The things I let my children eat. If the “me” from three years ago saw what was kept in my cupboards today she would die of a heart attack. Let’s back this story up a couple years, say…oh, 2008, the year Shea was born. Back then I was a little more idealistic, a little self-righteous and convinced that I was THE most knowledgeable mother on the planet when it came to babies and their diets. Shea was exclusively breast fed for the first few months of his life. When we started supplementing formula we bought the top of the line “almost exactly, kind of like breast milk” formula and he continued to breast feed until he was almost two years old. When it was time to start solids, about 6 months old, nothing passed my baby’s lips unless is was certified Organic, no dyes, no preservatives, no MSGs, all-natural, grain-fed, free range, hoity-toity, stick your nose up in the air, snooty and THE BEST, money could buy. If the me today, could meet the me from back then, she would slap her and laugh…
One of these SUPER foods was Earth’s Best Organics, pureed peaches. I thought it sounded awesome, and who doesn’t like peaches? Well, ask that to my 7 month old who projectile vomited them across the living room. That’s weird, I thought. Up to that point he had never in his life thrown up. He never even spat up when he was a newborn. The next day, following the “three days in a row” rule for detecting food allergies (give me a break, how has the human race survived this long?) I fed it to him again. This time, all seemed ok so we put him in his car seat and headed into town. Half way to the grocery store we heard, “Bluuuuuuuuh, YACK!!!!” He had projectile vomited all over himself, the car seat is a puddle of peach puke and Matt and I just look at each other, horrified. What do we do??? We ended up going to my parent’s house to hose out the car seat, air out the Jeep and enjoy a little pool time… Let’s not waste the afternoon because of a little puke, right? Day three, I am thinking we should ditch the peaches, this just isn’t working out. A call to the pediatrician calms me down a bit, the doctor doesn’t suspect an allergy, he just thinks Shea is not a fan of peaches. Try again in a few months.
Fast forward – Shea is older now, walking and talking. We go to my grandparents’ house who happen to have a peach tree. Grandpa Holland picks a ripe peach and helps Shea eat it. Shea is inhaling this peach and saying “mmmmmm” in between gulps. Hmmm, ok, he likes peaches now. A few hours later, after we are home, “Bluuuuuuuuh, YACK!” Peach puke on the carpet….. Ok, no more peaches for Shea, ever…..
But back on track, I think all mothers start out like I did. You want the best for your baby, but eating that way is just not practical. Eating Organic all the time IS ideal, but that’s not the world we live in. America today is the Mecca of processed factory-made chemical packed food products. And I think raising your children on a strict Organic diet is setting them up for an embarrassing moment of shitting their pants in front of their friends the first time they go out alone and eat McDonalds. You have to give a little.
New List: Disgusting and/or appalling things my kid has eaten….
1. I’m folding laundry and Shea (age 2 at the time) comes up to me eating something. Me: What’s in your mouth Shea? Shea: I don’t know. Me: Spit it out!!! Upon examination it is a piece of fish stick. When did we have Fish sticks?? Ummm…..Thursday. That was three days ago. Shea just ate three day old, room temperature fish sticks. Dear god…..
2. I’m typing on the computer and Shea (age almost 3 at the time) comes up to me eating something. (are you sensing a pattern here?) Me: What are you eating? Shea: Cheese. Me: Where did you get cheese? Shea: I found it under the couch. Seriously? Me: Come on, that’s disgusting. Who knows how long that has been there?
3. I’m watching TV and Shea (age 2 and a half) comes up to me….yada yada. Shea: mmmm, Mom I found a raisin. Me: Are you sure that’s a raisin? Shea: I think so. Me: What if it’s poop? Shea: (Spits it out all over the carpet.) It was in fact a raisin and not poop.
4. Shea comes out of the bedroom spitting (age 2). Shea: Mom this is yucky!! Me: What is it?? Shea: Blue stuff. Me: Where did you find it? Shea points at the laundry basket and I see blue laundry detergent has dripped on the handle and Shea has scraped some off and eaten it. Me: Why did you eat that??? Shea: ‘Cuz I wanted to eat something… well, yeah…
5. Me: Shea are you eating paper??? Shea (age 2): No, mom, it’s a napkin….
Shea could win Fear Factor with some of the things he has eaten and honestly, I used to have a heart attack every time I caught him eating something weird off the carpet, but you know, you just have to get over it. And he’s never had food poisoning or thrown up after eating any of those things, not even the nasty old fish stick. At this point, with the new baby and all the responsibilities I have that keep me from being able to hawk-eye him, I can’t get so worried with him eating shit off the floor. It’s going to happen. And do you think my cupboard is full of nutritious organic snacks? Hell no – Right now we have chocolate chip Teddy Grahams, mini-Hershey bars, pop corn, pudding snacks, Cheez-its, and barbecue chips. I feed him fruits and vegetables every day, the rest I just have to give in a little. Yes, he eats McDonalds, I bribe him with chocolate but I am proud to say that at almost three years old, he has never had pop. So there….