Your toddler clamps his mouth shut, turns his head away and screams--loudly--as if you're inflicting the worst kind of torture on his fragile soul. The offense? Vegetables.
Our experiment with solid food was a total bust. We brought the high chair down from the attic, got out the video camera, mixed up some warm rice cereal, and sat Jack in the chair as our entire family stood by expectantly, excited to witness his ceremonial first meal. Will manned the video camera while Julia stood by with a spoon and Charlie ran around in excited circles.
Interested in whipping up a batch of fresh fare for your nascent eater? The right tools will make the job simple and rewarding, so invest now in equipment that will last a lifetime. Eileen Behan, R.D., author of The Baby Food Bible (Ballantine Books), offers her kitchen gear hotlist:
Your baby’s first tastes of solid foods are thoroughly entertaining to watch, as new flavors and textures provoke faces that are equally adorable and hilarious. What’s not so amusing is that, in some instances, there are invisible contaminants, fillers and other unhealthy ingredients lurking in his food.
A new study out of Britain has revealed that some baby foods contain more fat than a cheeseburger and more sugar than chocolate, MSNBC.com reports. "Many foods marketed for babies and young children are often advertised as healthy. In reality, ... some are worse than junk food," said a spokeswoman for Britain's Children's Food Campaign, which conducted the survey.
Simple Foods, Complicated Rules
This morning I made pureed apricots and prunes, which Leo and I both ate with whole milk yogurt. It's amazing how much pleasure I get out of enjoying a meal with him. When I start recipe blogging again in April I think this blog will need a new subheading. I won't really be able to say "we are what I eat" anymore--but we'll be able to eat the same things much more!
Wouldn’t it be great if babies came with feeding instructions? Well, to some extent they do.
Studies have shown that infants are born with a preference for sweet tastes, followed soon after by a preference for salt. And when it comes to knowing how much to eat, babies are born with that ability, too. It’s called self-regulation, meaning babies have internal cues that tell them when they’re hungry and when they’re full.
Five to 8 percent of children under age 3 have food allergies, according to experts’ estimates. (Some prefer the term food sensitivity or intolerance, reserving the word allergy for the most severe reaction—anaphylaxis—a life-threatening emergency.) Although you may not be able to entirely prevent your baby from developing a food sensitivity, there are steps you can take to try to keep this from happening.
Start solids at no earlier than 6 months old. Giving your baby breast milk exclusively is not just adequate for six to nine months--it's optimal. Formula is a second-best option, but either way, no solid foods need to be added during the first six months. (Pediatricians used to recommend starting solids at age 4 months, but we now know that introducing them this early may increase a child's tendencies toward allergies and obesity.) Fruits and vegetables are easier to digest than cereal and thus make excellent first foods. Cook a sweet potato, mash it and feed it to your baby.
More than 300 hospitals in the United States do not allow women to choose to have a vaginal birth if they have previously had a Cesarean section (VBAC), despite the facts that the option is very low-risk and that Cesareans carry their own set of dangers. As a woman with a previous Cesarean myself, I feel strongly that all women should be given information on the risks and benefits of VBAC and should be allowed to make their own decisions.
Q: Your life is so busy. How are you feeling now that you're pregnant?
A: At the end of the day I am so tired I can't function or speak and my eyes glaze over; but this pregnancy has seriously mellowed me out, which is nice. I've been going, going, going for so long, it feels nice not to take things so seriously.