One of my favorite milestones in babyhood is when those sweet chubby little hands start reaching out for food.
It is so fun to start introducing the tastes and textures of your home to them, teach them about sitting around a table to share a meal as a family, and, ultimately, nourish them both physically and mentally as you form their taste palate for nutrient dense food.
One thing that I struggled with on babies number 2 and 3 that I didn’t struggle with on my first born was the sibling factor.
From crawling to toy manipulation, that little baby sister was super set in her way of copying big sister at play. In the same way, both my second and third babies would see big sister having a bowl of soaked oats in the morning even from about 6 months old and just be intent on having the same thing!
I created this grain free baby porridge when my second born (who is extremely stubborn by nature from even infanthood compared to my other girls!) was about 7 months old and was just so set on having everything her big sister was having. So on oatmeal morning this is what she would have in the same kind of bowl as big sister. It is very important to keep infants away from grain as they do not have the enzymes to digest grains like rice, oats, wheat, etc until well past the age of 1. Read more about why baby cereals are actually in fact toxic to baby HERE and HERE.
This breakfast is loaded with nutrient dense but very simple ingredients.
If you are a busy, working momma you can double, triple, or more batch this up, and freeze it in ice cube trays. Baby can have a few thawed out “cubes” in the morning or packed up to daycare. I did the ice cube tray thing with baby number 3 since I wanted to save time and didn’t want to have to prepare different breakfasts for her and the big girls.
Be sure to be flexible with the ingredients according to what you have already introduced to baby. If you haven’t tried egg yolk with baby yet, maybe start with just a yolk to be sure baby digests it fine before you put it in there. Read more about how to prepare egg yolk for baby HERE.
If you don’t have access to quality yogurt or kefir (preferably raw/grassfed etc), just leave it out. You can add some quality coconut milk if you want, and add a trustworthy probiotic for some culture benefit to the gut.
The squash or sweet potato are plenty sweet enough for baby – don’t go by your taste. If you start sweetening everything now, their taste palate will expect that for everything. I would even just leave out any fruit from this for a while. Let them form their palate for savory and lightly sweet. You can even stir in some leftover veggie puree from the night before – I did that a lot. Left over pastured chicken and bone broth puree, peas, etc all work just fine.
One final note has to do with the “orange” veggies – the squash or sweet potato in this case.
Have you ever seen a baby with a little orange “tint” to their nose? Baby’s little liver needs some time to learn how to convert the carotenoids into vitamin A. (Read more about this topic HERE). So if they are getting too many orange veggies, you’ll see the little orange nose – just back off on the orange veggies a little. I usually served this breakfast twice a week so I never had an issue. If you plan to serve it more often just switch up the veggie with something like peas or even avocado so they aren’t getting too many orange veggies.
You will find much more in depth conversation along with almost 100 nourishing recipes in my cookbook, Nourished Beginnings Baby Food!
Whether you are a new or seasoned momma, Nourished Beginnings will be a treasure on your bookshelf that I hope gets spilled on used, and loved for years to come. Not only are there great first food starts for baby in the first quarter of the book, the rest of the book will show you how to make full meals for the whole family that baby an also enjoy too, cutting your kitchen time in half!
Breakfast Porridge For Baby
- 3-4 TB cooked butternut or acorn squash or sweet potato
- 1 soft or hard boiled pastured egg YOLK yolk only
- 2 tsp butter coconut oil, or coconut butter (I usually alternate all 3 to get their palates used to all the flavors)
- 1 TB whole yogurt or kefir Raw milk works too, or a quality coconut milk if you want, and add a trustworthy probiotic for some culture benefit to the gut.
- 2 tsp grassfed collagen
- Pinch of sea salt
- Mix together and serve. You can serve it warm or cold – I tried getting my babies to get used to it either way. If you decide to warm it up do NOT use a microwave or you will destroy all the nutrients. I usually warmed stovetop, or used a small container in my bottle warmer! Double or triple batch up and freeze in ice cube trays for convenience.
This post was shared at Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, & Allergy Free Wednesday!
Actually, most children don’t convert beta cartons to vitamin A at all. It isn’t just babies.
Carotenes are converted into the true vitamin A in the intestines of animals, including humans. The carotene with the highest conversion factor, that is, the carotene that is most easily converted, is beta-carotene. Various enzymes and vitamins are needed to split beta-carotene into molecules of true vitamin A. It takes at least 6 molecules of carotene to produce one molecule of vitamin A.
So while it is true that humans can convert some of the carotenes in their food into vitamin A, many conditions interfere with this conversion.
And babies and children do not make this conversion at all. You can give the baby carrot juice until he turns orange – and he will turn orange – but he will not make this conversion. This is why babies and growing children right up to age 18 need more vitamin A in their diet as a function of body weight than adults do
Hi Sandrine! I appreciate your explanation, and I was using the verbiage in the “Feeding Babies” post on the WAPF website (I probably should have linked there on my post and will edit that now) – their verbiage is :: “Don’t overdo on the orange vegetables as baby’s immature liver may have difficulty converting carotenoids to vitamin A. If your baby’s skin develops a yellowish color, a sign that he is not making the conversion, discontinue orange vegetables for a time” (http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/feeding-babies/). I do understand that babies and adults alike should look to pastured meats/eggs/animal sources as their main source of vitamin A. And to be honest the purpose in having the squash/sweet potato in there really isn’t for the vitamin content. In my mind at this age, my babies’ source of vitamins come from breastmilk, bone broth, and pastured meats/liver/marrow/yolk. The squash/sweet potato provide an excellent source of easily digested carbohydrate/energy for them and makes the porridge taste great 🙂 I hope that helps, and I hope you enjoyed the idea of the porridge 🙂
I think it sounds like is a wonderful recipe, Renne!
I simply wanted to add some content from our educational materials because when I read your words “Baby’s little liver needs some time to learn how to convert the carotenoids into vitamin A”, I wondered if that may lead to the false impression that babies will make ever make this conversation when they are babies. Baby’s little liver may need up to the age of 18 to covert the carotenoids into Vitamin A.
Oops! Meant to write Renee!
Thank you Sandrine <3
At what age did you give this to your baby? I didn’t think egg was ok until they were older?
Per WAPF guidelines the yolks from pastured eggs are a great first food for baby from about the age of 4 months. It is the egg white that poses digestive distress so we are just talking yolk here. I started my babies on yolks at 4 months and by about 6-7 months I had all of the components of this porridge introduced so I could make them all together around that age. I hope that helps!
Thank you! My almost 9 month old little guy hasn’t had much interest in food so looking for some creative options.
Great Jessica! Have fun with it 😉 It should be a positive experience!
Renee, as always, this is such a thoughtful + lovely recipe. I love how nourishing + nutrient-dense this porridge is. Pinned it.
Thank you Emily!
I love the convenience of freezing and thawing as needed! Great recipe and wonderful time saver.
Thank you Linda!
This is so good for baby’s first foods! I will be passing this along to friends with littles.
Thank you Jessica!
This is wonderful, so lovingly written, as usual. I am pinning. One question- could you use raw pastured egg yolk? Sorry if I missed this in the post. Maybe there is concern that it has raw white on it? Thanks for the insight! On GAPS we do so much with raw yolks and they are so gentle and nutritious… Cheers! 🙂
I wish I had this recipe when my toddler was a baby! I’ll definitely bookmark this for the next one though!
Oh, I just love your recipes! I’ll be bookmarking this for the future, and pass it along to my sister who’s expecting in the next couple of days… I so wish that I had been informed when my little one was a baby! Thanks for the recipe!
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