Grace is doing awesome with food. She loves to eat and gets pretty mad if any of us eat and are not prepared to feed her as well. She also loves having her seat pulled up at the table with the entire family and eating with us at meal time. She is all smiles during that time. We are on baby number 3 with no purees and we still love this form of food introduction and find it a quick and easy way to get her fed. Plus, she just seems so happy for every meal. For more information on Baby Led Weaning (skipping pureed foods)- Click Here
Welcome to the January 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Recovering from the Holidays This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about how their families get back to normal after the holidays are over.
Our Holiday Season has come to a close but some of the bad habits that came with it have not. After eating to our hearts delight and keeping way more candy, chocolates, and all around carb and sugar filled foods in the house, my family has that sweet tooth habit to kick. Us adults know this and prepare for it. We make New Years resolutions (and might even still be sticking to them!) but our kids need a new start just as much. All my girls need are 1-2 days of heightened amounts of junk to forget that we are a healthy family. The good food strikes begin and the expectations for sweets are high. So here are some ways to help your littles kick their sweet toothers.
1- Get it out of Reach
Hide it, put it in a closet, or even just throw it away! The junk needs to be away from their reach and their vision. They can’t know where it is or see you snacking on it either. The goal is to get it out of sight, out of mind. If you throw it away, though, don’t do it in their view or in a way that will torment them. Remember, the goal is just to get the temptation out of the house, not to punish our children.
2- Stock up on Healthy Snacks
Fill your house with apples, bananas, grapes, berries, carrots, celery, peanut butter (or almond butter or whatever you use), raisins, unsalted nuts, sunflower seeds… hey, you can even keep some goldfish in the house (at least there are no dyes in them) as an “after some fruits and veggies” snack! You want to give them options. Yes, the junk is gone but their choices are not. They still have a wide range of great options from sweet to salty for every mood. They may decline their options a few times but just hold out and eventually, they will find one of their options favorable.
3- Do Not cave in
Your children will not starve themselves. I know what it is like to start doing the math of how much they weigh, vs how tall they are, vs how much they run in the day and KNOW there is no way they have much spare to live off of. Still, they won’t starve themselves. The starving kids in those Africa commercials never turn their noses up at that muck stew they are being served. That is because they are hungry! Your child wont get anywhere near as hungry as one of those kids before deciding to settle for a healthy option. If they are able to hold out and say they won’t eat any of those options, guess what? They are not that hungry.
4- Don’t Stress about it
Do you know what happens when you freak out or get anxious about your child eating healthy foods? They connect healthy foods to anxiety mentally. If you are yelling or getting upset over them eating (or not eating) their healthy foods, then they are probably getting stressed about those healthy foods too. Just seeing them on their plate could likely start giving them an uneasy feeling in the pit of their stomachs. Stay relaxed! If they eat, fantastic! If they don’t, try to stay calm and mellow and rational. After all, we are trying to raise children who grow to be adults that love eating and living healthy. If salads and veggies give them anxiety as adults and reminds them of mommy stomping around her kitchen in a huff, they probably won’t want much to do with those healthy foods even as adults.
So good luck and have fun. Maybe let your child pick out their own healthy option from the grocery store to get them pumped about the snack they picked out themselves. Eat healthy too and talk up how much you love your healthy foods. Have fun and find delight in filling your home back up with vibrant, delicious foods.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon January 14 with all the carnival links.)
- Pinterest Inspiration for Easier Winter Holidays Shannon, writing at Natural Parents Network, shares inspiration for having more relaxed winter holidays from their Handmade Holidays Pinterest board.
- Seven Recipes for Beans – Post Holiday Cleaning — Destany at They Are All of Me shares her favorite bean recipes that she hopes will help her body recover from overindulging her sweet tooth during the holidays.
- The Recovery in the Change — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen made changes in her life and attitude throughout 2012 and was pleasantly surprised at how those changes impacted her holiday recovery!
- Could this question change your life for ever? — To get your new year off on the right footing, Mrs Green of Little Green Blog is challenging us all to love ourselves with commitment and discipline. She asks you to focus on a simple question which might just bring you back in balance…
- Holiday Recovery — Meegs at A New Day talks about how the holidays can be overwhelming for a toddler, and how she’s helping her 3 year old recover.
- 5 Ways to Detox After the Holidays — Brittany at The Pistachio Project gives a few ways to help you detox and get back on track after the holiday season has passed.
- 3 Simple Ways to Establishing Rhythm After the Holidays or Any Time — Sheila at A Living Family shares 3 simple ways to reestablish a rhythm of connection and calm in your family after holidays, visitors, travel or any time.
- Gemstones For Holiday Hangoverss — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama delves into the power of gemstones as an often overlooked means of dealing with the holiday letdown.
- Getting back to Healthy — Bess at A Warrior Mom talks about the struggle of getting young ones back to eating healthy after several days to weeks of getting more candy and sweets than normal for the holidays and gives some suggestions on how to get them back to eating healthy in the new year.
- Post Christmas Juice Feast — Sam at Love Parenting explains why she has created a new tradition of juice feasting, and how she includes her toddler when detoxing.
- The Java Monkey On My Back — Christy at Eco Journey in the Burbs realizes it is time to kick her cup of Joe habit as a first step toward detoxing.
- Minimalist Holidays — Jorje of Momma Jorje doesn’t find much need for recovery after her minimalist version of the holidays.
- Do something for you — Lauren at Hobo Mama urges you to find a silly and indulgent reward of me-time — and she has hers.
- do we recover? — Kenna at Million Tiny Things wonders what recovery really means in the context of the tragedies of this past holiday season.
- 37 Easy Ways to Save Money — Shannon at GrowingSlower is sharing these money-saving tips to help get your budget back on track after the holidays.
- A Two Year Old’s Resolutions — That Mama Gretchen is putting the holidays behind her with a spin on traditional resolutions — New Year’s goals for her two-year-old! Sound crazy? Read on for an explanation!
- How to Find Balance after the Holidays — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells her favorite ways to start a new year with hope and calmness.
- Fresh Awakening — For Luschka at Diary of a First Child, the new year has coincided with a return to restful nights. With sleep, she’s found new directions in life, but while she can’t make too many changes to her life right now, she’s inspired and excited about the future.
- Learning to slow down after a busy Festive Season — Stoneageparent describes the joys and lows of this year’s festive season, as well as her New Year’s resolutions.
- Detoxing’ Your Toddler After the Holidays — Does your family suffer side effects from the holidays? Join Christine from African Babies Don’t Cry to learn how she detoxed herself and her toddler off the treats and festivities of the season.
- Scheduling is OK! — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep explores the possibilities of the — SCHEDULE!!
- Holiday-Free but not Stress-Free — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot takes it easy after moving with her husband and new babies to Scotland.
- A Vacation from the World — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children retreats with her family at the end of every year in order to recuperate and enjoy one another.
- On the Road to Recovery — Dionna at Code Name: Mama isn’t just recovering from the holidays, she’s recovering from a lifestyle.
- We Never Left the Grind — Erika Gebhardt compares a typical day pre-holidays and post-holidays.
- Remembering and Recovering from the Holidays (One day at a time) — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM is recovering from holidays slowly–taking one day at a time–while trying to remember all the sweet moments that passed too quickly.
- 5 a Day — To get back on track Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy needed a simple system to help her family learn new values.
- Holiday Detox & Healing: Bieler Broth — Megan at The Boho Mama shares her secret for a gentle, whole-foods-based post-holiday detox: Bieler Broth!
- I’m Mama Not Supermom — After a year filled with changes Angela at EarthMamas World has to remind herself that she does not have to be supermom while recovering from the holiday chaos.
For the third time in my life I am going through that fun stage of introducing solids. By fun, I really mean fun! Solids is a no stress issue in my home. There is no pressure for Grace to eat a jar of pureed foods that stays fresh on a shelf for 6 months. We are a Baby Led Weaning (you will see my refer to it as BLW) family and love it.
When my oldest was a baby I knew the AAP’s and WHO’s recommendation’s for starting solids. I waited until my daughter was 6+ months old, sitting up on her own, lost her tongue reflex and desired to eat. Once she hit those milestones I excitedly whipped out the jar of mush and put a small spoon full in her mouth. BLAH it all came out. Not only did it all came out… she started throwing up EVERYTHING in her stomach. We tried again a few days later, same results. I talked to her pediatrician at her next Baby Wellness visit who decided she needed to go to food therapy. By this point, though, I had discovered that she was more than happy to much on breads, cucumbers, apples and anything else I gave her. So our adventure began. We decided to try Baby led weaning and skip purees all together. It worked fabulously! She came to like food on her own and on her own terms. We followed the same style of food introduction for Ariel and now for Grace.
Reasons Why BLW is Awesome-
- Your baby eats because they want to eat, not because you decide the clock says it’s time to eat.We have enough of an obesity epidemic in our country without teaching our children that they need to shove down an entire jar of food whether they are hungry right now or not. All that teaches them is to not listen to their bodies and their own hunger cue’s.
- You have more control over what is in their food. There is no guess work over what preservatives are used to keep it fresh or dyes or knowing every single ingredient. Your biggest concern now is just not knowing if that avocado is GMO or not but there’s not too much we can do about that other than by organic and know you are doing the best you possibly can with what we have available to us.
- It’s pretty stinking easy! Dice up that avocado or banana (or steamed and cooled veggie or fruit), put it on their tray, and watch them to make sure they are safe and well.
- If your child happens to love purees, you can still give them some! Make some homemade baby food and follow your child’s cue’s. Let them feed themselves (yes, there will be a mess but that’s part of having a baby. you get messes to clean!) and don’t force them to eat more when they are telling you they don’t want more.
What about Baby Nutrition?
If your child is breastfed, you are in luck! Breast milk meets 100% of your child’s nutritional needs for at least 12 months of their life (and still meets a huge chunk of their needs after 12 months old) so solids is strictly for fun that first year. Yep, that means there is NO reason to force solids upon your baby. They are not at any risk of being malnourished if they don’t jump onto the solids wagon at 6 months on the dot.
If your child is formula fed, rest assure that formula does do a good job at providing your child with nutrients and vitamins. It is slightly more important that your child gets solids in the first year, though, because formula doesn’t have the ability to change and develop and personalize itself to your child’s current needs like breast milk does. BLW is still a great way to go, though, and may even the best way to go! If your child needs more solids in his or her life to supplement nutrition then loading their tray with cheerios and Gerber meat sticks is far from the best way to go. Having nutritionally dense foods available for him/her will get them on a great start for solids. Still, follow your babies signs, though. Over feeding them still isn’t a good habit to get them into. Your child will let you know when they want to eat and do not want to eat. Babies may not speak but they can very effectively tell us when they are unhappy.
What Do you Feed Her?
All kinds of yummies! Though I am all for a quick and easy snack of Earths Best something or other or some kind of organic puff or a dinner roll, these are not meals. Since the first year of life is for fun anyways, I only feed her things that are good for her body. Fruits and Veggies.
Grace has eaten Avocado, Bananas, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Apples, Pears, Zucchini, Red Bell Peppers… ect. She isn’t even 8 months old yet so she is still very much in the learning and trying stage right now but she has enjoyed munching on all of these things. I will continue to stick to a fruit and veggie diet for her since it is healthy and matches up with our dietary lifestyle (flexitarians).
For lots of meal ideas and information on BLW Click Here