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"Seaweed and Broccoli"

Don't worry, this is not my latest healthy recipe idea!

This is the response Big A gave the doctor yesterday when asked what are her favorite foods.

Man, we have trained her well...To lie, I guess.

Sure, she is crazy about munching on toasted nori as a snack, but broccoli? Her favorite food? No way Jose!

Adam and I are actually rather concerned about her almost obsessive preference for junk food. It's not so much that she eats too much, because we rarely have real junk around the house. She mostly gets it at family get togethers (particularly at Adam's grandparents' house!), birthday parties, school, etc.

While I may be partly to blame for being too concerned about her nutrition intake in the past, I actually think I may be too permissive now. Nothing is forbidden when it is offered to her by others (even if the item in question makes me completely cringe!) and I think the girls get way too much sugar, even at home, from all the breakfast cereal, almond butter and honey sandwiches, and dried fruit snacks they eat.

But I know that the best way to get your children to develop healthy habits is to model them and to not make an issue out of food. I try to do both as best I can, although I probably still talk too much about how "good" veggies are and how "bad" junk is for our health.

Nevertheless, I am pretty pleased with her veggie consumption these days. She happily eats kale chips, cucumber, cole slaw, and broccoli roasted with olive oil and kosher salt. She occasionally eats baby brussel sprouts, bell peppers, and raw carrots.

But when presented with the choice of junk versus virtually any other option, she will ALWAYS choose the junk. I have seen other kids her age choose fresh fruit over sweets, but Big A never does this.

At age 5 she is almost 4'3 and 49 lbs, making her, according to the doctor, a perfectly proportional child in the 90th percentile for both height and weight (so funny considering how short Adam and I both are!).

I guess we just have to hope that this is a passing phase and the novelty of junk food will eventually wear off.

Our current challenge with Little A is weaning.

I know what you are thinking, "You are still nursing a 2 year old?" Well, as a matter of fact, the WHO recommends nursing children until age 2 and this was always something I wanted to do with Little A. I didn't actually think it would be very challenging since for the past couple months, she generally only nurses once a day, generally just before bedtime.

Adam and I figured that after 5 days away from me, with no access to "boob" while we were in San Francisco, she would be instantly weaned. Ha, not so much!

Trying to deny her caused hysteria until I finally gave in yesterday morning. Last night when she told me she wanted, "mommy milk wid booby" before bed and I relented, she squealed with delight and did her happy dance. Oh man, how can I say no to that?

Don't worry, I'm not a crazy tree-hugger who thinks it's normal and natural to breast feed one's children until they are in junior highschool, but since we are not having any more children (amen!), this is my last chance to share this special bond with one of my babies. Besides, it has numerous benefits for us both:

Mom:
*Decreased risk of breast cancer
*Weight management
*Release of feel-good hormones
*Emotional and physical bonding with child

Baby:
*Decreased risk of diabetes and obesity
*Possible decreased risk of allergies and asthma
*Higher IQ
*Emotional and physical bonding with mom

See? With so many benefits, who cares if nursing turns ones formerly perky breasts into what looks like partially deflated balloons?

Comments

  1. You know, my mom was really strict with my brothers and I when we were little, and I went through a rebellious 'only eat junk stage', but now I eat normally and healthfully. I don't know the 'right' way to encourage healthy eating habits...maybe you might want to check out Mama Pea's blog at peasandthankyou.com? I think she's a little extreme in her beliefs about food, but you're smart and you can weed through the hype vs. the realities.

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  2. I have a few friends who are struggling with weaning at around age 2. Different strategies have worked for each... it may take some time but you'll get there!

    Is A really 51"? That's got to be higher than 90%, my A is 45" at 4.5 and he's in the 90% for boys!

    As far as the sweets go, I think you're doing just fine. I bet she goes for it because she does not get it at home, whereas the kids who are choosing the fruit most likely do. It's not as much of a treat for them. I did read a book a little while ago that suggested NOT making junk food a treat but letting it be freely available, and that kids would go hog wild to start with but would soon moderate... NOT that I have been able to do that myself. DH eats poptarts and drinks gatorade both of which I despise for my kids (and him, but he's grown and i have to let him make his own choices;) - I just can't let them have it whenever. But it may actually work out better. i dunno!

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