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  1. #1
    metalsporks's Avatar
    metalsporks is offline Senior Member
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    Question Infants and grains

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    So my DD just started eating solids about a month ago or so. Wouldn't you know it, she hates grains! Recently I've found that she like teethers (probably because she is teething and they have a maple flavoring) and that if I keep giving her the same O (a cheerio knockoff that is gluten free as she had a reaction to wheat in some shampoo I used when she was younger) she will eventually eat it. But she hates infant cereal and non-hidden rice (non-hidden because the O's are made of rice instead of oats and, therefor, disguised). I disgused this with her doctor and, despite actually gaining weight more rapidly now that she is on solids, the doctor was concerned.

    Of course, a doctor trained in CW would be concerned right? The doctor isn't worried too much about her nutrition as it stands because the formula acts similar to a multivitamin (ensuring that all essential nutrients are recieved whether or not she eats them from solids) but is concerned about it in the future. I know from reading on here that it isn't actually a huge concern considering the caloric intake versus actual nutrient basis of grains but because the doctor mentioned concerned my DH, DM, and DMIL are all worried that she (and I) should be eating grains.

    I told the doctor that I am currently working on different introductions of fruits, veggies, and starches (she's a huge fan of sweet potato) and when she nears the end of 7mo I'll start her on egg yolk and other such meats thnat are safe but she still expressed concern. Any helpful hints on ensuring her health (she is still gaining height and weight as if she was a newborn!)? How about on dealing with the doctor? Or the non-primal DH and extended family? How about general tips on dealing with kids who have food intollerances (so far apples, peaches, dairy, oats, and wheat)? Or even on just dealing with a SO who wont change their eating in support of you or your kids and, therefor, orders pizza when youy are at your weakest by coincidence?

    Thank you! Any help is greatly appreciated!!
    ~Concerned momma

  2. #2
    Steve-O's Avatar
    Steve-O is offline Senior Member
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    I have a 2 year old daughter. We started her on rice cereal at 6 months. Within a week, she started to get severe constipation. It kept her up at night and she was miserable. That's what started me researching diets and led me here.

    We nixed the cereal and started her on sweet potatoes. Then steamed pears mixed with avocado. And then pureed green beans. then we mixed in egg yolks. And then started on dark meat chicken.

    I'd say to this day she's been about 98% grain free. I think she's had a piece of bread or some rice no more than 8 times in her life so far. And after each grain incident, she's had some degree of constipation. Go figure.

    She's definitely on the smallish side in terms of percentile height and weight, but she is gaining weight and height. And more importantly, her energy level is through the roof and she's been talking in compound sentences since she was 18 months old.

    In this country we tend to associate physical size with health, but it's not really the case.

    As for the doctor, she said she needed grains to meet her caloric intake. We said whatever, and we haven't talked about it with her since. As long as our daughter is growing, the doctor doesn't ask too many questions.

  3. #3
    pangirl's Avatar
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    What exactly is your doc concerned about? He thinks the cereal is important? Honestly, if her growth is good and she presents no health issues, I don't see what there is to worry about. If I wanted to keep him as a doc, I'd just not discuss nutritional issues with him.

    My ped told us that for the first year, breastmilk or formula is all a kid needs, any table food is more about experimentation than nutritional needs. He said when our daughter showed an interest and readiness for food, we needn't feed her any cereal and could start her on real food in safe forms. At 7 months she lunged for my apple and started gumming it, and so we began following a loose version of baby-led weaning, again skipping stripped and fortified cereals. He stressed unprocessed, natural foods, emphasizing fruits and vegs, pastured, organic meats. Though he doesn't feel grains need to be eliminated outright he doesn't lecture or fight with me about it. He talked to us about "eating a rainbow", and that with toddlers, it's more important to offer a wide variety of healthy foods and keep track more of what's consumed weekly rather than daily, as toddlers won't necessarily meet every nutritional need each day, but rather meet them over the course of several days. They like to have choices and express control.

    I ended up skipping prepared jars of pureed baby food entirely, finding it easiest to feed her pretty much what we ate. Again, her primary food for nutritional needs was breastmilk til she self-weaned at 15 months. But several months before she weaned, she definitely enjoyed joining us at meal time in her highchair with her own plate and bits of regular table food, either mushed or cooked very soft and cut into very small pieces. Eating is a social activity and she liked being included. We are early in our experimentation with grain reduction and I am doubtful it will ever be limited entirely, plus my daughter's lunch is prepared by her daycare (not terrible but definitely not all choices I'd make for her) so I can't control that.

    I think diet and nutrition is like all the crazy challenges of parenting. Set your priorities, define an ideal scenario and work backwards to a realistic one. Be okay with making compromises. Shaping another human being is a lot of pressure. Teaching someone how to treat their body and how to relate to food is a big responsibility. Don't be too hard on yourself or stress horribly over it. Knowing this and doing your best to be educated and balanced in your approach is being a great mom and a great example!

    As for a non-supportive spouse, that is rough. My husband enthusiastically eats everything I prepare for us, but when he is on his own for a meal or snack, it is the most processed and un-foodlike substances you can imagine. So while he doesn't fight me on how I'd like us to eat as a family, I do worry as my daughter gets older it will send her mixed messages. Though perhaps it will just help her learn moderation, as my husband doesn't binge or suffer weight problems and he also loves the food I'd prefer her to eat. On that front, I am working on helping him find treats at least based in real ingredients that he likes, because honestly I'm more freaked out by shelf stabilizers and artificial colors than occasional homemade baked goods with white flour.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    metalsporks's Avatar
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    Thank you. I always kinda figured that if he diet negatively affected her health and growth then I would consider worrying about the grains and the caloric intake. But my beef with the doc is that she is actually gaining MORE weight and MORE height than when she was on just formula (ie her growth rate is increaing, not decreasing like they say it should). She dislikes avacado but I'll be starting her on the eggs soon, like I said.

    In fact, she is in the 92% on height and the 40% on weight. I guess I just needed someone else to say "You are still doing the right thing". So thanks. I might take her off of the o's as she choked a little this morn on them (scared me!) and just give her a teether now and again (aka teething biscuit).

    Do you have any tips on dealing with the non-primal family members telling me that she won't grow enough or that not following the docs advice will negatively affect her? I guess I could always just say that since she has an issue with gluten we are just taking the cost effective road and not giving her any grains (seeing as how gluten-free breads and such are so expensive), lol.

  5. #5
    PrimalWannabeGirl's Avatar
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    Weston Price foundation actually has a good section on feeding babies. Check it out at The Weston A. Price Foundation.

    Pea

  6. #6
    runnergal's Avatar
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    I dont discuss my diet with my doctor, I dont discuss my kids diet with their doctor. If they ask I DONT say "I dont eat grains, I dont eat beans" Then they focus on the negative. I focus on "I eat lots of vegetables and meat, fruit and nuts - nothing processed, all whole foods" By then they are blinded by the fact that I dont eat poptarts for breakfast and fail to notice what else I DONT eat. I also am quick to help them along. My son doesnt drink milk, never has, hates it, so if they ask I am quick to say "but he gets plenty of calcium from these alternate sources...."

    As for family...it is tougher. Focus on the "she is growing well" part. Mention that "it appears at this time that she is allergic to gluten and WE (universal we) are keeping an eye on that and how she grows, we can always change things up later IF IT BECOMES AN ISSUE, but for right now she is better off without gluten". Reassures them that you arent blindly following some cult, if you see any signs that you daughter is not thriving you will fix it.

    I would consider switching doctors. There are pediatricians out there who are more supportive of parental food choices (vegan, vegetarian whatever) and even if they dont personally agree will stick to things like "well if you are not going to eat grains make sure they get plenty of vegetables and fruit for fiber and carbohydrates"

    But the growth chart thing. I am 5'3", my dh is 5'3" and I routinely have doctors (not OUR ped) show concern that my kids are on the small side. You think? I actually had a doctor say to me "We like to see all the kids at 50% or above".
    Last edited by runnergal; 03-01-2011 at 11:02 AM.
    MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

    "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7

  7. #7
    pangirl's Avatar
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    Some people need "the authorities" to back a decision more than the physical truth of your happy, healthy child. Not sure how you'd feel about this, but for family members concerned about her not eating grains, can you say the doc insists on this diet because of the sensitivities?

    My grandmother was horrified by a breastfed baby, as her generation was trained to give kids formula, but when I told her our doctor "noted a formula allergy" and recommended breastfeeding she was soothed. She didn't question it, just calmed down as soon as I said it was our doc's advice. So basically, I lied to grandma so she would get off it and let me parent my own child.

  8. #8
    metalsporks's Avatar
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    @pangirl: Thanks. I think part of the prob may be that I am the dishes cleaner and he is the cook, lol. Plus I didn't BF because she wouldn't latch so I'll be dealing with bottle weaning soon. She reaches out for my food a lot (which scares me because I currently am not primal and eat a lot fo the things she can't due to food intollerances) so I know she's ready for solids. She's trying to self feed before her motor skills are there! lol. The only reason she is at this particular doctor is because they are the only ones int he area who deal with children under 5 AND take our health insurance. I've already had to educate them on night terrors for infants (real) so I may just have to stick to my guns on this I suppose. And fromt he sounds of it I need to get my own diet in order and take over dinnertime. Just scared to do so, lol.

    I agree with the concerns over mixed messages. I am highly concerned that she will want to try "daddy's food" and have an allergic/intolerant reaction. :/

  9. #9
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    we did baby lead weaning, which means he just ate what we ate. most of his first foods were veggies -- and of course unlimited breast milk. he just started with fruits and veggies, and it wasn't until he was about 1.5/2 that he even started eating meat, honestly.

    he does have rice and quinoa on occasion (when he asks for it, about once a week) and we add a bit of cheese to it for him too (makes it easier for him to eat because it sticks together. but that's about it.

  10. #10
    metalsporks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runnergal View Post
    Mention that "it appears at this time that she is allergic to gluten and WE (universal we) are keeping an eye on that and how she grows, we can always change things up later IF IT BECOMES AN ISSUE, but for right now she is better off without gluten". .
    I need to memorize this. Lol.

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