Monday, March 4, 2013

Thoughts & Convictions: Concerning Food

When we were expecting Nolin, Paul & I began writing Thoughts & Convictions on Raising a Tiny Markham.   This was a document mostly for us so we could seriously think about & document the way that we feel we should raise children.  It is always a work in progress, as we learn & grow.  I thought I would share a few things that we feel strongly about.

This is what we wrote concerning food:
When it comes to food, we feel that a child will eat what is given to them, especially if they do not have the option of sweets.  So, we do not plan to feed Nolin any sweets for a very good while.  We want to establish healthy eating habits for her early on.  So, no cookies, candies, or cokes for our little one.  There will be a time for goodies at some point, be even then, we wish for them to be limited.  

We also plan for Nolin to wait for food to be served, just as adults must often wait.  This is obviously for when Nolin is older, since all an infant does is eat, sleep, and use the restroom.  When she is an infant, we understand that she must eat when she needs to eat.  However, when Nolin is a toddler and older, just because she wants a cupcake, does not mean that she needs a cupcake immediately!  This comes right back down to teaching Nolin patience.  

Cooking will be a big part of Nolin’s life.  Cooking is an art and we want Nolin to share in it as much as possible when she is old enough to help create.  It is also much healthier to cook at home than to eat out all of the time.  Plus, you get the satisfaction of making the food yourself!

As mentioned before, we plan to breastfeed Nolin as long possible.  However, once Nolin begins eating food, we plan for it to be as organic as possible.  We plan for Nolin to have no cow’s milk until after one and we would prefer it be organic at that point. 
Clearly we had no idea that Harris would be joining our family when we wrote this!  :)  However, this was intended for all of our children.

So, how are we doing??  I'm actually super impressed with Nolin's eating habits!  (Of course, she can always change - she is still young!  & now that I'm posting this, I'm sure it will backfire!  LOL)  For the most part, Nolin has always eaten what we have given her.  & most of the time, she enjoys it!  There have been a few things that Nolin hasn't wanted to eat & we have been okay with that - of course, we all have our preferences.  I was joking the other day that my husband, Paul, has ruined Nolin.  She won't eat spaghetti o's or chicken fingers, but she loves vegetables & fruit!  If you know me & my husband, you know that he has taken the lead on healthy eating for our children.  :)  I just stopped eating chicken fingers a couple of years ago, haha!

Nolin's reward for eating well - fruit!  We give her fruit as her "dessert".  She absolutely loves it!  There have been times when we have had to do one bite of dinner, then one berry, etc.  But she generally just eats her main dish well & then eats her fruit.  :) 

As for the cookies, candies, & cokes - she has had a few bites of sweets in her time.  How can she be my daughter & not eat chocolate?!  It is getting so much harder to sneak anything without her saying, "bite!"  She also quite often refers to "Momma's tocolate"!  :)  Nolin has enjoyed bites of cake, cookies, or chocolate, but she has not had candy or cokes.  As far as those go - we will avoid them as long as possible!  We don't have cokes in our house, so hopefully that won't be difficult.  She drinks water & milk - that's really all we have at home.

When it comes to waiting patiently for food, Nolin does about as well as you can expect a toddler to do!  We are working on teaching her patience.  We don't want her to think she gets everything immediately!  But, we do give her snacks (like raisins or crackers) to tide her over.  The girl seems to eat all the time!  Nolin sits with us at the dinner table very well.  She actually sits the entire time & eats.  Often times we find her still eating after we have finished!  In restaurants, Nolin does pretty well, but she does get antsy faster since there is so much going on around her.

Since moving to Seattle & having only one working family member, we have really tried to eat at home most nights.  Not to mention, it's a lot of work to go out to eat with a toddler & infant!  Paul does most of the cooking, b/c I stink at it!  We haven't involved Nolin in cooking much yet.  I really want to start letting her help though.  She loves to help out & see what's going on.  Hopefully soon we will get into the habit of letting her help more. 

How are we doing on organic foods?  Before coming down to only one income, Nolin ate mostly organic, but we have backed down a little bit to save. 

Hopefully Nolin's healthy eating habits will continue as she grows.  We are super impressed with her!  We can only hope that Harris does as well as Nolin has in the food department.  :)


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