Did you know that between 6 and 24 months of age, your little one has iron requirements higher than that of an adult male? And that if you are breast feeding, iron requirements exceed what breast milk provides at this point in time? Enter: paté, nature’s true superfood.
As you probably know, the main ingredients in paté is liver. An organ meat, it contains more nutrients than any other food on the planet. As always, please ensure you purchase organic grass fed and grass finished organ meats to nourish your family, protect the environment and support ethical farming with the absence of antibiotics, hormones and inflammatory grains. As with all animal proteins, quality is key.
Here’s why your little one should be eating paté:
- Rich source of iron. You may have been told to introduce iron fortified rice cereal first, but unfortunately this is just another industry funded myth that we are exposed to in the western world. Not only is the iron synthetic, and likely to cause constipation, your baby is simply not digestively ready to tolerate grains. As the saying goes, fresh is best. Introducing paté is one of the best things you can do to give your little one a beautiful nutrient dense start to life.
- High in B12. Vitamin B12 is critical for a healthy nervous system and mood, and to prevent anaemia, amongst other things. Grass fed and finished animal proteins are the best source of B12 available. (No matter that you have heard, it is not possible to get B12 from a plant based diet).
- Highest source of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Vitamin A is best known for its role in vision but it is also essential for growth, immune function and reproductive health. You’re heard of vitamin D from the sun but liver also has one of the highest concentrations of D3. Vitamin E and K are essential for heart and bone health, respectively. Plant based and low fat diets are often extremely deficient in these fat soluble vitamins.
- Rich in choline. Another B vitamin, choline is essential for methylation, mood, memory, cognition, nervous system health and more. It’s one of the main reasons why I also recommend the consumption of organ meats during pregnancy, and you can catch up here.
- A great source of tryptophan, our serotonin precursor. You have probably heard of serotonin being essential for mood, but it also plays an incredibly important role in motility i.e. keeping your babies regular.
- So much more, including our anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, folate and antioxidants. Did I mention paté was the original superfood?!
Introducing organ meats is often the last thing one does as part of their real food journey. So I want to encourage you – it’s easier than you think. Chicken livers in particular are quite mild and when combined with delicious ingredients including grass fed ghee, onion, garlic and pasture raised bacon, paté can be surprisingly delicious. For your little ones, simply store in small portions in the freezer and:
- Add to your vegetable purees.
- Grate it on top of any warm dish including steamed or roasted vegetables and eggs.
- Include it in any spaghetti bolognese, shepherd’s pie, meatballs or similar family favourites – the whole family will benefit here!
As livers are so nutrient dense, I recommended a small taste once or twice a week to start, working your way up to 30g, three times per week.
This is one of my favourite recipes to make, and it will last 3+ months in the freezer.
Grace’s Chicken Liver Pate v2
Ingredients (Makes 1 1/2 – 2 cups)
- 200g organic grass fed chicken livers – we buy Milking Yard Farm
- 125g grass-fed ghee (or butter if introduced)
- ½ red onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 2 rashers pasture-raised bacon e.g. Gamze Smokehouse
- ½ cup filtered water
- 1 teaspoon chicken bone broth e.g. Tonemade
- ½-1 teaspoon sea salt
- Rinse the chicken livers and pat them dry.
- Melt 25g ghee in a saucepan and add onion, garlic, celery and bacon. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until starting to brown.
- Add chicken livers and quickly sauté for 1-2 minutes until starting to just brown.
- Mix broth with water and add to pan with remaining ghee or butter. Simmer for 3-5 minutes. Turn the livers at the halfway mark.
- Remove saucepan from heat and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer the remaining ingredients, including liquid, to a food processor or blender. Add sea salt and process until the patê is completely smooth.
- Transfer to a glass container and refrigerate for 5 hours so that it becomes firm. The pate will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.
It’s definitely not just for little ones – team it with our seed crackers and you have the perfect afternoon snack for the whole family!
I’d love to hear how you and your little one have been introducing organ meats? Please share below!