Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Baby feeding school

Sticky and I went to baby feeding school today - a workshop on the process of introducing babies to solids. Let's just say the childhood obesity epidemic isn't going away anytime soon!
The course was good - just for reassurance I was on the right track. Sticky is into her 4th week of solids and we're doing well. She loves pumpkin, potato, broccoli and zucchini but isn't fussed on apple or banana. 

She had carrot for the first time yesterday but we won't be doing that again anytime soon. She had an upset stomach all evening and very acidic pee so ended up with a very red butt. Who knew carrots were so evil!

What did shock me about the workshop was the absolute ignorance and stupidity of some parents. We were talking about the right time to introduce certain foods - like wheat, eggs, milk etc. One parent asked when he could introduce hot chips and another asked when she could introduce ice-cream! They both seemed shocked when the answer was "Why would you want to do that? Never!"

The instructor made it very clear that babies do not need any sugar or salt added into the food. This means no honey (which they shouldn't eat until 12 months anyway), Vegemite on their toast or hot chips! They should be getting used to vegetables and then can branch out to other things like eggs, cheese and yoghurt. 

After working in child care for 8 years, and seeing the garbage some parents would send for the children's lunch, I shouldn't be surprised. I remember one little girl who was sent with a bag of crisps, a bag of lolly snakes and a bottle of Coke everyday. At 2 years old, it took 2 of us to lift her onto the change table. 20 years later, I hate to think what life that little girl is now living.

I'm not planning on being a food Nazi and depriving Sticky of things like ice-cream, chocolate and other treats. But I plan on teaching her that they are treats and ones we have sometimes. I remember as a kid we ate ice-cream every night for dessert. Luckily, my husband just can't be trusted with ice-cream in the house so we never have it. But, again, the concept of dessert will be taught to her. 

For now, we will continue on our merry vege way. Next week, I will up her solid feeds to 2 a day and we'll start to try some toast, fruit puree and yoghurt. I will gradually introduce these things for the next few months and at 9 months, will start to give her more finger foods so she can start to feed herself. 

There seems to be a rhyme and reason to that as a process, and it's one I'm comfortable doing. As parents, we can only do what we feel comfortable doing. Funnily enough, I'm not comfortable putting Coke in her bottle, filling her up on sweets, or giving her crap to eat. This first year of her life is so important, I'm comfortable with ensuring she has the best start I can possibly give her!

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