Your baby will reach some remarkable developmental milestones during this period. If she hasn’t already taken her first steps, she will very soon. Before you know it, she’ll be off and running—with you in quick pursuit. In the coming months, she’ll start talking and acquiring lots of new motor skills as well. All of this growth and energy requires fuel, and the best fuel you can continue to give her is a nutrition-packed diet. Your baby is now ready to eat all family meals and try great new foods such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggs, seeds, nuts, and whole grains like barley, rye, and spelt. With healthy and delicious options like Spelt French Toast, Polenta with Shiitake Mushrooms and Best Beef Burgers, mealtimes are about to become significantly more exciting.
Your baby can now eat all family meals. Continue to use salt very sparingly in your cooking, and avoid sugar as much as possible. Your child is now ready for the foods listed in the chart opposite. Combine them with the foods listed in the previous chapters to give her variety.
WEANING OFF BREAST MILK
When you wean your baby off breast milk or formula, I don’t recommend
replacing it with cow milk. Rely on yogurt and foods such as nuts and seeds, and vegetables such as spinach, for calcium and magnesium, or offer organic goat or sheep milk if you like.
CHEESE & EGGS
You can introduce cheese now; organic sheep and goat milk cheeses are the best options. You can also offer thoroughly cooked organic eggs, which are an excellent source of protein.
Oranges and grapefruit are common allergenic foods, but at this age your child should be able to handle them. Include them in your child’s diet occasionally, but keep giving her lots of other fruits, too. Don’t let her drink fruit juices, though, or she’ll always want that sweet flavor.
GLUTEN & WHEAT
Your baby’s digestive system should now be mature enough to handle gluten, so you can introduce wheat and offer pasta, but be careful not to rely on it too much. Look for wholegrain spelt or Kamut pasta and alternate with gluten-free alternatives, such as buckwheat noodles and corn pasta. Cook the pasta until soft, to make it easy for your baby to chew and digest.
You can go ahead with eggplants, potatoes, and tomatoes. These foods do have nutritional benefits, but they also contain alkaloids, which can affect nerve muscle function and digestive function, and compromise joint function. Add them sparingly.
NUTS & SEEDS
Once your baby is chewing well, you can introduce seeds and nuts (except
peanuts, which should not be introduced until age five), which contain healthy fats. Chop them up or grind them in a spice mill, then mix them into foods or snacks. Nut and seed butters are great, too.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACID (EFA) SEED MIX
You can now make a seed mix to alternate with seed oils for added texture. Put one part each of sesame seeds and sunflower or pumpkin seeds in a jar. Add two parts of flax seeds, seal and keep in the fridge. Grind 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time and mix into your baby’s food.
You can now offer soy, but keep it to a minimum, as its phytoestrogens may affect hormone balance. Tofu is fine occasionally, but tempeh is easier to digest and contains B vitamins.
Spelt French Toast
A great breakfast that combines complex carbs with protein—and with a little added sweetness. It’s hard not to love this dish, no matter how old you are.
SERVES: 2 adults and 2 children
PREP TIME: 5 mins
COOK TIME: 20 mins
6 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons rice milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons/¼ stick butter
6 slices of wholegrain spelt or wheat bread
1 Preheat the oven to 150°F. Put the eggs, sugar, rice milk, and vanilla extract in a shallow bowl or baking dish and mix well until the sugar has dissolved.
2 Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Put 1 slice of bread in the baking dish and let soak in the mixture for a few seconds, then turn it over and soak until moist. Put the soaked bread in the pan and repeat with another slice of bread.
3 Fry for 2–3 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in the oven while you make the rest of the French toast. Serve warm.