Thursday, May 5, 2011

Paleo Baby





I strive to try and maintain some semblance of online anonymity with this blog. Because of this, I've deleted many an intended post here and elsewhere as I was composing it, because it gives away too much personal info. I've had several life altering events I've blogged about in the past year, but one thing I haven't touched on yet has been the birth of my first child. In order to write this post while attempting to keep up my pretenses of anonymity, I will refer to my child as "Paleo Baby" for the rest of this piece and avoid gendered references to the child.

Now, I've spent a good deal of time blogging about dietary and nutrition issues, and have related many of my own personal experiences I've undergone since I began eating foods contrary to the conventional wisdom of mainstream society. But I've done more than put my money were my mouth is...I've put the dietary principles I blog about into practice with raising my child. In short, my baby is being raised loosely following the Paleo diet guidelines. Another way to put it, is that I've not only put my money where my mouth is, I've put my progeny where my advocacy blogging has been.

It has been an uphill battle with most people. Paleo Baby's doctor, my wife, my in-laws, my own parents...all have argued, disagreed with me or have expressed incredulous amazement when they see me do things that are against conventional wisdom with regards to raising and caring for paleo baby.

I don't give a damn. As far as I'm concerned, the results speak for themselves.

It started at conception. That is when I essentially took over the grocery shopping (my wife loves pasta and bread, I had to take over the shopping to get that stuff out of the house) and cooking at least 50% of the meals in my household. I made sure to feed my pregnant wife ample supplies of proteins and fats, while eliminating all sugars, processed snack foods, and Omega-6-rich vegetable oils. I highly restricted all grains, bread, pasta and other such high-carb fare...including "heart healthy whole grains."

I fed my wife plenty of bacon, eggs (from our own pastured chickens) fried in a mix of bacon grease and butter (the highest quality butter from grass fed cows - either Anchor brand from New Zealand or Kerry Gold brand from Ireland), and a wide assortment of vegetables also sauteed in butter/bacon grease. This was breakfast every single day for the past two years.

Dinners were largely consisted of vegetables and meat...especially red meats - buffalo, grass fed beef, free range chicken and pork, as well as fresh caught fish. All vegetables were liberally buttered and salted with fresh ground sea salt. We would also regularly eat tubers like sweet potato and yams deep fried in extra-virgin coconut oil. In short, if you believe in the lipid hypothesis, my pregnant wife should have gained 300 lbs. and died of a heart attack shortly after birth.

Except she actually lost weight in all the right places. Her pregnancy was all belly, while she burned off excess fat in her arms, legs, upper body, neck and face. See, prior to pregnancy, she would regularly eat junk food. While she was basically following my paleo diet at home, she regularly ate pasta, bread, fast food, restaurant foods and drank soda and ate snacks and such while at work and out with her friends. Once she got pregnant, she got serious and cut all of that out "for the baby." When she was 9 months pregnant, you could not tell she was carrying if you saw only her back view.

Another thing that nearly everyone couldn't believe we did, was eschew any prenatal vitamin supplements. The only supplement my wife took during her entire pregnancy was a high quality fish oil pill to get EPA/DHA.

When Paleo Baby was born, there were a number of things that confirm to me that we did the right thing.

Paleo Baby was born with eyes wide open. I have no doubts Paleo Baby could see within minutes of birth. When I held baby for the first time, I was greeted to two wide eyes that tracked my head and hand movement from the get go. I've never seen a newborn like that before. This seems to jibe with this article: Vegetarian Mothers Depriving Young Children & Unborn Babies of Essential Vitamins

What Parents Should Know About DHA

In order to fully understand the importance of choosing the right omega-3 fatty acid supplement, it is necessary to understand how crucial a role these nutrients work to maintain health. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is one of the most important fatty acids in the body. It makes up 40% of the fatty acids found in the brain and 60% of the fatty acids found in the retina, which is why it is so crucial for thought processes and maintaining healthy vision, and why parents should ensure that the body has enough of it. DHA is also one of the building blocks of neural cells, supporting mental faculties on a cellular level. In infants and fetuses, the addition of DHA to formula has been shown to improve cognitive function and improve macular development. The benefits of DHA do not only extend to infants and fetuses. In pregnant women, DHA has been linked to improved eyesight and attention.

Paleo baby had plenty of DHA in vitro.

Paleo Baby head was being fully supported by the neck since 10 days of age. At 10 days, I could hold baby upright without having to support the neck. Sounds unbelievable?

Paleo Baby is also the most cheerful, easy going baby I've ever encountered. Paleo Baby regularly sleeps the entire night through, and only occasionally wakes up in the middle of the night to breastfeed. In those cases, baby than falls back asleep and stays that way the rest of the night. It's been like this from newborn to the present day.

Paleo Baby is the very anti-thesis of a colicky baby. 80% of the time baby awakens without crying. Paleo baby will coo, giggle or laugh until my wife or I awakes to feed or change the diaper.

Thinks this sounds preposterous? Check out this article: Why a steak for pregnant mothers could stop babies crying

It's not just the steak. It's the FAT. All that glorious, "artery-clogging" and "fattening" saturated FAT.

Note that while the article suggests that expectant mothers should eat steak, it still has to end with a quote from a so called "nutritionist" (who turns out to be a VEGAN!):

But nutritionist Yvonne Bishop-Weston warned: 'Meat comes with saturated fats which can hinder the body's use of essential fats needed for the baby's brain and nervous system development.'

I suggest all nutritionists and dietary experts who peddle such garbage should all be rounded up and shipped off to FEMA camps where they can be fed all the high-carb low-fat vegan crap they try to guilt trip the rest of us into eating. If it's so good for us all, they should thrive, no? They can eat like birds, I'll stick the diet of an omnivorous predator species, thank you very much.

But I digress.

The following is a list of food and practices I do in raising Paleo Baby, for which I get raised eyebrows and regular objections to, by doctors, relatives and friends alike when they here or see me doing as such:

- No formula. Ever. Breast milk 100% for the first 4 months, and still only breast milk in addition to solid foods.

- First solid food at 4 months? Pureed buffalo, salted and sauteed in butter. I looked at the sheet of paper Paleo Baby's pediatrician gave us that recommended a schedule for introducing solid foods. I ignored it. The supposed first food was supposed to be pureed grains like rice, corn along with other vegetables. It recommended only introducing meat when baby reaches 9 months. I laughed out loud at that one.

- We make 95% of all the baby food paleo baby eats from fresh ingredients. Grass fed beef, free range chicken, wild caught fish, free range pork. All cooked and salted with fresh ground Hawaiian sea salt, and pureed with a wide variety of vegetables and butter. Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potato, asparagus, spinach, zucchini, green beans, peas. The only fruit is an occasional little bit of banana or pear, and only given after eating full portions of the main food first. We always feed paleo baby until baby is full and doesn't want anymore.

- Paleo baby also eats 100% organic, whole milk (full fat) yogurt, and full fat sour cream, as well as a wide variety of, high quality cheeses like brie, cheddar, mozzarella, muenster, feta and organic cream cheese.

- I regularly give paleo baby hunks of meat, bacon, fish, and seafood. Pieces that are too big to swallow, but perfect to gnaw on to get the flavor and the FAT.

- Paleo baby has never eaten any sugar, high fructose corn syrup or any kind of soy or wheat derived food product. No cookies, crackers, cereal, "num nums" etc.

- Paleo baby also sunbathes every day at high noon if the weather is conducive. No sunscreen. We carefully monitor baby as we sunbathe. We've been doing this regularly for months now, and Paleo Baby has a nice tan, and has never been sunburned. This is the big one that gets so many friends and relatives upset with me. When we go to the beach, I'll take Paleo Baby into the water and some relative or friend will ask me if I'm going to put any sunscreen on baby. When I politely decline, they look at me like I'm some kind of monster purposely going out to broil my child into a burnt crisp.

- Paleo Baby has only had one head cold to date. Paleo Baby is almost 1 years old, and has been exposed to a variety of sick people, and has only gotten sick once. No ear infections, diarrhea or other common childhood ailments.

- Paleo baby only had diaper rash once (because we were out and about, and didn't change the diaper for over 4 hours or so). We have tubes and tubes of diaper rash paste given to us as baby shower presents, sitting unused and unopened.

- Paleo Baby's diapers are almost too easy to change. The crap is solid, not that smelly, and easily cleaned up with a single baby wipe. It is very rare that more than one wipe is required to adequately clean up after changing a diaper. I know this is related to Paleo Baby's diet...because we recently went on a trip and bought a bunch of "organic" jarred baby food for the convenience of not having to bring along our baby food maker. Baby did not like it (probably because none had good FAT in it, like all the butter Paleo Baby is used to), and ate with half the gusto as usual. Paleo Baby had soft, runny, stinky diapers that required multiple wipes to clean up. Within a day of returning home and resuming the fresh homemade paleo foods, crap diapers went back to solid and less smelly and easily cleaned as before.

On the most recent check up with Paleo Baby's Pediatrician, she commented that we were the most well-rested, relaxed and least distressed parents of an infant she's ever seen. We are not sleep deprived, and we do not have frayed nerves because baby cries so infrequently, and is easily pacified.

The Pediatrician also informed us that Paleo Baby is in the 94% percentile of all babies in the country with regards to height...and 40% percentile in weight. In other words, Paleo Baby is taller than most, and is at what she described of as the perfect weight. She essentially told us that most babies are fat all over, Paleo Baby only has fat thighs and cheeks. Paleo Baby actually looks somewhat muscular (for an infant). I believe that's because most babies are fed soy formula and lots of sweets and grains. Not many babies have a diet for which the majority of the calories comes from fats and proteins like Paleo Baby.

Paleo Baby also has not manifest any sort of allergies as of yet...which also jibes with the idea that gut bacteria is the primary component of the immune system, and babies not fed formula or high carbohydrate grain-based foods will have a much better immune system than babies on the standard American diet (SAD starts at birth...). Paleo Baby's gut bacteria is obviously thriving and doing it's job as it was intended.

I note that the average parent of a newborn nowadays is continually handing off grain/sugar based cereals and snacks to their kids, and the kids will actually start crying until they get their fix every hour or so. The only grains Paleo Baby ever gets is some white jasmine rice blended in with some form of animal protein, and that is only during meal time. Paleo baby eats 3 square meals and nurses 2-3 a day.

Yes, I'm aware that many parents will often brag about their progeny and proclaim them special and unique. It's natural. I'll just say that I'm no stranger to baby's. I come from a large family. I have been babysitting and tending younger siblings and cousins -- that is feeding, burping and changing baby diapers since I was 10 years old. In addition, several of my friends have also had children within the last couple of years as well. The contrasts between Paleo Baby and all of the new born baby's my peer group's experiences are rather stark and obvious. We are regularly told by our friends that they wish their own children were as easy going and well tempered as Paleo Baby.

Most think I'm crazy for insisting on the diet and other things I do with Paleo Baby.

Than they always tell us how lucky we are.

I don't think luck has anything to do with it.

Now I'm not going to claim Paleo Baby is perfect. But it's quite obvious to me that Paleo Baby is well fed, and adequately nourished from the nutrient dense, high-fat diet, and the differences in behavior, demeanor and development are obvious. I know why...even if others don't or won't believe it.

On the other hand, if someone wants to discount this testimony and just attribute it the luck of baby having superior genes, I won't argue with that either. :)

147 comments:

modernguy said...

As if hunter-gatherer tribes living in caves could have killed that much prey on a regular basis to be eating so much meat and fat. More likely they were eating fruits and nuts and whatever they could scavenge in the area. Chasing down and killing an animal with a couple of spears can't be that easy.

Anonymous said...

There are lots of carnivorous and omnivorous animals that exist naturally in the world. They manage to follow prey migrations, scavenge partially "fermented" meals from other predators and make due without resorting to eating berries and leaves as a serious component of their diet. Why would man, with superior wits about him, fail to do these things? In subsistence cultures there is often a great emphasis on special foods for expectant parents (even preconception) and new children. There would not be humans if our ancestors couldn't figure out the secrets that wolves, dingo, wild cats or any other wild beasts use to perpetuate themselves.

modernguy said...

We evolved from apes, not wolves or wild cats. We don't chase prey and bring it down with brute force. Have you ever been hunting? It might take a whole day to come across something worth killing. Now replace guns with spears and see how you do. A single moose could knock your entire hunting party around like bowling pins. Why would man, with superior wits, fail to eat readily available fruits and vegetables and instead run around the woods all night and day to satisfy his future descendant's romanticized image of his paleo-ness?

jon w said...

This is awesome Keoni. Glad to hear paleo baby and mom are well. I predict you will be surprised when you hold somebody else's kids and find them to be soft and flabby.

I've got a 7year old boy and 5 year old girl and both used a nice chewy bone as teething toy when they were little. I dont think they've gone without meat a day in their life and their favorite is beef. My son likes the fat we get for free (grassfed Maui - Whole Foods actually throws away the fat); my daughter likes the red meat. Funny thing is, they both like it raw with a bit of sea salt. I guess that vegan BS about kids being disgusted by meat is pretty crazy.

jon w said...

Modernguy you are a riot. Troll much? I have gone out and scavenged a load of fruit off the ground, and come home with as much as I can carry. This is possible only the day after a storm or in particular seasons of the year. An arm load or plastic bag full of fruit supplies at most a day and a half worth of dessert for my family. I have also killed a pig with a few rocks and drowning in a stream. It fed my family for over a week. I am not a skilled hunter, but I have no trouble imagining how "fruitful" hunting is compared to gathering, especially when your precious fruit is not in season.

dannyfrom504 said...

if i ever end up with a kid. i'm doing this. thanks for posting it.

Iurnman83 said...

Great article. Wish more parents would take it seriously. Looking forward to having children of my own and doing this with them.

Leonidas said...

My wife and I have been following a similar plan with our own son although not quite as hardcore (he's had a cookie every now and then, for instance - but not many). Also, my wife hadn't bought into the paleo concept yet when she was pregnant - but because of her PCOS, she was eating low carb, and because she was eating low carb I was able to push her in a paleo-ish direction.

Unfortunately, also because of her PCOS we weren't able to breastfeed as much or as long as we'd have liked. She just wasn't generating enough. We have some things we're going to try for the next baby to extend it some, but her body may just not cooperate. So we had to supplement with formula in the beginning and switch to formula and whole milk at around nine months rather than breast milk (although our son, too, was eating solid food at four months).

Just as you've reported, the results are striking. Minimus was born with his eyes open, just as you report. And literally within minutes of birth the nurses were cooing with glee about how ripped he was. He has been a SUPER strong kid from the very beginning. The kid was pushing himself up on his arms and holding his head up at two weeks old. This is a skill that only half of babies can usually do at two months.

It'd be easy to argue that the genes are at play here, until you compare him to his cousins (both of my brothers have a single kid each). Their wives were fatasses during pregnancy, ate horribly, the kids eat rice cereal, graham crackers and the like - while Minimus is eating ham and raspberries. He's significantly less fat than his cousins and literally two or three times as strong. One cousin is a boy and one is a girl, so it's not a gender thing, either.

Developmental charts aren't everything. Kids really do develop at different paces and yet often end up near the same place. Yet our son is so far ahead on everything on the developmental charts that when we take him too far into SWPL land some other mothers won't even talk to us. They're fine at first when they think they can brag about how awesome their kids are - but when they realize they can't even compete they just become sullen and clam up.

Long story short, I truly and completely support what Keoni has posted here. We're going to try to be even better about this with the kid currently on the way.

One other note. Twin and sibling research has shown that the effects in the womb, whatever they are, have a bigger impact on your child than damn near anything else you can do throughout the course of their life. Seriously. If you do nothing else, make sure you eat well and exercise while pregnant (or push your baby's mother to do so if you're male). It's only nine months, but the results are for your child's life.

Leonidas said...

Oh, and for those who aren't sold: diapers really are one of the biggest things. The lady at his day care place told us once that she had a hard time even telling when he'd pooped because it smelled so much less bad than the other kids. It doesn't smell like roses or anything, but compared to formula raised, grain fed babies... it's night and day. And this one we can definitively trace to his diet, because on the days we let him eat "bad" (bread, grains, or cookies) his diapers are a whole lot smellier. Every time.

Samson said...

Why does Paleo Baby see a pediatrician if he is so healthy?

Another thing that nearly everyone couldn't believe we did, was eschew any prenatal vitamin supplements.

Not even folic acid? What was your reasoning for this?

Frost said...

Incredible article.

It's easy for a man to doubt conventional wisdom, implement changes in his own life, and write blog posts about it. But when it's your child's health on the line, I imagine it's hardest to fight the occasional, "ya know, maybe me and the other 1% of the world that agrees with me really ARE batshit crazy." It's also when the stakes are highest.

I'm definitely bookmarking this article and anonymously emailing it the girl whenever a condom breaks.

Cheers,

Frost

Svar said...

Good article. This has convinced me that paleo is a good idea. Are you and your wife young? Most people have babies to late and then wonder why their children aren't as healthy as they should be. The mix of paleo diet, good genes, and young parents(20-23) should make the healthiest babies.

Anonymous said...

Your baby is going to grow up healthy it appears. I know of couple who never gave vaccines to their children also, and the kids are bright eyed, smart and energetic, plus if possible it helps to homeschool. Good post.

Richard Matthews said...

Dude, I'm loving this blog.

Especially the Paleo-Diet thing. No wonder I've put on a pound or two recently. All those damned take-away pizzas.

Can you recommend any good books / websites to learn about this stuff.

I know for one thing I'll never again feel guilty for having what we call on this side of the pond a 'Full English' for breakfast. Bacon, Eggs, Sausage. Top stuff!

Keoni Galt said...

Richard - Funny, it was my trip to the UK several years ago that really sold me on the paleo diet principles.

I spent two weeks eating bacon, eggs, puddings, sausage and mushrooms all fried. When I returned from my trip, I expected to have gained weight eating like that.

I actually lost 5 lbs.

And that included drinking beer and whisky every single day too.

A good starting point for reading up on the Paleo diet is Mark's Daily Apple - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/, Free the Animal - http://freetheanimal.com/ and PaNu - http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/

Richard Matthews said...

Keoni, I'm glad you found your UK visit educational as well as enjoyable.

5lbs. I'd say 'Good effort!' but it seems you were making no effort at all. In the UK that's just under one third of a stone.

One thing I never understood is why you American dudes don't use stones to weigh people. On stone is EXACTLY fourteen pounds. We use stones to weigh people and people only. It does make sense because if a person loses / gains a stone, it's noticeable visually.

Btw, I recommend you research the evil doing of the metric system. Notice how in George Orwell's 1984, all measurements are metric. The old 'imperial' ones have all gone. I think there's a bit of mileage in a post on that.

Cheers for the info as well. I'll certainly check it out.

WP said...

HL -

How much fish oil did your wife supplement during pregnancy? Also, how much do you supplement?

Continuing, any supplements planned for baby (current or down the line)?

Also, I'm complete unaware of the price of babyfood... How's the cost comparison of going whole food vs formula/babyfoodcrap?

And most importantly, congratulations!

Keoni Galt said...

WP - 1000 Mg - or 2 500 mg capsules a day, one in the morning and one at night. We take this brand called Pure Alaska Omega, which is Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil.

We both still take that amount everyday.

Keoni Galt said...

As for the cost comparison? Can't really say, because baby essentially eats what we eat. All that food we're feeding baby is made from the same groceries we make our own food with. If I buy 5 lbs. of grass fed beef, we'll take one lb. and make baby's food with it. We have a tray and container system so we can make the food than freeze it in individual containers. That way we can defrost as needed to feed baby.

We make baby's food about once a week.

kamu said...

beautiful post! definately gonna keep this in mind for the future and my children.

in regards to the fish oil/omega-3s: what are your thought on taking more than what you do now? i typically take 6 1200mg a day (2 per meal, with 410mg EPA/274mg DHA per pill) and some of my fellow paleo enthusists take a 0.5g of supplemental omega-3s in addition to their 95-99% paleo diet

as some background, my friends and i are crossfitters and are fans of the Cordain/Wolf books/thoughts/theories.

Keoni Galt said...

kamu, I'd probably take more, but it also comes down to $$. High quality fish oil is not cheap, and we're on a budget.

The idea is to have a balanced ratio between o6 and o3 fatty acids, and since we don't eat grains and o6 rich vegetable oils, I think what we take is adequate.

I'd probably take more if we could afford it.

kamu said...

understood. ive recently switched to the kirkland brand since it was $15 for 90 pills and lasts me twice at long as some of the other brands i took. quality might be suspect though, but i too am on a budget and unfortunately getting good meat isnt cheap.

keep us all updated on paleo baby's progress. good to see that there's more paleo people outside of the cf community that are vocal and putting the message out there.

Anonymous said...

Hi Keoni,

My wife and I have been raising our son the same way, and with similar results. He was supporting his head by the second day, and is generally a very content baby. First thing he ever got to gnaw on was a nice piece of grass fed steak. It's also been great fun to introduce him to liver, heart, and tongue. He loves tongue... very easy to eat. Best of luck!

Richard Matthews said...

I'm so glad I'm not married yet. I'm so glad I've got no children yet.

I now know what to feed future Mrs. and future kids on.

Magic...

Dave said...

A big high five to you from this Dad...what you said about the uphill battle totally hits home with me. You aren't alone. I didn't know about paleo when my children were in the womb, but I got the same thing over vaccines in the past. And of course now my two year old likes eating raw grass fed steak along with me though, despite the gasps of horror from onlookers.

Fourmyle said...

Very good article, Keoni. I have had a very similar experience with my Paleo Baby. 98% percentile height, 75% percentile weight, and all muscle. Scored a 10/10 on that newborn test, could hold up his head almost immediately, etc.

One thing to keep in mind - paleo homo sapiens were not low carb. They cooked and ate root vegetables and starchy fruits. Enjoy your yams and breadfruit.

Susan Walsh said...

Congratulations on the birth of Paleo Baby! That is truly wonderful news, I'm glad you shared it with us! I hope you'll update us when PB begins to speak - that is going to be one smart kid.

Robb Wolf said...

Outstanding post.

RG said...

Keoni,

Do you think it would be all right to start that diet when a gal is 5 months along?

Deansdale said...

Congrats :)

aspiringlady said...

RG it is alright to start the diet at any time. It is just eating a more nourishing and nutrient dense diet. You will see benefits from that at any time. Better late than never, or even later ;) Baby still has a lot of growing to do and that little body is "built" with the nutrients of the mother. Mother will probably benefit from an easier birth due to her own more nourished body too.

A dash of apple cider vinegar with a squeeze of lemon and a bit of honey in some water is a good tonic for an easy birth to drink during pregnancy. I drank a lot of that in labor too, for electrolytes and energy, it was soothing on my throat also (a lot of vocalizing going on around crowning *blush*)

(R)Evolutionary said...

Keoni,

I hope you realize the significance of Robb Wolf, commenging above to give props on this post.. That's THE Robb Wolf, paleo educator extra-ordinaire, writer of best-selling paleo books, et al. That's huge, and it shows both how good your work on paleo diet is, and the importance of this work is. Paleo truly is the red-pill of diet and nutrition.
So please keep these posts coming, they're one of many highlights of this blog.

Keoni Galt said...

Thanks to all for the great commentary and congratulations.

I hope you realize the significance of Robb Wolf, commenging above to give props on this post.. That's THE Robb Wolf, paleo educator extra-ordinaire, writer of best-selling paleo books, et al.

This is rather ironic...I've read so many Paleo blogs, and have seen Robb referenced and cited and quoted - yet I've never actually visited Robb's blog myself.

I've linked to many different Paleo bloggers in past posts...yet the first one to ever show up and comment here was one for which I've never read or linked to. He must've googled "paleo baby" or something to find me...lol.

With that being said, I just spent the last hour or so reading Robb's blog. Can't believe I never read his blog before.

The very first post I read there, http://robbwolf.com/2011/04/27/sht-fox-news-says/, had a line that sounds like something I would've written:

"It’s just a nightmare world in some ways. Al Gore quoting Lefties who want electric cars, but no idea where that electricity is coming from (nor an accurate accounting of the costs in producing those electric/hybrid cars) or the Republican Right that seems to like business…but only if it’s large and has Oil, Pharmaceutical and subsidized food production ties."

QFT

Thanks for dropping by my humble little blog Mr. Wolf.

Alte said...

Yeah, yeah. I did the same sort of stuff and received the same sort of result (but with plenty of colic). But they're older now, incredibly strong (so I can't control them at all) and healthy, and so clever and alert that they drive me ABSOLUTELY FREAKING INSANE.

Good luck with him, and don't come whine to me when he starts disassembling all of your electronics and climbs up on your roof at the age of three. You have been warned. You better homeschool him or his teachers will tear their hair out in exasperation.

:-)

Keoni Galt said...

No whining here, my dear Alte. Let's just say I am not unprepared in dealing with rambunctious youth.

I've taught martial arts and music classes for young children for years. Been there and done that with all manners of youthful attitude, impudence, insolence and immaturity.

And yes, I shall be homeschooling for sure. There is no way I'm going to allow my child to be brainwashed and indoctrinated by the system.

Alte said...

He he. Better practice that kiddie kung fu.

Of course, my kids have genetic issues that yours probably won't have to deal with, but I still found your post hilarious. Knowing what I now know, I'd have fed them formula and grits so that they're more weak, slow, frail, and mindless. Like cows. You can herd cows. You can't herd my kids. You have to chase them down and tackle them.

We had to remove a splinter from my 4 year-old's hand this evening, and my husband and I both had to hold her down for it. We gave up after she wore us out. Splinter is still in there. She weighs a ton and is strong like an ox, despite being very thin.

Pass the rice cereal, please. Those kids are basically balls of wimpy fluff. You don't have to tackle fluff. LOL

Alte said...

Most of the parents I know just breastfed exclusively for six months and then mashed up whatever they were having for dinner and salted their food separately at the table. But that might just be a rural-German thing, I don't know.

It was usually mashed potatoes with lots of butter first, scrambled eggs, ground up whatever-mommy's-eating, etc. Most of us just kept a coffee-grinder and threw a portion of dinner in it. It's a lot easier if you wait until six months, because then they can go straight to mashed normal food. My kids really liked breastmilk yogurt and breastmilk fruit shakes, too.

Keoni Galt said...

Most of the parents I know just breastfed exclusively for six months and then mashed up whatever they were having for dinner and salted their food separately at the table. But that might just be a rural-German thing, I don't know.

I suspect that was a normal people thing, until baby food companies found the market to be quite lucrative.

I do have to say, that while I called this post "Paleo Baby" I'm far more influenced by Dr. Weston Price's research on indigenous diets the world over. That is why my child (and my wife and I) eat plenty of dairy products (a "paleo diet no-no according to the paleo-puritans.)

Keoni Galt said...

Oh, almost forgot to add...

Rice Cereal? lol

Not for my kid.

I'd sooner feed baby ice cream with real sugar in it than manufactured, processed cereals. With regards to blood sugar levels, same difference.

If you're gonna sugar the kids up, let 'em have the best dessert there is.

As I said, I'm no paleo puritan. I love me some sugar...in a junkie sort of way. Which is why I indulge once or twice a week.

Ice cream...itsa helluva drug!

Alte said...

We used to take milk pails down to the neighborhood dairy farm and drink it while it was still warm. :-)

I think dairy can be good if you stick to quality products, especially fermented stuff. I'm making quark right now, for a Mother's Day cheesecake (it's like a soufflé). I have no problem forking over some real cash for good cheese (my kids love freshly shredded cheddar in their omelets). I've discovered that pretty much everything tastes better with cream, butter, or both.

We're on a waiting list of for a neighborhood meat/egg/goat-dairy CSA. They all have endless waiting lists, which I find frustrating.

BTW, I do find that my children's behavior is better when they eat more protein, as their blood-sugar is more stable. I actually started eating more high-protein during my first pregnancy because my fluctuating blood-sugar made me vomit up my guts all day. It got so bad that I kept having to be rehydrate in the hospital. For a while, I subsisted off of vegetable-broth, cheese, buttermilk, omelets, bacon, and sometimes pure butter (I ate it with a spoon!) because that was all I could keep down.

American Renaissance said...

This is an Awesome Write-up! I immediately forwarded this to my wife. There are so many parallels between your paleo baby and mine. It has been a loose fit, but she is running circles around her age group figuratively and literally. It is hard to find clothes that fit her because all the clothes now are made for formula feeding, michelin babies. Our pediatrician hits us with guilt trips every time we had to answer any questions about formula. They don't care that it ruins the digestion of the baby, and leads to colic and gas, which in turn leads to long nights and rough days. Meat is fine, thanks.

Thank you for sharing your story, and I will be sharing this with all the mommies and daddies I know as well!

garthwh said...

@Alte, you perfectly describe me when I was young! I actually did climb onto the roof at a very young age! And the whole disassembling electronics thing! Funny coincidence.

Peggy the Primal Parent said...

I had a similar experience with my daughter who is now five. No grains, no sugar, breastfeeding, and a high fat diet makes all the difference!

Blaine said...

My wife is at 22 weeks with our first. I haven't been able to convince her to go completely paleo, but her diet is light years ahead of where it was. She's also supplementing with high quality fish oil.

I've already been planning to feed much the same way your describing, and she's onboard. It's AWESOME to hear of such wonderful results.

I'm about where you are on the vaccines too.

Thank you so much for posting this stuff. Your blog will be one I follow now.

papabear said...

I take it your wife has been convinced by the results to embrace paleo?

Keoni Galt said...

About 80%. :)

Rhonda said...

Primal potty training: No diapers. This way they are more aware of their bodily functions. They learn fast. It's mostly something that you can do outdoors in your back yard.

My Baby was pretty much paleo, and our experience is as you describe. First food was liver, breast fed till 2. Egg, liver or tuna everyday, until school. No other milk, no sugar etc. Now she is 20, sharp mind, and no health probs.

Best thing you can do for the world. Good work.

Anonymous said...

Pretty good bit and whatever criticism you get, and maybe you could improve it a bit, but still, it's a far cry better than SAD (Standard American Diet).

A small thing" "Paleo baby had plenty of DHA in vitro" (DHA "in glass"?)

I believe you meant in utero. Good humor though.

Laurie D. said...

When I was pregnant 23 years ago, I had gestational diabetes (so they told me). I was put on a diabetic diet, which at the time, was basically a very restricted carb, almost paleo-type diet. I felt better during that pregnancy than just about any time during my life. Migraines completed disappeared, I gained about 20 lbs and had a totally flat stomach the day after giving birth. I had no water retention or any of the other complaints that pregnant women usually have. When my daughter was born, they placed her on my chest and as I talked to her, she raised her head straight up and looked me in the eyes then turned to the sound of my husband's voice and did the same. The nurses were astounded. She was as strong as an ox. Unfortunately, I could not breastfeed so she was put on the very poor formula of the day, and I had no clue about paleo then, so she ate a pretty crappy baby food diet. Colic set in as soon as cereals were introduced. However, it was the experience in the womb that seemed to set the stage as she is healthy, absolutely brilliant (valedictorian in a class of 300, numerous writing awards, full scholarships (and yes, public school - it is what you put into it, not the source), and still strong (and almost completely paleo) at age 23. I wish I knew then what I knew now. Your baby is so lucky!

Fritzy said...

Modernguy;

If you think early man could not have subsisted on a diet largely consisting of animal protien and fat, it's because you are thinking too "modern." Stop focusing on large game (and stop allowing yourself to be brainwashed by the "30 bananas a day" dolt--he's flat out wrong.)

Paleo humans/hominids would have also consumed a great deal of insects grugs and worms, small animals and fish where it was available, in addition to scavenging. Sure, they likley also consumed small amounts of fruits in addition to tubers/roots but plant food would have only been available seasonally and the fructose content much lower (and the resistant starch content much higher) than most produce available in your grocery or local farmers market (as produce today is bred specifically for it's higher fructose content.)

Mr. Galt--

I am very impressed. Congradulations on raising a healthy, happy baby in the face of the "well intentioned" peddelers of conventional wisdom. Nicely done!

KB said...

Please write a book! When I have a baby, I am going to want it.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for this post. I’ve been struggling to find info about eating paleo during pregnancy for the longest time. I myself have been eating paleo to control my Type II Diabetes. Sticking to this diet helps me achieve virtually normal blood sugars.

I’m planning to start trying for another baby later this year, and my endocrinologist insists that I must consume 150g of carbs a day during pregnancy and that failing to do so will lead to ‘insufficient’ weight gain to support a pregnancy.

My way of eating has changed so much that I can’t even begin to fathom how I’d cram that many carbs into my diet, or how it can conceivably be safe for a pregnant Type II to eat that many carbs. Your post has helped confirm that eating paleo during pregnancy is safe.

If you don’t mind, at some point I’d be curious to know how much weight your wife gained. Again, I think my endo’s assessment that I will not be able to gain sufficient weight to support a pregnancy if I don’t eat “150 g of carbs” a day can’t be true...so I’d love some insights on that point. Thank you again for lifting this mental burden that’s been weighing on me for a while now!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on paleo-baby's health, strength and happiness. An inspiring read.

For those mothers who would like to breast feed longer but find their supply dwindling - don't give up. Put your feet up, get your partner to bring you nourishing food and drink, and feed every 15 or 20 minutes until your supply builds up again. It's a little known fact that milk left in the breast is an inhibitor of milk production. If you supplement instead of giving baby the small amounts you're producing, those small amounts going unused will reduce your supply even further. If the milk is used, more will quickly be made.

For some reason I found that even going for a gentle walk made my milk dry up. Because I knew about the inhibiting quality of un-drunk milk, and because I refused to use formula or rice cereal, I persevered, sometimes feeding what was admittedly a tiny feed, every 15 minutes. I felt that my baby could cope with a short period of hunger better than he would with the alternatives. He was breast fed until 2 yrs, fully until 6 mnths.

Of course, sometimes there's nothing you can do. If you're ill or circumstances get the better of you and you can't do it, you use the alternatives.

I wouldn't normally post this info because 'round these parts breast feeding (or not) is a heated topic, but the folks writing here seem to genuinely care more about the long-term health of their babies than their own convenience.

Anonymous said...

Keoni,

Good article. People are generally repulsed at the thought of experimenting with their children. But the current dietary myths clearly aren't working. Nothing ever gets any better until enough people take a shot at something else. I'm glad to hear your experiment is working so well, and I hope it inspires more people to try it.

As a side note, if it's important to you to keep Paleo Baby's sex a secret, watch the pronouns. You've slipped at least once.

Sixx said...

Great blog! Good to hear your kid's doing good! Then again, it's perfectly natural for people to be healthy if they go paleo ;)

For those that want to get into this, check out MDA;

marksdailyapple.com/why-grains-are-unhealthy/

This is the article that got me started on the primal road (barefott, mind you ;)

Anonymous said...

Amazing article. Just re-iterating what everyone has already commented but was a great read. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Way to congratulate yourself for a lot of things that are simple good luck. I'm sorry to inform you that your parenting practices are far from paleo. Human hunter gatherer groups do not start solid foods at 4 months. Solid foods are started when the baby has teeth and shows an interest in the parent's plate, usually late in the first year. Breatfeeding is continued for several years. A real paleo baby is in arms all of the time and does not sleep in a crib. "Sleeping through the night" is a modern western concept and has no relevance to a hunter gatherer lifestyle. As well, colic is irrelevant. Colic is not an illness and has no relevance or significance to health or wellbeing. Neither does your kid's height/weight stats. Being taller and thinner does not signify any better health than the child that is shorter and fatter, as growth patterns at that age are determined primarily by genetics. All breastfed babies are fatter in the first six months and thinner thereafter. Congratulations on being a stereotypical smug first time parent. Don't be surprised if a sleep deprived, struggling parent of a colicky newborn with poor growth punches in in the face.

Anonymous said...

Well the above post was uncalled for. I say jealous! But does your child get vaccinated as well? I have two small children and followed all the "rules" and sometimes I do think their eating habits now would be different if grain, sugars..were taken out. But they do follow the Paleo lifestyle now and it is a fight but we are making it work and seeing the benefits. Love the post, coming from a parent of a newborn that was colicky and parents who were sleep deprived. NO punches here.

Anonymous said...

You know, I was just going to troll you about your user name because Galt takes his toys and goes home-- he doesn't go around evangelizing about science and trying to help people. (I think a person can be libertarian without being an Objectivist, btw. But this may be that expensive liberal arts education talking.)

But I'm not going to troll because you're talking so much sense I actually had to comment here about some vegetarian friends of mine.

Their poor baby could not focus or track for weeks after birth. The mother of the pair believed this to be NORMAL.

I am 100% for real. Mummy had read in some book that babies couldn't really see at birth. And sure enough, Junior could see objects and faces but couldn't focus or track. (He also spent weeks red and underweight with eyes firmly shut like a neonate, enough so that Grandma freaked... although her idea of a fix was to feed sugar water. Mommy resisted that, which is good it turns out from recent research. Mommy should have been scarfing meat+fat to boost the breastmilk, but that would never happen.)

Baby was also very colicky to begin with. My wife and I spent a lot of money to airmail them salmon steaks from Wash state to feed this child via breastmilk. (Mother actually called us and asked "what do I do with all these salmon steaks"--for real?) Even though they were pesco-ovo-lacto-vegetarians, they eat too much of gluten-based meat substitutes and low fat food. One meal in their house was fake meat, boiled carrots, and baked sweet potatoes. They were a little mystified when I told them you can't absorb Vit A from those veggies without fat. The husband is obsessed with chocolates and such (and with coffee) because he's sugar cycling.

Well, obviously, I could go on and on. But my point is that when I visited after the salmon steaks the baby had fattened up, was much more alert and calm, and was acting quite social. (He was actually much more social than mommy gave him credit for... but she is a first time mom.)

SCIENCE... it's not just for dick-waving in the lab anymore.

My friends are lovely people... but they drive me nuts sometimes!!

Btw, kudos to you for NOT going Galt but rather stepping up and being a man with your pregnant wife by literally bringing home (and preparing) the bacon so she could have a healthy pregnancy. I don't know if your kid will actually thank you one day, but I think he/she will make you proud.

Anonymous said...

Right, anti-vacciners. Go through all that effort raising a healthy kid, then lose that child because it has a naive immune system.

REAL H/G'S DIED IN GREAT NUMBERS AND STILL DIE TO THIS DAY DUE TO INFECTIOUS DISEASE.

Ever wondered why most residents of US & Canada are a "whiter shade of pale" when the whole continent was already inhabited when the Europeans first landed? Yet Europe's still replete with paleskins despite Africans and Asians landing there daily?

Get real.

Anonymous said...

For real. Until fairly recently it was more or less par for the course that families would lose at least one child due to the infectious diseases of childhood that we now routinely vaccinate against.
These diseases aren't just a bit of a sniffle, rash, and fever for a week. They can cause massive, permanent damage. Ever hear of measles encephalitis? Varicella pneumonia? Have you ever seen an infant with pertussis cough until they turn blue or crack a few ribs? These aren't illnesses to take lightly because you don't understand how the immune system or vaccination really works, and can only make vague hand-wavey claims about "toxins" and "boosting the natural immune system".
Not to mention the issue of incredible selfishness because you're reducing herd immunity, putting at risk the health of people who genuinely CAN'T (not "won't, because i'm an idiot who thinks a degree from the University of Google is worth more than years of medical training") get vaccinated.

Anonymous said...

People who believe that one can boost their immune system through diet are not mutually exclusive from people who still get vaccinated.

In other words, you can work for a healthy immune system and still get vaccinations without being a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with that. But people shouldn't be naive enough to think that having a healthy diet will protect their children (especially young babies who are at higher risk of severe complications) from contracting serious diseases that used to kill in large numbers before the advent of vaccination.
Eating well is important. But it is not a panacea.

Anonymous said...

I would also add that humans were really never meant to live in close contact with massive amounts of other humans (cities/towns) and this is something that greatly increases risk and spread of infection disease- something "paleolithic man" and actual paleo babies would never have to deal with.

Jonathan said...

Awesome. Same story here. Child number 2. Sounds just like your story. Wife lost weight, baby is awesome, holds head up and sleeps really well. 2 months so just breast-milk now but mommy eats good still. My first child is heavier than all the other kids her age but she's solid when you pick her up unlike the other no muscle kids.

People do the same to us and tell us how lucky we are but ignore us when we say it was diet.

Anonymous said...

Actually, no I'm not jealous. My child was just as healthy and awesome as this one, and was gestated and raised an a sensible, healthy mainstream diet that included meats, vegetables, and grains. It is not that unusual for infants to eye track after birth, or to hold their heads up, or to grow well, sleep well, be healthy and alert, and have formed stools after starting solids. This is like taking credit for good weather or something. Exclusive breastfeeding is great and all, but this exaltation of "paleo" is actually pretty ignorant and uninformed about child development and real world childrearing practices in hunter-gatherer cultures. It's laughable. Forcing solids on an infant that can't yet sit up unassisted is everything BUT paleo.

Keoni Galt said...

Way to congratulate yourself for a lot of things that are simple good luck. I'm sorry to inform you that your parenting practices are far from paleo.

Well thanks so much for taking the time to inform me that I'm not "paleo!" I would've never guessed...

Human hunter gatherer groups do not start solid foods at 4 months.

I don't care what "the group" does.


Solid foods are started when the baby has teeth and shows an interest in the parent's plate, usually late in the first year.

Thanks for deigning to inform me just how badly I've messed up here. Somehow, I think Paleo baby will live.

Breatfeeding is continued for several years. A real paleo baby is in arms all of the time and does not sleep in a crib.

Thanks for telling me what a "REAL" Paleo Baby is.

"Sleeping through the night" is a modern western concept and has no relevance to a hunter gatherer lifestyle. As well, colic is irrelevant. Colic is not an illness and has no relevance or significance to health or wellbeing. Neither does your kid's height/weight stats. Being taller and thinner does not signify any better health than the child that is shorter and fatter, as growth patterns at that age are determined primarily by genetics.

Let's see - my child is not REAL PALEO...but even if I did somehow meet this definition of REAL PALEO in raising the baby, it wouldn't matter, because it's just "luck" due to genetics. I'm sure everything I've written about here is irrelevant. I should have just followed conventional wisdom and fed the kid soy formula and grain cereals without worry, eh?

All breastfed babies are fatter in the first six months and thinner thereafter. Congratulations on being a stereotypical smug first time parent.

Congratulations on being an anonymous asshole.

Don't be surprised if a sleep deprived, struggling parent of a colicky newborn with poor growth punches in in the face.

Oops...make that congratulations on being an anonymous asshole internet tough guy.

Keoni Galt said...

Yes, I agree with that. But people shouldn't be naive enough to think that having a healthy diet will protect their children (especially young babies who are at higher risk of severe complications) from contracting serious diseases that used to kill in large numbers before the advent of vaccination.
Eating well is important. But it is not a panacea.


There is a difference between the vaccines that were critical to the elimination of devestating diseases like polio and measles...and the sheer number of vaccines the medical establishment recommends.

I've turned down the flu shots and chicken pox shots for baby. Not all vaccines are necessary...but they sure are profitable.

Alte said...

As for colic, it's true that it's not actually an illness -- but it can seem like that to the parents. Colic is actually relatively rare, and the overwhelming majority of formula-fed kids don't have it, while some breastfed kids will have it. Colic can only be reduced through diet if it is caused by diet, but if the cause of the crying is something else, then it won't matter a bit.

Both of my children had terrible colic, but there are ways to manage that and reduce the crying:
-- proper diet (during pregnancy, exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months, no smoking or alcohol)
-- babywearing (This is important for those kids -- like mine -- who cry out of sheer boredom. The colic stops as soon as they learn to crawl or walk, which they tend to do extremely early. Both of mine were crawling by three months.)
-- swaddling when they sleep
-- infant potty training (Children become irritable, squirm, etc. when they have to use the toilet, even as babies. So, if you take them to the bathroom as soon as the whining starts, you can usually avoid a full-out scream attack. Plus, no poop diapers at all.)
-- lots and lots of fresh air and exercise.


Colic up to 3 months doesn't really mean anything significant. But colic past 3-months is correlated with ADHD because it's associated with a lack of impulse control, while docility is associated with being good in school.

ADHD misdiagnoses (and the associated colic and sleeplessness) is common among the highly gifted, as it is a form of emotional overexcitability, which is one of the main predictors of IQ>130. Basically, once you get over 130, children's behavior and sleeping habits as infants tend to deteriorate, rather than improve.

Keoni Galt said...

Actually, no I'm not jealous. My child was just as healthy and awesome as this one, and was gestated and raised an a sensible, healthy mainstream diet that included meats, vegetables, and grains.

No such thing as a "healthy mainstream diet." If you haven't noticed, the mainstream of western society is far from healthy.

It is not that unusual for infants to eye track after birth, or to hold their heads up, or to grow well, sleep well, be healthy and alert, and have formed stools after starting solids. This is like taking credit for good weather or something.

I'm not trying to "take credit" for anything, you stupid fuck. I'm relaying my experiences in the hopes that other people will perhaps get to experience the similar benefits to avoiding "mainstream diet" problems when they decide to have children too.

I've seen countless number of newborns who barely open their eyes and don't show signs of visual recognition until weeks after they are born.

And I've changed plenty of diapers from babies fed formula and commercial baby food.

Luck has nothing to do with it.

But keep telling yourself that while you're colicky baby keeps you up at night and you fantasize about punching strangers on teh interwebz for "taking credit" for being "lucky."

Anonymous said...

Oh ho. Looks like we struck a nerve, here. I'm sorry to bring you the bad news that your baby is actually pretty unremarkable and that you don't really know that much about how infants were cared for in the paleolithic era. Oh, did you think you were the world's expert on that because you eat a lot of meat? Or have you read some books? Did you by chance read any anthropological materials about paleolithic child rearing before you fired up your Paleo Hamilton Beach Blender to give your four-month-old infant a an Authentic Paleo Meat Shake?

Anonymous said...

Hi Keoni, thank you for this post. My husband forwarded this to me today as we just found out we are pregnant, and he wanted to see if we were able to have a "Paleo Baby" like yours.

My first pregnancy has horrible, I was sick all the time, and despite trying to "eat healthy," I still gained 30 pounds, was fat and swollen all over, and just plain miserable, and I don't want that to happen.

We tried to do the Paleo diet a year ago, and I was in the best shape I had been in for awhile, but we got lazy and reverted back to eating rice and bread. Hopefully this pregnancy will keep me motivated to eat the right way and stick with it!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I consider feeding your child formula next to child abuse! And giving a toddler soda in a bottle IS child abuse! Talk about setting your child up for life long health problems and obesity.

Keoni Galt said...

Oh ho. Looks like we struck a nerve, here. I'm sorry to bring you the bad news that your baby is actually pretty unremarkable and that you don't really know that much about how infants were cared for in the paleolithic era. Oh, did you think you were the world's expert on that because you eat a lot of meat? Or have you read some books? Did you by chance read any anthropological materials about paleolithic child rearing before you fired up your Paleo Hamilton Beach Blender to give your four-month-old infant a an Authentic Paleo Meat Shake?

My bad. I should no better than to feed self-righteous trolls. I know your type. You're one of these asshats that like to go on MDA and tell Mark how he's "not paleo" for conforming to your idea of paleo puritanism.

Go find some other blog to troll.

Anonymous said...

Also don't let the dickheads get to you! Keep posting this stuff because there are open minded, intelligent people who want/need this information!

Keoni Galt said...

We tried to do the Paleo diet a year ago, and I was in the best shape I had been in for awhile, but we got lazy and reverted back to eating rice and bread. Hopefully this pregnancy will keep me motivated to eat the right way and stick with it!

Ya know, don't beat yourself up for self-percieved failures to live up to a "paleo" ideal...like this anonymous idiot troll.

Anonymous Old American said...

My wife and I are doing something similar. We switched our diets to lots of vegetables, meats, saturated fats, and fermented/cultured foods shortly before she became pregnant and have been continuing the diet. In the 23+ months since then, I have lost ~40 lbs and increased muscle mass. My wife has lost about 70 lbs total, which includes gaining and then loosing 30 lbs of pregnancy weight.

My son could hold his head up and look around immediately after birth, picked up the kitchen chair at age 7 months, and uses baby sign to make jokes. He sleeps great, is smart, and is strong. He is never sick and most diapers are easy cleanup. He can also eat a chunk of ham the size of my fist in a single sitting. He has so little "baby fat" that we once expressed that as a concern to his doctor.

Now, he his short and paler than a vampire, but that is mainly because the bulk of his ancestors are short pasty people from the British Isles.

I encourage you to keep on with your "Paleo Baby" experiment! It is working well for me.

Anonymous Old American said...

Oh, and as far as H/G having a tough time finding food...

Analysis of "cavemen" encampments have shown that there wasn't any living things that cavemen didn't want to eat. Besides eating several species of megafauna to extinction, including cave bears and North American horses, prehistoric man ate a wide variety of animals, including birds, rodents, deer, wolverines, and dolphins.

Paleo-man was a muscle-bound death machine that loved barbequing any thing that moved.

Iwant2run said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

That all sounds really good and I am happy for you to have a healthy, happy baby. I would like to add that not all children who eat "modern western diets," who are vaccinated or who are fed formula instead of breastmilk (I am unable to breastfeed because of medication that I take...and without that medication, I wouldn't have been able to become pregnant (surprise pregnancy) anyway, so my little ones get formula) are unhealthy or stupid. My children are EXTREMELY intelligent (my oldest daughter tested in the top 5% of the entire nation), vocalize well, have excellent mathematics and literature skills, are absolutely beautiful, are not overweight, have no health problems...and they eat a "regular" diet, were vaccinated at the appropriate times, and were formula fed. My infant has been holding his head up since before we left the hospital. He was born with his eyes open and screaming his lungs out. He is almost a month old but he pushes himself up with no difficulties. He's absolutely beautiful, he tracks, he follows our voices, he sleeps through the night, he's strong as anything...

Our toddler (she is 2) is a HELLION. She really IS strong as an ox. My husband and I have to work together to hold her down and take medicine on the rare occasions she's been sick because she is SO STRONG. Reading your post, I thought you could be talking about my children, especially the toddler...she is smart, she talks in full non-baby sentences, she knows how to count forward and backward to 10, her entire alphabet, all her colors, shapes...well, I will not go on because at this point it is just bragging.

So, not all kids who grow up with the western diet turn out to be stupid weaklings, and I am sure that not all children on the paleo diet (or a modified version of the paleo diet) turn out to be supermen. However, I'm glad your baby is doing well and I hope s/he continues on their good pace and becomes a happy, healthy adult! :-) (and I think I'll take some suggestions for diet away from this blog and incorporate them into our household...'cuz hey, there's always room for improvement!)

Anonymous said...

I must have missed the part where HL told everyone that they better run out and follow his example, or where he said that his paleo-ubermensch snowflake of a child was better than everyone else's.
I've seen much more self-righteousness coming from vegetarian and vegan parents.

Paleo is a concept, no more.
I follow the diet and exercise ideas, but I don't kid myself that I'm living anywhere near the lifestyle of true paleolithic man, nor would I want to.

Lighten up--he's a proud dad who has strong beliefs--hardly bad qualities.

Marla Sarris said...

Kudos to you for doing what you think is best for Paleo baby and not just following along.

My husband & I have been eating Primal for over a year now and I cook all the meals. We aren't planning to start a family for a while, but I truly enjoyed reading about what I have to look forward to when we do.

You mentioned you use a baby food maker and I'm just curious if that is a specific product or just a blender/food processor?

Keoni Galt said...

Paleo is a concept, no more.
I follow the diet and exercise ideas, but I don't kid myself that I'm living anywhere near the lifestyle of true paleolithic man, nor would I want to.


Exactly!

You mentioned you use a baby food maker and I'm just curious if that is a specific product or just a blender/food processor?

Yeah, it's just a blender/food processor.

Diana J. said...

This was great - thanks for posting!

Can I ask how much, if any, pregnancy nausea your wife experienced? (Forgive me if you wrote about that and I missed it.) I'm doing research into the efficacy of high fat/protein, low carb diets on pregnancy nausea, so I thought I'd ask.

Thanks for that article - it was awesome! Best wishes to you all.

Anonymous said...

It's great information. With my kids I did home births so I listened very closely to what the midwife told me for building a healthy baby and having a good birth. With my first I cut out most sugar, ate tons of protein and green veggies, and walked daily. I had some grains. I didn't yet know about the benefits of good fats but I knew I was sensitive to wheat so I cut that back.

Baby was born smoothly and came out as you describe yours, incredibly intelligent (and still is), frighteningly alert after birth. I was at a perfect weight just after birth, had very little pregnancy sickness, no heartburn or swelling. I breastfed for up to two years. He would get collicky as a newborn only if I ate wheat! I wish I had known about the fats at the time and would have trained his taste for meats, cheese, and eggs over grains. He's ten now and it's not easy to get him to convert, but steak and bacon are great.

Second child, we were remodeling and didn't have a kitchen, so I didn't eat as diligently healthy. Still had a great birth and healthy child, but slight learning difficulties are present. Could be connected, could be not. Neither kid has had allergies.

I did vaccinate, but waited until they were nearly three (got a LOT of flack for that). That way we avoided several unnecessary and likely harmful ones, and their bodies were more likely to be able to handle the doses. I also avoid unnecessary vaccines.

To the jerks that posted idiotic crap, go educate yourself and also learn some self control with your hatred.

Keoni Galt said...

Diana, great question, I forgot to include that: my wife had almost no morning sickness. Only occasional queasiness, but she never vomited once.

Amanda said...

Hi, just wanted to share my experiences! My husband and I began eating pretty paleo (though with inclusion of good fatty dairy, like you) before we tried to conceive. I lost loads of weight, and had a fairly easy pregnancy, though I did have a lot of fatigue/morning sickness early on. I have a very physical job at a horse breeding facility, so a few of the early weeks were tough, but after that I was fine to do everything I could do before--my boss was concerned about me doing anything too physical though, and I did have to avoid the hormones we give some of the mares! I had a relatively easy (in retrospect) birth at home, no drugs, and my baby could lift her head right away. We breastfed, but I had some bad advice after she gained little weight, so I wound up loosening my paleo ideals to try to up the milk supply. It didn't work, I got fatter and she didn't. She's fine now, weight-wise, 25th percentile on height/weight, and a very social little thing. Mum and dad are both small in stature, so her size is unsurprising. While she's not early on every developmental landmark, I think she'll be an early talker. ;)

She was exclusively breast-fed until six months, is now 7 months old and we've been co-sleeping, baby-wearing (even while I muck out the horses, good exercise for me!), and doing baby-led weaning. No, she doesn't sleep through the night, but she's a growing girl and needs her milk! She's been enjoying gumming/sucking on chunks of meat for weeks now. I think I will incorporate your pureed meats on loaded spoons, and probably add some liver in--she loves feeding herself, and is a total meat fiend, but doesn't take much in at the moment when I just give her chunks to gnaw on. I have tried to keep things as close to "nature" as is possible, though we have given some vaccines.

Thanks for your post, I hope you have lots of success with any future children--have to say I think some of this sleeping stuff is a bit of the luck of the draw--and enjoy your lovely little family. Maybe our next one in a couple of years will sleep "better", but we're not too fussed about it. You can't go wrong with eating a truly nourishing diet, my husband sent me your story and it made me smile. :)

Keoni Galt said...

Thanks for the well wishes Amanda.

Ryan said...

Great story, thanks for sharing! First time on the site.
We have a "paleo baby" of our own that that will have her first birthday this month. I can almost copy your story verbatim and call it my own: the doubtful relatives (and colleagues- I'm an MD), the early milestones, the growth charts, lack of colds, her happy, engaging demeanor. And, of course, the same people that think the diet can't possibly be good for her, marvel at how happy and healthy she is.

Anonymous said...

To be sure it's the paleo diet are you going to experiment on your next child? I say this because I was vegetarian (with fish) during my pregnancy, and have raised my daughter the same way. I gave no added salt or refined foods for the first two years. She eats lots of vegetables, fruit, legumes and grains. Now she's older she also has some sweets etc. She is the most energetic, bright, switched on child and she too never gets sick (ie she is four and has had a couple of colds), has never had a tummy bug etc. I put this down to her diet...

I personally think that high salt is dangerous for a young child because their kidney's aren't ready to process it. They should get enough salt just from eating a broad variety of foods. Also beyond a small amount of meat your body will struggle to digest it quick enough to expell it before it starts to rot. After all, unlike carnivores we have long intestines.

I think the best thing you are doing, and what is probably having the most effect is echewing refined/ processed foods. I would however, be interested to see the long term effect of a high salt, high meat diet from such an early age. Also since the most lasting sun damage is done before 7 years old it will also be interesting to see how paleo baby's skin is when they're an adult... I guess that time will tell.

Anonymous said...

P.S my daughter is 90th percentile height ad smack bang normal for weight. So all those who fear the "no meat" approach, you shouldn't.

CrossFit Guelph said...

Great Article

Keoni Galt said...

To be sure it's the paleo diet are you going to experiment on your next child? I say this because I was vegetarian (with fish) during my pregnancy, and have raised my daughter the same way.

That's not vegetarian...fish is meat.

And as far as meat goes, Fish is one of the best prenatal foods you can consume (unless of course it's tainted with mercury etc.)

Fish are a great source of DHA/EPA as well as protein are all, all of which are vital nutrients to a developing fetus.

I personally think that high salt is dangerous for a young child because their kidney's aren't ready to process it.

Processed, devitalized and iodized salt...aka sodium cholide - sure. I wouldn't feed that to my kid either.

Other than that, I wouldn't call the food I feed to my baby "high salt." I fresh grind natural sea salt on baby's meat when I'm cooking, and that's it.

Diana J. said...

Thanks for getting back with me! I appreciate it! Best wishes to you and your family, thanks again for writing.

Laura Grace Robins said...

Keoni,
This may have already been asked, but what brand is considered a high quality fish oil? Or what should one look for?

This post was very eye opening. Thanks.

Pwyll said...

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but you may want to take care that Paleo Baby's protein intake isn't too high - there's some evidence that it can have bad mental and physical effects on the fetus and young children: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=196
The Jaminets at PerfectHealthDiet have pretty sterling paleo credentials AFAIK, though they do stress more fat than some others.

But anyway, great post otherwise! It was really fun to read.

Anonymous said...

Wow, great article Keoni! (except for reading all the dickhead commenters bashing you) I think it's great what you are doing. I'm printing out the article for reference for when I get pregnant in the future. I just wish I could find grass fed meat where I live. I'd love to go all grass fed and organic, but can't afford it. Great blog!!!!

Sarah Faith said...

You're awesome. Keep it up. :)

Kelly Dietz said...

Ive also been eating 80% paleo during my pregnancy. Sometimes I can't resist chocolate or brownies ;). But I feel great and I also lost weight at all the right places. From the back its hard to see that Im pregnant ;). Im 37,5 weeks now. In my belly the baby always sleeps during the night and im pretty sure he will do that when he's born. Always when I visit the 'pregnancy doctor' (sorry, dont know the english word) she always says im having a really good pregnancy. So yeah, Im 100% sure paleo is the way to eat ass well :) xx

hurlyburly said...

I'm so jealous! I've been trying so hard to keep my baby primal, but alas, he has to go to daycare :( I've told them hundreds and hundreds of times "no breads, grains, sugars" and I've explained what constitutes those groups, but then I go in and they tell me they fed him pancakes for breakfast! PANCAKES! What could a baby possibly gain from eating pancakes? He struggled all night, crying and screaming, trying to push out the "pancakes" and in the morning it finally came. I swear his poop only smelled of pancake.
And of course they are constantly surprised that my baby LOVES vegetables and meat.
Ever since he was born, he has been so focused on everything around him and he has been sitting up on his own without support since he was 4 months old! He plays by himself all day at daycare, never fussing for attention. He is so strong that he actually snapped one of those plastic baby toy rings in half! He goes for months without so much as the sniffles. Not like all those "snot-nosed" babies you see running around. He just doesn't get snotty. This kid even takes toys from kids 6 months older than him because he is stronger (and much more confident, I might add).
No matter how much I advocate a paleo lifestyle, though, they don't seem to get it.
Like I said, I am so jealous that you are able to devote so much of yourself and your time to your family! My husband doesn't do paleo either, so I understand how hard it is to get the spouse on board!

Meg said...

Hi Keoni,

A very interesting read, thanks for posting!

I have a question: did your wife get a lot of stretch marks on her belly? I was just wondering (n=1 in this case, I know and genetics play a role, I know) whether the saturated fat and other paleo goodness consumption would have a positive effect on stretch marks i.e fewer marks, or none.

M

Yuni said...

Hi Keoni, could you share some of your paleo baby recipes with me. My e-mail is mrs.piedra@gmail.com. We have a two years old and a 9 months old, and for the most part are fed paleo. It is harder to come up with recipes for the 9 months old, he is still breastfed, no formula thus far. How do you puree the meat? Do you mix it in with vegetable puree? Thank you for your time. Yuni

Al said...

modernguy,

"Have you ever been hunting? It might take a whole day to come across something worth killing."

Yes, today, it might, but 8000 years ago? I live in a country in Western Europe where the forests, rivers and grasslands were teaming with wild animals 1000 years ago -- most of our country was forest until about 600 years ago, and you were, more or less, guarantee to bring down a hart in one day's leisurely hunt in the 16th century. The problem is that as the population grew and forest was cleared, wild boar and deer was hunted out of existence and lost their natural habitats.

This is one of the major problems I find in discussions about "what our ancestors really ate" within the paleo community (I am an academic that specialises in the lifestyles of the working class and peasantry in Europe). People simply do not realise the extent to which the SAD/SBD and our modern environment is dramatically different to what our ancestors ate and lived in even 400 years ago; there seems to be this notion that huge majority of diet grain consumption began with the start of the neolithic and has been at that level ever since with only our modern Frankenstein foods added into the mix -- this is simply not true.

Think about this. If wild/forest animals were so scarce, then how come there are so many old English folk songs about poaching? Also, focusing on hunting as the only way to bring down animals is a narrow perspective. It seems far more likely that humans used a combination of hunting and trapping, possibly chasing faster animals into trap scenarios -- after all, homo sapiens have the brain power to strategise in this way.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I just found your site! My husband and I are currently trying to conceive. I've lost 50lbs so far and I just starting going paleo. I gained 60lbs with both of my previous pregnanacies. Horrible! I ate so much sugar and just it was pitiful. I'm just wondering how safe it will be to lose weight while pregnant? I believe there is a lot of junk in our fat stores that aren't healthy. Carcinogen(sp?) and such.congrats on your peleo baby!!

Joshua said...

Keoni, do you mind sharing your view on childhood vaccinations and if you did vaccinate your child?

Many thanks for your time as this is an important issue to me right now.

Anonymous said...

If you were really raising a paleo baby, you wouldn't feed him until he can feed himself. I'm sure Grok didn't steam and puree his kills for his children. It was breastmilk until that point, which is the nutritionally complete perfect food for a baby up until TWELVE months, at the very least. Any other food before then is just for play.

It's not related to "paleo" living, but there is a book called "Baby Led Weaning" that instructs to do just that, AND to not feed your children the rice cereal and oatmeal that American pediatricians foist on parents at four months. Foods are given to baby when he's old enough to sit up on his own, lightly steamed or naturally soft (like an overripe banana) in fist-sized portions. A baby will naturally take into his mouth what fits, and learn to spit out what doesn't.

And butter? Why would any mammal, let alone Grok, use the milk of a different mammal when mama's milk is around? Modern day humans are the only mammals that consume the milk of another species, and I believe it's with good reason that dairy is omitted in most paleo diets, as well kept away from babies until twelve months. Dairy proteins are the most common food sensitivity in children because it causes inflammation, which without a mature intestinal lining, leads to irritation, bloody stools, and internal bleeding.

Keoni Galt said...

I can't believe this post is still getting hits and comments...three months later.

Sheesh.

Joshua - I vaccinated my child, but I asked my HMO Pediatrician to spread them out and not "stack" them, and I also turned down several vaccines that IMO are unneccesary - chicken pox and flu.

Anon - I guess I'm not really raising a paleo baby then. Whoo boy, I can see why so many people find the entire "PALEO" movement a "cult."

You want to know what Grok probably did to his kids when they were old enough?

He (or more like Mrs. Grok) pre-chewed the meat for the paleo baby first.

There are plenty of accounts of hunter-gatherer tribes in which that practice was common.

I could give a rip about being "authentically" paleo. So I use a cuisinart and refrigeration to "pre-chew" all that meat in one session. Big whoops. The principle remains the same...my baby eats plenty of protein and fat, no grain products and no industrial seed/grain/legume oils.

Baby is doing great, and is still 99%-ile in height...which is amusing since both I and my wife are average height adults.

Baby is also now eating meat full stop, no more cuisanart/blending anymore. We just cut it up into bite size pieces and let baby happily chomp away.

Everything I wrote about in this post back in May still holds true. Baby has yet to be sick, have an upset stomach, doesn't get sunburned despite sun bathing daily, etc.

I'm not worried about raising baby to be a REAL PALEO BABY! I'll settle for healthy just fine.

Keoni Galt said...

Dairy proteins are the most common food sensitivity in children because it causes inflammation, which without a mature intestinal lining, leads to irritation, bloody stools, and internal bleeding.

That's why I've never given baby regular milk. I only use butter - which is mostly FAT, not protein.

Baby has also taken a great liking to cheese, but we didn't make that a regular part of baby's diet until 8 months.

Based on baby's diapers, digestion, etc., I don't think for a second that the cheese and butter have caused any sort of inflammation based problems at all.

kamu said...

i regularly share this article with paleo newcomers and also come back every so often myself to re-read. i hope that you will be around in the years to come so that when i have my own kids i can pick your brain.

Anonymous said...

The problem with this is that everyone's baby is in the top 5% according to the internet. They are all tall, lean, smart, and cute as a button. I also have a baby about the same age as yours and I would paint a very similar picture but he has eaten grains, legumes, etc. Obviously this is meaningless because 1) I am extremely biased and you cant trust my judgment about my son, and 2) it is only 1 child and at the end of the day who knows what he would be like if he was paleo.

The other problem with this comparison, and this goes for most arguments for the paleo diet in general, is that you contrast against the "typical western diet". I dont think that many people, at least no one who is nutritionally aware, would argue that sugar laden cookies are a good baby food (although they are very common), or that the standard American diet is healthy. IMO, the beauty of the paleo diet is the removal of refined foods, especially sugars and simple carbs. If you were to do this to a "typical western diet" people would also lose weight and get healthier. The problem that I have with the paleo diet is the philosophical basis, at least Atkin's diet was based on science rather than a romantic notion.

If you look up the populations with the longest life expectancies in the world, they tend to consume whole unprocessed foods, little meat with an emphasis on fish, and legumes. Assuming that longevity is a good measure of a successful diet, then it would appear that the paleo diet is better than the McDonald's diet, but is not the fountain of youth they would make it out to be.

Anyway, congrats on the happy healthy baby, and cudos for doing your own research instead of blindly going down the cookie road.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this information.

I began a Paleo diet 3 months before getting pregnant after trying for 8 1/2 years. During my pregnancy I only gained 17lbs and within 1 week of having my daughter I had lost 30lbs.

She too has been developing earlier than the typical baby. Before even leaving the hospital she was holding her head up alot.

I had been wondering about introducing solid foods since the recommendations are grains. Now I know there is a better way even for babies.

Dana Seilhan said...

Modernguy: That would be why hunter-gatherers go for the largest game wherever feasible. Duh. Why do you think ancient foragers hunted mammoth? But even then, if your diet's mostly fat, meat, and veggies (in order of quantity), you don't get as hungry.

Dude who asked about folic acid: Actually, folic acid is nearly worthless. It's not the form of folate used by the body, which means it must be converted. Not everyone can convert it well. Incidentally, the best natural source of folate is liver. If you go to the USDA database and look at their single-nutrient page for folate you will see that liver's at the top of the list if you mentally filter out all the references to fortified cereal. Liver's a traditional first baby food, by the way, and traditional peoples feed it to pregnant women!

HL: I wish my little girl's dad had been as supportive of my prenatal nutrition as you were of your wife's. He and I split up halfway through the pregnancy and while he helped me out a lot financially after that (good luck getting a job when you're pregnant and showing--anti-discrimination laws be damned in a "hire at will" state), his household also went on the South Beach diet and guess who got all their carb castoffs. I have to be fair, neither of us knew about Paleo eating at that point, but he couldn't possibly believe I was OK on mostly grains. Sure enough, I wound up short on vitamin A and my daughter was born with kidney and ureter defects.

I don't know at this point if another baby will ever be in the cards, and I'm 37 and single so I probably shouldn't even be thinking in that direction. But you can bet I'll be following your example if it ever does happen again.

Jen said...

Well, my child has many similar traits, although not eating straight up paleo. He had formula/breast milk the first 6 months of his life (I could never produce enough milk to satisfy his demands-and believe me, we tried EVERYTHING). He started on solids at 6 months and went straight formula (organic, non-soy, but did have a bit of brown rice syrup) when he became frustrated with a slow flow feeding and I lost my tiny supply.

He doesn't eat grains except for occasional jasmine rice. He loves meat and eats mostly beef and chicken, organic but not grass fed. He has some fruit...mostly berries and some pear and banana.

He's in the 90% for height and 70% for weight. He's been sick once in his 12 month life and he kicked it within 2 days. He's slept through the night (12 hrs) since he was 10 weeks old, never colicky, and arises from naps and night time with giggles and chatting with this crib toys. He is the sweetest little guy,but he lets you know his opinions! :) He held his body weight on his legs at 5 days old and could hold his head up by then as well, but he did crawl and walk later...around 10 months.

Obviously, I'm reading your site so I'm aware of primal/paleo and have taken a few tips from it all, but primarily leaving the grain and sugar out is all we've done. We eat butter and dairy, all organic. I'm thinking of supplementing at some point since we're not getting the benefits of grass-fed,but what we are doing seems to be working.

During my pregnancy I had gestational diabetes that we controlled with diet. It was high protein and fat after the first three months (when I couldn't stand to smell/look/think of meat) since I seemed to crave meat, veg and fruit only anyway. My exercise was swimming 6 days a week until a week before I delivered. I lost all my baby weight within 2 weeks of delivery.

I keep toying with paleo/primal, but I really need to just get on board and do it already. But, I feel like what we have done *HAS* made a positive difference.

Teodor said...

Can you tell us what high quality fish oil pill you used. The brand and make? If you have a link or the complete name I would really appreciate it.

Katie said...

My non-Paleo baby is in the 99% in height, has been since birth, because - and only because - of her genes. Also, my non-Paleo baby rarely cried, was born eyes wide open (natural birth, no drugs, which is probably why), and could hold her head up within days of birth. As in, tummy time was a breeze. Her definitely non-Paleo cousin was sleeping through the night (no wakings at all) by three weeks of age and has never had a sleep issue, even 3 years later.
I get tired of reading Paleo parents claiming their baby did these types of things and it must be the diet. No, it was either genes or parent's attitude, I suspect. Or, just the way of that particular baby.

Not knocking Paleo, because my baby and I certainly are Paleo now (she doesn't even get crap like rice or cow milk), but knocking this misconception that eating Paleo during pregnancy causes babies to be perfect and strong. My friend's very Paleo newborn had major sleep issues and gets sick on a regular basis. Go figure.

Keoni Galt said...

Not knocking Paleo, because my baby and I certainly are Paleo now (she doesn't even get crap like rice or cow milk), but knocking this misconception that eating Paleo during pregnancy causes babies to be perfect and strong.

I can't believe this post is still getting hits and comments. Jesus, I can't believe even more how so many parents got pissed or offended by it.

"Misconception?"

Katie, I never said my baby was PERFECT.

Second of all, while your argument certainly has merits regarding genetics, tell me how my baby is 99%, yet both Baby's mother and I were NOT when we were infants?

Neither of us really opened our eyes until a week later, and I myself had severe diarrhea and was put on formula as soon as I was born because I was getting sick on my mother's breast milk.

So if pre and post natal diet is as meaningless as you think it is, and that it's mostly due to genetics, than how do you explain my own Baby had an entirely different experience from either my own or my wife's?

Furthermore, according to our mother's, neither I nor my wife slept soundly through the night when we were newborns. Our baby is still doing this.

Yeah, I'm sure diet got nothing to do with it.

Ruth Almon said...

Hi! Just FYI, this post inspired a post of my own post about you guys. http://www.ruthsrealfood.com/2011/10/but-its-so-difficult.html

I think what you're doing is great. I did my best, but I wish I knew when I was pregnant what I know now about nutrition.

susie said...

Great stuff! I was going to mention a couple of things that we had done differently and our rationale, but it seems someone beat me to it (in a super hostile, unfriendly way. Rude.)

We waited on solid food until our baby could sit up and feed himself. Logically, that seemed like the most sure-fire way to know he was ready, rather than arbitrarily picking an age. When he was reaching for my own food, had the coordination to feed himself, and lost his tongue thrust reflex, I figured I could let him try some. We skipped purees entirely, went straight to fish, eggs, soft buttery vegetables, avocado, and banana. No commentary while eating, no "Mmmm!" or anything, so he could figure out how he feels about it on his own. Now he's almost a year, and will accept just about anything you offer him. I have yet to offer him a food he won't eat. Except for purees! He refuses to be spoon fed - must feed himself. I figured purees would only get him used to one texture, and that isn't how that food really tastes. A roasted sweet potato stick is a far cry from sweet potato puree.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Let me be the first to congratulate you on your choice of picture - Sebastien the Great :)

Dr J said...

You will probably get another surge in comments as Dr Andreas Eenfeldt, a Swedish low-carb practitioner, included a link to this post. That's how I found you. I fully support what you have done. See relevant posts on my blog about our similar experience: www.drjaywortman.com
Keep up the good work - you are clearly on the right track.

Kate said...

I am so so glad that I found this post! My husband and I have been easing into a Paleo diet, but I have been a little concerned about jumping in altogether since we'll begin trying to start a family in the fairly near future and I wasn't sure how a paleo diet would work with pregnancy. This is extremely encouraging, and I'm hoping it's something we can make work for us. I'm a little concerned about exclusive breastfeeding since I'm on non-negotiable meds that I worry will be transferred to the baby, but we have a consult with a high-risk ob/gyn in a few weeks so I guess we'll know for sure then :)

Thanks, again! I've bookmarked this page and will definitely be coming back. (And I apologize on behalf of all the people who think that anonymity gives them the right to be assholes.)

Ashley Smith said...

Love this story. Had a quick question....I'm worried about taking a DHA supplement because I've been reading where no matter how careful the process is they can't make vacuumed pills to stop the air from oxidizing the fish oil. Therefore, the fish oil can be rancid/oxidized, which is bad for everyone.

I can't get wild salmon right now either, so I've been eating the regular stuff for my DHA.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Thanks!

Ashley Smith said...

Oh and I also wanted to add...did your wife have any dairy while she was pregnant and does your baby have any now? Hubby is worried if I don't eat dairy our child will be lactose intolerant. :/

Keoni Galt said...

Hi Ashley,

She ate high quality dairy nearly every day, and baby eats it every day now too - mostly pastured cheese, and full fat, organic yogurt.

If anything else, I'd recommend you eat the full fat, organic yogurt that is full of pro-biotics to help your digestion.

thischris said...

Hi keoni:
Your post obviously is in a very worthy vein, from the number and sheer duration of these comments. My wife and I followed a "primal/paleo" diet throughout her pregnancy and now we have a beautiful little girl. Her delivery was exceptionally fast and she is very alert. Currently, she is just under 48 hrs old and we have to supplement my wife's colostrum with a small amount of formula due to the fact that our baby is getting dehydrated. I'd like to know how the colostrum to milk phase was for you guys. Was it a couple of days?

Danielle said...

inspiring. Thanks for posting.

Amanda said...

Hi! Great post! I've been paleo for about 3 months and I just found out I'm pregnant with #2 and I've very excited about having a paleo pregnancy! I think it's great that paleo baby is doing so well, but sometimes it's not just from diet. My dd is 98th percentile for height and 60th percentile for weight and is super smart... but we didn't start doing paleo until 3 months ago. Before that it was totally bad SAD. I didn't eat very well through my pregnancy (although I tried) and she did get about 20% supplemented with formula in the first 3 months because of issues (but at 27 months - still breastfeeding!). Anyway, I think paleo is amazing and everyone should be eating this way, but I do tire of people putting everything that's good up to paleo. It could be genes, it could be luck... Anyway, I also wanted to mention infant pottying. You're mentioning diapers, and it's probably too late to start infant pottying with paleo baby, but if you have another one (or anyone else reading this) you should look into infant pottying (aka, elimination communication, or natural infant hygiene). There's nothing more paleo in terms of infant elimination needs than listening to their signals and letting them go in a potty from birth.

Upbringing of a 6-month-old said...

It is a pleasure and a joy for a mother to see her baby grow up into an intelligent human being. But mental growth doesn’t only happen after birth. In fact, 70% of the baby’s brain growth occurs during pregnancy. Watch this video to know more.

Daniel said...

Hi Keoni,
Now that Paleo-baby is close to 2 years i am wondering if you will do an update post.
Greetings from Brazil!

Kristin said...

Honestly, at 1 year old a real "Paleo Baby" would still be getting a majority of their nutrition from breast milk. While 2-3 times a day is great in comparison to the rest of Western civilization, it is no where near the ideal. Biologically humans are meant to nurse for 2-7 years (not for ALL their nutrition, just in addition to food), and the first 12 months they should be getting a majority of their calories from breast milk. That would be the TRUE Paleo way.

Kea said...

I found this post so interesting and informative. I am not Paleo/Primal (yet) but pregnant and looking in to it. My baby sounds very similar to paleo baby (I am a big believer in eating LOTS of meat including the fat anyway) but i think instinctively my child chooses paleo. She is 2 now, and refuses lollies (candy) cakes, biscuits, bread, crackers, rice etc the only carbs she will eat is pasta (what kids dont like spaghetti?) and eats lots of organic full cream yoghurt, avocado, fruit and vege and MEAT. she has been eating meat since 6 months (i started her on solids at 4 on just avocado and breastmilk until 6 months introducing meat) and is an absolute meat lover. I think i need to take a leaf out of her book and go paleo, considering that is what she naturally craves without any bad habits to tell her otherwise.

Kai McCoy Smith said...

I'll be back to read more, HL. As a former LCer and type 2 diabetic now pregnant for the 2nd time, I'm hoping that switching over to paleo during this pregnancy will help me feel better and stay off the insulin longer. It was absolute misery for me to handle the blood sugar lows the first time.I'm also encouraged to feed my 13-mo DD a more paleo diet, though it seems like we've almost been doing that anyway! Her first food was cooked sweet potato, and I never gave her baby cereal. We only eat organic grass-fed beef and she gobbles it up! Her grains have been limited to organic whole oats and brown rice-she doesn't like any bread at all. I thought she was nutty for wanting to eat straight coconut oil, but now it makes sense. Looking forward to reading more!

Anonymous said...

Tremendous article.

We have a newborn and subscribe to the same practices that you do. I just wanted to add that our experience has so far mimicked yours to a tee...big, lean, healthy, happy baby.

Anyone getting into(or already in) the baby game is absolutely nuts to not heed the advice here.

Heather said...

What brand fish oil did your wife take when she was pregnant??

Keoni Galt said...

http://reviews.costco.com/2070/11486950/pure-alaska-omega-pure-alaska-omega-wild-alaskan-salmon-oil-reviews/reviews.htm

insignis said...

We also did "baby led weaning" (real food, real soon, no pureed mush), are still breastfeeding at 15mo and will be for a while no matter the comments we get, and the wife and I eat keto and the baby largely does too. Congrats on bucking the norm and going for natural, no matter the looks you get.

One difference: our pediatrician doesn't really care; we told him about baby led weaning, he had never heard of it, so he whips out his laptop and I guess the first site he came across was a what-to-fee-when chart. He just exclaimed half amused, "Porkchops?" He said he wasn't taught about this so he couldn't say yea or nea, and his only suggestion was to supplement vitamin D. We ignored that.

Baby has hit all his development milestones very early like yours, is easy going, laid back, not very fussy (except teething :)), eats very well but maintains a healthy weight (not a 95th percentile monstrosity like other babies we know), solid poops and no rashes (again except when teething), sleeps well on a schedule, etc.

insignis said...

I should add: baby has also had no ear infections or any infection or illness in the past 15 months, and has been on no medications, not even antibiotics. We're not against vaccines like some here though; we've gotten all the recommended shots.

Anonymous said...

The description of your child at birth is strikingly similar to mine. I was often told how alert she was and how strong she was, particularly her neck. My child also has consistently been a good sleeper and was well beyond 12 months old when she got sick for the first time. Now, she's strong, incredibly coordinated and we are told is more coherent and understanding of concepts than other kids her age.


We have not followed any paleo diet. I routinely crave starch and sugar whilst pregant. I couldn't stand the smell or look of meat and could only eat it if it didn't resemble its basic form. The only dietary similarities my child and yours shared was pure breastfeeding and a diet of pure natural foods being introduced. We concentrated on adding flavour whereas you appear to concentrate on meat fat.

I think I consider my child's babyhood health, strength, alert nature to be a blessing of genetics, individual traits and extended breastfeeding.

Wena Tan said...

Question : You mentioned that the Anchor Brand of Butter was from grass fed cows. May I know where did you obtain that little gem of a snippet?

I live in Malaysia and getting grassfed dairy products is not easy. But Anchor Brands is one of those that have been around for years so I wanted to confirm this. Organic butter brands are difficult to come by and are pricey in this part of the world.

Samantha M. said...

That is awesome!

I was hoping for a book - you know a Primal Guide through Pregnancy or whatever, but this works too!

The best part is reading about Paleo Baby and how healthy he is! Proof that this way of eating is the best way to live.

Thank you for sharing.

Alexandra Jabr said...

Bravo!!! Well done as a parent and incredibly well done in sharing your journey with Paleo Baby. I was researching breast fed babies to see if there was any evidence that babies are in ketosis so long as they are breast fed. I've read that breast milk can be up to 75% fat and we all know that breast feeding up to a year is encouraged by even conventional medicine. So how can these 'experts' also smash the idea of more fat in ones diet? Any additional resources to my thoughts you might have is welcome. Thank you again for this post. I will be sharing it often.

Anonymous said...

I'm At Week Nineteen Now And HaveManaged To Keep My Weight Gain To Only One Net Pound. I Originally Lost Weight, 147->143, ThenGained Five From 143. I Blame That On The Months That I Was Not PaleO And Accredit The Weight Loss Early On To Paleo. I Hope To Lose Now That I'm Back To Meat And Veggies Only, As I Started Out Twenty Pounds TOo heavy.

Anonymous said...

Can you help me? I am expecting my second child and I can hardly eat a thing... the thought of nearly every food turns my stomach and pretty much the only thing I can eat without puking is plain pasta with crazy amounts of salt. What should I do??

Brittany G. said...

i know this is an old post, but just happened upon it via marks daily apple, which I frequent. I also have an extremely happy, healthy, calm demeanor paleo baby. However this is a constant battle with friends, family, public in general, etc...its amazing how stubborn and closed minded people can be. I used to get defensive and start preaching about paleo when questioned, now I just say "yes, we eat lots of saturated fat and zero heart healthy grains, an no juice or crackers either" ;) most people are too shocked to argue after that....

Anonymous said...

Kerry Gold feed their herd GMO grains in addition to the pasture

irenegeerts said...

It's great that this post is still on the internet. It really encourages me to keep LCHF-ing during pregnancy. I eat low carb since 2010 (eczema gone, eyes better, losing belly fat, no more diarrea) and since the moment i also started doing high-fat I feel more energetic than I was in my teens. I'm 11 weeks pregnant and now i feel even better: never naucious, never tired but i sleep like a baby, not getting fat, i am 40 years old but i was pregnant in three months, i think i also look younger (the other day the hospital nurse commented that i was a young mother), i'm not retaining water, i don't have any other pregnacy symptoms or nasty things like pregnancy mask or pimples or high blood pressure or cravings. (although I do have a bigger libido and more confidence...). I am so happy that i found this way of eating. Who knows, maybe we'll also have a hulk-baby with solid poop and sleeping all night long (:p). But i do think that we have to consider that there's probably a correlation between being intelligent and educating yourself about paleo... so paleobabies are probably cognitively more prone to be ahead of the curve anyway, coming from intelligent parents. But nonethleless, i know we are doing the right thing and giving our child the very best start in life there is. And having solid poop and being strong has nothing to do with intelligence of course. If it did i would have droopy poop and only fat ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! I am newly pregnant and was looking at different posts to support my desire to eat Paleo during this pregnancy. My partner and I now refer to our little one as Paleo Baby or PB due to your post! Thank you for this :)