With the arrival of our third baby, we are back in the routine of being up all night with diaper changes and all the other wonderful but exhausting moments that a newborn brings to the home. The kids are excited to add another baby to their crew, and we are over the moon to have three beautiful, healthy children to share this ranch life with.
Although it will be a while until our little one starts eating table food, I recently saw an article discussing the best first foods to offer your baby. I’ve visited this topic in previous years, but thought it is worth sharing once again.
The article, which was published on FOX News, is titled, “9 surprising first foods you should feed your baby,” and although it’s not a new post, I was delighted to see it making the rounds again on my social media news feed.
Written by Julie Revelant, the nine foods include beef, liver, eggs, avocado, nut butters, fish, kiwi, butter and beans/legumes. Anybody notice a theme here? Five of the nine items are animal fats and protein, and you can bet, just like my first two kids (and their seven-month old cousin Holly pictured above), this baby will be offered beef as a first meal!
Here is what Revelant had to say about beef: “Around six months, when iron stores in breastmilk start to get depleted, your pediatrician may recommend iron supplements or rice cereal, which is usually the first food many parents feed their babies.
“Although rice cereal contains iron, the food is not a natural source of the nutrient. In this form, iron is not as readily absorbed into the body as it is when consumed by eating beef, a study in the journal Clinical Nutrition suggests.
“Beef is also an excellent source of zinc and selenium and is easy to prepare and cook. What's more, studies show that the juices from beef alone are enough for a baby to get iron,” Revelant says.
“‘They actually just suck on it and gum it, and get all those great juices and have excellent iron to show for it,’ said Wendy Jo Peterson, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Germany and co-founder of ‘Born to Eat: Whole, Healthy Foods from Baby's First Bite.’”
You can read additional information about the benefits of the other animal proteins such as liver, eggs, butter and fish by clicking here.
As a beef producer, I’m pleased to see this information available for the public. As a mom, I’m excited that beef is promoted as a healthy option in the sea of processed cereals, crackers and cookies that are often offered to kids. As for my kids, the smiles on their faces the first time they get to gnaw on a T-bone steak are all the reassurance I need that I’m on the right track!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.