Solid food, I’m no fan.

Poppyseed turned 6 months old in October, and to be honest, I was sort of dreading this little milestone.  I knew that at 6 months I’d have to start giving her solid food.

I guess I was dreading it for two reasons…. first of all, we have been in such a great nursing routine.  I knew that feeding her would be another thing to add to our growing list of things to do, and I knew it would be MESSY.  The second reason (and the bigger reason of the two) is that I really just didn’t know where to start.  Rice cereal (or any grains) were never options for us.  I’d heard of a lot of people starting their babies on avocado, banana, or sweet potato, so I was considering that.  Additionally, there is a whole new era of parents who are starting their kids on bone broth (made from bones of grassfed cows), cod liver oil, egg yolk, and raw liver.  (Yes, I said raw liver… again, from a grassfed cow.)

The following is an excerpt from Nourished Baby, an e-book I bought recently.

The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends starting egg yolks topped with shaved liver at four months, then waiting until ten months to introduce meats, fruits, and vegetables.  Dr. Campbell-McBride, a specialist in gut function, suggests waiting until six months unless baby is “really hungry” – then it is okay to start at four months. 

The author of this e-book, The Mommypotamus, then goes on to recommend first foods such as bone broth, egg yolk topped with shaved raw liver, or meat pureed in bone broth, and then moves on to fruits and vegetables and other meats/proteins at 8 months.

(If you’d like to read the Weston A. Price recommendations about all that egg yolk and liver stuff, it is here.)

And the following statements are from The Healthy Baby Code, by Chris Kresser, another e-book I have been referencing.

An egg yolk per day is an excellent first food for a baby.  Egg yolks supply choline and cholesterol, both of which are needed for mental development and proper hormone synthesis. 

Kresser then goes on to recommend cod liver oil, small amounts of grated, raw organic liver (I have plenty of that in the deep freezer actually) at 6 months, pureed meats and fruits that are low in insoluable fiber (such as avocado) at 7 months, and bone broth at 8 months.

And finally, I also follow Wellness Mama, who has an entire post about feeding babies their first foods.  She is a fan of starting with vegetables.  She recommends avocado as a good first food.  She makes a great point that it is high in fat and thus keeps the baby satisfied longer in addition to being loaded full of nutrients.

The more I read and researched, the more I considered egg yolk as a first food.   There is a LOT of information out there about the benefits.  Due to Oatmeal’s issues with egg (he has tested intolerant to eggs on not one but two blood tests in the recent year) we went ahead and had a food intolerance test run on Poppyseed.  She did turn out to be reactive to egg, so egg yolk as a first food went out the window.

So then I was faced with starting her on either vegetables or bone broth.  I really considered bone broth, but I never replaced the grassfed cow bones that I used to make bone broth last winter when I was trying to get extra calcium during my pregnancy.  It’s not like you can just drive over to the grocery store and ask for grassfed bones, so I decided to just keep it simple and start Poppyseed on a veggie.  We chose avocado.

So two weeks ago we gave her a taste of her first food – avocado. It seemed to go well.  It was really hard to get it into her mouth, but we were persistent and enjoyed the first experience.  I probably got a few teaspoons in her for the first few days (twice a day) and after about 5 or 6 days we added butternut squash. So she was having 2 “meals” a day in addition to nursing.

Around this time I noticed she had a little spot on her skin.  Actually, a few little spots.  I wasn’t sure how long it had been there, and my first thought was that it may be ezcema.  I put some coconut oil on it and immediately cut WAY back on the amount of dairy that I was eating.  I always read that dairy can be an eczema trigger, so it seemed like a reasonable thing to do.

A few days went by and the spots didn’t go away (were they getting worse?  hard to tell!) and so I decided to stop feeding her the butternut squash.  I thought, “Maybe it’s not eczema… maybe it’s a food allergy?”  It made sense to eliminate squash first because I hadn’t noticed a rash immediately after feeding her avocado.

Of course I was also trying to think of other possibilities.  I haven’t changed detergent, soaps, shampoos, used pesticides, or anything like that.

I talked to some other moms.  Everyone had a different idea, but no one was quite sure.  Food allergy rash?  Teething rash?  Rash from a virus?  Fifths disease?

A few more days went by.  Now it looked like this.  And it was starting to show up on her sweet little face!  My poor baby!  I was starting to really worry.  I felt really stupid for worrying so much.  I kept trying to tell myself, “Babies get rashes, it could be anything… it could just be seasonal allergies… or teething… just chill out.”  But I couldn’t stop thinking about it and fretting.

So last night I let Oatmeal feed Poppyseed.  He managed to get WAY more avocado in her than I have ever managed to do.  In the process of doing so, it got ALL OVER her face, but she swallowed quite a bit, too.  (For the record, our walls are NOT sunshine yellow as they seem to be in the picture below!)

This morning when she woke up, she was one big rash.  Her cheeks/face/neck were alarming, and her diaper area was horrible.

This afternoon I fed her again.  I stripped her down to her diaper and let her eat naked on the back porch.  Within an hour, she looked like this.  Tiny little raised red bumps ALL OVER her.  They are mostly on the front of her body with very little on her back or legs.  It really does seem to affect the places that she touches the most when she eats.  ALL SHE HAS HAD TO EAT IS AVOCADO AND BREASTMILK.


I emailed her doctor, who wrote back “Cease all solid foods asap and call me in the morning.”  Will do.

So I have to admit, I am a little panicked about this.  I am trying to stay calm and not be that crazy first time mom who worries to death about every little bump, but I have literally watched this rash go from mild to moderate to severe in the past 6 days.

I keep going back to the Nourished Baby e-book.  It explains that babies are born with naturally leaky guts, which is positive in the early days because it allows antibodies from breastmilk to travel from the gut to the bloodstream easily.  She writes, “A leaky gut is good for babies, but only to start!  You REALLY want those gaps to seal up before introducing solid foods in earnest.”  She then explains that any food (a grain, a fruit, a veggie) which enters the baby’s bloodstream in an undigested state could be recognized as an invader.  This can be the start of a lifelong food allergy.

She also mentions that she thinks that the key to success is waiting until the baby seems interested in eating.  And honestly, I am just having a lot of mom guilt right now because I personally did NOT think that my baby was interested in eating even at 6 months.  She was very happy to just be a boobie baby, and even when I did try to feed her she did a lot of the tongue thrusting.  But I charged on because I kept hearing other moms tell me that I really needed to hurry up and start her on food, and so I caved to the pressure.  Now I wonder, was it the right thing to do?  Did I introduce it too early?  Or did I feed her too much too quickly?  Should I have just started with bone broth or something simple like banana?

I put so much effort into healthy living for my family.  I breastfeed, I pump, I buy local/organic a lot, all of our meat is farm raised local meat from trusted farmers, I cook all of our meals, I avoid grains/eggs and even my beloved dairy at the first sign of a problem!  And still my poor baby is one big rash!  I tell you, things like this are very very frustrating and disheartening.

I still don’t know if it’s the avocado.  I hope that we figure it out tomorrow.

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  1. The books you trust your baby’s health sound like a bunch of quack info. First foods should not be foods that commonly cause allergic reactions, avocado allergy is related to rubber allergy and quite common.

    • That is interesting that you mention it’s related to a rubber allergy. I’ve never heard that but will have to remember that should we have problems in the future. I’m not sure if you read further in our posts, but surprisingly Poppyseed’s skin cleared right up about 2 weeks after I began staying at home with her instead of working. We’ll never know for sure what caused the eczema, but it could have been something environmental, possibly in her caregiver’s home, which was exceptionally clean. And she absolutely loves avocado now, and eats it almost daily! Gotta love being a first time parent – live and learn, right?

  2. Hi
    I know it’s an old post.. but how is your daughter now.. has she had any food allergies or anything other allergies? My son is 7 months old and gets some of those rashes on his body which clear up in an hour. His ped is not worried but I am.. please reply

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