If you’re a young couple raising your first kiddos Paleo, you may be asking what can I introduce and when? Trust us, you’re not alone. Many parents find it difficult to keep their kids eating healthy Paleo foods from infancy to the time they move out! So, let’s address these questions starting at the beginning.
If you are just setting out on the parenting journey, you are fortunate to be able to introduce foods your baby will love right from the start. At about 4 to 6 months solid foods are introduced and the most common of these in a household following a Standard American Diet (SAD) is cereal. A better approach is to start your Paleo babies off with fresh, organic fruits and veggies that you have pureed in a food processor or blender.
Introduce one at a time allowing your baby to become accustomed to them. When our children were at this stage of development, we found it best to steam extra veggies for dinner and then puree the leftovers and refrigerate for our children’s meals. It was a very simple process with little labor involved and the health benefits were well worth the effort!
Once your child is able to eat meats, you can do the same. Just be sure that you puree to a consistency that eliminates a choking hazard. If time is an issue and you prefer to buy baby food at your grocery store, there are many healthy, organic products to choose from. Be sure to carefully read the labels and avoid any non-Paleo additives.
Typically, mothers who are breastfeeding their infants continue to do so well beyond the introduction of solid foods. Whenever the baby is fully weaned, there is no need to feed your child milk or milk-based products. Remember, we are not meant to ingest the milk of other animals and the same Paleo principals that apply to adults, apply to children. Water is always appropriate to serve with meals. If you want to give your baby something a little more interesting and with more nutrients, try purchasing a fruit and veggie juicer. Our little ones drank lots of carrot juice as well as other freshly juiced fruits and veggies on a regular basis. We recommend that you buy organic produce to ensure that your child gets the cleanest nutrients possible.
From the minute your child is born, you embark on a nutritional journey that builds the foundation for a lifetime of health and wellness. With childhood obesity having become an epidemic, it is encouraging to see an upward trend in awareness and action on the part of new parents. As we make conscientious and healthy decisions for our children on a daily basis, we are helping to reverse the obesity epidemic for future generations. Next we will address the challenges of raising teenagers and young adults in a not-so-Paleo world.
All the Best,
Lorrie Cordain, M.Ed., Co-Author of The Paleo Diet Cookbook