My Darling Daughter, my Son in Love, and my adorable grandson came to visit last week. Baby Cakes is two years old now. I could write all kinds of grandmotherly things like how he learned so quickly to shoot rubber bands, how his language is developing, how he loves to color pictures and play outside in our yard with all of its rocks and wild areas. I could tell you how he folds his hands to pray before every meal, even a snack – and how his simple faith reminds me to be thankful. But that’s not why you read this blog.
So let me tell you how interesting it is to watch his food choices knowing he is Type A.
He is instinctively drawn to beneficial foods and instinctively rejects avoid foods. He likes beans and avocado and carrots. He likes fish, chicken and turkey. He does not like banana, cheddar cheese, or sweet potatoes.
Like all two year olds, he is at a stage where he is preoccupied with texture, and has stopped eating some vegetables that he used to like. I am advising DD to ignore it. She and her brother were the same way, and eventually they resumed eating everything but English peas. Both of them still, as young adults say they don’t like the way peas squish when they bite into them.
Like all humans, he is drawn to sweets. Wisely his mother serves them sparingly. He was at my house for his birthday and we made an oatmeal cake. I used half of the sugar that the recipe called for and then made a coconut/pecan glaze for half of the cake. Some of the family ate the no icing side and enjoyed a not-too-sweet treat. The rest of the family ate the icing side and got their sugar fix.
The most interesting thing is that he eats in spurts. Sometimes he will go for several days eating mostly protein. When DD worries about this, I tell her he is probably going through a growth spurt in his muscles or his brain, and he needs extra protein. His favorite thing to do during those spurts is to eat spoonfuls of homemade peanut butter for as long as DD will let him.
One time she texted that all he wanted to eat that day was fat. He wanted avocado and olive oil and nut butter. I had just read an article called “Brain Starvation – could boys be suffering?” It was about how growing boys need three times the essential fatty acids that girls do. Breast milk provides this, but after a boy is weaned he will lack the EFA’s that he needs unless it is added to his diet. The author linked EFA’s to serotonin production and lack of serotonin to hyperactivity and ADD. I suggested she let him have what he craved as long as it was beneficial. She not only did that but found a chewable DHA supplement that he happily gobbles up every day.
Here is the link if you want to read the whole article
On this visit, he did not want protein or fat – no chicken, no salmon, no avocado, no nut butter. He wanted carbs and he wanted juice. BC and DD were in conflict at almost every meal. At some point she made the association that he was constipated. We concluded that he needed fluid and juice was less filling than almond milk. We also concluded that he needed fiber. I made some quinoa which he ate happily with ghee.
In other words – when he is offered healthy choices, he is choosing like an A. Every meal is not a balanced meal, but every week is balanced. He is following the signals his own body is giving him. If he is allowed to continue in this way – being offered healthy choices every day and unhealthy treats only on special occasions – I am confident that he will grow into a healthy adult.
I cringe when I think of how as a young health food conscious young mother, I nagged and cajoled my children into eating a one size fits all healthy diet.
Most children with busy parents are pressured into eating a standard children’s diet – exemplified by the high starch fast foods on children’s menus. The children learn to ignore the messages their bodies give them. They are soon on the road to obesity and malnutrition related illnesses.