Anemia is of great concern as babies begin weaning from breast milk or formula onto real food. One of the reasons cereals are encouraged at 4-6 months is that they are fortified with iron and can help prevent deficiencies. That said, grains are not a best ‘first food’ for baby, as they have not yet developed the digestive enzymes necessary for ideal absorption. Some speculate that our generation’s difficulties in tolerating grain may be due to the early introduction of wheat and rice cereals. Before packaged foods, women exclusively breast fed or had wet nurses for 1-3 years and introduced well cooked foods that had largely been pre-digested through soaking (beans and grains) and long cooking over low heat. These days, industrial processed grains and beans are typically produced quickly with high heat, making them harder to digest.
The below recipe is a great first food for baby. It helps them develop a taste for nutrient rich meats and easily takes care of the anemia concerns. You can doctor this up with some herbs like basil, oregano, or even lavender if desired.
Baby Pate (6 months +) (adapted from the Weston A Price Website)
- 1/4 pound organic chicken livers
- 1/4 cup broth
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1-2 tsp. ghee or coconut oil*
- 1/8 tsp. oregano, basil, thyme or lavender, if desired.
Place liver and broth or filtered water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for eight minutes. Pour into a blender (liver and liquid) with 1-2 teaspoons fat of choice and a pinch of sea salt and blend to desired consistency.
*If baby or one of the parents has dairy intolerance or digestive troubles it’s best to use coconut oil.