Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

Balancing Baby’s Nutrition Needs, Part 1 May 19, 2008

Filed under: Food & Recipes,health — rjlacko @ 4:23 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve come to a crossroads with Noah’s nutrition needs. Now that he is one year old and sitting in a high-chair eating finger-foods and able to drink from a small cup, I am faced with a dilemma I really hadn’t expected. Noah is an unpredictable, finicky eater.

None of us saw this coming. Born 8 lbs., 12 oz., my little boy took immediately (and hungrily) to breastfeeding, and his voracious appetite lead my pediatrician’s staff to suspect I may be raising the next Jolly Green Giant. He was just HUGE.

Then, when the time came for solids, my giant baby surprised me. He didn’t like infant staples like bananas or apple sauce. To this day, he refuses fruit. The only thing that he’ll eat that is sweet is whole-milk yogurt. Sometimes he will devour garbanzo, kidney or pinto beans, and other days he will flit them, one by one, over the side of the high-chair. Same goes for cheese, tiny pieces of diced chicken, or pasta. At a year, he is a healthy 25 lbs., but 3 times each day I’m at a loss for what to place in front of him and I do a lot of after-meal floor clean-up. A lot.

I’ve narrowed it down to those items he’ll eat most regularly: soybeans (edamame) and yogurt. Soybeans seem my best bet since they contain all three of the macro-nutrients required for good nutrition: complete protein, carbohydrate and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals, including calcium, folic acid and iron. The amino acid profile of soy protein is nearly equivalent in quality to meat, milk and egg protein. Most bang for my buck, it would seem, but I felt I’d better double-check because I am popping them out of their pods at increasingly more and more mealtimes.

Soy formula, tofu and edamame (fresh soybean pods) contain genistein, a plant estrogen found in soy products. A few years ago, questions arose about the effect of the plant estrogens on human development (particularly sexual development) since genistein, which can mimic the effect of estrogen in humans. Soy has been used in formula more than 35 years, so when Penn researchers decided to research the long-term safety of soy use in babies they looked up participants in a landmark study at the University of Iowa, which first started looking at the effects of soy formula on infants beginning in 1965 and lasting until 1978.

“We have found that, in terms of sexual development, there is very little difference between children who, as infants, were fed cow milk formula and those fed soy formula,” said Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH, director of the Penn Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. Their results, published in the August 2001 Journal of the American Medical Association, reaffirm the safety of soy infant formula and offer evidence against the harmful effects of soy that have been presented in the popular media.

Read Part II of this story here. I discuss whole milk yogurt supplemented with spirulina!

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One Response to “Balancing Baby’s Nutrition Needs, Part 1”

  1. kandylini Says:

    You may want to cut out the edamame for a while. Unfermented soy contains a lot of phytates, which bind to calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc in the intestinal tract.


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