Thursday, July 19, 2012

What's In Her Cup? Eleven Months

Just before she snatched the sticker and commenced crumpling it.. that grin is the mirth of
commencing destruction

Eating a strawberry is serious business

Jen, our SMC dentist friend, innocently asked what was in Calliope's sippy cup (the one she threw in the video)... no doubt wondering if I was exposing my girl's budding teeth to juice and processed sugar.

It was actually unsweetened herbal iced tea... She always wants whatever I'm drinking, and this is what I drink, so she gets raspberry zinger and rooibos chai in her sippy cup. Of course, now she refuses to drink from a silicone spout, but only from Mommy's cup, hence the throwing, but I digress.

Jen's question made me smile, because I worry sometimes that I err too far in the opposite direction.

I have strong negative feelings about the diets of most American children, and of course I want Calliope to be as healthy as she can be... but at the same time, I worry about somehow making too big a deal out of what she eats. As a baby, it's not so hard to control everything that goes in her mouth -- unless the nanny decides to feed her conventional strawberries without checking with me first, or I think I have lost her insulated food bag and have no food to give her at dinner save a dinner roll (the bag was later found under her highchair) -- but as she gets older, I worry that she's going to be upset that she doesn't get to have the juice boxes and prepared snacks that seem to be de rigeour in today's society.

It's also hard to explain to well meaning friends and family that want to share their treats and I fear offending someone but also lack the energy to explain my position.

One SMC member sent me a thought provoking article from the New York Times, Should You Raise A Sugar Free Baby? which I enjoyed and recommend to anyone who is interested. Not as a lecture, but as something interesting to consider.

I even take it to a further extreme than she does. Calliope has never had fruit purees, though now that we are in the glorious midst of summer fruit season, I can't refuse to share local strawberries, blueberries, plums, and raspberries. Calliope never had rice cereal, or even oatmeal. She's had bread twice in her eleven months, and has eaten a cracker once. She's never had rice, and has refused Cheerios the couple of times they have been offered to her. She devours plain yogurt. Well, to the extent that she "devours" anything. My girl is easily distracted and not all that interested in food on her best day. Apart from nursing, to which she is increasingly devoted.

However, I don't want to give Calliope "issues." I don't want to worry about sending her to a play date and wondering if she will be exposed to processed foods. I don't want her to go begging for sugary treats from other mothers.

I don't have the answers. For now, I try to give her the best "diet" that I can, and resolve to take the rest day by day.

In other news, Calliope has another cold. I'm frustrated about it. She doesn't have a fever, thank goodness, but she's been a bit irritable and is having trouble sleeping. Last night she cried for two hours, from 9:15-11:15. That was even with me going in to comfort her, to rock her, to nurse her. Tonight, it took an hour for her to fall asleep (normally it ranges from instantaneous to, at most, 30 minutes of playing), with crying, despite rocking and nursing from me after appropriate opportunities to attempt to self soothe. She slept an hour, then was up, screaming, again.


Thankfully, it's not like last time. She's not feverish, she's not limp and unineterested in the world. But of course, having experienced that once, now I am worrying that it will return.

But so far, she's still very active. For the first thirty minutes after her unusually long afternoon nap, she wailed without provocation, taking breaks only to nurse before wailing again. And then suddenly she reverted back to her typical, sunny disposition.

This evening, she pushed up to standing using only one hand. Yesterday, I let go of her hand while she was standing and she stayed upright for almost ten seconds.

After dinner tonight... she sure doesn't look sick to me!

On the prowl for mischief
She typically goes from sitting to crawling by doing a split and then rolling forwards
Froggy is so funny!

Mommy, I'm ready for my workout

She's learned to feed herself a whole strawberry. This is especially momentous because she mostly refuses to feed herself. She loves blueberries, for example, and will happily pick one up... only to squish it between her fingers. Sometimes she even puts her fingers into her mouth... but then takes them out again, taking the blueberry out also.

Trying to take her eleven month photos felt fairly exasperating and didn't yield any pleasing results. She moves so quickly these days and is completely uninterested in smiling for the camera. Oh well.

It's dizzying to think that next month she will have been with me for a year. I don't know how to wrap my head around that.

We are tantalizingly close to finding out when the closing date will be... but still not there yet. But I have made peace with the ordeal. Whatever it is, it's beyond my control.

Ending the day with dinner and a bath with Eleanor... which was anything but relaxing, now that Calliope insists on
pulling up in the bathtub. That means I have to hold onto her every second that she is in the tub.
 I was exhausted by the time she was ready for bed. 


  1. I worry about food "issues" with Annelise also. I've had numerous food issues. I try to eat healthy and local. I get most of my food from the local Natural Foods Co-op and farmers market. One of the reasons I want to go to Baby Led Weaning is so that she doesn't get processed food.

    While I always plan to feed her healthy, natural, organic food I know she's eventually going to get processed and unhealthy foods elsewhere. I don't want to be "that mom" the one that won't let her eat treats at friends houses or go to McDonalds with them. And I don't want her to feel like "that kid" you know the one with the weird mom who won't let her do anything. I'll feed her healthy, teach her why we eat healthy and local, but also not make a big deal out of it if she goes out to McDonalds with her cousins or friends every once in a while.

    I think it's possible to raise her so that even at a young age she's able to make wise decisions about food. I had a five year old once tell me about the "happy" and "sad" cows and why she doesn't eat McDonald burgers because that meat came frome "sad" cows.

    Feeding her right and teaching her to make wise food choices is one of the things I'm most nervous about as a mother, mostly because I'm still trying to figure it all out myself. And I want to do it in a way that she doesn't have all the food issues I've had.

  2. I struggle with making sure Elena is eating as healthy as possible but I set a very bad example. Basically I'm not against her having sweets or even fast food but in moderation. I want her to see these as one offs not norms. I am definitely eating healthier now that I am providing healthier choices for Elena...

  3. That reminds me. There's a post on food and sugar I've been meaning to write. I read that article a couple weeks ago was it and it could work but it really depends on how far you'll go and what you'll restrict. There is sugar in so many things. I also think children get a clue as to our hangups even at this young of an age.

    When J first started eating I was all about experiences and tasting and I still am but I started thinking that could lead to issues too if not done properly. Instead at 17 months, its all the healthy stuff with a few treats in there. I'm hoping to teach him what real food is, where it comes from (the ground and animals vs the grocery store) and what it does to our bodies along with what the alternatives are so maybe that will have more impact than the views he'll get when with others. Once he knows why we buy certain things (and why I allow sweets in moderation) I hope he'll be less likely to indulge in unhealthy areas and the foods he opens himself up to experiencing and tasting will be better for him overall. The fake stuff, processed stuff wont be as appealing. That's my hope and what I aim for. I wont tell him he can't ever have the fake stuff though. I'd hate for that to create issues as well. As long as he eats from me, that wont be a steady diet anyway so I'm loose there.

    As for juice boxes, I like them! When I buy them for the car, I buy organic real fruit boxes/pouches with less sugar.

  4. It's very important to me that Finn eat organic produce and hormone/antibiotic free meats. I'm also trying to avoid processed food as much as possible, but he loves those cheese and kale puffed things, and they're easy, so I let him have those because "they're organic." I don't want him drinking juice, either. I spend all day telling people, "juice really isn't good for you - eat the fruit if you want the taste."

    I know that he won't always eat that way. He'll get juice boxes and goldfish crackers at my sister's and we'll eat out and he'll get meat full of hormones and antibiotics. But as long as MOST of what he eats is the good stuff, I figure he's ok. I don't ration his fruit at all, because he loves it so much and it's so full of good nutrients and antioxidents, but I do make sure he gets plenty of veggies during the day, too. Cheese is the only thing we have to be careful with. The boy loves his cheese - or what is known as the Food that Shall Not Be Named in our house.