Can I give animal foods to my baby from 6 months?
Yes, you can. Research has found that animal foods are so important in ensuring proper growth and height, strength, and intelligence along with mental development and strong immunity.
I recommend animal food from grass-fed sources (organic ideally) as the quality of life and the nutrient profile of such animals are vastly superior to those that come from the factory farming model.
Why are animal foods so important?
Animal foods are high in the absorable form of iron, zinc, saturated fats, cholesterol and contain eight essential amino acids all of which growing bubs needs. The first readily available digestive enzymes your baby makes are those for digesting protein, fat, and cholesterol. Perhaps this is why, historically, traditional first baby foods have always been animal based.
Iron and Zinc
Babies accumulate plenty of iron and zinc while in utero, but by 6 months old, much of these stores have been used up. A mother’s milk offers very absorbable iron and zinc but typically not enough to meet the huge nutrient demands of their rapid growth between 6 – 12 months.
Without iron, babies brains are hit hard. They need it for normal neurologic development and if iron levels are not replenished, the damage may be irreversible. The highly absorbable form of iron, called heme iron, is absorbed in 37 to 40 percent, and it is only found in animal food.
Zinc contributes to the health of your baby’s immune system, intestinal mucosal lining, and skin and influences physical activity, growth, and cognitive development. If levels of zinc are low, growth will slow, immune function can be impaired, and eczema may develop. Easily absorbable zinc is also found in animal foods.
Cholesterol and Saturated Fats
Animal food has saturated fat and cholesterol which is critical for babies. Fat is important, and Mum’s milk has a caloric make up of 50 to 60 percent fat, over half of which is saturated fat with hefty doses of cholesterol. It might interest you to know that your baby’s rapidly growing brain is 60 percent fat – being built by good fats in his diet.
Essential Amino Acids
Your baby needs eight essential amino acids from their diet because they can’t make them (either can adults). These are necessary to build their body, including making heart, lung, and intestinal tissue, other muscles, antibodies, hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes, bones, ligaments, tendons, cell membranes, and more! All eight are found together in animal food, but not in plant food.
Remember food is one of the most powerful tools you have to protect, preserve and make sure your baby’s health and well-being.
If you need help on what to feed your baby/toddler please call me to organise a personal consult.
Until next time,