I was doing better when all he ate was milk
So finally, at almost 14 months, my child officially eats solid food. All my fears about poor oral motor skills and gag reflex and allergies and exclusively nursing until he was 8 proved to be just normal first-time mommy induced panic and now I can go back to freaking out about the important stuff, like why doesn’t he say “mama” more often and will he grow up to be a serial killer because he likes to stand on the cat?
Baby Evan’s new and somewhat sudden interest in real, human food has left me woefully unprepared to offer healthy, age appropriate choices. It’s incredibly embarrassing to realize the only food in our house is stale bread, frozen pizza rolls, ancient cans of soup and fourteen kinds of cheese (which happens to be one of the only foods Baby Evan is still totally uninterested in) while Baby Evan whines and signs “food food food food foooooooood”. And even when I do have apples and Cheerios and yogurt and wheat bread and raisins and four dozen other things to offer him, all Baby Evan wants is cookies. Or french fries. Or jelly beans. Or one of the other terrible, horrible, no-good-for-babies things I’ve fed him over the past six months in a desperate attempt to find ANYTHING he would eat. It’s a lucky night when we’re having chicken or pasta or salmon or something I can offer him without the horrible guilt brought on by food coloring and corn syrup.
How did I end up doing this so wrong? I’ve seen plenty of news reports about childhood obesity. I scoffed at the idea of french fries being the most common vegetable in a child’s diet and swore “not MY child”. I know intellectually how important it is to start good habits now, but then suddenly it’s time to eat (breakfast, brunch, mid-day snack, lunch, early afternoon snack, etc etc etc) and all those good intentions fly right out the window. I am failing.
It’s crazy to realize feeding my child is turning out to be my greatest parenting challenge to date, especially since I thought I got the baby-feeding thing under control when Baby Evan was 4 months old. Wasn’t breastfeeding supposed to be the hard part?
Moms (and childless healthy eaters), how do you do it? How do you make sure your kids eat real, healthy, non-processed crap more (or at least as) often as they eat junk?