Over the years, grains seems to be the perfect stage one food for little tummy. Apart from the mild flavour, it is very cheap and assumes to be easy to digest. What you should know is giving your baby grains as stage one food could be setting them up for serious indigestion, allergy response and health issues in future. Although, grains as first baby food is a traditional way of starting solid for Nigerian and some Asian. During those years grain was sprouted, fermented for days, and was free from GMO.
SOME GRAINS ARE NOT EASY TO DIGEST FOR BABIES
To digest grains, our body needs to make use of an enzyme called amylase, this enzyme is responsible for splitting starches. Meanwhile, babies don’t make amylase in large quantities to until after they are one year old and newborns don’t produce amylase at all. At about 6 months old salivary amylase appears but pancreatic amylase needed to digest grain is not produced until molar teeth developed. There are certain ways grains can be made easy to digest for babies, I will discuss that in the second series of this topic.
GRAINS contain phytic acid.
what is phytic acid?
Phytic acid is a substance found in seeds like nuts, grains, and beans. These substances can reduce the absorption of minerals from this food.
WHAT DO UNDIGESTED GRAINS DO TO BABY’S BODY?
Undigested grains cause distress to the baby’s intestinal lining. It can cause lots of complications as they grow including food allergies, behavioural problems, mood issues, and more. I will not recommend feeding your baby grains or even highly starchy foods, until at least 8-9 months if not a year. If you are going to start at this age don’t make it an everyday food, once or twice a week is better.
• Instead of feeding your baby grains why not start with something more nutrient-dense. Start with healthy guts, healthy brain, and bone structure.
• Start with foods that are easy to digest and full of minerals and vitamins to make the baby grow.
BEST STAGE ONE FOOD FOR LITTLE TUMMY
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Fruits and vegetables are the best stage one food for a little tummy. Apart from easy to digest it is full of minerals and vitamins little tummy needs.
There are some starchy vegetables which are not good as babies stage one food but will make it stage 2 baby food; cabbage, unripe plantain and some leafy greens are a very good example of this vegetable.
Also, there are some fruits that are acidic which make them not suitable as first baby food. You check HERE for downloadable baby food chart.
BUTTER/GHEE/RED PALM OIL/COCONUT OIL
Butter is easy and cheap animal fat, and little tummy needs fats once they start solid.
Coconut oil is also a good fat. You can add butter and oil into cooked vegetables like potato, pumpkin or carrot. If you are going for red oil choose unrefined. I always add fat to anything I cook for baby including applesauce sometimes.
Egg yolk is a good source of mental development for babies. Pasteurized fed hens or hens raised on insects are rich in omega-3, rich in fatty acids like the one found in mother’s milk. These fatty acids are essential for the development of the brain. Egg white contains a protein that’s difficult for the baby to digest, should not be given to babies until age one.
Mamas’ what work for me may not work for you but when it comes to grain it should be uniform. I read a comment on Instagram where a baby food seller says delaying grains may cause allergy, from my experience, am telling you it really doesn’t add up.
I started grain late for my first and I started very early for my second. My first is doing well with grains but my second is not, at a point she has a gluten intolerance. She is not doing well with grains at all, this is what encouraged me to go deep in grains, nuts and legumes research. As an adult, I have a problem with grains and beans.
When you want to start grains take note of these:
1. Do not mix 2 grains for a start: means try the grain individually.
2. Choose whole grains
3. Don’t make in large quantity if you are not going to refrigerate it.
4. Ferment and sprout your grains, legumes, nuts and some seeds.
Thank you for reading. I will be glad to know what you think about this in the comment section.