Who’s Feeding the Kids? Homemade Baby Formula
Who’s Feeding The Kids?
During the last 100 years in the U.S. we have witnessed the most profound changes in human history in the areas of infant nutrition, child care and family structure. In 1900, 6 percent of married women worked outside the home, usually only when their blue-collar husbands were unemployed. Among women with young children, few ever worked away from home. Since then, the percentage of women who work outside the home has increased tenfold.
With so many women now in the workforce, who’s feeding the kids? Back in the fifties, misguided doctors regularly recommended feeding infants laboratory prepared, store bought formulas because it was thought to be more “ hygienic and scientific”. Fortunately, the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends breastfeeding for the first 12 months of life. The lifelong benefits transferred to the baby are so numerous, that subject deserves its own exclusive article. But for moms holding down jobs outside the home, it’s not always easy.
In America bringing kids to work and breastfeeding there, is nearly unheard of. Some women pump and refrigerate or freeze their own breast milk so childcare providers can later feed it to the baby. But that process is cumbersome and sometimes leaving the baby for a full work shift causes milk production to diminish. If this happens, other food is needed—that becomes tricky.
Feeding human infants cow’s milk is definitely not the right solution. The two species have different agendas for their first year. Calves grow 500 to 600% in year one, so cow’s milk is relatively high in protein and calcium. Human babies have different needs. Their physical size increases only 2 to 3 times, but their intelligence gains in year one are astronomical. Consequently, human milk is appropriately lower in protein but far richer in fats and sugars to support brain development and function.
Adult foods can be ground or blended to accommodate toothless babies, but their digestive tracts lack many of the enzymes needed to digest and assimilate adult foods. Store bought infant formulas designed to replace breast milk always fall short in many areas, some easily measured and some not. They often contain ingredients that are difficult for some babies to digest. Parents who’ve ever fed their baby formula and then watched them cry all night with a bellyache know this well.
Dr. William Sears, parenting and child nutrition guru, writing about high fructose corn syrup in formulas stated: “that ingredient is not used because of any health benefits, but because it is sweeter and cheaper to produce” and that “ the number one cause of the childhood obesity epidemic is the over consumption of HFCS, mainly in the form of beverages”.
Nothing remotely approaches the perfection, on every level, of a healthy mother breast feeding her baby. But for when it’s necessary, here is a recipe for homemade infant formula I created for our family and have seen used with great success by others as well.
Toxin-free organic ingredients, correct nutrient balance for human babies and digestibility were the top considerations for this formula. Babies really like it and digest it well with no gas,. colic, crying or smelly diapers. Homemade baby formula can be totally superior than “lab milk”.
Homemade Baby Formula
1 cup each, organic:
Long grain brown rice
Short grain brown rice
Sweet brown rice
Three or Four, 4 inch pieces of dried kombu seaweed
Soak grains in pure water for 4-8 hours. In a total of about 15 cups of water, using a stainless steel pressure cooker, cook the grains with the kombu for 45 minutes. (exercise caution when using pressure cookers).
After the pressure comes completely down, remove lid and add:
1 1\2 Tablespoons each:
Organic extra virgin coconut oil
Organic highest lignan flax oil. (pure fish oil might substitute here but I’ve never tried it)
Let mixture cool 1-2 hours
Empty and stir into the mixture the contents of one capsule of a premium,
high potency full spectrum, digestive enzyme. (or 2-3 low potency capsules)
Let sit about 30 minutes
Grind it with a hand crank food mill. Electric blenders infuse the mix with air which can create digestive challenges. Strain the mixture twice. Add liquid baby vitamins if desired.
Use immediately, refrigerate or freeze. Best served at baby temperature, 98.6 degrees.
Rob Pell owns and operates Sunshine Natural Foods in Grants Pass, Oregon and has 35 years experience helping people with natural foods, products, exercise and healing. This article appeared in The Daily Courier 5-16-2012