What do you feed a GAPS baby?: Introducing Solids - Week One
9 months ago, when our family started our GAPS journey, I was 6 months pregnant with our third daughter. It's hard to believe we've been on the GAPS diet for that long already, and it's even harder to believe that my little Baby Bear is now 6 months old and ready for food! I knew it was coming.
I was already preparing for this phase over a year ago! In fact, the section of my GAPS book that is extensively highlighted and has pages falling out of it is Part Four: Having a New Baby in the GAPS Family.
If you're familiar with my family, either personally or by following my blog, then you know that my eldest two daughters have both struggled with eczema and food sensitivities. It has been heartbreaking for me at times; seeing my kids struggle and not know what to do to help them is difficult.
So it's no wonder that before Baby Bear was even born, I studied up on how to *hopefully* keep her from developing the same issues as her older sisters. I came to the conclusion that I needed to do something entirely different than I had done before...
And nothing could be more different than the GAPS diet for babies!
There's no fortified rice cereals at all and even pureed fruits and veggies don't come first!
Introducing Solids to a GAPS baby
One thing that seems to be the same across the board, regardless of the diet, is WHEN to introduce solids--from 4 to 6 months of age.
But one (of many) things that Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (Dr. NCM) recommends, which differs greatly to any other infant feeding guideline is the importance of sensitivity testing. Just like in the Introduction Diet for GAPS adults, it's extremely important to test foods before introducing them.
I think parents often believe that if something is wrong, there will be a very obvious sign. Unfortunately with food sensitivities, that isn't likely going to be the case.
This is why Dr. NCM recommends testing all foods before introducing them to your baby!
How to do the Sensitivity Test as written by Dr. NCM:
Once you've done the sensitivity test, you can move on to the exciting part of introducing solids! Dr. NCM breaks it down into weeks...
Introducing Solids - Week One
Week one is super basic, as it should be! There are two foods, actually liquids, that you introduce to your baby:
- Homemade meat stock
- Freshly pressed vegetable juice
For homemade stock, chicken is a great one to start with. It's mild in taste and is very gentle on the stomach. There are many ways to make chicken stock, so if you have a preferred method, do it that way--just make sure you don't add any salt or seasonings. It should just be meat simmered in water. And make sure you don't skim off the fat--it is important for your baby!
To start, Dr. NCM recommends giving your baby 1-2 teaspoons of warm stock before every breast feed. Once your baby accepts that amount, you can gradually increase it.
For the freshly pressed vegetable juice, start with 1-2 teaspoons of pure carrot juice mixed with water. This should be given between meals. After a week or so, you can vary the types of vegetables for the juice.
My GAPS baby...
Baby Bear is a few days into having the chicken stock and seems to enjoy it most of the meals. Because she is still breastfed, it's not a big deal if she's not wanting to drink too much. I let her take the lead and decide if she wants to drink it and how much. She is having a maximum of 1 ounce at a time.
I just introduced the carrot juice today and she mostly just pushed the bottle nipple around and smiled at me. :) We'll try again tomorrow, and I'm sure once she gets used to the taste, she'll love it!
Disclaimer: Information in this post is a brief summary of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's infant feeding guidelines. I strongly suggest you read the book yourself before following any of the information above. In addition, all posts on My Own Ripple Effect are for informational purposes only. Please view my full health disclaimer here.