Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Feeding My Children

So my brother, an avid New York Times Reader, emailed me a link to an article titled: 6 Food Mistakes Parents Make. He reads my blog daily and remembers me commenting on whether Charley eats what he eats because of us or because of who he is..Nature vs. Nurture. I like to think it is all me! Yes his mama who nursed him for the first year of his life. However, I think it is also just who he is. He is a great eater. When we dine with friends and family they notice and comment. He will eat a good helping of fruit and veggies, he will clean his plate, and he rarely asks for snacks. So after reading this article I thought I would write down just a few of my babbling thoughts on this topic (since this is partly my journel to them and partly a reflection moment for me during the day). Someday they will read this and they can see that being a mom is hard and we do the best we can. There is no one way of feeding your child but my choices, which are exactly that -my choices...seem to have done well with my first child. However, we are on day three of a babyfood strike with Henry. He is refusing his babyfood. He puts his head down and looks at his lap with a grunt everytime I bring a spoon up to his face. He will only eat blueberry muffins (which I baked), graham crackers, and gerber puffs.

First of all, I think one of the most important choices that my husband and I make on a daily basis is to sit down for a family dinner. All four of us sit (all three of us for a long time). I serve a meal that we all eat. I don't make seperate food for Charley. He sees us take a helping of brocolli or squash alongside our finger jello, chicken, rice or whatever it is for the night. I truely believe that him seeing us eat and us sitting together and talking has had the greatest impact on his eating.

Second, because I make sure he eats healthy meals his snacks aren't that important to me. I do not stock our house with all the fun crazy things that are out there. I think friends that come over to play are some times disappointed by a bowl of pineapple, or some carrot sticks...but Charley isnt one that usually asks for a snack. Like today, no snack this morning. I do have a cupboard that usually has fishy crackers and other things like this. I believe that because he eats his fruits and veggies at his meals I can let him have a bowl of crackers without trying to push brocolli on him. However, many snacks are fruits and veggies in our house..by choice. On this note, I agree with the article, that if you don't have the choices in your house then they aren't daily snack choices. I also though strongly believe that normal eating is something I want my children to do. I do not want to deprive them of the crazy cereals or fun snacks out there. I also don't want them to go to the picnic potluck and just take a plate of cheetoes because they never get them and so they have to binge on them. I grew up with a cupboard of cereal ranging from raisin bran to lucky charms...and all three of us kids never put a spoonful of sugar on our cereal (somehting I saw done many a times when at friends houses). And all three of us now prefer the healthy cereals....So yes, I let Charley pick out a box of Trix occasionally. However, I always hope that a box of Kix will be the pick next time.

3. Charley loves to cook. He helps me make dinner, bake muffins, and cookies, and whatever is on the menu that week. He has helped me since he was probably able to stand on a chair safely.

My final reflection:

So these are just a rambling of thoughts on the topic of feeding our kids. And like I tell my friends that are becoming parents..there is no one way of doing things. And all of us do our best and have great kids. So my ideas are just that - my ideas. But I am proud of my son Charley. He is a great eater! (and I am not saying he won't have a plate of cheetos at a potluck - because he will, I am sure). And as for my stubborn second child Henry...oh son of mine, I will keep trying and I won't give up and I will win! You will not just live on carbs for the rest of your life! This boycott to fruits and veggies will be short lived...This too shall pass.

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