Does anyone think of giving only healthy food to their babies?

Pink - posted on 01/05/2010 ( 36 moms have responded )

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I ask this because I've read in so many discussions about mums feeding salty or spicy foods, chocolate, foods with sugars, food with chemicals, processed foods ans so on...
I am wondering what kind of food education is given in most houses, I was brought up rather healty and with my son I'm doing even more, he eats olive oil (a teaspoon lunch and dinner) no added salt or sugar, no processed foods, and none o the above, only hand made or carefully selected pre-made foods (cheese with no preservatives etc.), as I am fully aware this situation will change in the future when he meets friends and goes to school where there will be packed food or machines with snacks and this is why it's impoortant to give him the best start for his health, after all the US and the UK are very similar in obesity rates and this might be why, because of what they start to eat when they are so young, but by now and with internet as a source of information that works worldwide people and mums should now be aware of what is good and what is not. Yet they mostly aren't and I really wonder why. What makes "you" think that introducing processed and chemical foods in a young pure body does not cause any harm?
I hope this discussion is taken as a mean to think about it.

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Michelle - posted on 01/05/2010

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I agree, I try to feed my kids mostly whole foods and organic if possible. But I don't agree on the spicy comment. It is good to ad spices off all type to your child's food as they grow (in moderation) so they develop a taste for all types of food. I was amazed (and happy) when my 16 mo old son gobbled down his food at an Indian restaurant. On the other topic, I think that most parents are too busy to do the research, have a tight budget and don't have time or knowledge of how to plan inexpensive meals on organic or whole foods, are themselves raised on junk foods and therefore don't know any better, or just get caught in a rut. I was lucky in a way, I grew up pretty poor, but I grew up on a farm so really, in order to make financial ends meet, we ate a lot of what we grew or raised. My parents were by no means "health nuts", that's just what we could afford. I am 36 and have never had a cavity, have never had a broken bone, and look probably 10 years younger than my age. And while I love to splurge on junk food once and awhile I know the benefits of eating real food. I want the same for my kids. Mom's....homemade freezer jam takes 15 minutes to make a batch of around six medium jars, just mix on the stove with pectin and freeze. Throw a whole chicken in the oven for an hour or so, you have a great meal and left overs for a chicken salad, organic milk is so worth it and is affordable at Costco. I purchased a quarter of farm raised beef ( I live in Seattle) just by putting the word out that I was looking to buy. It cost me around $400 but that averaged out to $2.50 a pound (160 pounds of beef) that is for all roasts, steaks, ribs, hamburger. Organic farms outside of Seattle sell off excess vegetable crops. You buy a share of the crop and pay around $1 per pound of mixed fresh produce. It can be done and it can be done cheaply. Just look and ask around your city.

Ldoo - posted on 01/20/2010

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Exactly. I'm not going to be overbearing about it, because that just leads them the opposite way. But while they're young enough not to know better, why not fill their bodies with only the best.

Carolyn - posted on 01/14/2010

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Hi Pink Lunamoon - unfortunately, in most socities low income and "low culture", lack of informatio/study/knowledge are highly related. You are an exception to this. I am thinking of low income moms in large urban areas where I live. I work with a lot of these families and see their eating habits. Seeking information takes time, motivation, and resources, which unfortunately many of these moms don't have.
Regarding the canned veggies - I find that frozen is a great alternative. I often give my son frozen seasonal fruit in the winter. There are no added preservatives, salt, sugar and they are frozen while fresh. In general, I think frozen is a great alternative to canned!
BPA is a chemical used to make plastic, that is particularly harmful if heated. There have been recent research studies linking it to cancers etc. In Canada, they have started making most baby feeding products (and even some toys) to be BPA free.

Ldoo - posted on 01/13/2010

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I give my daughter organic meat and dairy, and most of her fruits and vegetables (apples, berries, potatoes, green beans, etc.) are organic, as well.

I definitely limit the amount of "crap" she gets, because she has her whole life to eat that stuff at school or with her friends. While she's growing and learning eating habits, I want her to eat as few hormones, pesticides and non-nutritious items as possible.

Her old day care would give sugar cookies and rice krispie treats as a snack. I think that's OK for an occasional treat, but not as a snack - which is supposed to be a small nutritious meal to tide you over to dinner.

Also, I greatly limit the canned items my daughter gets. Not only do canned fruits and vegetables have a high amount of sugar/salt and fewer vitamins than fresh/frozen, the cans also contain BPA.

My husband has done a good job, though, of reminding me to let her have a nice treat now and then. If I'm having ice cream, she can have a few bites of mine. But I limit it.

Sonya - posted on 01/12/2010

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I totally agree to this because,I feel if we start feeding our kids healthy food they'll do better when they start to mature.Not only as a toddler but also as they grow into preschooler and then into pre-teens,then into young adults.This also might help with their mental as well as their physical growth...We need to think more of what we feed them now so that it pay off later..we train them now how to eat and they'll grow into healthy adults.

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Pink - posted on 01/17/2010

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What I didn't make clear is that I will only keep him from eating "bad" foods until I can, when he will be able to choose for himself I will try and dissuade with information but not always deny as I am aware that by denying I would make him crave them.

Anita - posted on 01/17/2010

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I try to feed my kids healthy foods because it affects their behaviour when they eat too much crap but at the same time I don't know if I'm doing the right thing since my kids keep getting sick and my friends kids eat crap and not healthy at all and they never get sick!



My son was anaphylactic (almost died from 10ml of formula at 4mths) with dairy and egg and highly allergic to banana and peaches until he was 17mths so he was on a very strict diet and I made 99.9% of his food but after that since he couldn't have any 'bad' foods when he was younger I gave him chocolate and lollies and ice cream quite a bit but scaled down after a few months and now both my kids just have those foods as treats. But I have a friend who wouldn't allow her kids to have any of those foods and now they're going to parties and they go out of control because they're eating foods they're bodies can't handle and they just go nuts being naughty and throwing tanties.



So I think everything in moderation and you'll have happy healthy children :)

Samantha - posted on 01/16/2010

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lol I love cream corn too, and I buy it in a frozed roll cant remember of who puts it out but it 'is' delicious:)))

Ldoo - posted on 01/14/2010

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Good luck with your search! And if it's canned now and then, all will be well. :)

Pink - posted on 01/14/2010

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Lainie don't know if I can get it frozen never seen it so far and not just for him(rarely gets it), I looooooove sweetcorn! =) Anyway something gets absorbed especially if you mash it us a little.

Ldoo - posted on 01/14/2010

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Can you get it frozen? If it helps, corn (according to my girl's pediatrician) is useless at this age anyway. They don't chew it well enough to digest it, so it passes without adding any real nutrition. Heck, we adults barely digest it. :)

Pink - posted on 01/14/2010

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Thanks, that was news for me, no more canned veggies then, my problem will be find sweetcorn that is not canned though...

Ldoo - posted on 01/14/2010

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Yes, BPA is being taken out of most bottles, pacifiers, cups, plates, etc. in the U.S. But it still remains (as far as I've heard) in canned goods. The more acidic the product - like canned tomato sauce, for example - the more the BPA leaches into the food and gets into the person eating it. So for that reason (and I think that canned food tends to be cooked down so much that the vitamins are often cooked out) I try to avoid canned products.

Hope that helps!

Pink - posted on 01/13/2010

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Sonia Taylor the energy comes from carbohydrates and it's not true that keeping them from sugar will mean them wanting loads, this happens if you actually deny it when they want it because they know what it is, they had it before and they want it again, but a baby this age will never crave or ask for something they don't know.

Caroline I am not a stay at home mum but I do work from home, but we are rather poor (last year we ate through food given by charity) and I still manage time wise, internet wise and in the food chosen. Like Amy said, it's cheaper, requires a little effort, 10m minutes tops. Unless you boil veggies then a bit more. it's not a question of low income, but of low culture, not enough information/study/knowledge about life in all the possible subjects. I was raised to feed on information/knowledge as it's the key to life.

Lainie exactly my point they have the rest of their life to eat crap, why start when we can avoid it. What is BPA? I occasionally used mixed canned boiled vegs to make a meal, I was aware of the salt (not as high here in italian canned food) that if occasional is not harmful, but not aware of this BPA.

I gave him a teaspoon of ice cream. a nightmare, he became very naughty after and he's almost always so very good, but when ever I gave him sugary things that happened, not a coincidence.

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i believe we have to let the kids taste everything so they can develop their own taste, while trying to direct them toward healthy food. We can not force them not to eat junk food or chocolate.
I noticed that my 1 1/2 year old boy love salty food. But this doesnt mean that i have to exagerate. I think moderation is the key word.

Carolyn - posted on 01/12/2010

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I personally agree with you and I do try to make many of the types of meals you suggested, but those individuals who don't have the time and money are probably the same people who don't have access to many of the resources you or I take for granted. For instance, many low income families don't have access to the internet where they are able to have these types of discussions and access the type of information about healthy foods that you and I are able to seek. Also, for these families, something as simple as affording a crock pot might be difficult. Fresh foods are cheaper, but for the single parent who does not have the time to do the research or the access to the information, premade foods may seem like the only option.

I'm not arguing against healthy eating - i'm all for it. We just need to make the information and the products more accessible to those most at need. Do you think it's any coincidence that obesity and health problems are more common among children from lower income families?

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In response to Carolyn McIntyre: It is actually cheaper to make foods yourself than to buy prepackaged boxed foods. And most items don't take much longer too make. making fresh pasta just takes minutes and cook in less time than boxed pasta. You can chop veggies and place in crock pot in the morning and have a big bowl of veggie soup in the evening. That doesn't take anytime at all and think of all the nutrients you will get that get killed in the process putting soup or veggies into cans. It's just a matter of how much you really want to feed yourself and your children good healthy foods.

In my case, my DH & I were spending over $500 a month on prepacked/ boxed/ premade foods that were crap. When I started cooking healthier and making my own foods we cut our grocery budget to $200 a month. And that includes all of neccessities and cleaning items as well. (I make my own cleaners and laundry soaps).

I'll probably get some slack for this but why do we just think of when our babies start solids that we are giving them horrible chemicals. Isn't that what formula is? A bunch of chemicals and powdered milk.

Carolyn - posted on 01/12/2010

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there are a few points to consider:



Preparing healthy, wholesome meals take time and money. If you have the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom with an ample grocery budget, and the support of a spouse to help you with things around the house, it is easy to cook healthy meals. Think about the single mom with no extra time or money - is she going to be able to cook these amazing healthy meals, or is she going to go for the affordable and quick option like a box of KD or a hotdog.

In an ideal world, I think we'd all do the best to feed our kids well if it were feasible.



In terms of my own son, I do my best to avoid processed foods - there are a lot of added preservatives and sodium in these foods. However, I do believe that all things are okay in moderation. Some days when Mom and Dad are super busy, he eats frozen chicken nuggets, french fries or other prepared foods. If we're out, he occasionally has McDonalds. On most days, I try to make sure he has lots of fresh fruits and veggies. It is important for us to do the best for our kids, but to not beat ourselves up for not being perfect

Sonia - posted on 01/11/2010

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This is going to be a question debated for years and years to come. And not everyone is ever going to agree on what foods should be given. Personally I believe that everything should be given in moderation... i don't agree with giving children soley organic food, as they need to have some sugar and fat, otherwise where are they going to get their energy from and grow properly. I don't give my son a great deal of fatty or sugary foods, as he eats weetbix with fruit for breakfast, a sandwhich and or yogurt for lunch, vegetables for dinner.... But He also gets an occasional biscuit for being good, and once a week is allowed one small chocolate... As long as children are taught that they are allowed these sugary and fatty foods on occasion, then its ok.. The obesity that you talk about comes from people constantly eating fatty and sugary foods and not excercising.. If you completely deprive children of a sweet now and again, when they find out that they're out there, they are going to eat and eat and eat, and won't have learnt to eat them occasionally. Maybe that's also a little food for thought!

Pink - posted on 01/11/2010

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Cherese we struggle too, but we go to cheap places and manage to get him what he needs with very little money, good for you she doesn't get hyper ^_^ I might have given him a bit more sugar if he was the same, but at the moment I avoid it like a pest.
Rebecca you're lucky, I myself cannot live without salt and yet I know it's bad but it's like a drug...sigh...hopefully I'll get out of the habit when I start growing my own foods and they'll have more flavour, plus when on a diet I used vinegar to make it feel salty ^_^hehe as for chocolate, when he was 6 months and still had to start the weaning process (it was xmas) my husband, behind my back, gave him just one of those exact chocolate buttons and I didn't get to know this but several days later because he knew I was very much against it, as a matter of fact that same night he ate it my son's face filled up with small red spots and I, mortified, thought It was because with my milk I had passed some of the raspberry flavouring of the vitamin c I was on (the only different thing of the time), you can imagine my horror and anger when my husband told me I had nothing to do with that...
Jodi grapeseed oil? I never heard of it, really, we use extra virgin olive oil as we're in italy and we know where it comes from(a friend with olives) and it's part of the mediterrenean diet. I would use a better oil If I had the possibility but honestly I never heard of this one...I too am for natural cleaners (i started using vinegar and bicarbonate to wash the washable nappies ad I was advised to do so on a vegan-natural portal, we're not vegan but like the idea of all natural as much as possible) and soon will get rid of all chemicals around the house (less dangerous for him too) and start using a steam cleaner.
Samantha I do something very similar, for almost all his evening meals (unless we are out) he gets a mix of various vegetables that are cooked, blended and boxed in special plastic monoportion boxes, that get frozen then heated up at the right time, mixed with either minestrina(tiny pasta) semolino, polenta (sweetcorn flour), organic baby rice flour or organic baby cereal flour and then as I said previously a teaspoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of parmigiano reggiano cheese (hard mature italian cheese grated), sometimes I add meat to this, other times fish, other times just that. It's very quick to prepare and very cheap too. I do know about the sodium issue, that's another reason why I don't buy jars (I did that only for real emergencies and was never happy with it).

Samantha - posted on 01/11/2010

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I'm not a complete haelth nut, but I do thisnk it is good to give your children nutritional food, when my first child started eating baby food, I read dr. Denmark's book and it is an amazing book every mom must read. She talked about making homemade baby food because on the market it shows that they put alot of sodium in it, so I would stew squash and beans and all other sorts and then process them and them scoop them in ice trays and then when frozen, pop them out and put them in freezer babgs and label. When lunch time came all I had to do is drop the baby/ ice cubes in a small bowl or small plastic bag and set it in hot water to heat. This was also a BIG MONEY SAVER, even organic isn't this healthy and its $1-$1.50 a jar when you can buy a pack of beans for 99 cents and it make 2 weeks worth of baby food. Also if you do buy baby food avoid mixed foods like beefstew, and chicken noodle soup, etc. LOADED with TONS OF SODIUM hope this helps

Jodi - posted on 01/11/2010

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I'm completely all for an all natural diet as well as natural cleaners for the home. The only thing I'm not so sure about is the teaspoons of olive oil. Olive oil is high in saturated fats (14%), VERY high in mono unsaturated (77%), and low in poly unsaturated-the good fat (9%). You may want to consider grapeseed oil 8% saturated fat, 16% mono unsaturated, 76% poly unsaturated. It's also an excellent source of vitamin E and Linoleic acid (Omega-6). Be sure to look for expeller pressed as that is a chemical free process. Why the oil? Is this something his doctor is suggesting? Opt for "all natural". For a product to be labled "organic", only 40% of that product has to be organic, the rest can be preservatives and artificial ingredients. Then the company pays a fee to have "certified organic" on their label and pass that fee to the consumer. For a product to be labled "all natural", no artificial ingredients are allowed at all! No colors, MSG, HF corn syrup, preservatives, flavors, etc. "All natural" products are FDA monitored and do not require a fee. These products are more affordable and often ARE organic. If you need a resource for grapeseed oil, let me know.
Here's to our healthy kids!!

Rebecca - posted on 01/11/2010

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I feed my 18month old daughter all home cooked food. She has never had a jar or baby rice, but that is my personal preference - I feel you never know what is in the jars etc..preservative-wise to give them such a long shelf life. I have struggled with my weight since I was a teenager, so I am a firm believer that learning how to eat healthily is the best way to go. My way of thinking is that if I get my daughter into good habits now, they will stay with her as she grows us and she won't have the same weight battle that I have had (hopefully!!) I'm constantly on a diet, counting points/calories etc.. and I don't want that for her.
She is not a huge fan of eating pieces of fruit, but will quite happily munch away on raw carrot, or cucumber, so we snack on those. She is encouraged to eat them by seeing me doing it, and if I'm honest, it's the same the other way round!
Like Michelle, I think adding a variety of spices is very important - my husband and I love making home made curries, so we encourage our daughter to eat them with us - she loves it.
I am very concious about not adding salt to food - I didn't grow up putting salt on food, but my husband did. He has gradually stopped, so now it's never on the table, so isn't an issue. I personally think it spoils the flavour anyway (don't shoot me!)
We will occasionally give her organix snacks, but we ALWAYS check what is in them before we buy them, and don't give her the little rusks or baby biscuits, they are way too sweet, even for me! She does like the little cheese and herb puffs (organix) so depending on what we are doing - it we're out and about for example - she may have 4 or 5 as a little snack mid afternoon but it's by no means a regular occurence.
Chocolate....my favourite, lol! My daughter was given 4 chocolate buttons on her first birthday, and that was the first time she had ever eaten a piece of chocolate. She devoured them! She got a tube of milkybar buttons in her christmas stocking...they were opened on boxing day and there is still a good quarter of the tube left (and that's with my husband pinching a few here and there as well!) We give her 3 or 4 after dinner in the evening if she's been well behaved during the day and eaten her dinner nicely. She sees them go back into the fridge but doesn't complain when what she has is all gone, she just accepts it and enjoys what she has.
Anyway, I know I am rambling....I just had to comment on this as I feel very strongly about feeding children processed food full of additives etc...although since we started weaning her, she was 5.5 months when we started, she refuses point blank to eat anything which isn't home made at the moment, and that included the mini mince pies my in-laws were trying to feed her, she'd become too used to mummy's home made pastry and filling I think!

Cherese - posted on 01/10/2010

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I feed my daughter better then i feed myself and that's the best i can offer her. I work and daughter goes to grandma's. anyone whose child stays with grandma knows grandma can't be controlled. I send food with her, but she alays ends up eating whatever grandma gives her including ice cream or half a slice a pie. I kept her on healthy fresh meats fruits a veggies until she was over a year, but we could never afford to buy more than a few organic fruits a week. my husband and i were both brought up to eat whatever and so were are parents. not to menton the planning and work it took to keep doing my daughter's meal seperate from ours just became too stressful for me. I understand where you're coming from and i think its great you do what you do, but i don;t want to feel lke a bad parent because i'm not always able to afford the time and money to do for my child what you do for yours. she's happy, healthy and doesnt even get hyper from sugar.

Pink - posted on 01/10/2010

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Kimyl food allergies develop mostly because of other factors not because you don't expose a baby to certain foods.
kimberly what you say makes sense yet there are lots of people that feed fried food and whatnot...
I'm curious to know if any of you saw a change after giving sugars...mine went hyper after 2 baby cookies that I let him have once (and never again since).

Kimberly - posted on 01/10/2010

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Im all about healthy eating and using organic if you can find it in your area, My son is now 18 months and had an alergie to infant rice cereal I wont mention the brand but I started making my own cereal and continued to make all his own food using fresh in season produce and herbs to add flavor to protien dishes, he doesnt like most meats but will eat fish and so Ive made alot of meatless burgers and caseroles using lentiles and chick peas... But I do believe in finding a balance between healthy eating and being able to enjoy a treet once in a while.... Im not about to tell my son he cant share a cookie with his friend if he is offered it, or allowing him to have a piece of chocolate that he got in his stocking from his aunt... As long as I ensure he is eating well at home and playing actively through out the day. I know im giving him the best start and hopefully he will continue to want to eat well once he is grown.....

Kimyl - posted on 01/10/2010

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If healthy and organic foods were affordable, i think more people would take advantage. I feed my kids the same things i eat. I may not put salt on their mashed potatoes or sugar in their cereal and little things like that, but the world isnt organic and they will be exposed. I'd rather let my kids know how to pick and choose what they eat then to not want to eat anything because its not organic or processed. plus, i'd be afraid of food allergies developing.

Rachel - posted on 01/09/2010

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I agree that children need to learn about healthy food and they learn this from us. My son loves vegies and loves fruit but on occasions he still has choccies and it's a treat he looks forward too. I see no harm in giving your child a treat as long as they have a healthy balanced diet.

Pink - posted on 01/09/2010

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I agree in the no excersise for some people makes the problem, but I also believe that giving certain foods too early just messes their bodies up, I am no micro/macrobiotic fan I am a fan for no processed, no added salt, no added sugar, sugar also makes kids hyper, chocolate is full of chemicals and so on, cocoa on the other side might be used but it's still a drug as tea is so moderation is a must, the problem is that pure cocoa is bitter I suppose but it would be so much better If to make chocolate they used that plus fructose only, no other chemicals and/or ingredients that are not the best to give to anybody, let alone a baby. Cookies too unless home made are full of c. What appalles me is that even certain companies producing baby food stuff them with all sort of bad things, I would not eat some of them let alone give it to my baby!

Angii - posted on 01/08/2010

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Live and let live. Some cant keep up with the Jones' and their microbiotic foods. But if you give them 5+ veg and fruit a day, and keep their sugar intake low and enjoy running like a mad person with them in the park then great. I am all for healthy living and passing on healthy eating habits, but we cant force our kids to not eat chocolates or cookies. I believe in teaching my boys about eating in moderation, balance and with eating with an open mind. Try or test everything atleast once before you dismiss it and if you dont overinduldge then it wont come back to settle on your bum/gut.
A famous actress said if you avoid cake for a year, you will spend the next year just
eating cake. Our kids are getting obese not because of unhealthy food but because they eat unhealthy food and not exercising. Always good to have that balance whether its microbiotic goop or processed GI free fads.

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I think feeding my child only whole foods makes us better parents - thinking about what goes in our mouths before popping it in. My husband and I always ate well before our child came along, but were subject to other folks comments about not eating processed foods. I found it mind boggling that my brother in law (a doctor none the less) argued with me over sugared cereals and how I would give in and start buying them eventually and give up my healthy lifestyle. REALLY??? Eventually, we all make our own choices about the little cheesey snacks and convience foods, but learning to eat well, learning to cook, learning to shop makes the whole thing exactly that - a choice and not just going along with the Jones'

Michelle - posted on 01/06/2010

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I was the same way too when my kids were appx 1 year or less, especially since my daughter is allergic to eggs and lactose intolerant. I would always pack my own food when we went to restaurants. I still pack alternative food just in case they don't have anything on the menu that satisfies what I think my child should eat. Restaurants are very frustrating when it comes to "kids menus" as it seems everything is breaded and fried. Many times we just order and share our plates with the kids. Unfortunately, our world and food is riddled with chemicals and preservatives, you can try to avoid them as much as possible but it is pretty difficult to avoid them all at all times. If you rarely eat out than stick to your guns, but if you are out and about a lot (we are) you should try to go with the flow and make the best choices with what you have (like your example of the Chinese place). I feel that attitude will resonate with your children and they can grow to make adaptive and smart choices rather than being rigid and feel boxed in. For example if we have to eat fast food I know that Wendy's offers baked potatoes instead of fries or grilled chicken instead of fried. I know the chicken is probably filled with all sorts of stuff but at least I am providing them with a map of more healthy options when they are in circumstances where choices are limited.

Pink - posted on 01/06/2010

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See Michelle I don't trust restaurant food either..here we only have chinese restaurants and no indian, I myself never went to an Indian restaurant as it was either too far or too expensive over here, so chinese only and my son only got steamed white rice and boiled carrots that I asked especially for him, he would have had grilled chicken too but he had had some for lunch already and I never give him meat more than once every other day, I alternate the protein sources.

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