first born, and like many, I was overwhelmed with having a baby and in most cases, I just did what experts recommended. After all, it being my first child, I was far from knowing exactly what was best so I left that up to those those who thought they knew a little more than I.
When she started eating solids, I noticed that mainstream America relied heavily on grain based baby cereals – they were easily accessed in store, and marketing pushed them rather heavily in parenting magazines. Although I wasn’t quite as particular about food and self care at that point in time I was hesitant to take the grain-based cereal route with her and instead started making my own baby food by pureeing organic vegetables.
Making my own was relatively easy, and allowed me to freeze many of her favorites and pull out as needed. I quickly discovered that sweet potatoes, and carrots were a fan favorite and over the next 2 children, I continued to do the same.
With our fourth, the egg yolk came into play, and by baby 5, homemade baby food was pushed aside ever-so-slightly, and the egg yolk was the first food we reached for. We also waited a little extra time to make sure she was really ready for solids, focusing on breast milk as her main source of nutrients.
Breast milk is, by far, the best option for infants – at least for the first year of life. The longer a child is nursed, the more nutrients and brain building substances they are receiving from breast milk that first year of life.
Why Avoid Baby Cereal?
While it may seem like a wonderful option that’s highly recommended for babies… it’s not the best option there is. Rice is a refined carb – white rice is processed, has little or no fiber, and lacks the nutrients that other whole foods would easily bring to the table.
While rice cereal may be “refortified, those refortified nutrients aren’t bioavailable to your child the same way that they would be if they were whole, raw nutrients.
Whole foods are always best, and when stacked against foods that have to be resupplied with nutrients because the nutrients were processed out to start with, then whole foods are always the better option.
White rice & flour products turn to sugar in the body almost instantly – affecting blood sugar and insulin levels. Not the best way to start an infant. When you start your children on sugary starches, you prime your baby’s appetite for a lifetime of processed carbs in the form of cookies, cakes, white bread and more.
Even more, a baby’s digestive system is not mature enough to produce the enzymes required to break down those complex carbohydrates in the grains.
Why feed an infant egg yolk?
Egg yolks from free range pastured chickens contain fatty acids that will help support brain and nervous system development..
If you don’t raise your own chickens,you should be able to find a dozen pastured eggs for $5 at your local farmers market (CSA).
Egg yolks supply cholesterol needed for proper brain development, and are rich in omega-3 long chain fatty acids that are crucial in brain development.
Egg white, on the other hand, has difficult to digest proteins and shouldn’t be given to kids who are younger than the age of 1. I usually feed my baby the yolk and then eat the white myself before tossing the shell.
How to make egg yolk
When making egg yolk for your infant, it’s incredibly important that you use pastured, organic eggs that come from healthy chickens. If you don’t have your own chickens, then check your CSA for pastured eggs that are free range, pastured and organic – ours has them available for $5 per dozen.
If you are using your Instant Pot: Place the trivet in the pot, and then the eggs, and pour 1 C. of water inside. Close the lid and valve and set the pot for manual (high pressure) for 2 minutes. Once the pot beeps, release the pressure immediately and place the egg in an egg cup, using a spoon to carefully clip off the top. Allow the egg to cool slightly before serving the yolk.
If you are using a stove: In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil and place egg in water. Boil for just 4 minutes, then remove quickly and run under cool water.
Want to read more about offering your infant egg yolks as their first food?
- Sally Fallon & Thomas Cowan. Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care. Washington D.C. New Trends Publishing. 2013.
- Joseph Mercola. Get the White Rice Cereal out of Baby’s First Foods. 2010.