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Workshop #6 - Feeding the Family; First Foods, Healthy Eating for the Whole Family

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
Workshop #6 - Feeding the Family; First Foods, Healthy Eating for the Whole Family.

Welcome to our sixth Natural Family Living discussion: Feeding the Family; First Foods, Healthy Eating for the Whole Family. This discussion will key in on Part 3 – Feeding the Family; First Foods, Healthy Eating for the Whole Family from Peggy O’Mara’s book Natural Family Living.

Some of the topics we'll discuss are;

Chapter 10 - First Foods
  • Solid-Food Myths
    • Solid food does not help a baby sleep through the night
    • Solid food does not help a baby gain weight
    • Breastfed babies do not need the additional iron in solid food
    • My mother thinks I should feed the baby solids
  • No Need to Rush
    • Delaying solids decreases your child's risk of developing food allergies
    • Introducing solids too early can interfere with your child's growth
    • Waiting to introduce solids is more convenient for you
  • When is your Child Ready for Solid Food?
    • Physical readiness
    • Hunger
    • Interested in food
  • Getting Started
  • First Foods
    • Fruit
    • Vegetables
    • Grains
    • Nuts and legumes
    • Meat, chicken, fish, and eggs
    • Dairy products
    • Sugar and spice
    • Drinks
  • Your Budding Gourmet
  • Homemade Versus Prepared Foods
  • Going Organic
  • Fostering a Healthy Attitude Toward Food

Chapter 11 - Healthy Eating for the Whole Family
  • Trusting Your Children's Eating Habits
    • Let your children make their own food choices
    • Recognize that children have erratic eating patterns
    • Consider serving one hot meal a day
    • Start out with small portions
    • Let go of the idea that your children must clear their plates
    • Do not worry about unconventional food choices
    • Let hunger be your child's guide
    • Do not use sweets as a bribe
    • Let your children help prepare meals
    • Do not let mealtimes become battles
  • Whole Foods Make Healthy Bodies
    • Whole grains
    • Fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Essential fatty acids and sweeteners
    • Unprocessed foods
  • Living in the Real World
  • Food Allergies and Intolerances
    • Persistent congestion
    • Recurring ear infections
    • Frequent headaches
    • Hyperactivity
    • Bedwetting
    • Mucle aches
    • An anemic appearance
  • Cow's Milk: Good for Calves, Bad for Children?
  • A Cup of Apple Juice a Day
  • The Vegetarian Family
    • Calories
    • Protein
    • Calcium
    • Iron
    • Vitamin B-12
  • Food, Fun and Children
    • School lunches
    • Snacks
    • Sweets
    • Vegetarian entrees
    • Tofu
    • Sea vegetables
Please join us in discussion on feeding the family. We welcome everyone to share their personal experiences, what works for your family, your struggles and your ideas. This is an open dialog and we ask that everyone be respectful of others' opinions. Take what feels right to you and leave the rest behind. Please be respectful to all our members so that the workshop can be a place of meaningful and respectful discussion for all our members. If you have a favorite quote from Natural Family Living, please share it.

We would like to invite everyone to join us no matter where you are in your thinking or feelings. These discussions are meant to be nonjudgmental so please keep in mind when reading members' responses that this is a true discussion based on Natural Family Living and not a place to debate or criticize. For more ideas and information, please see our Nutrition and Good Eating forum.

We’re excited to offer this workshop and hope it will give our members a glimpse into the grassroots of Mothering magazine and Natural Family Living.

This workshop will be facilitated by our moderator Shantimama. She is here to guide the discussion and keep it on topic. She will occasionally post references or ask questions to keep the conversation flowing. Please feel free to contact her at any time with questions, suggestions or concerns. Please keep in mind our workshop guidelines and current user agreement at all times.

We are compiling a Natural Family Living Resources Sticky which we will update with each workshop. Please feel free to refer to it for more information. For articles and information on our current workshop, please see the Feeding the Family; First Foods, Healthy Eating for the Whole Family page.
post #2 of 45
Well, I'm going to jump in here and start with the fact that my DD just started preschool. I know this skips Chapter 10 and goes right to the end of Chapter 11 but...it's my current dilemma with feeding the whole family.

Although I can pick her up before lunch, she often wants to stay to eat lunch at school...she'd stay there all day if I let her.

Anyway, I let her stay for lunch the first time on Tuesday. This has been the first time that I haven't been in 'control' of what she is eating. When I got there to pick her up they were giving them dessert....chocolate pudding with marshmallows in it :. I'm thinking to myself...do you really need to put marshmallows in the pudding?

Then I was given a little newsletter...on the back it was talking about healthy eating and parents feeding their children well. At the bottom of the statement it warned parents to avoid high fructose corn syrup....which I do like the plague.

I'm just a little annoyed that the school would send this home yet be feeding the kids pudding with marshmallows in it for a lunch dessert. I want to talk to the director about it but I just feel like I'm nagging but I know that if no one ever says anything than nothing gets done.

Has anyone ever approached a school about the food program? What were the results?
post #3 of 45
we neeeeeed to eat healthier. DH might have a gall bladder or an ulcer problem and my kids hate veggies. i would so love to get rid of the processed everything that we eat. we always have some combo of meat, potato or noodle, and some canned veggie. and i am on a budget. i can make it stretch pretty far on what we eat now but would love to have more fresh veggies and way less bad fat. def need to cut out processed sugar (I am a junkie but hide it from my kids). oh help please. i will be watching this discussion eagerly!
post #4 of 45
Carrie, here are a few past Mothering articles about school lunches you might find helpful (which have excellent links, too for further info):

School Lunches that Nourish

Slow Food

Homemade Lunch

Healthy School Lunches

Liven Up Lunch (lunchlessons.org looks particularly helpful for info about approaching your school!)
post #5 of 45
Thread Starter 
Carrie, thanks for opening the dialogue. I too have been frustrated with some of the school food choices. My kids both have food allergies and my son is a vegetarian. We've found that packing lunches and snacks works best for us, but I understand your little one is going to want to eat what everyone else is eating. My advice - be creative and make everything look 'fun'. Sandwich and an apple gets boring pretty fast.

My son enjoys rice dishes and will eat them either cold or hot. We also pack black or refried beans in either a salad or with a burrito shell, cheese, and veggies. Both the kids love soup, I can make a Veggie soup for both hearty turkey veggie, potato with ham or beef noodle, this way my daughter gets some protein. Mashed potatoes are also a big hit - you can put last nights leftovers on top.

Snacks are simple fruit, cut veggies with or without dip, cheese, yogurt with fruit. I also make home made muffins for both breakfast and lunch and you can make some delicious cookies with flax seed, nuts, oats or whole grains.

I like to freeze water in a liquid tight cup and place it in the lunch, it keeps the food cold and they have a nice glass of ice water at lunch.

I found this article on the main page with ideas for school lunches that has some great ideas.
Secrets of the School Lunch Box: Fresh Healthy Meals Kids Will Actually Eat
By Lynn Walters
Issue 92, January, February 1999
post #6 of 45
I have two kiddos, ages 3 and 2. My youngest has food allergies related to gut damage at birth. We're dealing with a few issues surrounding that right now.

1. How would you balance your 3-year-old eating some of her favorite foods when your 2-year-old can't have any?

2. In theory, ds should outgrow his allergies as he gets older and his gut heals. When do you decide to test that?

3. I'm facing an elimination diet to help get a handle on my IBS and panic disorder: wheat, corn, dairy, citrus, alcohol, caffeine, fats, sugar, dairy, and foods high on the glycemic index. Because I'm still nursing ds, I also can't eat foods he's allergic to: potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, including anything with "spices," paprika, curry, potato starch, or potato flour in the ingredients. I'm a pesco veghead, so nothing with gelatin or land-based meat. Er...what the hell am I going to eat while we figure this IBS thing out? I need to maintain a decent diet while I do this because I'm still nursing and recovering from a serious muscle-based illness. Eek.
post #7 of 45
Thanks for all the input and links.

Posting here actually helped me get up the nerve to call the director and ask her about lunches and the high fructose corn syrup.

She was really nice and said that most of the items they give the kids are organic and that I was right that marshmallows didn't need to be added to the pudding.

I'm not going to worry too much as DD is only going twice a week and won't be eating lunch there both of the days. Once she is in kindergarten I will be packing her lunch for her.

It's really hard to leave the duty of feeding your child up to someone else and not feel like I'm being 'overprotective' or something but I'd rather someone think that I'm a bit 'anal' then have my DC eating non-nutritional food.
post #8 of 45
How is everyone doing on their grocery shopping with the rising cost of living?

We've had several bills increase over the last few months including our grocery bill. Groceries have always been the one thing that we would spend extra money on for the sake of eating healthier. Because the grocery bill is one thing that I can try to reduce, I'd like to while still getting a good variety.

We still eat healthy...it's just a lot simpler and not as much variety but I believe that a big part of eating healthy is having variety of veggies, etc.
post #9 of 45
The links you posted, georgia, are really hard to read because of weird symbols everywhere in the text (I use Firefox, but I doubt this is a browser thing--I think it's an HTML issue).
post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
The links you posted, georgia, are really hard to read because of weird symbols everywhere in the text (I use Firefox, but I doubt this is a browser thing--I think it's an HTML issue).
It's probably Firefox (do you use a Mac? I do) -- I had the same thing on a lot of webpages (most aggravatingly on Mothering), but it seems to have gone since my latest Firefox upgrade. I never had it happen in Firefox on my partner's work laptop (Windows XP).
post #11 of 45
My child's diet was a component of why we originally chose to homeschool. I looked at the on-line menus of what they served at her school and found the choices substandard. Although I could obviously pack a lunch every day, I didn't want there to be ongoing questioning "Did you trade things with anyone?" "Did you get any candy?" Since DD#1's behavior is very dependent on what she eats I didn't want to have to deal with that constant issue.

I do pack snacks for everywhere we go. I just started making whole-grain breads again as the bread costs at the store around $4 a loaf for decent bread with no HFCS. I make sandwiches daily and I joined a CSA again toget local organic produce. I did cut down on the amount of milk my two little ones get - not somuch for health reasons as I can't afford to buy as much as they'd want. Since food costs have risen here about 40% since last year we are eating less meat then we used to. If I switched back to "big market meat" we could still eat as much meat as we used to, but since I want free-range it really ups the price. We do have meat at dinner but not at lunch. At breakfast we may have eggs or oatmeal.

The best advice I can give is to go cold turkey when making a switch off all the "junk". If you stop giving it and start giving healthy choices, eventually they will eat the healthy choices. Hold firm and don't go back. My kidlets are to the point now where they will tell another adult "I have to ask my mom" when they are offered a treat. And they don't complain if I say no. (Usually it's yes because the other Mom has already asked me.)
post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurgundyElephant View Post
Since food costs have risen here about 40% since last year we are eating less meat then we used to. If I switched back to "big market meat" we could still eat as much meat as we used to, but since I want free-range it really ups the price. We do have meat at dinner but not at lunch. At breakfast we may have eggs or oatmeal.

My kidlets are to the point now where they will tell another adult "I have to ask my mom" when they are offered a treat. And they don't complain if I say no. (Usually it's yes because the other Mom has already asked me.)
Thankfully we have some locally grass fed beef we can buy here. I usually just buy the ground beef and do different things with it. I even use it is stews, I just don't crumble it as small as I would for tacos.

How old are your kids? I tell my 4 yo she needs to ask mommy for things first when someone offers her something but she doesn't do it all the time.
post #13 of 45
I was waiting to post to find out what people really wanted to know. I have always cooked from scratch and even started tribes of the like here and are always well received.

Both my mother, grandmother(s) etc always cooked from scratch and so did my MIL so this is not foreign to me. My mother did because it was the way a young couple with 3 and then 4 kids stretched their dollar in the
70s. She made pizza dough from scratch, pizza sauce etc. We didnt have any junk food in the house- one it was expensive and two, with 4 kids it would disappear too quickly. We had plenty of fruit and after school we would have pretzels, cut up fruit and my mom made cookies from scratch like I do. They were reserved for after dinner. We had soda but drank it on "popcorn" night.

Turns out, DH had a very similar upbringing but he is one of 9 children, he being number 8 of 9. So when he was a young boy, his mom had to cook for a table of teens with hearty appetities. My SIL always jokes when she first came over for dinner before marrying BIL he told her- IF you something you like gets passed to you at dinner, take enough because it might not come back! She is a great cook and can stretch any meal really well.

I always cooked for my boyfriend (now DH) in college as well as my roommates and their boyfriends and when we were newly weds we both cooked all the time. DH is also a very good cook. We always sit down and eat dinner each and every day.

So when it came time for our own family, it was easy to get our kids to eat because it was in front of them. Even as new borns they were at the table with us. Sometimes it would be me eating dinner as they did- I would have a babe on me while eating. Later they could sit up on DH's lap or in a bouncy on top of the table to watch us.

When they would reach for our food, we started introducing solids. At first a bit of rice cereal drowned in breast milk and they would just squish it with their hands and we might spoon some in their mouth. Maggie would turn it into body paint! Then it was a baked organic squash or sweet potato baked and then grinded down to mush. I made all my baby food and then put it in ice cube trays for later. When it was meal time, we defrosted a few and fed the kids.

I did worry about things for Liz, dd1 that I didnt for Maggie dd2. Such as, we would not give Liz fruit until she had veggie so she didnt not only eat sweet things! For Maggie her first solids were french fries and a donut.

We were at a McDonalds playland meeting a group of moms (obviously not from my mdc friends!!) and Maggie reached over and grabbed a friend of mine's french fry at age 5 mos corrected so about really 9 months old. That was her first "solid" food. Then on the morning of DH's bday, we had special pasties/donuts with our coffee that morning. Maggie leaned over and grabbed a hunk of glazed donut. Try taking that away!

When she was about 13 mos old I was bringing in the groceries. It was a long weekend and I bought some more pastries (our local grocery has the best bakery and DH is a huge huge fan) Maggie was on the ground going thru the stuff and found the glazed rolls. She somehow picked off the wrapping and was picking at the roll. DH said "Maggie what are you doing?' she looked up and said "YUM"

Where my DH has a major sweet tooth, I love spicy things. So both girls will eat some strange things. We were at a deli and Liz at age 2 was pointing at the kalamata olives. She also loves pepperoni and sushi. Maggie has a thing for thai food and sticky rice. I dont know if both were breastfed so long and would eat it anyway thru the breastmilk, but since we eat so many different spices, meats, veggies and fruits, both girls will eat many many things.

One thing I noticed (thanks to MIL) is anything with a toothpick, kids will eat. She jokes you can put liver on a toothpick and kids will eat it. We make a fruit kabob for functions with kids and I have yet to not bring home an empty dish. The kids go crazy for a huge stick of fruit.

I also at dinner time will put something special as a side that I know the kids will eat. So they eat their meat (we eat non meat veggie meals and meat meals here) rice (kids love rice in my house) or whatever the side such as string beans etc. But I will also include a cut up raw carrot, cut up apple or peach or even raisons on their plate. I have found that something they already know goes well with the other things and they eat or at least try the new thing on the plate or just what is there.
post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by janasmama View Post
How is everyone doing on their grocery shopping with the rising cost of living?

We've had several bills increase over the last few months including our grocery bill. Groceries have always been the one thing that we would spend extra money on for the sake of eating healthier. Because the grocery bill is one thing that I can try to reduce, I'd like to while still getting a good variety.

We still eat healthy...it's just a lot simpler and not as much variety but I believe that a big part of eating healthy is having variety of veggies, etc.
Funny, my style of menu planning, cooking from scratch and using what I have on hand was always frugal or old fashioned. Now more than ever, I have people asking me to show them how to "cook like I do"

I feed the freezer after double batching cooking or find things on sale that frozen raw can be used later. More than ever, I shop the sales and now we have our fruit, veggies, milk and eggs delivered. I also annually buy a side of beef from a local source. So I do not have to go to the grocery as much but I am very creative in stretching the food I have because of rising costs.

We have also recently started baking our own bread. Bread is sooo expensive now like everything else so we added that to our scratch cooking.

We tell our delivery service to send a different box of veggies or fruits every week. That way we have to use what is sent and thus making us try new things. ITs actaully a lot of fun but also could get serious with dds. A few weeks ago they sent 2 lbs of organic strawberries- dd1 said- FINALLY!! Since I wont buy them right now, peaches and blueberries are in season in IL! Also everyone begged for apples all summer- not in season until this week. Pretty soon we will be drowning in apples, you can wait. In the winter, its citrus fruits.....
post #15 of 45
My first children were twins. When they were born dh & I were young & didn't have a big grocery budget. I really started making their food myself because we couldn't afford the jarred stuff. Then one time I bought some for an outing & they kept spitting it out. I tasted it myself & realized the fruit tasted unripe, sour & rather flavorless. So from then on, we always fed them the same foods we'd eat ourselves with the same seasoning & all. They're 13 years old now & actually have a much more adventurous palate than I do. And they've always been very good eaters. I'm not certain if it has anything to do with how their diet started out or not - maybe it would have been a part of their personalities anyhow. They actually don't like the school lunches & prefer to take homemade.

Growing up, my mother & grandmother were always extremely health & nutrition conscious. We always had foods cooked from scratch & took our lunches. I sort of got away from that as a young adult as I explored more of the prepared foods that I'd never experienced before. But now that I have a family of my own I really appreciate the things I learned from them about feeding a family. My kids have an enthusiasm for good food & enjoy knowing how it's prepared so I hope I am able to pass along some of those things I learned along the way.

We really enjoy eating fresh things from our garden but we still spend about $350/week for our family of 5. I try to buy things in season when they're less expensive & keep an eye out for sales. I used to make a menu for the week & then make my grocery list from that but now I've taken a different approach. I see what the best prices & quality are for that week, buy enough volume of those meats & produce items and keep my staple pantry items constantly stocked. That way I make my menu according to what I was able to buy, if that makes any sense.
post #16 of 45
We eat raw living food. My almost 4 year old was raised for the first 2 1/2 years on a diet of no meat, dairy, sugar, or any processed foods, basically just fresh organic cooked foods. She had food allergies and had pretty bad eczema behind her knees and elbows, she is 90% raw and all the eczema is gone. My 14 month old has never had cooked food of any kind. Her first food was a young coconut and avocado. She is still nursing about 7-9 times in a day, mostly at night. Her favorite food right now is diced up cucumber and avocado with flax seed oil. They both love green juices and smoothies made up of things like kale, celery, cucumber and apple or whatever is in the fridge. We eat lots of nuts and seeds. Last night we made raw brownies out of agave, cacao, coconut butter, coconut oil and walnuts and DD had them for breakfast.

We spend about $275 a week on food, we just had Whole Foods open up so I'm buying groceries there. Most of there stuff is pretty overpriced. Hopefully our bill will go down in the winter.
post #17 of 45
Hi!

I was wondering if anyone wanted to talk about first foods.

I have a 6 month old that I think I will start on solids soon.
I read an article (or advice column?) that recommended meat as a first food. I had never heard of that before! I don't know how i would get meat to be as creamy as rice cereal. Meat is not listed as a "Stage 1" food in all the various baby books I have. Why?

Of course, I've heard of feeding rice cereal. But introducing a carb first is not a good thing, right? Veggies, fruit?

When did you start solids? What did you choose? Why?

Any info would be great!
post #18 of 45
our LO is a hair shy of 5 months and i'd like to talk about first foods.

i was getting ready with my cookbook and steaming/pureeing equipment for 6 months but my mom says wait until 9. and to def. start with a veg... i've never heard of starting with meat either!
post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn C. View Post
Hi!

I was wondering if anyone wanted to talk about first foods.

I have a 6 month old that I think I will start on solids soon.
I read an article (or advice column?) that recommended meat as a first food. I had never heard of that before! I don't know how i would get meat to be as creamy as rice cereal. Meat is not listed as a "Stage 1" food in all the various baby books I have. Why?

Of course, I've heard of feeding rice cereal. But introducing a carb first is not a good thing, right? Veggies, fruit?

When did you start solids? What did you choose? Why?

Any info would be great!
I've always started with avocado as a first food. It's got a really creamy taste and lots of good healthy fats. Avocado is a fruit and some people like to start with veggies first so their children don't get that 'sweet' taste and only want sweet....but avo's aren't sweet.

My DS didn't really like avo's though so we gave him butternut squash b/c I got a bunch from a local farm and they keep well over the winter. After a while I mixed apple into them.

After that I gave him mashed up pear with pureed spinach and mango. He loved that.

Some people do infant led weaning where the baby only eats tiny chunks of small food that they can pick up themselves... I do this also but I like to do some spoon feeding though with thinner foods. Partly b/c I think it's fun.

As far as when I fed my DC, I waited until they cut a tooth and were at least 6 months old (DS didn't really eat food until he was 10 months. Food was only a novelty though and I never had a schedule for them to eat and only fed them if it was a happy thing for them...if fussing happened we stopped b/c to me that's a sign that they just aren't ready at that time. Try again another day.
post #20 of 45
Chapter 10 is definitely where I am at right now. Ds will be 6 months next month and already displaying signs os readiness. I am so nervous about how to give him solids, what to give him, how I will incorporate my breast milk etc. so much to think about, I feel like I am starting all over again
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