Monday, November 30, 2009

First Food

Oskar's pure diet of breast milk has been infiltrated by small amounts of bath water, flower essences, and (a larger dose of) nose. Some time in the coming weeks, we'll be introducing him to food. Although he's already had a first bite of banana ("It just happened," is how Dan describes it!), this will be the first time he's been fed with intention.

In East Asian medicine, the two primary choices for first food are rice porridge or millet porridge. The choice depends on whether or not the child would benefit from more heavenly or earthly influences. With rice, its fluffy whiteness is reminiscent of clouds, whereas millet is round and yellow like the earth.

We're going to start with rice for Oskar, because he is already plenty grounded and also because of the strong relationship between rice and his Korean heritage. His Danish half has not yet been able to mount a compelling argument for pork or butter, much less pork with butter.

The benefits of rice porridge are manifold: it can easily be digested and assimilated; tonifies blood and Qi; harmonizes digestion; and is demulcent, cooling, and nourishing. The longer it is cooked, the more potent its health-promoting properties.

Recipe: 1 part of white rice to 7 parts water cooked overnight in the rice cooker until the grains loose their form.

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