Excerpt from my second book Feeling Good Living Low Toxin about how to feed infants real food and avoid that so many (53%) of our children have chronic illness. This book has won 7 awards and my first book that goes more in depth about the toxins is also available at this link, It Feels GOod to Feel Good, has won 17 awards.
To go to my store on Amazon to buy my books
“For is there any practice less selfish, any labor less alienated, any time less wasted, than preparing something delicious and nourishing for people you love?”
— Michael Pollan
Let’s start with the fact that our newborn infants are being born with a significant toxic load right from the umbilical cord from the mother with as many as 287 toxins right at the point of birth. Of the 287 chemicals that have been detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.[i] Right from the start, an infant starts with a significant toxic load directly at the point of birth. How does this impact them?
- “A developing child’s chemical exposures are greater pound-for-pound than those of adults.
- “An immature, porous blood-brain barrier allows higher chemical exposures to the developing brain.
- “Children have lower levels of some chemical-binding proteins, allowing more of a chemical to reach ‘target organs.’
- “A baby’s organs and systems are rapidly developing, and thus are often more vulnerable to damage from chemical exposure.
- “Systems that detoxify and excrete industrial chemicals are not fully developed.
- “The longer future life span of a child compared to an adult allows more time for adverse effects to arise.”[ii]
I have been listening to a symposium on the liver, which is our detox organ. If the body can not detox all of the chemicals out of the body because of overload, it “protects” the body by tucking the chemicals and poisons away in the body’s fat and bones. The chemicals hide there until they begin to leak out, making the body’s organs increasingly unhealthy at a later time. It’s so crucial that you eliminate the toxins before you feed them to your child, at any age.
If you are planning to have a family, clean up your toxic load first. You should be eating organic, avoiding GMOs, and using low toxin products for some time before the point of conception.
This approach is important for the father as well as for the mother. You should be eating real live food and eliminate anything from your diet that you cannot pronounce or do not know what it is. (like natural flavors) You are what YOU eat, and unfortunately, your newborn also inherits what YOU eat.
The comment about a father’s diet is from a new study, which even surprised the researchers. “Folate-deficient diets in the male rats in the study made their children more likely to have birth defects and altered genes associated with chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and cancer.”[iii] How can this be? The father’s diet had an impact on how his genes expressed in his sperm.
We are learning all of this through the study of Epigenetics, which is still in itself, in its infancy. But it is known that diet and lifestyle do impact how the tendencies we inherit in our genes are expressed, so it makes sense that this is essential information for both the soon to be mother and the soon to be father before conception.
Give your child a clean slate at birth and give it an optimal chance for good health and to develop its body, mind, and natural intelligence by living and eating low toxin.
I just listened to Michael Skinner, MD and Jeffery Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology. And it was rather surprising. No one has ever studied the multi-generational impact of Glyphosate. Dr. Skinner is part of a group from Berkeley that just finished a multi-year study into this. What they have found so far is worth noting. There is no impact of Roundup on the first generation and also little on the second generation, but the impact on the third generation is horrific. This means that what you eat before you conceive that child impacts your great-grandchildren even more than your children. Many of the Moms died in childbirth in the third generation, and the impact on the sexual organs and the kidneys of the third generation children was huge amounts of disease and infertility.[iv] 90 % of the third generation had disease issues.
We don’t even begin to understand the damage that eating all this Glyphosate is having on the human race.
I also learned today that there are 40,000 lawsuits against Monsanto now, for creating cancer in people who have been exposed. And yet, it is still being sprayed on our crops.
As a responsible parent, it is increasingly clear that becoming low toxin long before conception is important for the longterm health of your child.
There is a difference in baby flora depending upon whether the child is born vaginally or from C-Section. If the baby is born vaginally, they get all the healthy probiotics of the mother. If they are born C- Section, they do not. A child that is vaginally born receives a boost to their immune systems, and it protects their intestinal tracts.[v]
But babies born via cesarean section (C-section) don’t have that same advantage.
“Now, a new procedure that may level the playing field is starting to get some attention in the medical profession.
“It’s called vaginal seeding.[vi]
“The process involves wiping down a baby — who is born via C-section — with gauze that has bacteria from the mother’s birthing canal. The hope is that it will expose the baby to the same bacteria as if they were born vaginally”, according to Mary Lou Kopas, chief of midwifery at the University of Washington’s Medicine Northwest Hospital Midwives Clinic.
“The point of vaginal seeding is to give the benefits of normal bacteria and flora,” from the mother similar to vaginal birth, she explained to Healthline.[vii]
There are some risks involved with vaginal seeding, so if you choose to do this, have a conversation with your doctor first. A fair number of mothers have a staph infection that could be transmitted to the child.
Babies born via C-Section tend to have more problems breathing and tend to suffer from asthma more often that children vaginally born. Being birthed through the vaginal canal squeezes all of the liquid out of the baby’s lungs.
Children that are vaginally born get breastfed more quickly than C-Section infants. The mother has less recovery time from vaginal birth.
You probably know that if possible, you should breastfeed your baby. Again, this only makes sense if you have significantly lowered your toxic load. There are many advantages for the baby and you. Mother’s milk builds the child’s natural immune system and contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria[viii]. A mother’s breast milk has all the vitamins, nutrients, calories, and fluids that the infant needs to be healthy.[ix] There are also health benefits for the mother to breastfeed.
The advantages of breastfeeding your newborn are numerous for you and your baby:
- New findings have concluded that upwards of 30 percent of beneficial bacteria found in a baby’s gut comes directly from a mother’s milk. What’s more, an additional 10 percent comes from skin on the mother’s breast.[x]
- Mothers breast milk is nature’s perfect infant food.
- For your newborn infant, the milk gives them immune-boosting antibodies.
- It passes healthy enzymes to the child that scientists have not been able to replicate
- Its easily digested by the child
- It is easier for your infant to utilize the breast milk causing less stomach upset, diarrhea, and constipation for the child since it is custom designed by nature for the child.
- It reduces the risk of viruses, including ear infections in the child, and lowers respiratory infections.[xi]
- There are fewer cases of SIDS in breastfed infants.[xii]
- It protects the child from getting some diseases in later life.
- The fatty acids in breast milk are thought to be the brain boosters. So, although it is currently being studied, feeding the child breast milk may give the child a higher IQ.[xiii]
- Breastfeeding shares love and bonding with your child.
- Breast milk helps your infant sleep better and encourages healthy circadian rhythms in the child.[xiv]
Adorable baby boy playing on a blue floor mat and drinking milk from a bottle in a white sunny nursery with rocking chair and bassinet. Bedroom interior with infant crib. Formula drink for infant.
However, if you cannot breastfeed[xv] (or if you choose not to) feeding the child an “off the shelf” formula is probably not a wise option. “Most commercial formula options, even organic ones, contain ingredients, additives, and preservatives that aren’t good for the baby.”[xvi] Formulas are loaded with chemicals and are also often soy-based, and 95% of soy is GMO.[xvii]
If this is the case, there are some other options. You can make a homemade option that is nutritionally healthier for the baby than any manufactured formula. One possibility noted here is from Weston A. Price, and the other is from Wellness Mama.
If you aren’t breastfeeding, you won’t get the good bacteria transfer from the mother, or the incredible bonding between mother and child that the child would receive from breastfeeding, but at least you are not feeding your baby an inferior formula that will increase their toxic load and even possibly leave the child nutritionally deficient. Some of the bonding can be overcome by bottle-feeding the baby and maintaining the skin to skin contact.
Mom’s try to make the best choices they can for their children. Do your research, make informed decisions, and don’t stress over decisions you made in the past. John’s mother (my husband) worried for years because of a physical condition that prevented her from breastfeeding her children. The additional stress impacted his mother and his siblings.
The next step, of course, is what do you do once you wean your child off breast milk or your homemade formula. Again, baby foods are loaded with synthetic ingredients and chemicals, and foods that are not optimally healthy for your child. This starts somewhere around 7-8 months, and again food should be home prepared.
The best blog that I found on how to feed a small child is Nourishing the Next Generation by Beetroot.[xviii] She gives a step by step guideline as to how she started feeding her baby new foods and how to get her child to eat real food as the food her baby could eat progressed. I strongly recommend that you look up her blog and read it. Other Moms that I have talked to have used a similar progression of introducing foods.
In the beginning, you pulverize the food so that it is the consistency of jarred baby food. All the mothers have emphasized that you should offer new foods in small quantities along with foods that you know that your child likes and will eat. You just put it on their plate. You do NOT insist that the child eats it. Each day, you continue to offer the food until one day it does get eaten, and then you start with introducing another new food.
Beetroot Brooke offers multiple selections in small quantities on her child’s plate and then lets the child choose what they want to eat. All options are nutritious.
I have also learned that children respond positively to food if you make it fun. Bright colors, fun patterns made with nutritious food all promote healthy eating. I have found fun bowl mats with the bowl in the shape of a frog or an animal, and different compartments made from silicone that encourage happy eating. [xix] There are duckies and bears and elephants made from silicone. Do NOT use plastic as it is toxic, but silicone is safe.
You will also want to be creative with how you lay the food out on the dish. Google fun food for children on Pinterest and lots of boards come up with great ideas to make food fun.
I have also found superfood powders in intense colors that I use to make inventive recipes. I believe in eating all the colors of the rainbow. The company is Unicorn Superfoods out of Australia. http://bit.ly/unicornsuperfds, they have a cookbook with ideas and a fantastic Instagram page loaded with great ideas. [xx] Shipping is included in their price, and it comes quickly. It’s a win, win, win. These are bright colors that add nutrition and additional flavor, and that your child will want to eat.
Since I am always talking about eating the rainbow, I have fallen in love with these superfoods. I am planning my cookbook with a focus on eating the rainbow recipes since each color has unique gifts for the body. Cooking with color feeds your child what they need to grow up strong, and color improves their brainpower; it also makes the child WANT to eat the food because it is more fun (and tastes yummy).
You want to raise your child with the ability to make choices; you want to control that the choices are all good for them. Only keep healthy options in your home.
This does not change as the child progresses through different food cycles and eats more real food. Feed the child what you, the adult, is eating. Vary variety and color, shape, and texture on the child’s plate. Your child will mimic you.
Multiple Moms that I have talked with have suggested teaching the child to read labels as early as possible. My husband says that children are little pitchers, what you pour in and what the child observes from you, becomes a lifelong habit for them.
More than one Mom has expressed that as she is in the store reading labels, her child is mimicking reading labels even before they can read. They will pick up the can or the box and let their little finger slide across the ingredients on the package. Once they do learn to read, they will learn what good ingredients are and what harmful ingredients are. These children are instilled with good eating habits right from the beginning, and these children are more difficult to sway once the child is finally on his own and off to school.
One Mom shared with me that when her child was offered an unknown food, the child brought it home to discuss with her as to whether or not they should eat it. The child is not perfect, they did eat pop rocks at a birthday party, but in general, they are proud of making great choices when they are away from their home.
If the child eats something that is off your program, don’t get twisty. Remember that it is all about “toxic load.” Just have a conversation with the child as to what healthier options might have been.
This mother also shared that a year ago, her mother was not as concerned with healthy food choices when her children stayed with them. The 3-year-old told her mother, “Grandma, we don’t eat that.” Wow. Now a year later, they have influenced Grandma so much that only healthy choices are offered. It can be done. And it doesn’t mean that the food is not delicious at the same time that it is nutritious.
[xv] Some mothers are physically unable to breast feed.
[xvii] If you don’t know what it means to be GMO, I have a chapter about organic, conventional and GMO in my first book,” It Feels Good to Feel Good, Learn to Eliminate Toxins, Reduce Inflammation and Feel Great Again.”
[xix] Pottery Barn carried silicone elephants, cats and dog bowls and mats.