By, Jessi Williams.
Like a lot of moms navigating through the dos and don’ts of parenthood, in our technology-driven world, I actually felt that I had too much information available to me when it came to what to feed my baby and when. My pediatrician said rice cereal was still the starter food, but all the health sites I follow (and my instincts) told me that was out! So I wasn’t sure where to start.
Some mothers suggested bone broth. That made sense to me, as I didn’t want to replace my nutrient rich breast milk with a “lesser food” and I know that bone broth contains some nutrients, like collagen, that she probably wasn’t getting from my milk. However, I’d seen so many articles citing research that babies shouldn’t have too much protein before their first birthday as they lacked the enzyme to digest it.
I tried it anyway. She liked it the first time or two, probably because it was new, but as I started to introduce other foods, she lost interest (and I’m not totally sure it wasn’t giving her gas). So we moved on to avocado and sweet potato. I still couldn’t help but think, “Why am I replacing my nutrient rich breast milk with a food limited to one set of nutrients?”
On top of that, I’d find surprising (and sometimes scary!) information about which vegetables I could give her. Apparently carrots are a high-nitrate vegetable and shouldn’t be introduced until later too. Who knew!? In my research, the list of conflicting information was endless and overwhelming because there are no lack opinions down every Google search—just a lack of legitimate research. Needless to say, this caused a lot of anxiety and I had to put myself back on the “internet diet” my doula had prescribed to me during pregnancy. What can I say? I like to be informed…
Finding Raised Real put the fun back into baby food for me. It was a relief for me to delegate the responsibility of researching to someone else and still feel confident about the information I was getting. I love that each packet contains a variety of nutritious and fresh foods and that the nutrition information cards take the guesswork out of deciding why each ingredient is being included.
Luckily, my daughter was not as stressed as me when it came to starting solid foods. Prior to our Raised Real box arriving, she had lived in a world without spices. She wasn’t particularly excited about food and ate probably only at a tablespoon at a time. When she took her first bite of green beans with rosemary, I could tell she knew it was something special—not to mention how delicious it made my kitchen smell.
She really likes when I give her veggies to feed herself before pureeing, so we are experimenting—so far successfully—with baby-led weaning. This has in no way improved the orderliness of our meals, but I’ve learned to embrace the mess—like running in the rain without an umbrella. In the same way I had to relinquish control over the food choices, I’ve also had to give up all attempts to control the food chaos! But I wouldn’t have it any other way.