Okay. Here goes. I’m warning you, this is going to be a long one and you may not like some of what I have to say. If you don’t, feel free to start your own blog and write about all the processed garbage you love feeding your child. You’ll probably get more hits then I will. Now where was I….
What, when, and how to feed your baby? Of all the scary and confusing things for new parents, this one seems to be the hardest. On the one hand I totally understand. What you feed your child is setting the foundation for what will (hopefully) be a lifetime of healthy, enjoyable relationships with food. That’s a lot of pressure, I get it. On the other hand I want to yell at our lazy western culture, “are you all crazy? It’s food! You’re over-thinking this! It’s common sense!” Isn’t it? We here in North America have pretty much lost our innate ability to listen to our internal selves to figure out what and more importantly HOW MUCH we need to eat. And unfortunately many of us (unknowingly) teach our many food issues to our children.
The health and wellness of my child is hands down the most important thing in my life. And I believe, just like I do when it comes to myself, that health and wellness starts with what we put (or don’t put) in our bodies. We need three things to survive; water, air, and food. People (many doctors included) who disregard the importance of what we eat, do so at their own peril.
I’m reading a book right now called “Bringing Up Bebe” by Pamela Druckerman and she discusses the differences between French children and American children, eating habits included. It’s very interesting and I think one of the biggest differences is the amount of snacking that is done in this country. Our children are stuffed full of nutrient-lacking, sugar packed, refined “snacks” all day long. Hmmm….I wonder why they’re not hungry for dinner? Hmmm…I wonder why they don’t like the bitter taste of broccoli, arugula or garlic. Maybe because from the moment they could eat we gave them sugar. Why would you want anything else? Sears family pediatrics recommends no sugar or processed foods before the age of three to give their taste buds a chance to mature and develop a love of real foods. Makes sense to me. Why would a child under that age be given those things anyways? They can’t talk (for the first half anyways) so they’re surely not asking for it. They can’t drive to the store so they’re surely not buying it. They can’t reach the cupboards so they’re clearly not putting it on their plates themselves. It all comes down to the parents.
Now with all that being said you are probably thinking, “she must be a slave to her child.” Nope.
“She must spend all the day in the kitchen.” Nope.
“She must spend hours washing, peeling, pureeing and freezing and defrosting and…
I prepare whole, (mostly) organic, vegetarian food for myself and husband and modify it slightly so that baby can enjoy it too. Not rocket science. Follow your instincts as you have done in every other aspect of your child rearing. Commercial baby foods have been on the market for less than 100 years so for our entire history up until that point, parents figured out how to feed their children.
This post might come off a little negative but this is something I am very passionate about and I believe that you might have to cut corners sometimes when raising your child but not when it comes to what goes in their mouths. Of course one day they will be teenagers who can walk up to the corner store and buy a chocolate bar. But the hope is that by introducing them to real, healthy food from day one, that when that day comes they will be naturally inclined to make better decisions. Maybe they will only buy a treat once in awhile or maybe they will only have a chocolate bar while they’re friends have chocolate, soda, and a Big Mac. We’ll see : )
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