They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and for wee Waits Rebhal that couldn’t be more true. This is the only time he’ll reliably eat – afternoons are spotty and dinner depends entirely on mood. But morning meals are consistent, so this is where I seek to maximize nutrition.
Waits still doesn’t eat a whole lot of quantity, so my focus is on offering a wide variety of options – all of them of the highest quality. A little taste of everything, to both broaden his palate and to mix up the vitamins and minerals. Of course, he’s still getting the vast majority of his needs met through breast milk. It’s also important to note that we only introduce one new food at a time, and keep a careful eye out for allergies/reactions.
So, what does the Bonzai Baby eat for breakfast?
Fat Comes First
Growing babies need lots of fuel in the form of straight-up calories. But more importantly, babies are building their big brains – brains which are mostly made out of fat! Basically, the human brain is a big ol’ lump o’ lard. And that’s why dietary fat is so important for development.
Of course, not all fat is created equal! You know this already – it’s why nuts are great for you and partially hydrogenated corn oil is not. So we choose our fats very carefully. My number one, above all else, is coconut. I make a cultured yogurt using full-fat canned coconut milk, and it’s pretty much the perfect baby food. Here’s why:
The “cream” separates, rises to the top, and hardens (in the fridge). This makes it a breeze (and clean!) to serve and it’s easy for babies to eat. It literally melts in the mouth! Coconut is uniquely high in a rare medium-chain fat called lauric acid . . . which is also an important component of breast milk!
So coconut yogurt is basically a direct delivery of probiotics and ideal fats. Perfect baby food? Methinks! Learn how to make your own yogurt at home here.
Other sources of excellent fats include avocados (this is a really great “first food”, unfortunately Waits is intolerant – yeah, I cried), olive oil (added to purees), flax oil (for essential fatty acids), and hemp oil (also for essential fatty acids). Most authorities recommend holding off on nuts and nut butters for at least the first year.
Waits takes after his mommy for sure, and we both adore a good smoothie for brekkies. This is definitely not a “first food”, as you’ll need to introduce each ingredient on its own before giving the blend a go. But you can start super simple – banana/spinach/water – and then increase complexity as more options cross to the safe side. This is a SPECTACULAR way to get nutrient-dense greens into that picky little mouth. And start them nice and young, so it’s normalized before they realize that drinking green sludge is supposed to be weird!
Waits has enjoyed the following foods blended into easily-digestible green goodness: water kefir, nettle infusion, spinach, kale, bok choy, cilantro, mango, pineapple, blueberry, raspberry, spirulina, chlorella, hemp protein, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and homemade almond milk (whoops, that one was an accident – should have waited until after 1 year)
Plain Fruit, Fresh Or Steamed
Fruit is great because it contains key vitamins and minerals. However, it’s also full of sugar! We do fruit but try to keep it in moderation, lest Waits develop an unhealthy “sweets bias”. That said, a hunk of banana is great for gumming and even better for squishing through baby fingers! FUN! Waits is a fan of apples, both steamed and raw, made into ‘sauce’ with a little cinnamon. He also loves frozen blueberries and raspberries, thawed to the perfect texture. When they warm up they get delectably mushy!
Molasses In The Morning
Is it a food or is it a supplement? Who knows, but we take it daily! Blackstrap molasses is incredibly mineral-rich, boasting 20% of the daily allotment for calcium and iron. I took a tablespoon every day during the final phase of my pregnancy and it helped to fend off the dreaded third-trimester anemia. I started letting Waits lick the spoon when he was roughly 6 months old. At his 9-month iron check, he was in perfect range (many, many babies/toddlers become iron deficient – cows milk is a big contributing factor!). Coincidence? I’ll never know . . . but I love me some molasses!
And that’s how breakfast goes here at HQ. Coming soon – Vegan Baby Dinners!