It’s been a long time and unfortunately, this is not a recipe but I felt I need to post it for all the parents/grandparents out there.
The main point of this post is to share and show that there is no one way to take care of a child’s nutrition. Yes that means I will talk breast-feeding, cereal, baby food, and all those other feeding topics that cause fights among women/men with strong opinions.
On August 14th 2011, I gave birth to a beautiful little girl and suddenly found myself in charge of a tiny tummy with special needs. Even while pregnant I watched what I ate and held myself to a much stricter standard than I ever did before. Now that it has been a year of decisions I wanted to share my experience and why I chose what I did.
First off I know that everyone always says “breast is best” and I think it is a wonderful thing to be able to give your child the best nutrition and an immune boost. However (brace yourself) I did not breast feed. I did my research for many months and I had no desire to do so. I figured I’d give it a try but despite being born 2 weeks late, when Kiera came along I wasn’t able to even try. Her meals in the hospital were all formula and my body had even less interest in feeding than my mind did. Some of you may think my little one suffered or got sick and let me say that she has never been sick in her life and has always been so healthy the doctor thought I was “sneaking her breast milk.” So bottle fed worked wonderfully for me.
Second thing that may make some people upset is when she started getting rice cereal in her formula. Per her pediatricians advice we started adding rice cereal to her formula at 2 months old. It helped with her not spit up, and keep growing like a weed. By four months old, she had no problem eating rice cereal with just a little formula mixed in for nutrition and flavor. Mind you this whole time Kiera has not had any vitamin deficiencies and always been taller than at least 95% of other kids her age and stayed the perfect weight the whole time.
By six months Kiera was eating every baby food she tried. She is not picky and has only rejected food when she was no longer hungry. We started at about 4 months with single foods blended up or mashed up and slowly introduced more every 5-7 days. Once she got each individual fruit and veggie we started mixing them up and she loved it. Some of her food was home-made and some was not depending on what we needed at the time (ALWAYS READ NUTRITION LABELS ON BABY FOOD some jar/pouch food flavors are not very good for little tummies). The best thing I learned when it comes to introducing baby food is to start with savory veggies (peas, spinach, and broccoli) before you add any sweet things like sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, etc. This way your child learns to like the stuff that isn’t sweet and “kid friendly.” By 8 months She had meat and extra grains added to everything as well.
At 12 months old Kiera eats whole food often (including pieces of chicken and turkey) and still hasn’t found a flavor she doesn’t like. Her only formula is when she first wakes up (she’s lazy when she is sleepy) or when she is thirsty. We still alternate between foods so she stays balanced as well (ie. fruit/grain for one meal and veggie/meat for the next) She is still a shining example of a healthy, happy, and growing baby. And honestly I wouldn’t make any changes to how I have taken care of that tiny tummy.
As long as you are keeping your child’s nutrition in mind and trying to do your best you will be ok. Don’t be afraid to do your own research and ask about all possibilities. And never let anyone make you feel like you are a horrible person just because you didn’t follow some sort of textbook on feeding children. Share your experiences with others and I hope this at least opened your mind a little or gave you a little confidence. GOOD LUCK MOMMIES AND DADDIES!