The Smart Baby Super Food You’ve Never Heard About


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Did you know that a baby’ first foods should be egg yolk and not a cereal?

I don’t know how or why this information slipped through the cracks, and why on God’s green earth that pediatricians and a whole host of other “professionals” recommend you should give your baby rice cereal or oatmeal as their first foods.

Rice cereal or oatmeal is about the worst possible thing you could give your baby.  It’s way up there with putting grape soda in a baby bottle, or letting them crunch on cheetos. Now, if you gave your baby rice cereal, don’t freak out.  Don’t spiral into a depression either from the guilt.  How were you supposed to know that babies don’t have the enzymes to digest grains?!

It was only by chance that I got this information before Penelope was eating solids.  I could have very easily given her grains as her first foods.  When I was a nanny, I was mixing up oatmeal cereal for my babies, just like everyone else.  But I thank God that her digestion was spared, especially knowing what I know now (after reading this book) about the poor digestion she inherited from me (which I inherited from my mother and grandmother) and her increased probability of having autism, ADHD, bi-polar  and a host of other digestion-based disorders (that run in my mother’s side of the family).

If your child has inherited a good digestion, then you could introduce grains at about age 2, or when their second-year molars come in.  That’s the biological sign that their bodies are now able to produce amylase, the digestive enzyme needed to digest grains and carbs.  Up until that point, they don’t have it in their system, and grains will sit in their digestive tract and rot or leach into their blood stream, causing all kinds of auto-immune inflammatory reactions like eczema.

If your kid is like Penelope and got the short end of the stick digestion wise, you will need to be really careful about diet and limit grains completely or as much as possible. And definitely be 100% gluten free.

So what should a baby eat when it’s time to introduce solids?

It’s really simple – egg yolks.

First you get some really good eggs.  By that, I mean eggs that are pasture-raised and from a local farm.  If you don’t think there are pastured, farm-fresh eggs in your area, ask around, you will be surprised at how many people are keeping chickens these days and have some eggs to spare.

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About the Author

Hiya! I'm Stephanie. Mama and Baby Love is all about helping mothers on their own personal health and healing journey and enjoying life along the way. You can learn more about me and what I'm all about. Sign up for my newsletter for more tips, info and inspiration!

Comments

  1. We skipped on the cereal and oatmeal also. I actually gave my son avocado as a first food but eggs were not far behind. He is 11 months old now and has never had cereal and refuses to eat oatmeal so no issues there. Plus, we have switched to mostly gluten free foods as a household so it’s all that he knows. He is definitely a veggie, fruit and meat only kind of kid.

  2. Erin Medeiros says:

    Dear Stephanie. I was introduced to your website and ebook (slow cooker freezer meals) via facebook – 100 Days of Real Food. I purchased the ebook and was excited when I received it via email…. However, after downloading I contracted a virus on my computer! UGH. Very upset over that… but that’s not the only problem. I had saved this ebook on my computer and now it’s suddenly gone?! I still have the link and 5 more attempts to download but I’m just terrified to contract any further virus, etc on my computer. I was hoping you would kindly look help somehow? I paid around $8 CDN for the ebook – not much, but still money and I’d appreciate having the book as it was full of great recipes and tips that my family has not had the chance to enjoy.
    Sincerely, Erin Medeiros – Ontario,Canada.

  3. Megan Harris says:

    I love that you shared this important information! I found out about it after my oldest son had been on rice cereal for a few weeks, but we dropped the cereal like a hot potato and began egg yolk. He loved it from the start! My second son had a reaction when we began the egg yolk so we had to skip it until I knew we were past that. I hated that he couldn’t have it in the beginning because it truly is a power food for babies. And, now my little Sarah will be starting foods within the next two months on this and I’m looking forward to trying the yolks with her (keeping my fingers crossed she’s fine with it). Btw, loved the FYI on baby food making, I think I’m going to go your route this time :). LOVE your blog!!!

  4. My pediatrician actually said no egg until her first birthday. So we have been avoiding eggs altogether. I wonder why that is. Maybe an older school of thought?

  5. Do you soft boil the egg for her smoothies as well? Thanks!

  6. Couple of questions, please. My son is 6-1/2 months by gestation age, but 4-1/2 months by adjusted age. He didn’t eat by breast or bottle until 2 months and was released from the NICU at 2-1/2 months. In the last week or so, he is hungry ALL the time – I can’t keep up anymore :( so I am wanting to introduce solids. Would you suggest this for him? I’m nervous about the reaction a previous follower posted about, but know that the pastured egg yolks are truly a superfood. Any advice? Thanks!

    • YES! You can start to give egg yolk at 4 months of age. It is one of the most easily digested foods and it is perfectly safe for a 4 month old to be started on egg yolk if it seems like they are ready.

  7. So, I’ve read the research, too, and I’m down with egg yolks, and I’m down with avoiding grains, even though I am not entirely convinced that they’re an issue. Better safe than sorry, and not a big deal to avoid the cereal…however, and here’s my sticking point: iron. Yes, I know there’s a host of research and information that Fe is not needed at 6 months for an EBF baby, as it’s been recommended everywhere; but the research is inconclusive, and in the end, I’m not comfortable not supplementing the Fe my milk doesn’t supply. The options for doing that are pretty limited, especially for younger babies. You’ve got the Enfamil iron drops, or the cereal. Yolks are not great sources of iron, whereas the white is; prohibitive until 1, as you pointed out. Plant sources of Fe are non-heme; not absorbed well. Did you do something for Penelope to up her iron intake @ 6 months, if you were avoiding cereal?

  8. I gave both my babies eggs right from the start and they still love them, however you should not add any salt to your baby’s diet until they are 1 yr old. It is banned from commercial baby food as their immature kidneys are not developmentally ready to process it.

    • Actually, you can give good sea salt, just a tiny dash for flavor and for the very important minerals in it. TABLE salt is what is bad, not sea salt.
      And I would not take any nutritional advice from commercial baby food companies, they make decisions based on money.

      • Hi Stephanie, I love your blog and agree with almost everything you believe in and the principles you follow. However I am going to have to disagree with you on the salt factor for babies. Yes, sea salt is a healthier form of salt in terms of minerals and less processing etc, I use it in all my cooking for that very reason. The problem with salt for babies is the sodium content and there is very little difference in sodium content between sea salt and table salt with both being approximately 40% sodium. The dietary guidlines for babies 0-6months is 0g sodium, they receive all they require from breast/formula milk. For babies 7-12 months the guidlines recommend no more than 0.4g sodium per day, which is quickly gained from naturally occurring sources eg vegetables, meat, eggs etc. Bone broths made from organic animal bones (with no added salt) are a much better source of vital minerals and should be added to babies foods, as well as sea vegetables for vital iodine. I know I am preaching to the converted in terms of doing the utmost to ensure maximum nutrition for babies through healthful foods, they are so precious that we need to do all we can to set them up with the healthiest bodies possible before they head off into the world and our control is lessened. Don’t get me started on sugar!! :)
        PS have you seen Jude Bleerau’s Wholefood for Children? It is an excellent book with great recipes and advice for feeding children healthy, wholesome food.

        • We will just have to agree to disagree then. :) I put the tiniest pinch in, and there was no other sodium in her diet whatsoever (the only thing she was eating was egg yolk and breastmilk). I am not telling people to put salt in it, simply sharing what I did.

          • amie hammond says:

            i’m with you on this one, stephanie. Sea salt is a totally different animal, and does carry trace nutrients as well as flavor. While i appreciate the care and love mel is acting from, dietary guidelines of our day are NOT something i would follow or advocate following, as they list grains as the basis of a healthy diet, and restrict fat intake even in toddlers… we must take all suggestion with a pinch of salt (sorry, couldn’t help the cheesy pun :-) )

          • lol, with a pinch of salt.

  9. Thanks for sharing! I knew this, actually ;) and am so glad more people are finding out. We try not to do grains much, if at all in our house. Primal family.

  10. Jessica Murray says:

    Ugh! Why didn’t I know this 4 years ago when I started having kids? I am making drastic changes at home with our food choices, but it can be frustrating that I have to educate myself on nutrition. I had no idea about processed foods and GMO’s and everything else that is terrible in our diets. And I am a well educated person who read lots of baby books before having kids. (I guess I read the wrong books.) Thank you SO MUCH for your website! Better late than never for my family!

  11. Fortunately, I read Heather’s book while my son was exclusively breastfeeding. He took to avocado, home stocks and banana before eggs. I don’t feed him any grains at home and hope the occasional grain that a well meaning relative gives won’t hurt.

    • Awesome. Yes, my daguhter has had the occasional grain here and there too over the last couple of years. As much as I want to protect her from the outside world I know I can’t and I just hope and pray that the foundation I give her will be enough to keep her healthy for life.

  12. I follow the Weston A Price guidelines, and have read Sally Fallon Morrell’s new book on baby and child care. I have found myself so frustrated with this whole egg thing. I gave my four month old some egg yolk…she threw up. I waited a month, gave it to her again…she threw up ( I mean three hours later threw up multiple times over a two hour period). So month six I try again….and again she threw up. Does this mean I have created an allergy in her. These eggs were from pasture raised hens and soy free. I would love some advice on this. Anyimte i try to feed my baby anything she gags like crazy. Sally Fallon has put such an emphasis on feeding at six months egg yolk and liver because of iron deficiency. But my baby just does not seem to want food at all right now. And I’m so concerned about the fact that she throws up when we give her egg yolk.

    • Well, I dont’ think you created the allergy, but she may have an egg allergy. Does she throw up when you give her liver? Or just gag? She may just not be developmentally ready. If they are gaging, that means they haven’t figured out the whole breath/chew/swallow at the same time thing. We worked with an acupuncture dr. to clear my daughter’s egg allergy.

      • Adrianne says:

        Hi, Stephanie! I was recently introduced to your blog and I’m so grateful for all of the information (and humor!) I have been following Nurturing Traditions suggestions for my 6 month old daughter and had the same experience as the person above. On two separate occasions (2 weeks apart) has thrown up a couple of hours after eating very small amounts of egg yolk. My question is–do you think the fact that she doesn’t seem to tolerate egg yolk yet suggests that she isn’t ready for solid foods at all?

        • It could be, or it could be a true egg yolk allergy. They are rare but do occur. Do you go to any alternative wellness practioners that know how to do muscle testing? That would be an easy way to find out what is going on.

        • Egg yolk is a really great baby food, but the Nourishing Traditions recommendation to give it as a first food at 4-6 months has actually been hotly debated amongst hardcore WAPF following mothers. A lot of babies do just fine, but there are equal amounts of babies who do not tolerate it at all, and it has nothing to do with an egg allergy as those babies go on to eat eggs later with no issues. Sally Fallon also does not agree with baby led weaning, which is a big part of the problem and why so many mothers have had bad experiences with her recommendations. I just wanted you to know you are not alone in those experiences and your best bet will always be to follow your instincts.

  13. Rachel says:

    I’d really like to give my 7 1/2 month old the egg yolk, but I’m worried about raw eggs with bacteria such as salmonella and making him terribly sick. Is this something to worry about?

  14. valerie says:

    thanks so much for your blog and this post. i am actually a physician and got into reading about first foods due to the recent changes in recommendations from the american academy of pediatrics allowing a lot more flexibility in starting solids. i have been amazed that western medicine seems so far behind the curve on this matter! anyhow, i have a 6mo old that i just recently started on the soft boiled egg yolks and that’s going beautifully. i am curious if you tried giving meat stocks at all or know any details as far as how much to give them and whether it’s best to spoon feed them the broth or put in a cup/bottle? i plan to proceed with baby led weaning as well…heather mentions 8mos as a good time to start foods other than egg yolk, stock and meat purees…would you agree with this? my little kayleigh seems awfully hungry and i just want to make sure i’m giving her enough right now :)

    • I would say go with your gut, each kid is different. When all four first teeth come in are a big sign of readiness. I wish I would have given broth in a sippy cup, and gotten Penelope used to it as a baby.

  15. Jennifer says:

    So, you mentioned you and your daughter have poor digestion. How would you know if someone has poor digestion?

    • Oh man, it has so many symptoms its crazy. Constipation, diarehha are classic ones, but gas and bloating too. But then all kinds of other things like food sensitivies, excemza, allergies, mood swings, sleeping issues, learning disabilities. I would recommend reading the GAPS Diet book to see all the different ways it can manifest.

  16. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t feed babies soft yolks as it is undercooked and there lies the possibility of getting salmonella. Is this not true? I currently feed my 2-yr old son eggs everyday, hard boiled, scrambled & fried but I’ve always cooked the yolk through in fear of making him ill. Also, my daughter is 10 mo’s, I was under the impression eggs were a no-no until year 1. I will start her on soft yolks now rather than wait until just under 1 like I did w/ my son. Lastly, I must have had my info all switched around, when my son was just under a year, my hubby and I cooked egg whites, thinking the yolk was a no-no. Not sure where I read that one, but apparently I was missing a beat. Any thoughts? Thanks for sharing this article!! Love your blog!

    • Yeah, it’s the whites that are a problem before 1 years of age. If your 10 month old will eat a fried egg that is great too. Getting salmonella from raw egg yolk is very, very rare. Check out the post I did on raw egg yolks for babies to learn more.

  17. Oh my , today I was browsing the internet on what my 8 month old can eat and came across your blog. My lo has been eating cereal since 4 months. The doc said it was ok for her to eat oatmeal and so I went with that and did not research it. After reading this information, I need to stop it ASAP! But how? If I feed her 1 teaspoon of cereal how much yolk should I replace it with? Any suggestions will be helpful.

    • Hey Katie! Don’t beat yourself up, there are many, many doctors who are unknowingly giving out misinformation and are just not up to date on current research. It’s sad.
      Just stop giving her the cereal and start giving her as much egg yolk as she wants. Pay close attention to her cues of being full, since you are spoon feeding her. You can give her as much egg yolk as you want, and if she only wants a couple of spoonfuls that is ok too.

  18. Hi Stephanie

    I just came across this post today and I’m quite interested in the smoothie idea with the egg yolk, I’ve got a picky eater here but if it comes in any form of bottle or cup she will drink it. I’ve been trying for so long to get her to eat egg without success, she hates the texture of both scrambled and boiled, so my best bet of getting egg down is in the smoothie, how do you make it or what do you put in it? She is 18 months old now.

    Thanks

  19. How early would you recommend starting your baby on egg yolk?

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