Saturday, January 01, 2005

leaving food on your plate

It was always the starving children in Africa whose welfare my generation was invited to consider when threatening to leave food on our plates. As I watched a mother cajole her child into eating "just two more mouthfuls" recently, it struck me anew how illogical it is to force a person to eat food when they do not have portion control. Noone can guess correctly for another person how hungry they are (children should not be forced to eat food they do not like either, but that is another question for another day).

This is one reason why I am firmly outside the puree-up-vats-of-boiled-vegetables-and-spoon-it-into-the-child's-mouth school of solid food introduction. When the baby smiles or opens hir mouth to burble something, in pops another spoonful of slop. Much better to keep on with the breastfeeding and let the child develop the hand-eye coordination to get as many spoonfuls of yoghurt or handfuls of cooked carrots into hir mouth as se wants to eat/taste/play with.

Controlling what one puts in ones own body is important.

3 comments:

Alice said...

Absolutely right; if you learn to ignore what your body is telling you about how much and what to eat from age dot, no wonder if you end up sick and obese/ anorexic later. I never found pureed food any use at all. Bananas, fingers of toast, rice-cakes. Don't ask me why little kids like rice cakes, though. Conversation outside La Leche League meeting years ago:

Friend (spotting piece of polystyrene on the ground): "I thought that was a piece of rice cake for a moment! Well, they do look the same."
Me: "Yeah, and they taste the same, too."

surf said...

Rice cakes are all about texture and crunch and the way they sort of melt down to almost nothing.

emma said...

hadn't thought about rice cakes, but I know several young children who LOVE popadums... same texture/melting deal i guess