Saturday, February 26, 2011

Feeding Your BABY

On Facebook the other day, a woman asked about what other Mothers feed their babies.  The woman asking the question has a little 4 month old baby.  Several women made comments, but a mutual friend of ours gave some advise that at first I was really happy about but then ended very badly.

Here is the advice that was given..."make your own baby food! I use to blend our food and pour it in ice trays, then you dump them in Ziploc bags and there you have baby food for any time, grab a couple of ice cubes of food , put them in the microwave and ready to go, ____ favorite was chicken soup and squash with mashed potatoes."

The good part... "make your own baby food"

The very bad advise... "put them in the microwave"...  YIKES!!!  I was surprised that this friend would microwave their wonderful homemade baby food - destroying all of the nutrients and changing the molecular structure of the food, for her baby.  Poor baby!

I've thought about the above comment for several days now.  I've also thought about my own mistakes with feeding my kids - when I thought I was doing the best for them.  (Like when I was on a gluten-free diet many years ago (still eating highly processed food) thinking as long as it was gluten-free it was healthy) 

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to a potluck at my favorite store in the world REAL FOODS MARKET.  When the women sat around chatting, the conversation turned to the importance of baby food and raw milk.  My friend, at the store, had her Mother and nephew with her.  The little nephew was 9 months old.  Vivi told me that her sister, for some reason, could not breastfeed him (her nephew) when he was born and so her sister started to feed her baby regular formula at the store.  (I grimaced when I thought about where the story was heading) So, the baby had formula for several months, but by the time he was four months old, his crying was so constant and due to the fact the constipation and lung congestion became so severe, the baby had to be hospitalized.  When Vivi found out that her sister had been feeding her baby formula from the supermarket, Vivi shared with her Sally Fallon's recipe in her book "Nourishing Traditions".  The sister began buying the RAW, Organic PASTURE FED Cow Milk and added the other ingredients to the milk that Sally Fallon recommends in her baby formula recipe. Within days of drinking the new home-made formula, the baby's stools began to change from being like little rocks to being softer and the color changed from a dark brown to a lighter color. 

The Grandmother explained to me that after the change to raw milk, the baby was no longer crying all the time as long as he was drinking the raw milk recipe (with the added ingredients from Sally Fallon's recipe) and his congestion also cleared up. 

I've been wanting to write an article about baby formula and food, but didn't feel like I had all the pieces of truth together until I found the below article.  I think it was very well written and the author is the highly respected Dr. Mercola. I recommend subscribing to his Newsletters by going to http://www.drmercola.com/.

The article mentions Sally Fallon's recipe, and also has recommendations for those that use baby formula from the stores.  It tells you what to add etc.  Dr. Mercola talks about Goats milk lacking B vitamins and Folic Acid (just like Sally Fallon has mentioned in her book Nourishing Traditions). 

As Mom's we are doing the best we know how to care for our little ones. I made the mistake of feeding my baby raw goats milk, and thought I was being a great Mom.  I'm grateful that I was lead to Sally Fallon's recipe years ago, (remembering the part about RAW, pasture fed cow milk) and that I rediscovered it several months ago when I needed to be retaught about what should be added to the raw milk - especially if using raw goats milk.  I am so very grateful for this information and pray that other mothers seeking to care for their infants in the best possible way will also discover the recommendations below.

I hope you enjoy the below article from Dr. Mercola. -Steff

A mother's breast milk is nature's perfect and complete food for babies and can't even come close to being reproduced.

With so many substances known to be present in breast milk, but unable to be replicated in breast milk substitutes (formula), plus all of the as-yet unidentified constituents, it should come as no great surprise that children today are suffering from a vast myriad of illnesses and disorders.

The human brain is infinitely more sophisticated than the world's fastest computer,yet many people naively think that this wondrous organ can be perfectly constructed without any regard to the "raw materials" required. Building a properly functioning brain requires the right materials, just as building a computer would. Imagine trying to build a computer from scratch, without any microchips, or trying to build a house without any lumber, bricks, steel, or other materials.

However, while there is no way to create a formula equal to breast milk, there are steps that can be taken to improve somewhat upon the standard formulas that are available.

One of the nutritional areas that are woefully inadequate with formulas is in regards to their fatty acid content. With all of the anti-fat propaganda going on these days, most people don't realize the critical importance of fat, especially with infants. Not only is the quantity important, but the quality and breakdown of the types of fat supplied as well.

After all, the brain is 60% lipid (fat). Of this fat, approximately 12 % is arachidonic acid (AA) and 17% is docosahexaenoicacid (DHA).

Many people have heard about the benefits and importance of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, found primarily in fish.

The importance of DHA in the infants' diet recently prompted many countries (not including the US) to allow formula producers to fortify their products with DHA,as well as AA. Currently, DHA/AA enhanced formulas are available, although not mandatory,throughout most of Europe.

Unfortunately, this small step still does not provide infants the nutrients they desperately require, due to several problems.

First of all, the DHA added to the formulas,obtained from microalgae, is highly oxidized (approximately 30%)

Additionally, DHA and AA are not the sole fat constituents of breast milk.Fortifying with them is a step in the right direction, but still leaves out plenty of important substances.
In an effort to help people provide their infants with the best possible nutrition,we often instruct mothers to "create" fortified formulas. But of course we insist that mothers breastfeed if at all possible or even obtain fresh breast milk from a lactating friend or relative, if they have adopted a baby, or can't breastfeed for some reason.

For the infant to remain as healthy as possible, he must obtain a proper balance of all the essential fats, which is difficult to impossible, especially when you are changing mother nature and trying to create a formula.

However, below is a basic fat fortification protocol, which attempts to come as close as possible to "the real thing":
  • Kiddie Krill - one per day
  • Organic egg yolk - 1 yolk daily added at four months of age
  • Organic cream ideally non-pasteurized and non-homogenized -- If you are unable to find a local dairy farmer who will cooperate with you please try this link: http://www.realmilk.com/where.html.
  • Omega Nutrition pure sesame, walnut, safflower, sunflower, oils (rotate with above) - 1 teaspoon daily
  • One teaspoon high quality coconut oil. This oil needs to be heated to 76 degrees to become a liquid.
Base oils as safflower, sunflower and sesame can be blended into the formula.
It is important, if not breastfeeding, to use one of the commercially available formulas as a "base" from which to fortify the infant's diet. Although some people might be tempted to create their own homemade formula, I don't recommend this approach, as it is just too dangerous that something could be inadvertently left out or added in too great a quantity. A mistake could cost an infant his life.

Nutramagen or Alimentumcan be used as a base infant formula and 'doctored up' with nutritional perks. Both of these formulas are acceptable in regard to the 'allergic' aspect, and are the ones usually used when children cannot tolerate anything. Of course, they are also the most expensive.

FORTIFIED COMMERCIAL FORMULA Makes about 35 ounces
This stop gap formula can be used in emergencies, or when the ingredients for homemade formula are unavailable.
  • 1 cup Mead Johnson low-iron, milk-based powdered formula, Nutramigen or Alimentum are best and better tolerated but are more expensive
  • 29 ounces filtered water (3 5/8 cups)
  • 1 large egg yolk from an organic egg uncooked. Do not give to infant unless older than four months of age
  • 1 Kiddie Krill
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend thoroughly. Place6-8 ounces in a very clean glass bottle. (Store the rest in a very clean glass jar in the refrigerator for the next feedings.) Attach a clean nipple to the bottle and set in a pan of simmering water until formula is warm but not hot to the touch,shake well and feed to baby. (Never heat formula in a microwave oven!)
If your baby is premature, one additional area of fortification is in the area of free amino acids, most notably taurine. This nutrient is also critical for infant development and is found in human milk but not in cow's milk. Although many formulas add some taurine, it has been shown that formula-fed infants have lower levels of taurine in their blood than breastfed infants do, even when the formula has added taurine.

Contrary to the advice given by some, soy milk, almond milk,or carrot juice, even if organic and homemade, are most definitely NOT ACCEPTABLE SUBSTITUTES FOR BREAST MILK, or even for formula.

For those mothers who are breastfeeding, it is important to realize that the essential fatty acid content of her breast milk coincides with what she eats. Therefore, her diet is very important for the health of her baby. One of the most important things that a breastfed mother can do is to avoid foods containing trans fats, such as margarine and anything with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.

While one can't guarantee that taking the steps outlined above will completely eliminate problems such as ADD/ADHD and other behavioral problems, developmental problems,autism, visual difficulties, and others, I believe it is a strong possibility that it could help to reduce their incidence, although it is important to always remember that BREAST IS BEST.

Please recognize that soy formula is an unmitigated disaster for infants and should never be used.Fact is, it can harm your baby, as it is high in:
  • Manganese
  • Aluminum
  • Phytoestrogens that will harm your baby
(For more information please read the links below.)

Alternatively a raw milk formula can be made:

MILK-BASED FORMULA From Weston Price Foundation
Makes 36 ounces

Our milk-based formula takes account of the fact that human milk is richer in whey,lactose, vitamin C, niacin, and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to cow’s milk but leaner in casein (milk protein). Use only truly expeller-expressed oils in the formula recipes, otherwise they may lack vitamin E.
The ideal milk for baby, if he cannot be breastfed, is clean, whole raw milk from goats. If goats are not available, them milk from cows certified free of disease,that feed on green pasture would be a second best choice. For sources of good quality milk, see http://www.realmilk.com/or contact a local chapter of the Weston A.

Price Foundation.

If the only choice available to you is commercial milk, choose whole milk, preferably organic and unhomogenized, and culture it with a piima or Kefir Culture to restore enzymes.
2 cups whole milk, raw (non-pasteurized) milk from pasture-fed cows
1/4 cup homemade liquid whey (See recipe for whey)
4 tablespoons lactose (available from The Apothecary 301-530-1112)
1 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis
2 Kiddie Krill
1 teaspoon expeller-expressed sunflower oil
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons Frontier brand nutritional yeast flakes
2 teaspoons gelatin
1 7/8 cups filtered water
1/4 teaspoon acerola powder

Add gelatin to water and heat gently until gelatin is dissolved. Place all ingredients in a very clean glass or stainless steel container and mix well. To serve, pour6 to 8 ounces into a very clean glass bottle, attach nipple and set in a pan of simmering water. Heat until warm but not hot to the touch, shake bottle well and feed baby. (Never, never heat formula in a microwave oven!) Note: If you are using the Lact-Aid, mix all ingredients well in a blender.)

Variation: Goat Milk Formula

Although goat milk is rich in fat, it must be used with caution in infant feeding as it lacks folic acid and is low in vitamin B12, both of which are essential to the growth and development of the infant. Inclusion of nutritional yeast to provide folic acid is essential. To compensate for low levels of vitamin B12, add 2 teaspoons frozen organic raw chicken liver, finely grated to the batch of formula. Be sure to begin egg-yolk feeding at four months.

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