I know- posting a video of your adorable toddler feeding themselves to social media isn't a new concept. I've seen my friend's children all smearing food haphazardly across their faces in an effort to get some of it into their mouths and Roman is no different! But I haven't posted a video of MY adorable toddler doing it, and there are family members out there who will appreciate it. So here you go, world. My son loving life and enjoying the process.
What is that he's eating? It's his mush. And I was going to do a whole blog post on it when I had a day that found me at a loss for words or topics, but that day just hasn't happened. And in the meantime, one of my dearest friends and mommy-bloggers posted about mush. So I decided I'd let her give you the rundown. To read it, click here.
mush: n. 2 tbsp each of baby rice or oatmeal, bananas, any fruit (usually applesauce because I can buy a big jug of it for cheap), any veggie, and any protein (for us, processed lentil beans) mixed together and served in one bowl.
I will say that we don't do things exactly the way she does it- and we certainly don't do things exactly like Dr. Denmark recommends. But we have have given Roman the DD mush since he was 7 months old, in addition to two bottles a day and found success. And from the time he has been completely weaned from bottles, at 1 year, we feed him oatmeal/raisins for breakfast, mush for lunch, and whatever we're eating for dinner. He also eats whatever we're eating during the other meals if he's interested or capable of eating it (we're still working on getting molars so some foods he just can't chew yet.) but only after he's had his mush.
I will say that he LOVES his mush, and though it looks and sounds gross it really just tastes like bananas and applesauce. And the reason we have stuck with it is because we KNOW he is getting a balanced diet every day. He gets proteins, fiber, carbs, fruits, veggies...and I don't have to stress about the foods he likes and doesn't like and whether he's eaten enough "good/healthy things" that day. I even told his pediatrician about his meal plan and she LOVED it.
I don't know many people who do the mush, other than my friend who told me about it, though I do know several others who have heard about Dr. Denmark and the things she has to say about raising babies. (She's awesome.) It actually wasn't a decision that Jerry and I made quickly or easily. We were worried that feeding Roman mush would make him a picky eater, because it wouldn't expose him to all kinds of foods. Not the case- he loves all kinds of food! But that is the reason for one of our tweaks, feeding him whatever we're having for dinner and not just his mush.
I remember talking with a girlfriend one night and she commented that I feed my family a well-balanced meal and "You don't care more about Roman's diet than your own, do you?" My first response- and my response that night- was "NO!" Because why would I care more about my son's meals than my husband and I's? But her question kept replaying in my head and I realized that I actually DO care more about Roman's meals than ours. We are grown humans with a mouth full of teeth. Kids between ages 0-3 will develop more brain cells than at any other time. They are growing and developing in crazy ways, and I strongly believe that their diet during this time needs to be carefully monitored so that they are equipped with every possible advantage (getting a good balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc)to grow healthily. We feed our adult bodies to maintain but they need to eat to grow.
I have also done research that tells me that until they have a mouth full of teeth and are able to fully chew their food, they are unable to digest all nutrients from it. So in other words, Roman might be able to swallow a bite of steak or a raw carrot right now, but because it wasn't chewed completely, his stomach is going to pass most of it along to his intestines without getting the full value it could provide.
So Jerry and I decided that, for our family, Dr. D's mush was the way to go. And we feel like it's working! Roman is 14 months old and has never been sick. We believe that is largely in part to a well-balanced meal that fills him with enough vitamins/nutrients to give him a strong immune system. He's well-fed, happy, loves the taste of it, his blood tests show that he's getting perfectly-balanced meals, and our pediatrician is happy. Not to mention my Mommy-gut is at peace. And let's face it- that intuition means a whole heck of a lot. :)
Liam, get ready! We'll definitely be doing this for each of our children.