In the summer of 1981 when my Angel Boy was about four months old and just starting solid foods (in addition to breast milk), I thought seriously about imitating animals who pre-digest their food.
Premastication, pre-chewing, or kiss feeding is the act of chewing food for the purpose of physically breaking it down in order to feed another that is incapable of masticating the food by themselves. This is often done by the mother to produce baby food capable of being consumed by the child during the weaning process.
The behaviour was common throughout human history and societies and observed in non-human animals. While premastication is less common in present-day Western societies it was commonly practiced, and is still done in more traditional cultures. Although the health benefits of premastication is still being actively studied the practice appears to confer certain nutritional and immunological benefits to the infant.
I didn’t actually go to those lengths, but I did make all of his baby food from scratch. I don’t think I bought those little Gerber jars except when I had a sick kitty that needed to be nursed back to health.
Now that I’m going to be a first-time grandma, I’ve learned just how much things have changed in thirty-plus years.
I was sent this amazing book to read and review by Ruth Yaron, Super Baby Food Cookbook.
When Ruth Yaron’s twin boys were born premature and very sick, she knew the most important thing she could do for them was to feed them the healthiest diet possible.
Unhappy with the information that was available to her, Ruth decided to do her own exhaustive research on nutrition and health food.
Although she was a whiz at programming satellites for NASA, Ruth was an inexperienced cook. She utilized her skills, developed writing technical manuals, to diligently record her research of homemade, mostly organic, whole grain cereals, fruits, and vegetables, as well as the best storing and freezing methods.
The results of her phenomenal efforts are found in her remarkable first book, Super Baby Food, which has sold over half a million copies and is now in its 3rd edition. Fans have asked Ruth for a cookbook with pictures of their favorite recipes and in the Super Baby Food Cookbook she has delivered.
The Super Baby Food Cookbook is fully illustrated in color and includes Ruth’s easy and complete system of baby and toddler food preparation.
The “Super Baby Food Diet” is an extremely healthy diet composed of only whole, natural foods.
It is based on these major components: whole grain cereals, vegetables and fruits, yogurt and other dairy products, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Pediatricians and nutritionists agree that a semi-vegetarian diet (a lacto-ovo diet containing milk products and eggs) fulfills all of a growing baby’s nutritional requirements.
While I’m a vegan, I understand the need for calcium and really like how these recipes include breast milk as an ingredient.
As an aside, if anyone has ever made cheese from breast milk, I’d be interested in chatting.
Yaron provides the essentials for preparing all sorts of foods for babies and young children.
The book includes baby favorites such as avocado, carrots, peaches, and pears.
Discover a bonus of “healthy extra” tips and how to use them in recipes, including chia seeds, wheat germ sprinkles, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and more so that every bite counts.
Here’s a small sampling of the dozens of kid-pleasing recipes contained in the Super Baby Food Cookbook:
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup water
Put water in a pan and bring to boil.
Add blueberries and reduce heat.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes; blueberries should be soft and tender.Remove blueberries from pan using a slotted spoon and transfer directly to a blender or processor. Purée away.Freeze any leftovers.
Apple Smiley Face
1 apple (peeled and cored)
1 tablespoon peanut or other butter
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup or blackstrap molasses (optional)
1 pinch ground cinnamon or nutmeg
Grate the apple in a food processor.
Mix with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or other nut butter.
Add 1 teaspoon honey, maple syrup or blackstrap molasses and a pinch of cinnamon and/or nutmeg, if desired.
Add Healthy Extras —grated carrots are good.
Place on small plate and form into pancake-shaped face. Use berries or other fruit for your own decorative touches to create eyes, nose, hair, etc.