Week 11: Meat and Wheat Bread

Meat

Meat For Your Baby

Some pediatricians in the United States suggest waiting to introduce meat to your baby because of the hormones added to our livestock. Research studies done so far do not provide evidence that hormone residues in meat or dairy products cause any human health effects. Added hormones in meat is considered safe because hormones naturally occur in the animals, and we have been eating these hormones without known effect since our species started eating meat. But, no long term studies of "extra" hormones exist because the practice of adding hormones to meat just started in the 1980s. Fortunately, there are organic meats that do not contain hormones or pesticides, and since your baby is small, we believe that you should consider feeding him organic meat when you find it. Be aware that "all natural" is not the same as "hormone free". As a busy parent, you are going to have to carefully read the label to assess whether or not the meat you are buying contains added hormones.

We have also found that most babies generally do not like the texture of meat and reject it. The easiest thing to do is make some for yourself, and give a taste to your baby.

Recommended products for your baby:

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When is baby ready?

8 months old

How to buy

Chicken thighs are a good first meat for baby because they have a soft, moist consistency. You will have to do less work making them edible for baby, if you can find skinless, boneless chicken thighs. Sometimes, they can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store. Keep in mind that chicken breast meat is a little dry and tough for baby's new teeth as is steak, pork, and lamb.

Homemade Baby Food Recipe

One of the quickest ways to cook boneless chicken thighs is to broil them. The high heat will seal in the juices, and it will be done before you know it.

  1. Heat broiler to high, put rack 3-4 inches from heat source
  2. Brush chicken thighs with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper
  3. Put chicken on rimmed baking sheet and broil for 3-4 minutes per side.

For baby, cut into really small pieces so her little teeth can handle chewing the meat.

How to store

Fresh chicken should be used as soon as possible after purchase. Look for the frozen thighs if you don't know when you are going to get to cook them.

Are there baby food jars?

Yes, usually mixed with other foods.

Should I buy organic?

Yes. If it is possible to find it.

Adult Recipe

Please see above baby preparation.

Wheat Bread

Wheat Bread For Your Baby

Here is a food that most of us have around the house in various forms - crackers, pita, flour tortillas, pastries, cereal, etc. We have all been told to eat "whole grain" and the logic behind this suggestion is strong. Whole grain flours have MANY more nutrients than white flours. Basically, white flour is the removal of of the nutritious part of the wheat to allow the bread able to stay fresh longer. But, for us eaters, removal of the nutrients means we are eating "empty" calories. Empty calories are devoid of protein, fiber, and other nutrients which humans need to function and grow. Of course, at this point in your baby's life, all of her nutrients are coming from breast milk or formula, so we aren't too worried. But, it is helpful to start good habits early and also it is good for you to eat whole grain (if you like it) yourself.

If your baby is at risk for food allergies, (for example: if they have eczema, asthma, allergies or if they have other family members with these conditions) then you should avoid all wheat products until your baby is at least one year old.

Recommended products for your baby:

Please note: we receive a small percentage from sales at amazon.com

When is baby ready?

8 months old

How to buy

Be aware that "whole wheat" is not the same as "whole grain". Buy the whole grain version whenever possible. Also, look for different grains such as rye, barley. and buckwheat. Read the nutritional label to assess whether the bread contains any fiber or protein. These values will tell you if your bread has any nutrition packed in with those calories.

Homemade Baby Food Recipe

Cut up and serve. You will probably need to remove the crusts because they are too hard for baby. If baby lacks teeth, you can soften bread with water or mix with bananas, etc.

How to store

On your counter for 4-5 days.

Are there baby food jars?

No.

Should I buy organic?

Very hard to find. Wheat is heavily sprayed so if you can afford it or find it - we recommend you buy it.

Adult Recipe

We will skip this because we bet you know what to do with bread! Of course you could always make your own bread if you have the time, but you probably don't. We recommend buying a bread machine if you want to take on that project.

Eating tip of the week

Knowing your baby is not allergic to wheat opens up a range of food that is baby friendly. There are teething biscuits, cheese crackers, and cereals that he/she can now eat. Also, if you take baby to a restaurant (you brave person!) - you can hand her a crust of bread to chew on before she gets too antsy.

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