The Best Brain Food for Babies

One of the things I learned quickly with number one, was how difficult life was prior to his ability to communicate, and how much simpler it became as he acquired language. Also, hilarious.

Enter the vibrant (albeit slimy) egg yolk.

Best Brain Food for Babies
Sally Fallon of the Weston A Price Foundation (brilliant, lengthy article to be found here) states that “parents who institute the practice of feeding egg yolk to baby will be rewarded with children who speak and take directions at an early age”. Reason enough to try, no? This isn’t like willing your tiny one to walk and then regretting even having the thought the second he takes off down the hall cackling. This is talking we’re *ahem* talking about! Way less screaming, guessing, and wild gesticulations plus infinitely more cuteness and laughter (Stud Muff generally refers to me as “honey,” guess who else does too?)

Unfortunately, before we all skip merrily into the kitchen to whip up a Greek omelet, there is one caveat to the magic. Said egg yolk needs to be raw, or nearly so.

Why Raw Egg Yolks > Cooked Egg Yolks

  1. Heat destroys the enzymes that help our bodies assimilate the nutrients in eggs
  2. Heat also alters and reduces those nutrients

Raw egg yolks are also less likely to result in an allergic reaction, making them a great choice for many people. (Egg whites tend to be more allergenic and are best left until the wee one is over a year old – though this is being increasingly left to the discretion of parents if there is no prior history of egg allergy in the family). Therefore – while cooked eggs are nothing to snuff at nutritionally, raw eggs yolks pack a serious health punch that is also gentler on the digestive system and more available to our bodies.

Health benefits of raw egg yokes for babies and their brains:

FAT – Pastured hens (generally organic, or at least raised on flax or insects) – lay eggs with far more omega-3 long-chain fatty acids than their conventionally raised (caged) counterparts. These fatty acids are also found in breast milk because they are essential for the developing brain.

CHOLESTEROL – Perhaps a scary word at first glance – cholesterol is another wildly important component of optimal brain development (is also another key player in mom’s milk)

VITAMINS A, D, E and K – Which happen to all be fat-soluble (they require dietary fat in order to be absorbed by the body). These vitamins are key in bone growth, immunity and skin development of little ones. Fatty acids in the egg yolk itself make them readily available to their bodies.

Additional vitamins and minerals found in the humble yellow goop:

B6 – involved in making neurotransmitters needed for brain development

B12 – involved in the maintenance of nerves, blood cell and DNA

Zinc, copper, choline, B12, thiamin, riboflavin, selenium, folate

All of these benefits – one food – that is easy for their immature digestive system to handle.

WINNING!

How to sneak em’ in:

  • A quick over-easy in the frying pan
  • Whisk it into blended smoothies (at the end)
  • Mash up with banana or avocado
  • Put egg into boiling water for about 3 minutes, cool and then cut open and allow yolk to run into a bowl (season with a little salt, pepper and turmeric for even more nutrition and taste!)

You are what you eat as they say 🙂 What we feed our kids is what their bodies will be made of, and I have every intention of training my babies’ palates to enjoy the things that will nourish them and keep them healthy. “Let food be thy medicine”

How to Help Your Child Enjoy Heathy Food

Don’t we all dream of a world in which our kids come running to the kitchen for kale and quinoa, and politely say “no thank you” to strangers when offered cookies and ice cream (because those things would never be found in our kitchens….right? at least not in the cupboards the kids can reach…)? Today we’re talking about how to help your child enjoy healthy food – not just tolerate it – but ask for it with a smile 🙂 (<– putting one on your face as well).

As a certified sugar addict I’ve been very committed to raising kids who have better trained buds than I… and that starts young. I’m talking in utero young. Flipping and floundering and sucking back smoothies through their umbilical cords…

How to Help Your Child Enjoy Heathy Food

Studies like this one have shown that moms train their babies’ palates at large by what they eat while pregnant, nursing and in the early years of solids. The taste of breast milk is fluid (chuckle chuckle) and determined by the mom’s diet. Eat lots of sugar and you’ll be treating your tiny one to human soda, spicy food will give it some kick. Of course these effects are not all-powerful, but the flavor subtleties influence their preferences when it comes time to introduce solids.

How to Help Your Child Enjoy Heathy Food

How to Help Your Child Enjoy Healthy Food

Posts on optimal first foods will be up in the coming weeks, but for now, some ideas of how to help your little one enjoy things are good for them include:

  • Eat whole, nourishing foods while pregnant (not enough for 2! caloric requirements only increase minimally and closer to term)
  • Eat whole, nourishing foods, plenty of good fat and increase overall quantity while nursing
  • Offer variety upon introduction of solids (new things tend to be more interesting, I generally feed him 4 different things at each meal and only bring out 1 or 2 at a time)
  • If baby refuses things like liver sneak it in with some organic, unsweetened applesauce
  • Limit or remove sugar from their diet altogether (and watch how they beg for fruit!)
  • Set a good example in food choices
  • Don’t give up! It takes about 12 separate instances of eating something unpleasant for the palate to begin to enjoy it
  • Don’t give in. Once baby becomes a toddler, they can go a few hours without eating, no problemo. If they are refusing the delicious healthy meal you have lovingly prepared, gently remind them that they will have nothing else until it is finished. In our case, it goes back into the fridge and comes out the next time they are hungry. You’ve heard it before, but babies will not starve themselves. Give it some time and they’ll be begging for pureed liver and kale.

Bon Appetit!