Baby Bites.

And so it has begun. My little peanut is embarking in the world of “solid” foods.

Since about 2008, I started to get serious about preparing my body for the possibility that an “accident” could happen. I knew I didn’t only want to put the best foods in MY body (and Brandon’s), I knew I wanted our future babies to get the best possible start they could. I knew that this “start” began with my own personal health. If I got pregnant, there would be several weeks or months before I would even know! I had to make sure my body was ready. The first couple changes I made were switching to SOME organic foods. I started with the dirty dozen and dairy. I also started paying attention to food ingredients and opted out of many staple cereals, yogurts, pretzels, and other boxed goods I once ate. I then began taking a quality prenatal. I chose New Chapter Organics. It’s a whole foods prenatal that is very easy on the stomach and recommended by other health nut friends. It’s pricey, but worth it. We also looked at chemicals in our home. All the soaps, shampoos, creams, lotions, detergents, you name it. Brandon and I were both on board to get the chemicals out and stick to the basics. Vinegar/baking soda and water, soap flakes, Burt’s Bees (not perfect but better than some alternatives), Tarte make-up line, coconut oil (best facial moisturizer!), etc. I was feeling pretty good about our choices.

Once we were actually ready to get pregnant, that’s when I made the switch to 95-100% organic foods, body products, and chemical-free cleaners.

That also happens to be when I started wrapping my mind around Hannah’s future food choices. I was aware that I could keep her away from all the “junk” for a few years, but what happens when she starts school? Will she rebel against what I tried to teach her? Or will she embrace it and try to educate her friends? What about others? Will they load her up with “junk” that she doesn’t get at home? Take her out to fast food? Give her loads of sugary treats!? What would I do then?!

All of these thoughts have been plaguing my brain since the day I found out I was pregnant. How do you instill good nutritional values in a world that is infested with “junk?” The odds are working against you.

After lots of thought and consideration, I have made up my mind how I want to approach Hannah’s “baby bites.” I have a few “food rules.” My hope is that I can abide by these rules MOST of the time, until she is able to go out in the world and choose for herself.

 

  1. 100% organic. If I have to bring my own foods, I will. I want Hannah only consuming organic foods.
  2. No juice! I don’t see the need for juice, especially since she can eat food and drink water! The only way I would give her juice is if I juice it myself.
  3. Reverse Osmosis water. I also want Hannah to be drinking the purest water. Reverse Osmosis is the best and unfortunately, the most expensive. Luckily, my Dad has a reverse osmosis system at his house, so I can fill up jugs for her there. Our next big purchase will be one though!
  4. No wheat. I’ve decided not to give Hannah wheat. For starters, it’s genetically modified and there’s lots of controversy surrounding its’ health benefit anyway. So…until I make up my mind officially, she won’t be eating wheat.
  5. No sugar. I think this one is obvious, but I prefer for her to eat naturally sweet foods (fruit), at least until her first birthday!
  6. No dairy. Eventually I’ll be okay with giving her a little plain, whole milk, organic yogurt, but for now…I just don’t think it’s something she NEEDS.
  7. Meat. I’m okay with giving her meat as long as it is the BEST meat. Grass-fed, pastured, local (if possible), organic…that sort of thing.
  8. Eggs. Again, I am more than okay with giving her eggs, but pastured/organic eggs only!
  9. No fast food. I don’t care if every other child experiences McDonalds…Hannah doesn’t need to be one of them. We don’t eat it, so why should she? I just don’t see when the opportunity would present itself anyway.
  10. If it’s from a box, it probably won’t end up in her mouth. Chips, cookies, crackers, etc. Not for Hannah.
I know this may sound strict and evil and “no fun,” but I don’t care. I value quality in MY health, so you can bet I want the same for Brandon and Hannah.
Now the question becomes….
So what happens if rules are broken? Or I am in a situation where I just can’t follow these rules?
Well. There IS always an exception to every rule. I’m not always eating the BEST of the BEST of the BEST and neither will she. BUT at least I will feel at ease knowing that 95% of the time, she is eating the way I would prefer her to eat.
Someday I will allow her to make her own food choices, but my one hope is that she will pick up a thing or two from me along the way. I hope to set an example of health for her and then she will follow suit on her own. I know something similar happened with Brandon. I didn’t PUSH, I just educated. I shared what I knew and learned along the way. Now people ask HIM for nutrition advice sometimes. I hope the same for Hannah.
While I know she won’t be able to “rebel” from my “food rules” just yet, someday she will. Someday she might WANT to go to McDonalds. *shudder* But if such is the case, I won’t freak out. I will just hope she feels the repercussions afterwards and decides it isn’t the best choice for her. Either way, all I can do is start her off right and see what follows. Ain’t that the truth for all life lessons?
You cannot predict how your kids will turn out…you can only give them the BEST start!
With all that said, those are things far off in the future. For now, I’ll just enjoy knowing that what I am giving her is the best I can give her…starting with organic sweet potatoes, apples, and bananas. She loves ‘em!

“Alll gone!”

 

QUESTION: How do/did you feel about feeding your little one? Do you have any “food rules” for baby? Do you find others pushing foods that you do not want to give him/her? Just curious!!

 

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9 comments to Baby Bites.

  • Mo

    I will play devils advocate here for a moment. I had very similar standards when my now 3 year old was an infant. It has backfired a bit. It is amzing how early they figure out what is being “withheld.” By one and a half she wanted all the “junk.”. She is now obsessed with getting juice anytime we are at a play group or park outing and another child has juice, or sweets, or chips. We have loosened up a bit and also follow the Ellen Satter “rules” now and will with my 6 month old.

  • I have some thoughts in my head as to how I want baby bean to eat! Plus I really want to make my own baby food, everyone tells me that will change, but why? I own a vitamix and have access to good veggies (and my own garden veggies) it doesn’t seem like too much of a feat! I also want the no juice thing, and green smoothies!!! We’ll see how that goes!

    As for dairy for him, I’m really unsure about my thoughts on that. I think probably in extreme moderation, and only because I have so many problems with it! We don’t often have it in the house either!

  • I’ve already been more conscious lately about ingredients in food and products, I imagine I’ll get more strict when I become pregnant.

  • I love your food rules but also think “rules” is a word we shouldn’t throw the word “rules” out in front of the kids. I follow many of these with Ella but at the same time like you said, there is a lot of room fr flexibility. My main “rule’ is that there aren’t many rules. I follow standards in our home, but also don’t make a big deal out of things. As she is getting older and more interested in things–we can’t really hide when we have cookies or something. For instance, over the holidays I did TONS of baking…and of course I let E in on the action! I think as parents we are role models not only to be healthy but to indulge now and then too! I want Ella to see my healthy relationship with food. Not only the 80% of “good” nourishing foods, but the other 20% and just not make a big deal! Ella ate a cookie then went right over and chomped down a salad! Followed by veggies and her dinner.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Ellen Satter, you should look into her! She suggests giving dessert with dinner so not make dessert such a big thing. So far my philosophy of not making a big deal of foods is working! It amazes me! The other thing is…if we have “junk” it’s usualy home made..,making it a family affair! I have tons more to say but she is crawling all over me (REFUSES to let me kn the compter EVER grrr–now with sleep problems i can never go on!)

    we can chat more later!

  • Karin

    Wow! That is a super ambitious list. Before my first baby I had lots of ideas too about what I would & wouldn’t do. However, I very quickly learned to “never say never”. The best I could do for my babes was give them breast milk for as long as it worked for us both and when they were starting to eat foods to remember that I am not always in charge… I think the best thing you can do is to provide them healthy, wholesome foods and they truly will appreciate the real thing. My girls know the difference and I think it is because we do occasionally have “the other stuff” around.

  • Thanks for your input Kimberly! I completely agree with EVERYTHING you said and it was in the back of mind to address this soon after I made this post “go live.” I know my mom had food rules for us too! I wasn’t allowed to snack EVER so when I Went to a friends house? I pigged out! My mom was also ALWAYS fretting about her weight and it made me really self-conscious about my own weight (which is why I had so much trouble growing up with body image).
    For now, I plan to enforce these “rules” mainly for other people to know…this is what I want for my daughter NOW. As she gets older, I plan to re-assess myself. I don’t want to be so strict and vigilant that Hannah rebels against me and goes crazy. I want her to have balance. It took me a looong time to find balance myself, but now that I finally have balance? I think I will be able to set a good example.

    I’m not planning to say, “no sugar” forever. Like my hubby said, “what will she do when she sees US eating something you made that is sweet?” So I know that is unrealistic after she turns 1. But until then, I believe it is a rule I have to enforce for those around me (my Dad in particular…who already wants to give her cake!).

    As she grows, I just want to educate her. She will make her own choices and she will have everything Brandon and I eat including pizza, sometimes chips, desserts, and *gasp* a soda here and there. But I want her to learn that a homemade pie tastes WAY better than something out of box (and that goes for just about all foods). Also, While she is in the “baby bites” stage…I am going to be a little more strict, as her little body isn’t ready for such “junk” just yet!

    Thanks again for your comment and calling me out! I like it! :)

  • Kimberly

    I need to play the devils advocate here. All of these are excellent ideas and will help keep your daughter healthy while she is under your roof. My concern is about how these rules this will affect her relationship with food and the choices she makes when she leaves you home and has to make choices on her own. I speak from experience. My mom as bulemic for many years before she had kids. When she had us she tried very hard to keep healthy food in the house, which was great. But she also had many food rules for us. Lots of “no ____” or “only ____ one time a week.” It worked while I was home, but when I went away to college I had a evry very diffuclt time makign healthhy choices for myself. I only wanted to eat crap because I had not been allowed to have it for so long. I ended up gaining a lot of weight in college because I had not practiced making my own food choices. My point is to encourage you to think about your strictness. Certainly you will make all her choices now. But as she grows up allow her to make her own choices. You wont want her to lie or hide food if she does decide to eat McDonalds. You dont want her binging on that when she is at a friends or leaves for colege. Just wanted to share my experience and perspective.

  • You are one great Mama taking such good care of your little one! I don’t have any kids yet, but I know I will feed my child with foods that are nourishing too!

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