The 6 Month and Up Crowd

February 28, 2013 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment

It was great to see a packed classroom Monday night at Wholefoods Market in Lincoln Park for the Bump Club and Beyond 4-8 month baby food making class. The number of Dad’s in Monday night’s sold out crowd we super impressive!! I co-authored this class with Chef Amanda Skrip. This is the first class in the series, which we put on a few times a year. So glad you all are enjoying it and talking it up to your pals.

In this class, Amanda shows families how to cook some key first foods and I take the class through safe food introduction using the SQ1 Superfood Introductory Guide and the SQ1 Daily Trackers. Additionally, we tackle this list of important topics:
• What is Gluten and Why Gluten-Free?
• What are Nitrates and why is it important to know about them when introducing first foods?
• What to know about water and infants?
• What foods to combine at mealtime and why?
• Why is eating from a spoon important to the development of a baby’s mouth?
• What are the 3 important reasons to NOT blend first foods?
• What are food families and why is it important to know about them when introducing first foods?
• Why are Vitamin A foods so important and which foods are excellent sources of Vitamin A?
• Why are Vitamin C foods so important and which foods are excellent sources of Vitamin C?
• What are Supergreens, which foods are supergreens and which ones should not be introduced before 8 months?
• What are the most important things to buy organic for babies when budgets are tight?
• Why and how to set up a batch cooking routine?
• What books, websites and products I strongly encourage my class to use. 

It’s a lot and I talk up to the last minute but we get it all done!

Here is a little taste of what we cover in the class!

Food introduction for babies 6 months and up – Up until now, it has been mostly breast milk or formula and possible some cereal depending on what your pediatrician suggests. Now it’s time to venture into the land of what foods to introduce first and why. I am a big believer that the every time children eat it is an opportunity to make a positive impact their growth, development and future food choices. Organic superfoods are a smart way to go. Here are a couple of helpful hints to get things started.

1.) Download the Square One Organics Superfood Guide and tape it to your refrigerator door. http://www.squareoneorganics.com/superfoodguide.php. We developed this with a Pediatric Nutritionist and a Pediatric Allergist, from Children’s Memorial Hospital. This is a helpful tool that takes the guesswork out of what food introduction. Across the top, we breakdown superfoods into 4 categories, Vitamin A’s, Vitamin C’s, Supergreens and Supergrains. The left column, shows at what age your child’s digestive system is mature enough to have the foods listed introduced.

2.) http://www.squareoneorganics.com/6monthguide.php. Also developed with our medical team, these daily journals were designed to give guidelines on appropriate portion size, meal/snack frequency, liquid intake, sleep, wet diaper, dirty diaper and any sort of food reactions. These are great tools for a few reasons: First, they are excellent daily guidelines and record keepers for families who use childcare inside and outside of the home. Second, record any questions or concerns on the journal and bring it to your Pediatrician visits. Finally, for those of you list lovers, like myself, these were developed for you. These days if I don’t write it down I just don’t remember.

3.) Here are some of my most favorite foods for this age group. Avocados, Millet and Papaya, are such important first food for babies. First, Avocados which are nature’s source of unsaturated fatty acids that babies need for brain development. Avocados are ripe when they yield to gentle pressure and feel soft to a 5 finger gentle squeeze. Try to mash and incorporate this amazing vegetable into your child’s routine every day. It is an important food for them to learn to love so that it will continue to be part of their “good fat” food routine.

Millet is another one of my favorite foods for babies this age. It cooks up nicely into a cereal and is one of the most hypo-allergenic grains you can find. Buy it organic in bulk at any Whole Foods Market. To cook millet simmer 1/2 cup in 11/2 cups of water. If you leave it alone as it cooks, you’ll get fluffy grains like rice; if you stir frequently and add a little extra liquid during cooking, you’ll get a dish that resembles mashed potatoes. It takes about 25 minutes to cook millet by simmering. At mealtime scoop out what you need dilute it with what your baby is drinking, pop it into a mini processer and infant cereal it is! Store the leftover uncooked millet in tightly sealed jars on the pantry shelf, except during very hot, humid weather when it may be best to keep them in the refrigerator.

Finally, Papaya, I love this food because it is an above excellent, low-acid source of Vitamin C. It contains the enzyme Papin, which ads in digestion. Think about it, happiness is a baby that sleeps, which is what you are working on at this age. Baby can’t sleep if baby can’t poop so feed Papaya to keep those digestive juices working smoothly. Organic Papaya is one of the foods Square One Organics offers. Click here to see where Square One Organics is available near you. http://www.squareoneorganics.com/retail.php

Stay tuned for my follow-up blogs on the other topics we cover in class!
Thanks,
Denise

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