Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No kids' table

I'm not a child nutrition expert, but I have kids, my kids have friends, and I work with
kids. I have had a lot of opportunity to observe they way we have kids and form a few opinions.
When I was pregnant with Matthew and announced my intent to breastfeed, I was told by one co worker that I would "have to give up garlic". Now, I was a first time mom with no family help in the area of breastfeeding support, aside form my husband, so maybe I didn't know anything. But the more I thought about it the more ridiculous it seemed. Did Italian woman give up garlic whilst nursing? Didn't take much research to tell me no ( and I didn't have internet access then!) Then they start eating food, and you can choose to force feed bland jarred food or fact, research shows babies will suck MORE if the mother ingests garlic!

Then they start eating solids, and conventional wisdom has us spoonfeeding boxed rice cereal and unseasoned mush
from a jar. Yum ,thats's appetizing. If you go the make your own route, you're STILL advised to make it bland. WHY? Of course, with babies we have to introduce foods slowly in ca
se they have allergies, but why make it bland? Are we TRYING to set them up to be picky eaters? Another thing I see frequently is cutting the crust off bread, only feeding toddlers white bread, and a few years later complaining they won't eat a nice crusty slice of whole wheat bread. I seriously want to cry when I see someone cut the crust off their kids' bread. I know, that sounds like an extreme and irrational rant, but it's both wasteful and teaches kids to be picky eaters.
Most of us have a way we want our kids to end up eating, so it makes little sense to me to not feed them that way from the start. Fill your boobies with that spicy goodness. Give your baby finger food with lots of wonderful flavours-garlic, curry, basil, peppers. Expect your two year old to eat the same way you will expect him to eat at 12. Talk about where your food comes from, and plant at least one thing you can eat so they see first hand food comes from the soil, not a box. Never tell a kid "You won't like that" or "that's too spicy for you". (Of course, if I do say that to my kids they know I really just
want it all for myself and demand some). Fill your child's life with flavour.


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