Helen Padarin

Nourishing growing bubs

Nourishing growing bubs

The first 3 years of life, outside of time in the womb, is a time where we as humans go through extraordinary amounts of growth and development. Upon birth, we are thrust into an ever-changing environment, and we begin to feel hunger, thirst, temperature changes and other sensations that were previously all regulated in the womb. The huge amount of growth and development we go through requires bountiful supply of nutrients to build structure and foster development of neurological function, vision, organ function and more. In this sense, infants and toddlers are not just little adults – gram for gram, their nutritional needs far outweigh ours. Another factor to consider in feeding infants is that it takes time for the digestive tract wall, digestive functions and kidney function to fully develop, and so nutrition in early stages must be tailored to suit these. With this in mind it makes sense to provide bubs with the most nourishing, easily digestible foods as possible, and to introduce them at appropriate times.

The first 3 years of life, outside of time in the womb, is a time where we as humans go through extraordinary amounts of growth and development. Upon birth, we […]

There is no doubt breast milk is the very best first food for your baby. It is liquid gold. Not only is it filled with absolutely everything your child needs to thrive, but it includes, (unlike any other food sources) antibodies to protect your child. That’s why mummas milk is so golden. You can’t get the anti bodies anywhere else. Not in any other drink or food source. So if breastfeeding is possible, then we encourage only that. If breastfeeding is not possible, we encourage looking into breast milk banks where breast milk is supplied from other mothers to feed bubs who would not otherwise be able to have breast milk.

At around roughly 6 months of age, bubs digestion is ready for the gentle introduction of solids. It is also around this time that bubs requirement for nutrients like zinc and iron tend to outweigh what’s available in mums milk supply. This is also a crucial time for adequate protein supply to build all the structures of the body and plentiful fat supply. Most of the nerve system – the brain, spinal column and all the nerves that branch out from there, are largely made from fat. With out enough good fats our brains don’t develop so well and this can impact everything from memory, concentration and IQ (both in early years and throughout life). Fatty acids are in every cell of the body. They help make nice flexible cell walls, they are involved in hormone production, brain development, memory and concentration. They keep skin smooth, supple and moisturized. We need them for good vision and to transport essential fat soluble vitamins into our cells.

If we look at the development of digestive processes, and in particular enzyme production, humans don’t actually produce the enzymes required to breakdown many types of starches until the age of 18-24 months, making high starch foods like grains and legumes very difficult to digest, often resulting in painful gas and abdominal distension. As a result it serves bubs well to focus on easily digestible, reasonably high fat moderate protein meals with nice range of less starchy vegetables. Such a range of vegetables, bone broths and meats or fish will foster the growth of a wide variety of microflora in the gut – one of our most important alliances for our life long health.

The focus is on real foods in their true form. No packets or indecipherable ingredients.

We want fresh food that’s filled with nutrients that enables them to thrive and have the best possible start to life.

Once you realize its all just “real food” it becomes so easy to prepare, it less complicated and you know you are nourishing them with every mouthful.

If you start out feeding your little one this way, you can be confident you are setting them up for the best start. Including foods such as fermented vegetables, bone broth, and good quality fats not only supports them physically, but it also opens up their palate to enjoy an array of flavors, making food choices more exciting and varied as they grow and develop.

This is an extremely easy practical way to feed not only your baby, but your entire family. Once a toddler, and past the weaning phase, the family will all be eating the one meal. How practical and encouraging is that! Its fresh, fun, engaging and setting them up for life.

By Helen Padarin

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