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Today we’re reviewing and giving away a copy of Nourished Baby by Heather Dessinger of The Mommypotamus. Heather provided me with a free copy of the eBook to review and graciously offered to allow us to give away one copy to a lucky reader.
Let me start out by saying I LOVED this eBook! It is so refreshing to see a book about traditional foods eating for babies that gets it right! After seeing so much inaccurate and misleading information out of many traditional foods sources of information, this book was a wonderful breath of fresh air. Heather’s book is well researched and well written, with plenty of recipes in the back of the book to help you get started on feeding your baby right. If you read Heather’s blog, you know that she does a lot of research on all sides of an issue before she draws a conclusion, and this book is no different.
Heather begins the book by covering issues that other traditional foods sources ignore- micrometabolic imprinting in infancy. This extremely important aspect of gut health for your child forms the basis for the rest of his or her life and is critical for setting your child up for a healthy gut. When you get this area right, your chances of having the child’s gut health go wrong decreases, and if something does go wrong, the severity is likely decreased by getting this one thing right. I believe this is one area that we’re going to see a lot more research on in the next few years and it will become more common knowledge of how important it is that a child’s gut be colonized correctly at birth.
Solid advice on how to nourish yourself during pregnancy and breastfeeding follows next. She discusses dietary advice and even includes a handy chart that shows possible cravings and what nutrient your body is possibly wanting and what other foods would satisfy that craving.
Heather then moves on to discuss the appropriate introduction of solid foods based on ALL of the signs of solids readiness and the science behind it. Not introducing solids until all of the signs of readiness appears, showing that the gut has closed, is critical for reducing the possibility of food allergies and gut problems for the rest of their life.
I practiced baby-led weaning, which is what Heather recommends in the book. That includes when and how to introduce solids, allowing a child to feed themselves instead of the mother force-feeding them with a spoon and allowing the child to wean themselves from the breast once they are ready. I was delighted to see the list of what and when to introduce laid out so well. I was especially pleased to see the advice to avoid grains until the age of 2 due to the lack of appropriate enzymes to digest them not being present until then. It always seems that there is a remature rush to introduce many foods to children, and Heather lays it all out so well based on when enzymes begin being produced, signaling that the gut is ready for them.
A FAQ and many recipes follow. Many of the recipes are appropriate not just for babies, but for the whole family. That’s one thing I appreciate about a baby-led weaning approach, you don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing foods for the baby and foods for the rest of your family. Instead, your baby eats what the rest of the family eats. The recipes are well-rounded and they look tasty. I’m particularly interested in trying some of her ferments once the farmer’s markets are open again and I can get some fresh, local organic produce.
There is only one point I disagreed with in the book. Heather advocates egg yolk as an appropriate first food for infants, as does the Weston A Price Foundation. In my ten years of doing traditional foods, my personal experience plus those of many, many mothers I have met is that egg yolk is too allergenic to be considered an appropriate first food. One of my children was faithfully given an egg yolk and CLO daily from 6 months, only to develop a severe egg allergy and I’ve heard that story repeated too many times from too many mothers. Allergic potential can’t be evaluated on family history and maternal diet alone, as my story shows. However, that one minor point isn’t enough to keep me from recommending Heather’s book.
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Giveaway will close Wednesday, April 4th and the winner will be announced Friday, April 6. Good luck!