I went to a lovely market research event last week, with some lovely bloggers. It was about yoghurt, and through the session there were questions about food, and food choices you make. Now, I am not writing this post to moan, or to say anything anyone said that day made me feel bad. What it highlighted to me, is that I do not have a clue when it comes to giving food to Nancy.
When you start weaning, you think people would help, give you advice. Isn’t that what Health Visitors are for? No, apparently not. I was told to just give her ‘what you eat’ and I was told to make sure she had enough iron, and little to no salt. (Iron was especially emphasised to me, because currently Nancy is eating no meat, only fish and vegetables. Long story).
But when you go into the supermarket, how the hell do you know what to buy? What can she eat? Can she really eat anything? Why is there salt in EVERYTHING? Will she be scarred for life if I give her a fish finger? I stand in the supermarket, flustered and bombarded with questions I don’t really know the answer to.
So when people at this event started talking about whole milk, and sugars in some yoghurt (10g in one apparently!) I started to feel a bit like a crap Mum. Nothing about what the people were saying – it was me. Why hadn’t I read up on these? Why didn’t I think about sugar and whole milk? Why was I feeding my baby the yoghurt equivalent of crack?
No-one seems to tell you. It’s all very much about you making the decisions when you’re a parent. I try my best to ensure she eats a balanced diet and at every meal she has fruit/veg, a bit of carbs, a bit of protein etc. Some days though, I am crap and she eats crackers and dairylea cheese. Some days I run out of inspiration, and I get stuck. Some days I just need to open a packet and hey, presto! It’s ready.
A supermarket is a place of fear for a new mum, starting weaning. Especially when I am doing baby led weaning. I am not mushing up food for her, which in a way, sounds a lot easier now. People say BLW is easy, and it is, as long as you have all the food you need in the house, and a brain and have read up what to make, and what they can eat.
Convenience food for babies probably sounds evil. But you know sometimes I need quick and easy things to make, or cook. If I am tired, I can’t start whipping up a cheese souffle. Fish fingers and baked beans it is. Now tell me if that is the worst thing ever, as I don’t know.
My other gripe is food labelled as ‘suitable for babies/weaning’. Up until recently I went straight to these foods as I thought they would be the best thing for her. Then I started to wonder, why can’t she eat normal yogurt? is it the sugar? Why are there baby versions of things? Surely, if its good enough for a baby, it’s good enough for us? Why are we pumping ourselves full of chemicals and keeping our babies pure and true? I suspect it is the salt and sugar. But then others tell me some baby products are really unhealthy. It all gets so confusing. You try your best to make the right choices. Why can’t it be made clear in the shops, or why can’t a health visitor or someone give you a sort of starter sheet of suitable items for a baby?
I know fresh fruit, veg and home cooked meals are best, and I do try to do this several times a week. But if you really need something quick and easy, wouldn’t it be great to know you are making the best choice you can, given the circumstances?
What quick and easy things do you buy from the shops that babies can eat? What are the best low sugar, healthy yoghurts/biscuits/snack items?