Even before the wee lad was born, I felt bombarded with information about how important it was for him to get the right food. This meant that I had to eat right, when all I felt like was dry biscuits and apple juice. Then, it meant breastfeeding.
There is so much information about how breastfeeding is the best thing for your baby and how it is the only thing you should do, which I don’t doubt. But, when breastfeeding doesn’t work, you start to question yourself: maybe I don’t love my baby enough…?
What other reason can there be for not being able to feed him naturally? And, you feel guilty because you have to use formula instead. Here in Norway, there is a warning on the packages that say you need to consult a doctor before giving formula to a baby, followed by a reminder that breastfeeding is better for him.
Eventually, I gave in and accepted that I had to feed him formula. I was a lot less stressed, I started to enjoy being a mother even more, and my wee lad was happy and sleeping a lot better, so all seemed well! (Looking back ,I wish I had stopped breastfeeding earlier, as it was both mentally and physically exhausting: breastfeeding, preparing formula, feeding the baby a bottle, pumping, drinking herbal tea, and then starting from the top again!)
So after we got over that hurdle and everything settled into a nice routine (and everyone was sleeping through the night!), I couldn’t imagine that the next step would be almost as challenging.
First, we had to decide when to start with solids. We started with thin porridge at 4 months (Norwegian nutritionists recommend exclusively breastfeeding until the baby is 6 months, but if he gets formula, you are allowed to start solids earlier). He ate well, all types of porridge and slowly, different types of food as well and eventually bread.
The wee lad was never interested in putting things into his mouth, never toys or anything, so we worried if he would be able to feed himself (I know, I am a worrier), but it came naturally. He also started holding his own bottle (another thing I worried about). So, everything is going well! Well, apart from the fact that he refuses to take dinner on a spoon…
He will take porridge and yogurt from a spoon, but he only eats dinner with his fingers, so we feed him lots of vegetables and chicken and other things without sauce. Anyway, we thought he was doing great. Then, we went to the doctor for the routine, 1-year check up.
They told us that it was very important that he starts using a spoon himself. But, he just wasn’t interested, and I am not keen on the idea of having spaghetti Bolognese all over my white walls.
So, we kept letting him eat with his fingers, and then suddenly, the other day, he picked up a spoon and tried (unsuccessfully) to put yogurt on it and put it into his mouth! (I know, he is a genius). So again, everything is on track, he is eating well, and I do have hope that he will be able to master the use of cutlery at some point in the future.
And now this.
I don’t know about other places in the world, but here in Norway there suddenly is a lot of focus on the connection between food and brain development (A recent study by Bristol University). So here I am, happy that the wee lad is eating, and now I have to worry about his brain development as well!?
So far, I have been trying to use common sense. I have stayed away from books and websites that give good advice as it stresses me out… But, I have now gone through several articles to ease my mind and concluded that the wee lad gets a fairly okay diet: he gets brown bread (which is a staple in the Norwegian diet), liver pate (full of iron), apple juice (sure that must be good for something), milk and yogurt (lots of goodness), fruit, veggies, chicken, a bit of fish and some red meat.
Sometimes the food is homemade, sometimes it is not; and I refuse to feel guilty about that! 🙂
How easy is it to give your children the right food, and is so-called “junk food” ever allowed in your house? Any hints and tricks would be appreciated!
The photograph for this post is attributed to the author.