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Welcome to My Blog

Life with young children can be challenging, but with the support and advice of friends, we can feel empowered and thankful for the blessing of being a Mom.

My musings are those of a self-proclaimed attachment-parenting Tiger mom, who juggles full-time mommying with a small (but growing!) baby-related business. I hope some of my thoughts help you
Enjoy your day, Enjoy your night, and Enjoy your kids!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Food Games

Some babies and kids are born eaters. Some aren't.

For new parents: if your child is a good eater, you'll know. You put food in front of your baby and presto! it's gone pretty quickly. And if your child is a poor eater, you'll know. You put food in front of your baby and... wait, where did baby go? HEY come back here - you haven't eaten in HOURS!

Food can be one of the most stressful aspects of being a new mommy, especially the stay-at-home kind, where there's (usually, minimum) 3 opportunities a day to either earn your stripes as the provider-of-your-child's-nourishment or lose more battles-of-baby's-belly.

To make matters more "exciting", baby's weight is monitored very closely for the first year (and beyond). If baby weighs less than average (aka average-of-overweight-middle-american-progeny), then many pediatricians look at the parents with demoralizing glares and ask you to PLEASE add butter to your child's milk and give her ice cream at every meal (since you're CLEARLY not taking her to McDonalds often enough!)

Those of us who want to teach our children healthy eating habits, including focusing on vegetables and fruit, are at a clear disadvantage if our baby is "underweight". Oddly enough, given the childhood obesity problem in America today, there is very little support for those who just have skinny kids who eat healthy. Sadly, many new moms end up adding weight to their children almost obsessively, and entire weeks revolve around mealtimes. I have yet to read about what happens to these kids later in life, but I wouldn't be surprised if many end up with poor eating habits or even eating disorders.

I've heard a lot of advice about how to make mealtime an enjoyable experience while also having my child eat the right amount. Most of this advice is NOT from people who've been through a skinny kid themselves. Advice is usually about making mealtime "calm, enticing, and enjoyable". Yeah, right. Those who have been in the same shoes know that this is nearly impossible. We just do what we can to get the child to eat - Some of us let our children graze on healthy-ish snacks, throughout the day. Others follow their children around the house with oatmeal & applesauce. Some read, sing, or *gasp* show their children videos in order to lure them to the table. As far as the pediatrician is concerned, the methods don't really matter - the weight does. But as far as we parents are concerned, method DOES matter, because we are teaching our children valuable lessons in what food means in our lives.

If anyone has developed a foolproof method of successfully getting your babies, toddlers, and young children to sit at the table and eat well, please share your comments. In the meantime, for those who struggle with this challenge - know that it's not a perfect world. We cannot force our children to always do as we expect and desire. Perhaps the food-games-challenge is in our space in order for us to learn early in their development that really we're not in charge. We just do the best we can to guide these little angels in our midst and pray that the rest will fall into place.


  1. Thanks for the post, it's so important! I have 2 kids that both started off as very picky eaters, but have slowly become wonderful eaters. It takes persistence and common sense. I generally ignore doctors. I was told to give my little one chocolate milk because he refused milk. It's criminal. It starts early when they tell you to supplement with formula to make sure the baby gains weight. I actually had a fat toddler that ate nothing but baby cereal and yogurt, and I was worried sick. The doctor didn't care, so long as he was chubby. Nutrition is simply not an issue with most doctors. I have friends who listened to their doctors and the results have been very lacking. One 4 year old that was fed heavy cream as a young toddler is now overweight. The chocolate milk kids still hate milk and love junk food. Just stay consistent, offer only healthy food, and your child will eventually eat it. It's pure common sense. Offer a kid a cucumber, he refuses it, so you give in and offer him a cookie. Hmm, I wonder if he'll ever enjoy eating cucumbers? Unless there is some medical issue involved, your child will not starve himself, I promise.

    -Proud mother of 1 skinny kid and 1 soon to be skinny kid. :)

  2. Gosh, I've been pressure and been judged by pediatricians since my 2.5 year old was a baby. She is a skinny kid--off the charts skinny. And B"H a smart and active and funny little cutie girl. I wish I hadn't gotten so stressed about her eating. I am still stressed. I am constantly trying to feed her and I listened to the docs and have given her lots of what I consider unhealthy foods just to fatten her up--I still do it. My first went to preschool at 2.5 and ate his first transfats and hormone milk there (and I was aghast!). My second ate more artificial junk food by her first birthday than I can count. Its disgusting. I don't know what's right. I just know that I try and try to feed her (anything) and she's just skinny! Probably if I just fed her healthy she'd still be the same weight. It's such a constant source of stress. Thanks for writing this, Kira. I know I'm not alone! :-)