Thursday, November 3, 2016

Cute Baby Chronicles: Food

Cute Baby is now 18 months old! I thought I'd take this opportunity to talk about how we're handling food in our house.

We're generally following a philosophy called Baby Led Weaning, which starts bambinos off with solid food no earlier than 6 months old. And, instead of starting with cereals or purees, we started out with real food -- basically what we eat, just cut into pieces he could manipulate. It has been a hit with him from the start. He doesn't have much interest in pureed food or even those handy pouches that would make my life so much easier - ahem.

So far his favorite foods include, broccoli, tomatoes, hamburger, and chicken/beef/lamb on the bone. Yes, I'm serious. I was saying to my mother in law the other day that all of those foods were ones I ate copious amounts of while pregnant (and still do). Is there a connection? Who knows? He'll eat a cookie here or there but doesn't seem to give them much attention. This is amazing to me!

My main goal is to NOT pass on my own hang-ups and issues with food to him (as much as is possible). I want to offer mostly nutrient dense options and have him grow up thinking food is food: no need for special "kids meals" or anything. So far, he is taking to that like a champ. However, I do not want to give him a complex or restrict things. I feel like that only leads to dysfunction later. As a result, I'm not freaking out about animal crackers in the house, etc. He'll also be free to chose what he wants outside of the house as he gets older. Barring any food allergies (none so far), he will be in charge of what he eats. Our job as parents will be to provide lots of healthy options (and some fun ones, too), but it's his job to decide what goes in his mouth and how much.

We're not giving him juice because that adds way too much sugar to a kid's daily diet (in my opinion) but I'm also not going to not allow him to have it if someone offers it outside the house. It's not a "bad" food, it's just not an everyday at-home food. And he loves his milk. We buy organic whole milk and he's been enjoying that since he turned 12 months old. He still gets that in a bottle a few times a day, but otherwise uses a sippy cup/water bottle for water throughout the day.

Sometimes it doesn't seem like he's eating a lot and the mother hen in me gets worried. But, I remind myself that our bodies are smart and he'll eat what he needs as long as it's offered often enough. He certainly is growing on schedule -- boy that kid is solid!

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