The Nourished Baby
by Dr Julie Bhosale
Among some of the most worrying decisions parents have to make concern when to shift their baby onto solids, and then what solids to give them. Evidence shows that these decisions have potentially significant lifelong consequences.
This takes place against an increasingly frightening global picture of children’s health. Across both developed and developing countries, childhood obesity continues to soar, along with iron deficiency, and the beginning signs for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In New Zealand, one in three children is either overweight or obese.
While undertaking research for her doctoral thesis at AUT, Dr Julie Bhosale saw this with her own eyes. She measured children who, at the age of 10, were overweight and had high blood pressure. ‘The fact that a child just a few years older than my elder son had one of the biggest red flags for a heart attack before they were even in high-school was hard for me to comprehend,’ says Julie.
Your child does not have to be one of those statistics, though, as the first year of life offers a unique window in which the foods your babies start on lay down their nutritional and metabolic blueprint.‘The importance of establishing healthy habits in the first 12 months of a baby’s life cannot be stressed enough. How our babies are nourished with food, sleep and movement during this time sets them up for life. To me, true nourishment is the interplay of these cornerstones of food, sleep and movement, along with a sense of purpose (which tends to come slightly later in life),’ explains Julie.
While these key foundations of wellbeing are discussed in The Nourished Baby, the book’s primary focus is the food we feed our babies in that first year.‘Food is medicine. The nutrients from natural, wholefoods have been carefully designed by Mother Nature to provide what we need to not only sustain life, but to thrive — without the presence of the lifestyle diseases we see today,’ says Julie.
The Nourished Baby is heavily evidence-based and draws on a lot of research, but Julie’s aim has been to make the contents as reader-friendly, simple and accessible as possible.
Julie is also willing to tackle the big issues facing families today, including misleading labelling and marketing employed by some baby-food manufacturers. ‘I know the impact that first foods have on a baby and their health, and am frustrated at baby-food companies promoting their products as “healthy” homemade food. When I conducted my own research on products in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, the results were a huge surprise — in short, I’m check-mate on this billion-dollar industry.’
Today, Dr Julie Bhosale is an internationally-renowned family wellbeing and nutrition expert, author and speaker, whose 2015 viral postpartum body blog has been read by millions around the globe. She has been on national television, demanding for women to be supported in their choice of how they feed their babies.
In 2015, Julie also completed her doctoral thesis, gave birth to her second son and released her first cookbook, Healthy, Easy Dinners for Busy Mums. She helps mums and families all over the world, touring both locally and overseas. She is lecturer at AUT and an active researcher, and is involved in numerous projects affecting family wellbeing and wider communities.Dr Julie Bhosale is real and authentic in exploring the challenges we face as parents. A lover of coffee and chocolate, she knows the world is not perfect, nor that what you see in the highlight reels on social media are necessarily representative of everyday family life. You can trust her advice is practical, realistic and at the same time providing much-needed guidance for our families to flourish.