If you have read my blog for any length of time, you surely must realize that I am a big fan of the eBooks lovingly written by Kate Tietje of Modern Alternative Mama. Against the Grain, Real Food Basics, Treat Yourself! Real Food Desserts, Wholesome Comfort – Whole Foods To Nourish and Warm Your Family, and Healthy Pregnancy Superfoods are all some of my favorites! Kate consistently creates healthy, simple, and delicious recipes to share with the masses. Her eBooks all offer an educational component as well helping the reader understand the importance of using certain ingredients, avoiding certain grains, etc…
I was waiting on pins and needles when I learned that Kate was writing an eBook tackling the widely debated topic of “starting solids” and feeding wee ones. I could not wait to get her take on how best to feed baby. Kate did not disappoint. In fact, Breast to Bib is probably the best book on feeding babies and toddlers that I have ever come across.
- Breastfeeding – why it is important; myths versus facts surrounding low milk supply, allergies in the breastfed baby, and taking supplements; and the need to supplement with donor milk or formula.
- Baby-Led Weaning – what it is, when to do it, and the ideal foods for success.
- Feeding Toddlers – transitioning to table food, finger foods and snack foods, picky eating, and full term breastfeeding.
So what exactly makes Breast To Bib so darn special? Here are my top 10 reasons:
- Breast To Bib is gentle, supportive, and non-judgmental. Kate acknowledges that this is not a “her way or the highway” type of book.
- This eBook is easy to digest. Although it may be overwhelming to the real food newbie who is struggling along in the new parent world of competing information, Breast To Bib is laid out in a way that allows the parent to absorb the basic information without getting lost in too many details.
- Kate is very supportive of breastfeeding, even mentioning that the norm is now extended breastfeeding until two years of age. However, she does not condemn the mother who cannot or chooses not to breastfeed.
- Kate takes the time to clear up a lot of misconceptions about the appropriate time to start solids.
- There are some GREAT suggestions for real foods finger foods. How many “intro to solids” books discuss giving baby fermented foods? Score 100 for Breast To Bib!
- Breast To Bib also includes 9 Baby Food Recipes and 18 Toddler Friendly Recipes. They are all easy to make, super nutritious, and guaranteed to please the most discerning little palate! Most importantly, they use wholesome, fresh ingredients to start your wee one off on the real food path!
- Kate doesn't just preach to you. She takes the time to help you understand the why in everything.
- This book makes feeding babies and toddlers seem like fun. It really is a breath of fresh air from the more mainstream way of doing things. In fact, I believe that it takes a lot of pressure off the parent.
- This book is a like a roadmap. You really cannot go wrong by giving it a read. It helps new mothers realize that their instincts are always more important that advice from others. It empowers mothers to take a stand against the conventional ways of feeding our babies. It takes us back to our roots.
- Finally, it is a perfect blend of well researched, factual information along with personal recollections and experience. Kate is an experienced mother who is not afraid to share both her shining moments as well as those less than glorious ones.
I thought I would mix things up a bit and conduct a little “interview” with Kate so that you can all get to know her a bit better! Enjoy her responses. I sure did!
From Breast To Bib is a very unique book. I am quite sure that I have personally never come across a book that offers such a realistic approach to nourishing our children. What motivated or inspired you to create Breast to Bib?
A lot of people kept asking me what they should feed their babies, mostly on FaceBook. Many people offered advice that I felt was not in line with traditional food principles. There seemed to be a lot of confusion, even among “real foodies” what was the best way to feed kids. Also, a lot of people were confused and upset about their toddlers' pickiness, and they struggled with what to offer for lunch and snacks. In general, all the issues mentioned in the book were questions I was getting constantly, so I decided to put together a resource to answer them.
You are no newbie in the world of feeding children. What has been your greatest challenge as it relates to your children and encouraging them in their real foods journey into starting solids?
Well…my greatest challenge in terms of “them” was their picky phases. Sometimes I would offer arrays of healthy foods and they would pick through and find only the sweet or grain-based foods (which was sort of annoying…pick a balanced diet, kids!). Of course these were only phases. Some days it was all about the sweet foods; some days it was all about meat; some days, vegetables. It changes all the time so I learned, eventually, to let it go. As far as “me,” well, I grew up eating SAD, and when I first started this journey, I wanted to give them things I knew weren't good for them because I had fond memories of those foods. I had to learn to create special treats at home so that I could still treat them, but not offer junk!
Another word on the picky phases – if a child doesn't have food sensitivities, it is entirely possible to offer them a bunch of foods you think they won't like, and get them to eat them. My boys eat plain yogurt, avocados, tuna (not the baby yet) and other foods that I/we don't like. My MIL thought the same thing but “lost” that battle, because her kids had undiscovered food allergies, and she was feeding them things that made them sick (inadvertently; she just didn't know). Even so, my husband's palate has expanded quite a lot as an adult after we discovered his issues.
Why do you think “feeding children” is such a stress on parents, mothers in particular?
We all want our children to be healthy, and despite the mixed messages we get from the media (feed your kids healthy food! But if they're sick, they need a doctor/medicine because food does nothing!), we know that food plays a large role in it. A lot of parents are struggling to balance the different nutritional messages they're getting with the realities of feeding their children three meals a day, especially since many parents are busy with work or other commitments. It's hard to figure out what's best and then find the time to actually do it. Eating's also a social thing, a lot of kids have lunch or snacks on playdates with friends, and then we all feel like other mothers are judging our choices. “Too strict, too lenient,” etc. In the real food world, you'll find moms who are adamant that babies should start solids at 4 months, and others that say nothing until 12 months. You'll find those who insist that starting with vegetables is right so they don't develop a preference for sweet foods and so the calories don't displace breastmilk, and you'll find others that insist on nutrient-dense meats and cheese. This all adds up to a lot of stress for mothers, who all honestly want the best for their children.
What advice can you give to new parents or expecting parents as they start thinking about feeding their child.
Do not listen to the media or any of the mainstream sources. Do not ask your pediatrician, unless they are familiar with traditional foods. You will be told that formula's great and easy and rice cereal is necessary early on. People recommending these things don't even understand where these recommendations initially came from. They're rooted in a 1950s style of parenting that says that babies should be scheduled, should be trained to sleep in long stretches by being left to cry and by “force feeding” formula mixed with rice cereal from only a few weeks of age, and so on. That's probably not what most parents today actually want. Instead, look at sources that make sense to you – there are several. Read through history (if you're interested) to find out why different recommendations are made. And once you're “there,” and you're actually feeding the baby, relax. Offer what comes naturally and don't freak out if it's not perfect! I still worry sometimes that what Jacob (8 months) is eating is not “perfect” because I don't give a daily egg yolk with liver (gasp!). He doesn't like it. But I just make sure that he gets healthy, nutrient-dense options and skip the grains and that's good enough.
You have written many brilliant EBooks. Any more in the pipeline for release this year?
Oh, I always have lots. I *think* I know approximately when my next book will release (June) and what it will be on (summer-inspired recipes). I'm also working on a book of breads and baked goods, one on organizing your kitchen/streamlining your routines, “gourmet” meals, one on “pantry” meals (cheap stuff inspired by what's on hand), maybe a second grain-free book, and probably more. I've always got several projects! If things go as planned there will be at least a couple more books this year, and we're also thinking about an ecourse in the fall. I just released a free kombucha book and video too!
Would you like to win your own copy of Breast to Bib? I thought so! Visit the Breast To Bib store page and tell me what recipe you would most like to try! Then, leave a comment on this post (be sure to include your email if it is not linked to your profile)!
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This giveaway opens today, May 19, 2012 and closes May 25, 2012 at 11:59pm PST. Winner will be selected via random.org. I will email you and you will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is selected.