I was driving yesterday and someone on the radio said that in the 1960s the average woman weighed 140 pounds and the average man weighed 166. Today the average woman weighs 166.2. The announcer said, “I don’t think that’s what those fighting for equality in the 60s had in mind.”
When I heard that, I thought about how differently people ate in the 60s – less fast food and more home cooked meals. That’s a good segue into something that DD has told me about how 1-year olds eat.
Baby food manufacturers give lots of vegetable choices for babies who are ready for puréed food. Believe it or not, they sell parsnips and kale in the little squeeze packets. I had never even heard of those two vegetables until I read them on my Type O beneficial list
So beginning eaters get plenty of vegetables, just like most children in the 1960s did. Yet by school age those same kids don’t eat vegetables; and by college, salad is pretty much the only vegetable you see in campus food venues.
There are lots of reasons for that, but DD told me one that was completely unexpected. Some of her friends who had babies about the same time she did are working full time and have their children in day care. They were told that while the teachers feed tiny babies puréed food, after they turn one year old they must be able to feed themselves. The parents were anxious about this. Most of the children were eating crackers, cheerios, and pieces of fruit. Not many could feed themselves meat or vegetables.
DD is an at-home mom so she didn’t have the pressure of a teacher’s deadline. BC was fascinated by the food on DD and SIL’s plates. DD started to encourage BC to feed himself, and he quickly got the hang of it. But suddenly he regressed, and she was frustrated.
Some days BC wanted to feed himself. He ate pieces of chicken, egg, beet, carrot, and black beans with gusto. He refused to eat anything out of a spoon. I love BC, but he can be pretty stubborn. I’ve seen him frown and push away the spoon in his Momma’s hand.
Other days he would throw all chunks of food on the floor frustrating his poor Momma even more. About the time she was thinking he would starve to death, he would gobble up spoonfuls of mashed avocado and applesauce and puréed green beans.
She finally figured out that it had something to do with teething. There were days that solid food felt good on molars that were breaking through gums. There were other days when anything solid hurt. And there are some solid foods that BC likes the taste of but doesn’t have enough teeth to chew. He sucks on those foods for a while then spits them out. That really irritated DD until she figured it out.
She has become more flexible and less demanding that BC eat things her way. She watches to see what feels good that day and prepares healthy choices accordingly.
She says she doesn’t know what she would do it she had to fix a lunch for day care that BC had to eat by himself. Probably he would wind up eating mostly bread because that is the easiest choice.
And children who eat mostly bread or dry cereal as one year olds are establishing habits that will be hard to break when they get older.