Are you feeding your kids right?

Note: This post is explosive and offensive and it was intended to be so. For that, I’m not sorry. Most people need fire under their bottoms in order to get up and do something and I’m hoping this post does that. If you are easily hurt, it’s best that you don’t read this post.

I’m a fitness trainer. You want fat loss? I’ll give you fat loss. You want strength? I’ll give you strength. In addition to this I’m a nutrition coach and so can tell you how to eat real food (?!) and help you be the healthiest you’ve been. But I’m not married yet and I don’t have any kids (none that I know off at least!) and I don’t know squat about parenting or kids.

Picture from http://www.kiboomu.com

So why am I even writing this post?

Because it is funny scary that most parents today don’t have the common sense that even I have with respect to feeding children. Let me explain.

I was at this birthday party recently. The person whose birthday it was cut the cake and it was being served to every one. There was this one little kid in the party (about 5-7 yr old) who didn’t want cake. He didn’t know why… but he just didn’t want it. Fair enough right? But guess what? I saw his parents trying to convince him to eat the cake… and not just once. 15 min later I look around and I find the kid and his parents in a corner. The kid is seated and both his mom and dad are kneeling in front of him with a piece of cake in their hands, literally forcing the kid to eat it! What The F*&^!!! Is this for real??!

Did I piss you off yet? Great! ‘Cos I’m just getting started.

Which baby formula did/do you feed your toddler?

Unless your answer is ‘I didn’t use any’ please don’t even bother answering. Why? Because it is called FORMULA! What part of this do you not get?? Wake the hell up… humans eat FOOD! So please feed human babies real FOOD!

I’ve been wanting to get this off my chest for a while now. So now that its done, let’s continue.

Most times, kids don’t know shit.

What do you expect? They’ve been on planet earth for only a short while and they have been exposed to junk food any day and every day. On TV, in school, at home, at the grocery store, on the road, at parties blah blah. Anywhere and everywhere they have ever been, there was junk food! And that’s all they know.. and that’s all they crave! Why? Because kids don’t know the difference between real food and junk food. Most kids think potatoes and french fries are the same thing and think strawberries grow in trees!

So when your kid goes ‘Wahhhh I’m hungry… I want a donut!!!’ or ‘I want pizza for dinner else I won’t eat!!!’ realize that the same kid also wants to play videogames all day, never write an exam and have a pet lion/pony.

Bottom Line – Your kids don’t know what is good for them. The sneaky little things are just trying to get their sugar fix. Why? Because sugar is addictive! Step up and show them what’s good.

Sometimes, kids know more than you do.

Ever seen kids ravenously hungry some days and literally averse to foods on some other days? All animals are all born with a very efficient and complicated feedback loop. Provided the animal is eating real food, it eats when it is hungry and fasts when it is not. It is almost unheard of that an animal eats itself to fatness (if it eats what it is meant to eat). It is only when neolithic foods (like grains) and engineered/processed foods (a.k.a junk food) are introduced that obesity strikes.  Don’t believe me? How many fat/obese wild animals have you seen? Probably none. How many fat pets have you seen? Probably too many!

Similarly, if left to their own elements, kids know when to eat and when not to. This is where kids know more than you and I do. So trust the human body and let them feed per their hunger/appetite.

Bottom line – As long as they are eating real food, let them eat as much as they like when hungry and as little as they like when not.

At all times, you better be the boss.

I see parents writing/saying all the time – ‘Feeding kids healthy stuff is hard!’. Sure it is. But it is also hard to make kids go to school and to teach them to respect elders and to not eat stuff off the floor and take them along to your place of worship. If you’re boss enough to make all this stuff happen, you should be boss enough to be able to feed your kids healthy food. And trust me, eating nutritious food during their growing ages is WAY more important than going to church/temple. (Yep… I just said that. By all means go ahead and hate me but I’ll always call a spade a spade.)

Make no mistake – I’m not suggesting you be a food nazi. Just make sure that 75% of the time, they eat good nutritious wholesome FOOD.

Bottom line – Call the shots! Don’t make dinner a living hell by forcing tasteless boring food but also don’t allow junk food to become a regular in their diets.

Clean out your pantry.

Note: I’ve dedicated a blog post to this earlier which you can read here.

Kids will eat what is available. Put a kid in a world where there is only meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables and that’s all they will crave and that’s all they will eat. You don’t think so? What do think kids feasted on before junk food and baby formula were invented? What do you think hunter-gatherers fed their little ones? Wholesome awesome real food!

Throw the junk out of the house. Period. Stop buying cookies, chips, soda and other crap for the house. Your pantry should be filled with vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, organic dairy and nuts. Anything and everything you make at home should be using these ingredients. This will take care of the nutritious 75% of their diet. When they are out at a friends place or a party, let them have what the other kids have. It’s all about balance.

Bottom line – Store only what is wholesome and nutritious. The occasional cookie/brownie/pizza indulgence can happen outside the house.

Show your love by nourishing their body… not by destroying it.

I’ve seen too many parents say ‘Oh I want to bake an awesome cake for my little pumpkin!’. OK seriously… stop the nonsense. Is sugary flour based dessert all you can think of to make your child happy? You can’t come up with one awesome tasting and nutritious real food based food item? That’s just sad!

Realize, I’m not saying kids should never eat sugar. I’m saying make the food item (even if it is dessert) more nutritious. How? Make the dessert with eggs, organic cream, butter, fruit, nuts, cocoa, honey and other nutritionally superior foods. Rich delicious unbelievably awesome tasting ice-cream which is also very healthy can be made at home in very little time.  Quit making dessert with sugar, oil and flour. And please for christ’s sake stop buying cheap dessert!

Bottom line – If you truly love your kids and want to see them live long and strong and healthy, treat them to great tasting food made from real and wholesome ingredients.

Enough ranting! Where can you learn more?

Here ya go…

Note: Please take the time to read these links, especially if you are a parent or planning on being one soon. There is so much valuable information in these links you will thank yourself for investing the time and effort.

To summarize…

When it comes to children, food quality matters much more than food quantity. Like I said earlier, if you keep the food quality high they will take care of the quantity themselves. For the love of God, please don’t put your kids on a diet and increase their risk of being obese. Feed them real food and they will grow up to be freakin awesome!

If this is not an important topic to talk about, I don’t know what is! Please share your experiences/concerns/questions with respect to children and how you keep them healthy. Also, take a moment and share this post with friends and family!

Peace out!

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55 responses to “Are you feeding your kids right?

  1. Bill Strahan March 25, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I’ve been blessed with 4 kids, 3 of which still live with me. Long, long ago we threw out the crap and the only options in the house are real food.

    The other day some kids came by on a scavenger hunt and said they needed cereal. They wouldn’t believe my 16 year old daughter when she told them we didn’t have any. 🙂 It was comical. It was completely outside the realm of believability for these kids. I overheard one say “Seriously, you have to have cereal. What do you eat for breakfast?”

    Heh. The answer is, when we eat breakfast, it’s usually a fritata with bacon, onion, sweet potato and a bunch of eggs.

    Not a grain or legume in the house…ever. Kids adjust. If they weren’t resilient we wouldn’t have 6 billion of us on the planet. And they won’t starve themselves to death. Give them some credit, and give them some real food.

    • RG March 25, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      That is so awesome Bill! If only all of us could do what you have done! Thank you much for sharing… definitely an inspiration!

  2. Arvind Ashok March 25, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Super post. It is a chicken-and-egg issue. If the parent continues to pile crap into his mouth, how can the kid inculcate good habits? Also, should the parent educate himself(obviously yes)? But the system fails the parents as well – the food pyramid. Hopefully, this will get them started.

    • RG March 25, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      Definitely a chicken and egg issue. I’d even argue that it is impossible to have kids eat nutritious real food if anyone in the house eats junk. So clean the pantry and have everyone eat real food!

  3. Mamatha March 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    My esteem for you has gone up even more with this post. Well said!

    SAD indoctrination starts in-utero, I tell ya. When you go to the OB’s office for the first time, they send you home with samples of formula!

    I don’t judge parents who make “whole-grain, low-fat” meals from scratch at home but I definitely judge parents who feed their kids junk from grocery stores where the only recognizable ones among the 50 odd ingredients are sugar and Red # 40!

    And I’ve seen many variations of that party scene you describe, it’s not even funny. I’ve been to parties where the adults are served regular home-cooked meals whereas the kids get served store-bought pizza and other junk. And guess what, when these same kids are not given the option of eating junk food, they eat home-cooked meals without a whimper!

    “Eating nutritious food during their growing ages is WAY more important than going to church/temple.”
    +10^6

    *Getting off my soap-box before brick-bats are thrown in my direction*

    • RG March 25, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      Thank you Mamatha! I’m totally with you on not judging parents who make anything from scratch. Most traditional cultures lived long and healthy lives eating grains… albeit prepared cautiously using long and detailed procedures (soaking, fermenting etc etc.).

      Don’t worry about getting hit by bricks btw. They’ll have to knock me down before they hit you.

  4. Yogini March 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Raj,
    Why do you yell so much? We get the point. You seem to have achieved a perfect body combined with an ideal weight. Does all the screaming compensate for something you are still lacking in life or does it make you feel superior?
    I have been a regular follower of Jai and Bee of jugalbandi and since they recommended your blog, I visited a couple of times, only to be disappointed by your tone in the posts.
    No, I am not easily hurt by this post or any other for that matter. Just wondering if all that shouting makes you feel like a high-achiever.

    Blessed be.

    • Rob Flanders March 25, 2011 at 9:03 pm

      Generally people need a kick up the arse! Raj does that with grace, poise and the odd venting of steam. What is contained in his well researched blog posts is PRICELESS!!!

    • RG March 25, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      Yogini –

      There are many many people who have commented and emailed me personally that they have changed their lives for the better after they’ve started reading this blog. And you know why? Because this blog gives it to them the way it is. No sugar coated words. No gimmicks.

      Let me break this down for you.
      1. This is a blog. I share information that I think will be helpful to people. How I write it is my discretion. How you feel about it is yours. If you don’t enjoy the blog, please feel free to not read it.
      2. I share information about my health and my transformation and my diet and my training because I believe in walking the talk. I’m not one of those sketchy internet personalities who preach but don’t practice. I believe in everything I say so much that I practice it myself and have my loved ones practice it too.
      3. I am not going to write boring posts which have lines like “It is recommended that you feed your children with blah blah”. My readers enjoy the way I write. Period. It is my no BS approach that folks enjoy and I aint changing that.
      4. About your comments about my personality… as easy as it is to return the favor… I’ll just let ’em slide.

  5. Rainee March 25, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Agree with you fully on the feed kids real food issue but I would hesitate to be rigorous about formula.

    Most women who give birth are not educated about the practice of breast-feeding and not all, but lot of them run into problems, don’t get appropriate help and resort to formula. Even if a woman is insistent on breast-feeding, workplaces do not accommodate pumping. The change in this case needs to happen on several levels before we can hold women personally responsible.

    • RG March 25, 2011 at 10:37 pm

      Good point Rainee and I agree that we can’t hold women solely responsible. Like Mamatha mentioned above… the process starts in-utero. The child bearing mothers health is of prime importance. I’ll write a post addressing that soon! This post on the other hand was meant mainly to say – Don’t feed your kids junk. Feed ’em real food. May be that’s all I should’ve said and that might not have ruffled any feathers! 😉

  6. Smita March 25, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    I completely agree with all the points you have made here. I would like to add that some mothers have to reluctantly give formula to infants, when their body cannot produce enough milk for the baby for whatever reason. Also, not all workplaces are equipped or eager to provide a lactation room. Otherwise, mothers who make a conscious decision to give their infants formula, I do not think I will ever understand their reasoning.

    • RG March 25, 2011 at 10:39 pm

      Rightly said. There is an explanation for why some women cannot produce milk though and (in most cases) it has to do with deficiencies. I’ll try to address this at some point.

  7. Padmaja March 26, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Hi! I’m a new subscriber to your blog and coming via Jai and Bee. My kids live on a very heathly diet at home. Mostly nuts, vegetables and whole grains( don’t hate on me, please. I’m a working mom who has managed to keep processed food out of the house.) but I find that children’s palates are influenced by their peers. My kids love eating cheese, which is something they never had at home. Also now they want goldfish crackers, chocolate chip cookies and potato chips which we never had in our house. Even then, I send nuts and dried fruits for snack and home made soup and bread for lunch. I still have to contend with complaints about how thier friends get to eat fun stuff.

    Also don’t hate on the mom’s who give their kids formula. The new days of parenthood are super stressful, and the idea that your kid can’t be nourished by you ( for a variety of reasons ) is emotionally ravaging, combined with well meaning moms and in laws who say how they breast fed 10000000 kids, and lack of sleep. We don’t need you also joining the ranks of the mami brigade!! Cut the women some slack and remember that in the old days there were wet nurses. We don’t have that option now

    • RG March 26, 2011 at 9:30 am

      Padmaja – Its awesome that your kids live on healthy chow at home! About complaints and wanting new kinds of junk – realize that this is the same as your son/daughter saying “Everyone in school smokes cigarettes! I want to do that too!’ You think Im comparing apples and oranges? I’d say no. The health effects are very close.

      About moms giving kids formula – Like Whitney points out, only 5% of moms are actually incapable of producing milk and there are options. I know these options are hard and expensive and inconvenient… but nothing compares to the health of your child now does it?

      I know I could come off as rude… so thank you for being a good sport and taking the essence of the post.

  8. Gayatri March 26, 2011 at 6:36 am

    OMG u hit a nerve, this is exactly what I’ve felt even though I don’t have kids. But sometimes I find it ironic that though I eat ONLY good food(the ones u’ve mentioned), very very rarely touch processed foods and workout 6 days a week, my body is still plumper than others who do none of the above. And all hell breaks loose if I miss a single week of working out and good eating 😦 + besides all this i have slighly lower HDL and the junk eaters r doing gr8! Iknow, i know im beginning to wallow in self pity. So in ur next post could you PLZ throw some light on ppl like us. Thanks

    • RG March 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

      Here is what you’ll do.
      1. Watch out for my next post (which should be out tomorrow – Sunday)
      2. Shoot me an email immediately after you read it.

      We’ll get your fat loss (and HDL) issue figured out.

      • Reva March 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm

        My two cents. Gayathri, please go see your doctor and have your thyroid levels checked. Most people do not know when hypothyroidism hits them. Being unable to lose weight even with exercise and a proper diet is very hard. Good luck to you.

  9. Whitney March 26, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Thanks for the shout out!

    In response to the poster who said “Also don’t hate on the mom’s who give their kids formula. The new days of parenthood are super stressful, and the idea that your kid can’t be nourished by you ( for a variety of reasons ) is emotionally ravaging, combined with well meaning moms and in laws who say how they breast fed 10000000 kids, and lack of sleep. We don’t need you also joining the ranks of the mami brigade!! Cut the women some slack and remember that in the old days there were wet nurses. We don’t have that option now”

    Actually, feeding formula doesn’t even have to be an option. If you can’t make milk, you can buy breastmilk or have it donated. If i were in the 5% of women unable to breastfeed (yeah, that’s the real statistic) I’d spend the money to do what’s best for my kid and buy breastmilk from a milk bank.

    • RG March 26, 2011 at 9:34 am

      Whitney – You’re very welcome. Thank you for all the awesome information at your blog.

      About the 5% of women you mentioned – can you shed a little more light on why this happens and what women (from the time they are young) can do with the diets to make things better? Thanks!

    • NA March 27, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      In my religion, you become a blood relation of the person who fed you breastmilk…..so that would be a crazy idea for my family…..imagine having blood relations(and ones as close as your mother, for crying out loud!) that you don’t even know of.
      My maternal grandfather died three months after I was born and although my mother has fed breastmilk to my older brother(for two years, mind you!), she suddenly stopped producing breastmilk altogether after the initial three months when it came to me. She went to various doctors to find out the reason….and all of them had the same thing to say. They suggested the trauma of losing somebody so close to her was a big shock to the body and thus it affected her milk-production.
      Anyway, all this to say, not everyone has it easy when it comes to breast-feeding.
      P.S: I agree with everything you said on this post(well, except for the part where you mentioned eating nutritious food is more important than going to your church/temple…in my religion, they are both one and the same. We eat good, healthy food to maintain our bodies which is part and parcel of my religion).

      • RG March 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm

        Wow! This story is definitely one of the kind… and this is awesome – “We eat good, healthy food to maintain our bodies which is part and parcel of my religion).”

  10. Arunima March 26, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Great post Raj and thanks for the wonderful links too ! I am having a hard time making up recipes that wont bore us…and few of those links have wonderful ideas.

  11. Madhavi March 26, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I am one of those mom’s who feel guilty for not being able to breastfeed my kids, because I was not able to produce enough milk. I had this issue with my first child, so when I was having my second child I reached out for help from my doctor,lactation experts, nutritionists and family ,as to what changes I should make in my diet so that I will be able to produce more milk. None of them gave me any advice/suggestions other than saying that each pregnancy is different and each woman’s genetic makeup is different. I had no choice eventually but to go for the formula.
    After reading your blog, I’ve been trying to feed real food for the kids and trust me it has been very challenging so far.Especially dealing with peer pressure at school. But I am not giving up.
    Good post and thanks for sharing those wonderful links.

    • RG March 26, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story Madhavi. It’s better late than never. Stay strong ‘cos your struggles with respect to feeding your kids real food will certainly pay off!

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  13. Reva March 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Loved the post!

    Let me tell you this incident that happened when my baby was 4 days old. Usually, 2 days after the baby is sent home, there is a doctor visit to check weight gain. During our visit, the doc said that my daughter’s weight gain was not sufficient and that I had to start her on formula. I was asked to come back the very next day to make sure she had gained at least an ounce. It tore me. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing ever and it killed me to think that I was incapable of that. It made me more stubborn to win that battle, but I wouldn’t hold it against people who didn’t want to fight it.

    There are some people to whom it comes naturally. But there are also many who face a lot of problems. Mastitis, latch issues, supply issues etc and I have seen so many people go through so much pain just because they want to breastfeed. Personally, I had to go to the LC every week to monitor her intake and had to pump more than 5 times a day to maintain supply. The doctor would simply suggest to supplement with formula instead of driving myself crazy. I stopped telling her about my problems.

    I feel that we need more support for mothers to breastfeed children. And because babies less than a year cannot be fed cow’s milk, the only other alternative is formula ( have only heard of donating breast milk and never of buying from there. just read about it in the comments here). I agree with Padmaja about cutting the mothers who chose formula some slack. Formula is so widely accepted that it doesn’t feel like we are harming the baby.

    Looking back, I think my own diet was to blame. I had a lot of fat free, sugary, wheat rich food while nursing. Maybe that was the culprit. I found fenugreek (both tablets and methi leaves) to help a lot with supply. We need more people to advocate breastfeeding and doctors need to definitely stop suggesting formula as the alternative. You see, it is easy to go with what the doctors say – you trust your life and your child’s life in their hands after all!

    • Mamatha March 26, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      Reva, I do not know how old your little one is now but if your pediatrician gives you a hard time about his/her weight gain, you can use this growth chart provided by WHO as a reference, it’s based on breast-fed babies around the world. Sadly, the charts used by pediatricians in the US is based on formula-fed babies, who usually tend to weigh more than breast-fed babies.

      http://www.who.int/childgrowth/standards/en/

    • RG March 27, 2011 at 8:39 pm

      Reva – Thank you for sharing your story. Makes me want to write a more detailed post on the topic.

    • anand srivastava March 28, 2011 at 11:38 pm

      I guess you should fire your doctor. A doctor who recommends formula when breastfeeding is working is dangerous. Find another one.

  14. Mamata March 26, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Great post Raj. Happy to say that my first one falls in the category of kids with dislike for cakes/pastry/hot-lunch. Need to pack home-cooked meals everyday. Doesn’t crave for junk and we learnt a lot from him. Attributing these habits to probably to breast-feeding him for over a year. Can you believe that my pediatrician’s treat after a doctor visit is a zero-calorie lollipop made of all the crap in the world ….

    Continued the same breastfeeding mantra for my second one and after a couple of months she started loosing weight. Doctors diag0nised it to be some kind of food allergies transmitted through breast milk. No nuts/no eggs/no milk for me and my supply dropped. Tried starting her on a formula but she just refused to taste. Regretted for not having her accustomed to formula early on. Turns out she would have thrived better on a dairy-free formula than the breastmilk !

    • RG March 27, 2011 at 8:40 pm

      “Happy to say that my first one falls in the category of kids with dislike for cakes/pastry/hot-lunch.”

      Pretty darn awesome!

  15. Padmaja March 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Hey RG, just cuz my kids want that stuff doesn’t mean I give it to them! Instead we talk about how much good energy they have from eating nuts and fruits.

    • RG March 27, 2011 at 8:41 pm

      Thats great! Spread the good word Padmaja… we need more parents who talk to their kids about nutrition and health!

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  17. ARC March 27, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    A friend linked one of your posts on Facebook today, and I’m so glad to find your blog! I am working hard to feed my baby the right foods, so that she doesn’t end up overweight like me – we have quite the history of Type 2 diabetes on both sides of our family. 😦 We’re working on eliminating processed foods and eating out less, but it’s hard work.

  18. Primal Kitchen's Family Grokumentarian March 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks for the link! It is an honor to be mentioned amongst such great company. 🙂

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  20. Manasi March 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I was one of those unfortunate mother’s who had to rely on a combination of mother’s milk and formula. I cannot tell u how painful it is.
    I had gestational Diabetes in my last trimester and went on a protein rich (as protein rich as I could go ) diet, that kept me fit, all went well with the delivery etc.
    What was then the reason for what happened later, many factors, The baby not latching well, depression, I am sharing this because I feel these are contributing factors too.
    Dr. and nurses push formula, no doubt and for first time parents, the overwhelming responsibility, pain( for mom) and fear that the baby will be undernourished, the guilt make it unbearable and so they resort to formula. It is a trap.
    On the other hand, there are a lot of women who cannot nurse, my friends ( maybe 6-8) wh have had babies around mine have faced similar problems ( even when it was their 2nd. baby)
    Now feeding older children,6 months- 1 yr and over. There is a lot of cultural influence here, I was labelled as bad when I kept my baby off sugar by my MIL, she used to be *disgusted *by the gerber vege. puree or home made vege soup ( no sugar, no salt) my baby was fine and thriving , but I had to listen to ” huh! will u ever eat this? how dare u torture ur son like this?” On my India trip, he was dunked in sugar, I came back and struggled, sigh!
    I am now teaching him to eat everything, I do not want him to grow up like me, cannot adjust to even eating eggs , let alone anything else.
    Hopefully he will be a healthy boy for life. I mean to do my best for him, no matter what.

    • RG March 29, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      Manasi – Thank you for sharing your story. I am, and I’m sure everyone reading this is, proud of you for putting up with all this crap and fighting to ensure your son grows up to be healthy! Keep fighting the good fight… and never hesitate to email if you have any questions/concerns.

      • Manasi March 30, 2011 at 8:07 am

        Thanx Raj! I will do the right thing by my son, sure, there will be times when he will want cake, cookie, crap… but if he is 99% on track, maybe I will make the adjustment. Eventually, he will understand and eat sensibly.
        The only thing is I am not sure what is best for a 3 yr old.
        Do u think u can maybe do a post for kids? I am sure all the Mommies will appreciate it a lot..

      • RG March 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm

        Manasi,
        Kids should not be restricted in what they eat as long as they eat real food. Grass fed/free range/wild/pastured meat, any and all vegetables, any and all fruits, limited nuts, whole milk dairy, cheeses, eggs, safe starches like sweet potatoes, rice, taro, tapioca etc. – These are all absolutely nutritious and delicious. It is up to you, the cook, to come up with stuff that your son will enjoy eating. Know what I mean?

        Stay away from sugar, fruit juices, processed food, vegetable oils, grains, legumes and cheap food.

  21. Mom Gone Mad April 1, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Raj, As lots of people have already pointed out, it is not just “deficiencies” that cause low production of breastmilk. How your baby latches on, suckles, how LONG he/she feeds (some children don’t drink the entire supply in one go) and factors like depression also affect breastmilk production. Try adding mastitis or sore breasts to this list as well. I have seen frieds literally weeping as they fed their child. Its just not a good fit for some people and ultimately your overall well being is crucial for your child’s overall development. Ain’t mommy happy, ain’t no-one very happy!
    Trust me when I say that a mother going through all this has it bad enough without the extra judgement. I developed septicemia after my C-sec (you produce milk VERY SLOWLY after a C-sec to begin with), almost died and my 7 day old was on formula. I was hideously depressed afterwards, but stubborn as hell! Drank all sorts of herbal (fenugreek) teas and potions to get my milk back. Pumped at 2.a.m. That sort of thing. I got my milk back, but I was exhausted, depressed and worn out. I don’t know if I was the best mother to my child in those circumstances. So more to doing the right thing than breastfeeding.

    Thanks for an otherwise interesting piece!

    • RG April 1, 2011 at 7:31 am

      Thank you for sharing your story. I can only imagine how hard this couldve been.

      I realize its not just about nutrition and there are many other factors that comes into play… but its not just breastfeeding that is like that. You think CVD is 100% due to nutrition? diabetes? arthritis? not a chance! There are many many factors that are responsible for these things. Nutrition is just one part… one big part though. What I’m trying to do here is to fix the nutrition side of things. Stay tuned ‘cos theres more on breastfeeding thats coming up.

  22. Stacy April 1, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Thanks for the mention! Matt would be giving you HUGE high fives, he loves offending people… we’re both nodding our heads 🙂

  23. Ridhu May 27, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Excellent post Raj. For the most part, my kids eat very healthy. I hope you can provide some suggestions for me here. I am a 100% vegeterian mom (I eat eggs) but my kids eat meat. Can you suggest some good ready-made foods (chicken/fish) that I can just serve without handling them? I can put it in the over/microwave to cook but I cannot bring myself to directly/indirectly touch the meat (it freaks me out). The best I can handle is feeding them chicken soup with a spoon.

    • RG May 27, 2011 at 10:52 am

      Thank you Ridhu.

      Anything that comes in a box and needs to be microwaved isnt going to be good for you… and definitely not for the kids. I’d stick to eggs, milk, avocados, cream etc for snacks and for meaty meal options, you might have to order cooked food from places which serve good meat (grass-fed/free range etc.). Soup is definitely a good option in this case.

  24. yumzilicious August 4, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    You hit the nail right on the head. I see kids chomping on chips and chugging soda all the time. And babies being fed from little bottles of mashed ‘food’ from the grocery store. Parents should realize that the food they give the baby is probably older than the baby itself! yikes!

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  26. Nikhila November 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Raj
    Great post !! What do you suggest as the alternative to Complan/Bournvita/Horlicsks for kids?
    Please do share the recipes for this substitute.
    -Nikhila

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