It’s hard for me to believe, but I don’t even have a baby in the house any more…my youngest is now three (sniff).
But I’m still super excited about a new book that applies time-tested nutritional principles to feeding little ones, Super Nutrition for Babies: The Right Way to Feed Your Baby For Optimal Health. This is the book I wish I’d had when my first baby was born! I went with my gut and learned enough to muddle through, but oh how much easier it would have been to have it so clearly laid out for me, with all of the additional information provided here!
Written by two mothers who also happen to be a certified nutritional consultant and a board-certified pediatrician, Super Nutrition for Babies lays out the concept of “protective nutrition”-a mindful way of nourishing children to safeguard them from modern-day illness and to preserve their chance for genuine health-using the four criteria of digestibility, purity, immune-boosting, and nutrient-worth.
Much of the epidemic of chronic conditions like asthma, allergies, learning disabilities, automimmune disorders, and more, among young children today (referred to in the book as the “3Cs”: Contemporary Chronic Childhood conditions) are directly linked to the toxins and nutrient poor food common in today’s world. We need to be proactive about our childrens’ health, and diet is one of the most significant factors we can control.
From the introduction:
“Food is one of the most powerful tools you have to protect, preserve, and ensure your baby’s health and well-being. In the coming chapters, we’ll introduce the concept of Super Nutrition and explain how providing foods that are rich in critical nutrients, as well as reducing toxins, will enable your baby’s body to function optimally. We’ll focus on what you can proactively do to create a fundamental base of good health for your baby and significantly increase the odds of your baby living a long, happy, and healthy life.” (p. 11-12)
The authors explain that the 3C conditions, although they vary so much, have two very important things in common: they are caused or made worse by both nutrient deficiencies and toxic overload-both environmental factors. Now, thanks to the Human Genome Project and the field of epigenetics, we know that the genetics we inherit are not static – the environment makes much more difference than we ever realized, influencing how the genes we are born with are expressed. And since we have significant control over our babies’ environments, we can have a great influence on their health, even if they have genetic susceptibilities to the 3Cs. So, one of the most important things we as parents can do for our children is to optimize their diet, and starting in infancy will give them the foundation to continue healthy habits throughout life. Super Nutrition for Babies is one of the best tools I’ve come across so far to facilitate this.
The book organizes itself around four principles based on sound scientific and clinical research that it refers to as the “four pillars of super nutrition”:
- Pillar #1: DIGESTIBILITY. (Facilitate digestion and support intestinal health)
- Pillar #2: PURITY. (Reduce toxic exposure and improve detoxification capabilities)
- Pillar #3: IMMUNE BOOSTING. (Strengthen and support immunity)
- Pillar #4: NUTRIENT WORTH. (Provide optimally nourishing foods)
The chapters progress from birth to 24 months, addressing each of the pillars in turn. For example, the critical factor of digestibility is discussed in relation to the introduction of baby’s first foods at 6 to 8 months. Did you realize that the first digestive enzymes your child’s body produces are those for digesting protein, fat, and cholesterol? So why on earth do most first foods consist of grains and vegetables, which their little bodies aren’t capable of digesting properly?
I absolutely love the food categories given to easily illustrate which foods are most important to avoid and which are most critical. These categories, with their clever acronyms, are a fantastic tool for meal planning, purchase, and preparation for anyone, regardless of age. Here they are:
- Removes body’s nutrients
These are foods that do not provide proper nutrition and actually detract from the nutrients your baby needs for growth, development, and detoxification. They aren’t digestible, pure, immune-boosting, or nutrient worthy, and include most processed foods.
- Knockoffs of real food
- Adequate, not optimal
- Yield subpar health if fed exclusively
These foods are often staples of the Standard American Diet. They’re convenient, easy to come by, and inexpensive. In a healthy diet, the occasional OKAY foods won’t pose a problem, but they don’t provide adequate nutrition. You may be surprised by some of the foods listed in this category!
- Pasture based
- Rich in nutrients
- Enzyme containing
These are clean, digestible, nutrient rich foods that are important to incorporate into your child’s diet as much as possible to support the serious nutrient needs of the body, and aid in cognitive, neurological, immune, and physical development.
- Optimal nutrition
- Wisdom of the ancients
These foods go a step further than PURE foods. They’re digestible, pure, immune boosting, and nutrient worthy. They not only nourish, but can protect and even regenerate and restore health! They’re literally the “superheroes” of the diet.
Super Nutrition for Babies outlines how to provide an age-appropriate diet consisting of mostly POWER and PURE foods, while allowing the occasional OKAY food and avoiding the CRAP foods. There’s a wealth of recipes, fascinating scientific and medical information, and encouragement. I loved the vintage baby food ads scattered throughout the pages…it’s amazing to see how much things have changed in the last 50 to 75 years when it comes to baby-feeding philosophies! In the back of the book is a great list of resources for further information and another of sources for food, supplements, ingredients, equipment, and more.
Even though my kids are all past the baby stage, I’ve learned plenty of value from this book, and you can bet I will be giving it as a shower gift and saving copies for my children to use with their own children some day! I consider it an essential resource.
This giveaway has ended, but the book can be found on Amazon, and I highly recommend you invest in a copy! 🙂
In fact, I’m going to give two copies away to two of you! Follow the directions below for multiple chances to win!