Monday, May 10, 2010

Baby Food

In a recent People magazine article, actress Ellen Pompeo speaks about feeding her seven-month-old daughter, Stella. Pompeo focuses on feeding her daughter natural, organic foods and teaching her about healthy eating.
Pompeo's goal is to introduce only healthy foods (read: no Cheerios) to her daughter--just as Pompeo was fed as a child--as that resulted in her never knowing (or therefore, wanting) "junk food."

While many of those with eating disorders will tell you that a no-junk-food policy results in junk-food rebellion later on, what I found most interesting about this article was not so much the original story, but the eighty-something (at this writing) comments that readers submitted. As always, food/eating are emotional/political topics that often result in polarization. What do YOU think?

11 comments:

Melissa said...

I wasn't allowed to eat candy as a kid, but that didn't stop me from ever wanting it as an adult. That's just my experience.

ebem said...

Not being a mother myself, I hear the struggles of my friends who are trying to do the best they can with their kids. From what I can tell, Ellen Pompeo is doing no different. Sure, junk food will be a factor at some point for Stella. But if her mother thinks that introducing her to only healthy fare will help Stella make better choices when she is faced with junk food, than I don't think she should be criticized. She doesn't appear to be cutting out any dietary necessities, or eliminating entire food groups. I think it's great that she has the time and energy to provide healthful, non-processed meals to her baby.

What I found to be more interesting in the article is that Pompeo claims to be "a little obsessed" with exercising and eating right. My hope is that she's not pushing any obsessive habits or body image issues on her daughter. That would be far worse than depriving her of Cheerios.

azusmom said...

Obsessive activity is never good, and passing it on to your kids is dangerous. I know many, MANY women who recoiled in fear when they saw me give my kids Cheerios or a bit of apple juice. It's been a few years, and their kids are showing signs of both food rebellion and neurosis. (One little boy got scared when offered a soda; he was afraid his mom would be angry when she found out, and that he would be punished. Kinda sad.)
There is a happy medium here. Sometimes, as parents, we forget that.

Amanda said...

I really don't have a problem with feeding you kids food that is healthy and not allowing junk food in the house. Yes, it can be done in ways that discourage disordered eating, but it can also be done in ways that encourage the mindset that food is fuel-- pleasurable fuel-- but not to be overindulged in. It especially makes sense in the context of letting the kid has as much fruit and veggies for snacks as they want-- that was, food isn't really restricted, but it is associated with hunger, instead of being associated with rewards and the like.

Lori said...

I read the article and I think she is doing the right thing. I was raised around "convenience" foods and cookies and ice cream and stuff and had ALWAYS had an eating problem and was a very overweight kid. I would have been happy to have a parent who thought enough of me to feed me healthy things. imho. :)

惟定 said...

愛情不是慈善事業,不能隨便施捨。...............................................................

snacksandfield said...

Wow I just found your blog and I love the concept and I agree...

and with this- I think this is an interesting way to raise a child and eating healthy is great, but if she gets older and rebels and eats junk food then it won't help her! Besides, if she eats only "healthy" foods for the rest of her life, chances are she may develop unhealthy, disordered eating habits when she gets older... and no cheerios? geeze lol

Michelle

Sher said...

While I was still PG, I did so much reading about what to feed my son. He is now 16 months old. I didn't give him very much jarred baby food. I mostly pureed my own foods for him. I found the variety of baby food jars to be very limited and I wanted to give him a wide range of things to try early on (including spices!). I pureed just about every veggie and fruit for him to try, meats, grains, etc.

Now, as a toddler, he definitely has his picky days, but he loves fruits and veggies. And though I have repeatedly tried, he has no interest in cake or cookies. (but loves plain chocolate). He love chips and other crunchy things so I try to find healhty alternative (like occassionally giving him "Veggie Straws")

Anyway - my point is that I think it is good to teach your children moderation. It is good to focus on healthful eating. And I think that "forbidding" certain foods can certainly backfire.

I also think a LOT of parents don't realize how easy it is to toss your dinner leftovers in the blender for your little one to eat.

dunedingirl said...

I just found this website and I am really enjoying it. I would like to comment on feeding children. I have two nieces. They are 10 and 12 years old. The oldest was not given any refined sugar for the first year of her life. The youngest was. I am still amazed when the older would rather have strawberries, tomatoes or frozen Lima beans rather than sweets. The youngest on the other hand is all about her candy. They both are wonderful eaters. They regularly eat fruits, vegetables and the youngest loves salmon. They have never been "chicken nugget only" kids. My hats off to my brother and sister in law. God willing they will grow up with a healthy mindset about food.

kirkflynn said...

Early training is the best way to curb the development of compulsive behaviors as well as wellness problems in a person. Parents should increase their awareness about the food that give to their children. If you think there is no problem with giving them a little serving of junk foods, that's okay. However, you should make sure that it is regulated. There are days addiction treatment systems now available to help you with compulsive behavior and addiction problems.

Loral said...

I found all the comments about how you should give kids sweets so they won't "rebel" later to be interesting. My parents were some of the ones who almost always had junk food in the house. Cookies, chips, processed crackers, candy, etc. We could snack on chips and have desert every day. The result? I now have an insatiable sweet tooth. I constantly have to remind myself that even if sugary foods taste better they don't make me feel better.

In contrast, we never had soda at home. It wasn't forbidden, we just never bought it except when eating out on special occasions. To this day I don't care much for soda and won't drink more than half a can of it on rare occasions.

I think the key is not to forbid food, but to model good behavior. Kids can sense motives. If you don't buy sweets because they're "bad" and should never be eaten, then the kid might rebel. But if you don't buy junk food because you like fruit better, then they will learn that healthy eating is fun.