The HEABlet’s Diet

by HEAB on September 8, 2010

Hello my almond butter loving friends. If you're new to HEAB, you may like to subscribe to my RSS feed or receive my posts via email. Thanks for reading!

CD and I often discuss how we’ll feed the HEABlet…gosh, I can’t wait to share her name with you guys. I feel kind of bad referring to my daughter by my blog’s namesake, but hopefully she doesn’t mind too much. Anyway, back to her diet. Despite our ice-cream slips, Chris and I both try and make good food choices most of the time. We avoid sugar, we eat vegetables galore, and we don’t keep many of the foods/beverages in our house that most people consider staples. Bread is a rarity in our house, and the only drink we usually have to offer our guests is water…or perhaps some HEABified coconut milk. The thought of purchasing juice or soda never even crosses my mind. We don’t keep much cereal in the house (besides Puffins of course), and I don’t plan on ever buying my child Pop-Tarts or other sugar-laden breakfast foods (Ha, I hope she doesn’t ever read about my first trimester cravings!) So, I guess as far as our kitchen goes, Chris and I don’t stock it with many typical American eats, and I’m curious to see how our way of eating will work when two soon becomes three. :)

What I do know is that I don’t want to be the mom forbidding pizza or birthday cake. I want to be able to take the HEABlet to Moomers and let her enjoy a scoop of real ice-cream when we go back to Michigan. I don’t want her friends to make fun of her “healthy” packed lunches. I don’t want her to grow up surrounded by food rules – I knew a girl like that and she would binge on sugar every time she came over to my house because she wasn’t allowed any sweets at home. All that being said, I do want our daughter to eat well, and I guess the best we can do is to simply lead by example and make wise food choices the majority of the time. The basic plan is to nurse for as long as I can, and then introduce the HEABlet to the same foods we eat when she shows interest in solid foods. I’m thinking sweet potatoes and avocados to start, and we’ll just go from there. I want to make all of her food myself, and although I know you can’t really plan ahead when it comes to child rearing, I really do hope that the HEABlet enjoys the same foods that Chris and I eat. I don’t know, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

Thankfully, it seems like more and more people are doing what they can to improve the way children eat today, one of them being Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org. After seeing a “Back to School” ad from her local grocer showcasing nothing but snack foods processed with chemicals, Alisa set out to create a wonderful e-cookbook filled with recipes and tips for healthy eating. She reached out to many well-respected healthy food bloggers, and received a very positive response, resulting in the following…

smartschooltimecover.jpg

Alisa is offering Smart School Time Recipes, an e-book filled with 125 kid-friendly healthy recipes, on her blog for free. Simply click here to download your copy. Personally, I can’t wait to try some of the gluten free muffins and the turkey pretzel meatballs with savory PB sauce…oh and the baked sweet potato falafel sounds amazing, and don’t even get me started on the dessert section! Many thanks to Alisa for all the time and energy she put into this project and for spreading the love of healthier foods in the diets of both young and old. I have a feeling the HEABlet will be enjoying many of the book’s recipes in the not so distant future. :)

{ 128 comments }

Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg September 9, 2010 at 9:07 am

My husband and I talk about that too (and we’re not having a baby yet!). It’s such an interesting topic! It’s funny, because I WAS that girl who didn’t get sugary snacks at home, so when I went to other people’s houses or sleepovers, I would go CRAZY with the junk food! I understand now, though, why my parents didn’t want to keep junk in the house. It’s just such a hard balance to strike!

Jessica @ How Sweet September 9, 2010 at 9:09 am

I think it is so cool that you are going to try to make all her food yourself – I hope you share that with us!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Oh, there will be lots of sharing. Can’t wait to start experimenting with baby food recipes…although I feel like I already do with as many blended foods as I eat! ;)

melissa @ the delicate place September 9, 2010 at 9:13 am

heather, you are going to be a great mom! i would let her choose from the foods you have available in your home what she likes and dislikes. allow her to find her own taste so to speak. if you’re out and she wants to try moomer’s go for it, there is nothing wrong with experiencing the bounty and breadth of foods made by a variety of people. i love small batch shops and often try things there that i would never buy a box of in a store. it’s all about moderation. i was forced to eat many many frozen/preservative laden meals growing up and i think i found my own taste after i was in my 20s!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Melissa,
Yeah, it’s funny how we discover our own tastes later in life. I wouldn’t have touched half the things growing up that I eat now, but only because my mom never made them. OK, that’s a lie, she tried to get me to eat sweet potatoes, but I thought they were disgusting. However, now I love them. Hopefully, the HEABlet will enjoy them as much as her dad and I do. :)

Ana September 9, 2010 at 9:14 am

Lead by example is the best thing you can do Heather!
We also don’t drink juice or soda in the house, nor outside to be quite truth. And I eat very healthy, lots of fruits, veggies, grains, beans, etc.
My son eats healthy too, he likes healthy foods (fruits, veggies, beans…), he loves to try new foods, he brings lunch from home to school everyday and was never deprived of ice cream or other treats when among friends. Everything in moderation is also true for kids. When they eat healthy at home an ice cream treat here and there is not going to be a problem, at all.
Don’t worry much about the eating/food part, you and CD will definitely show how and what to eat just by being yourselves, the Heablet will follow and will be as happy as can be as that will be her family and I know she will be truly proud of being part of it!
Ana

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Thanks so much Ana. :)

Dorry September 9, 2010 at 9:20 am

I can’t wait to know her name! Fun anticipation. :)

My nieces surprised my sister with their food choices. The 5-year-old loves her veggies and requests them over most other things. And my sister will make healthier versions of burgers (turkey or bean), french fries (baked sweet potato), etc for dinner. The girls also love oatmeal in the morning. I think your daughter will take after her parents – after all, the food you eat is healthy but it’s also damn tasty! :)

Holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 9, 2010 at 9:21 am

My sister made all the baby food that my niece ate when she was a baby — and I’m sure you’ll have an easier time with a vitamix than the $20 blender my sister used! :)

I can’t wait to know her name!

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 9, 2010 at 9:21 am

Back to school “snacks” are a product of marketing. They’re not real food, they’re convenient edible products. This cookbook is a great idea.

Meg September 9, 2010 at 9:24 am

Sweet potatoes and avocados, yum…the HEABlet diet sure sounds good to me! I think raising your child on natural, whole foods is a great idea! As for leading by example- My love of healthy foods and exercise definitely came from my parents first. I never even knew that my way of cooking(a.k.a. olive oil, garlic, spices) was “healthy” until I got to college and saw how other people ate. I do think more people are teaching their kids to eat healthily now, though, so hopefully the HEABlet won’t get made fun of for choosing the salad bar at school, like I was as a kid!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Meg,
I sure hope so. Sounds like your parents did an awesome job. :)

Katie September 9, 2010 at 9:25 am

To think of all the parents who never consider this, it’s great that you are! You will obviously set a great example and it won’t be a confusing situation where you are sating one thing but doing another. I hope you share some baby food making trials and successes! My mom made baby food out of whatever her and my dad were having (within reason) for my two siblings and I and we were all amazing eaters, never being picky. For some bizarre reason, it was cooler at my HS to bring lunch, so that worked in my mom’s favor with our eating habits! I do remember being at some friend’s houses thinking “this is so unfair they have a whole drawer of Twixs and Milky Ways!!” but for the most part by the time I was old enough to stay at friends, I was old enough to realize I didn’t even like Doritos or Chips Ahoy very much. Of course I went through some phases but all in all, having healthy role models in the home was a huge benefit. You’ll be a great one!

Emily September 9, 2010 at 9:26 am

Heather, I admire you so much for how much thought you are putting into to raising your daughter right; both through nutrition and making positive choices for your family. I think that there is a big shift in many of us in this generation from the food rules we learned from out parents and the food rules we have adopted and will choose for the future. So many of the things that we ate as children and believed were staples of childhood do not really align with what we have learned about health, nutrition and our own bodies. I think you and CD will do a wonderful job making insightful choices for your girl :) Can’t wait to see the new recipe section “babyfood” :)

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Thanks so much Emily. :)

Valerie @ City|Life|Eats September 9, 2010 at 9:30 am

I think avocados and sweet potatoes are a great idea, but then again i am biased since i had a mashed avocado and steamed sweet potatoes on a brown rice tortilla for breakfast today :) (with hot sauce!). I think having a Vita mix will make things infinitely easier in terms of making food for your daughter :)

brandi September 9, 2010 at 9:39 am

Wow, what a great resource! Even though I’m not in school, fall is often a kick-start for me again with the new season and students back in town so I love finding new lunch ideas to take to work. I’ll definitely be downloading this!

Carbzilla September 9, 2010 at 9:41 am

I think Mama Pea does a great job on this front though I don’t know what she fed the girls when they were babies. I think she’d be a great resource for you.

I just try to make sure the Hubs is fed healthy 85% of the time. I have no control over his beer consumption.

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Carbzilla,
Love that Mama Pea…and I’m thinking we’ll keep the HEABlet away from beer…for at least 21 years or so. ;)

Felicia September 9, 2010 at 9:51 am

I know you follow momma pea, so her ideas will be great for you. I think your attitude is great about how you are going to approach things. My mom kept sweets in the house but we knew our limits. Growing up, my dad would wake up the same time as us and give us oatmeal for breakfast, and cereal on wednesdays and fridays (structured yes, but it worked). We would have eggs, pancakes, waffles etc on the weekends which was always a nice treat. Lunch was always a sandwich and apple and a snack for the middle of the day. On weekdays when we would come home my mom would have a bowl of chopped fruit for us. And dinner was dinner.. with occasional dessert of a cookie or something. I loved sweets growing up but I never went overboard, and I think it was a combination of staying active and eating healthy all the time. You wont be able to keep your kids away from all the bad stuff (which in a perfect world would be ideal!) but being great 95% of the time is better than enough. Think of the example she’ll lead for other kids!
I think the best thing also is to enjoy meals together, which I guess will matter more when she gets older (and if/when you have more heabsters :) I have a feeling she will be beautifully healthy, and you will have no problems just going with the flow of things of what she likes and doesn’t like. Excited for baby food making in the vita?! yum!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Felicia,
You sound like you ate a very balanced diet growing up, and I love that your dad made you your oatmeal. :) Thanks for the advice and encouragement, and yes, I can’t wait to make baby food in the Vita! :)

Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter September 9, 2010 at 9:51 am

I really loved reading this post. I’ve been nannying for a boy whose parents eat very healthy, but still stock the kitchen with somewhat unhealthy foods. Unfortuantely, kids won’t eat what they don’t like. But they are easily influenced. When I ate a ton of baby carrots in front of the boy I nanny for, he started to eat a lot more of them.

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Michelle,
The carrot story is so sweet – I guess leading by example really is the best way to instill healthy eating habits.

shelly September 9, 2010 at 9:52 am

I think about this a great deal, even though I’m not planning to get pregnant for a year or two.
I tend to frame it in my mind as looking forward to making whole wheat pizza with the kids on Friday nights and letting them choose their own toppings, or that maybe my kids will grow up and think of me and my cooking as loving and nourishing.
On Sunday, I was hungry and quickly made myself a bowl of whole wheat spaghetti with a fresh tomato sauce and a poached egg and thought to myself that I hope my kids will look back and remember things like their mom turning a tomato into pasta sauce instead of reaching for a jar and think that a) it’s not hard or time consuming b) it’s normal and c) they deserve the time and care it takes to eat healthy, delicious things.
Also, please tell me I’m not the only one who dreams of future children while puttering around in the kitchen…
On the other hand, I kind of agonize over how I’m going to interact with my parents regarding food. I know it’s a grandparent’s “job” to spoil the kids and I’m okay with that to a degree, but if they give my children soda, there will be serious issues. I kind of think that soda and cigarettes are on the same level of evil in terms of marketing to children and addictiveness. (I was seriously addicted to coca cola for years to the point of having stomach problems and frequent UTI’s and my parents still drink tons of the nasty diet stuff.)

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Shelly,
No, you’re not the only one. I think most girls dream about their babies someday and how they will raise them…and don’t even get me started on the soda. I had a horrible soda habit growing up, and then switched to diet soda when I lost the weight. I swear they put crack in Coke Zero, and although I still crave them from time to time, I would never want the HEABlet to drink that stuff!

Michele September 9, 2010 at 9:52 am

I was listening to the “Doctor radio” channel on Sirius satellite radio the other day and they recommending (among other things) avoiding giving your child anything besides water and milk to drink for as long as possible. Once they taste the “sweet” drinks, including 100% fruit juices, it’s hard to get them to drink water. If you can get them used to drinking water to quench their thirst that’s a big start in my opinion. Kind of a similar thing with feeding them fruits vs vegetables. Once they taste the sweet taste of fruits, they’re much more likely to want fruits vs veggies.

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Michele,
Yep, that’s the plan. Water and veggies first! :)

Christina @ ilovefetacheese September 9, 2010 at 9:53 am

Heather, it seems like you have a great plan! I’m really happy you don’t want to restrict your child – speaking as a child who felt that I had to hide food, this is a great idea. I sometimes felt that I needed to sneak food into my room rather than just tell my parents I was hungry. And usually the food was something sugary that we kept hidden in the pantry. It would have been better for my parents to not buy these foods at all and for me to eat my full dinner.

I think you’ll be a great mom and with your vita-mix, you can come up with some awesome baby food mixes!! Best of luck to you and CD, sincerely, C

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Thanks so much Christina. :)

Sarah September 9, 2010 at 9:54 am

I know you’re a fan of healthy fats, but just wanted to emphasize the importance of allowing small children access to higher proportions of fats than adults might want or need. Some toddlers love to nosh on straight up butter. And that’s ok! :) Kids actually have a good sense of when ‘enough is enough’ when they’re not forced to eat more than they want and when they’re not habitually eating addictive/processed foods. Some days they’ll eat tons, and some days not much of anything, but it should all balance out in the end.

You guys are gonna do great!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Sarah,
Oh gosh, CD will love your comment. That boy eats 1/2 stick of butter a day, and I’m not exaggerating! He said he can’t wait to make our daughter’s breakfast…butter included. :) Plus, I read that breast milk is mostly fat, and so obviously growing babies need it. Thanks for the advice and your encouragement Sarah! :)

Jenny R. September 9, 2010 at 9:54 am

That’s such an amazing idea. I’m so glad she did that :) And I’m really happy you’re doing well! I’m so excited for you, Heather.

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Thanks JennyR! :)

Candice @ChiaSeedMe September 9, 2010 at 9:55 am

Now that my husband and I are getting closer to starting a family I think about this all the time! I’m really looking forward to following along as a you navigate the new world you’re about to enter! I’m sure you’ll do a fantastic job. I truly believe that all you can do is show your daughter how to eat healthy with occasional treats, and as she gets older and starts making some of her own decisions you’ll just continue to encourage her down the road of a healthy lifestyle.

Thanks for the info on the e-book. I definitely want to check that out!

Marina September 9, 2010 at 9:56 am

Even though I’m not planing to be a mother anytime soon, I often think how I’ll feed my child. Healthy whole foods, not crappy stuff, but everything in moderation. Forbidden fruit is the sweetest, right?
But I think you two won’t have any problems, it seems like you have it all pretty well figured out.
And HEABlet enjoys all those yummy healthy foods, like avocado/sweet potato creations, nut butters, veggies… That’ll stick with her ;)

Michelle @ six-oh-one September 9, 2010 at 9:58 am

Thank you for posting this great e-book. I don’t have kids, but there are so many recipes that I can’t wait to try myself!

Lauren @ 40Apples September 9, 2010 at 10:02 am

Your plan sounds totally right. I have thought about this too – when I do have my own family, how will my “healthy healthy” diet play into the family’s? The kids’? Not to mention my sweet tooth!! Gah that could be dangerous….. But with mindfulness, and a relaxed (but responsible) attitude, I think it IS possible to instill the “everything in moderation” mentality in one’s children.
Alisa’s ecookbook is totally awesome. I really commend her for it!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Lauren,
I could not agree more, and yes, the cookbook is awesome! :)

Emily September 9, 2010 at 10:09 am

Our kitchen doesn’t look quite like yours (we eat bread – homemade! – and milk, etc.) but we do eat much healthier than the vast majority of americans. So far, my kids are doing just fine with it. When you raise them on healthy foods, they consider that the norm. Sure, they like ice cream and pizza and mcdonalds, and occasionally I get the complaint “Jayden gets XYZ *all the time*” :) but it isn’t a big deal. In general they eat veggies and fruits and whole grains (they love green smoothies!) And they have treats on occasion, and we talk about how they aren’t the healthiest choices, but they’re fun sometimes!

I’m sure you guys and your new one will be just fine. Oh, and making baby food? The easiest thing EVER. :)

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Emily,
Thanks for the advice – very encouraging! :)

Sylvia September 9, 2010 at 10:12 am

My friend told me that when she has kids, she doesn’t plan on giving them soda until they’re 18. I thought that the idea of that was sound, but the fact that our society today is filled with kids who drink soda is kind of hard to ignore. That being said, I guess the best thing that any of us can do is to just make the right decisions for ourselves and hope that our kids will follow in our footsteps and make the right food choices for themselves as well.

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Sylvia,
Agreed! :)

Alyssa September 9, 2010 at 10:13 am

That is somehing I already worry about and I’m not even pregnant! I think it’s best to set a good example and hope your baby follows your lead for diet choices :-)

eatmovelove September 9, 2010 at 10:20 am

Wait, turkey pretzel meatballs?! Will be checking out that one. Thanks for informing us of this.

I think it’s good that you aren’t going to “restrict” your daughter’s habits. Food at parties etc is to be enjoyed without any stigma. I think that you should just be more relaxed about the whole thing really!

If what you have in your house is sweet potatoes and chicken – then, that’s what she’ll be used to eating. It’s not like she’ll be have pop-tarts 24/7 – and really, it’s not about the food! Focus on the fun part and enjoying family time and get-togethers and play-dates and playgrounds and arts and crafts…and baking some of those Banana Almond Butter Muffins..? ;)

Colleen September 9, 2010 at 10:21 am

I think because I grew up to have such an unhealthy relationship with food and work daily to change this relationship, I find the topic of what/how to feed kids fascinating (even though I don’t have any yet). One of my favorite blogs on the subject is http://www.raisehealthyeaters.com/. I think if my parents had approached food like Maryann talks about, I wouldn’t have to hide sweets from myself today :)

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Colleen,
Thanks for the link to Maryann’s site. I’m bookmarking it! :)

Fallon September 9, 2010 at 10:33 am

I have no children around but I’ll definitely be making some of those recipes from the e-book. hehe!

kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com September 9, 2010 at 10:39 am

we’re so fortunate to be living in a time where there’s so many wonderful recipe books for children and snack ideas for school aged kids! this will be a fantastic book to have around! when the heablet arrives i can see you shifting from your usual yummy recipes into a full time kid-recipe-creating-genius! we’ll all have to start making finger sandwiches and snack plates for ourselves haha <3

xoxo

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Kelsey,
Haha, I love it! Thanks so much for following me on my new journey in life. :)

Lauren at KeepItSweet September 9, 2010 at 10:43 am

i like the idea of making food for the baby… i also think you have the right mindset of balancing healthy eating without deprivation!

JavaChick September 9, 2010 at 10:53 am

I don’t have kids, but I grew up eating healthy, home cooked meals that included fruits and veggies. We also had treats in moderation. I don’t remember anything ever being completely banned, but it was just understood that certain things were not ‘every day’ foods and some things (like sugary cereals) were definitely rare. I think that was a good way to grow up and if I had kids, I’d try to do the same thing.

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm

JavaChick,
It sounds like your parents took a very balanced approach – I hope to do the same! :)

Heather (Heather's Dish) September 9, 2010 at 11:00 am

kids’ diets are so hard…i have big plans of feeding mine all veggies and fruits and good-for-you stuff, but my biggest fear is time. i hope i always have the time to prepare food for them that is healthful and teach them about moderation!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Heather,
I worry about that too, but you make the time. Cook in bulk when you have the time, and freeze dishes, etc. Use the crockpot! You’ll be fine, and I’m sure both of us will be motivated by love to make healthy eats for our little ones. :)

brianne September 9, 2010 at 11:07 am

hi heather. have you seen the book “real food for mother and baby” by nina planck? even though we’re not pregnant yet, i read it months ago and was surprised at the foods suggested to introduce to baby – i think i remember something about egg yolks. anyway, if you’re interested, i found it to be a really good read. hope you’re enjoying being home!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Brianne,
Yes, I’ve got in on my Amazon wish list as several others have recommended it to me as well. Thank you! :)

Sara September 9, 2010 at 11:19 am

I have a 3 month old daughter and we are starting to talk about what we are going to feed her when she starts to eat solid foods. I don’t plan on feeding her commercial baby food. I got a magic bullet to make what we are eating for dinner into food for her, the vitamix should work well, the magic bullet is just a lot cheaper. She is really good at sitting in her high chair while we eat dinner, and I talk to her about the foods she is going to eat when she gets older. Definitely some sweet potatoes, I mentioned kale to her the other day as this is my current obsession, I hadn’t thought about avocados. I’m sitting here smiling as I think of her covered in orange and green.

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Sara,
I’m smiling too, and I love that your daughter sits with you while you guys eat dinner. I figured we wouldn’t need a high chair for at least 6 months after the baby arrives, but now you have me wanting one sooner! :)

sweetersalt September 9, 2010 at 11:19 am

Very smart. I plan on making my own baby’s food (one day – when that baby decides to come along). So much healthier, and hello, really pretty easy. Puree steamed carrots. Um, not hard.

Balance is important. Kids need, ok need is a strong word, deserve a treat every so often. My rule would just be to try to keep it a natural / organic one whenever possible! Have fun with the little one!

Laura

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Thanks Laura – sound advice. :)

Annie@stronghealthyfit September 9, 2010 at 11:47 am

It’s so awesome that you are so invested in your child’s health that you are going to try and make all the food your baby eats. I can’t wait to hear what the name is! Some friends of mine just had a baby recently- a girl named Clementine! I love it.

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Annie,
Clementine – I love it too. So cute! :)

Caitlin (EatFeats) September 9, 2010 at 11:49 am

Most children that I know nowadays are very healthy eaters. One baby loooves beets and avocado, and other kids have been taught to snack on vegetables and choose fruit for dessert. It is really refreshing to see a young generation learning such healthful eating habits from their parents!

Of course they still enjoy the odd cookie, but I think it’s good that their parents allow them treats sometimes.

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I love what Alisa did with that book and I am proud to say that she asked me for a few recipes and I was thrilled to share. I think it’s sooo important to feed kids good food, real food, not crap, but also have common sense, as you have.

Forbidding things, freaking out, being too controlling about it, results in swinging the pendulum overboard the other way, as you mentioned about the girl you knew.

With Skylar, she’s a high raw vegetarian, she eats some cheese, like on cheese pizza. We don’t “forbid” things. No animal flesh b/c I don’t buy it but if we are out and she wants a cookie or a free sample of something from the groc store, I dont care at all. I mean, it’s 2 bites and 99% of her diet is whole foods, real foods, and life is about enjoying and exploring. To deprive or restrict food intake for children or adults after a certain point become joy-less!

Good plan to nurse as long as possible and make your own food :) That’s what I did. It’s easy, rewarding, and giving your daughter the best start in life possible!

xoxo

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Averie,
Yes, you’ve had quite an influence on me when it comes to nursing, and I will be forever grateful. Thank you! :)

Stacy September 9, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I have thought/worried about this already, and I don’t even have any children yet! I grew up in a home surrounded by pop, enriched white flour bread, and tons of sugary candy. I prefer to not have that for my future children. I agree with the leading by example. I don’t believe I will restrict or deny them these things, but I will try and limit providing these things for them. I believe in the out of sight out of mind, if they are not brought up on having dessert after dinner, or white bread, then maybe they won’t care what they are missing. I also believe that when they are old enough to understand, I will have open discussions with them about being healthy and caring for our bodies; and why Mommy and Daddy eat the way they do. I believe knowledge is power. I do feel that if they choose when they are older to have these things, I will give them the option of requesting one “special” item from the grocery store. That way they still have control and choices on what they eat. I’m looking forward to seeing in the future what creative baby food you will come up with. I already enjoy the yummy recipes you create for you and your hubby :)

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Stacy,
I grew up in the same environment, but it sounds like we both turned out okay. I think your mindset for raising your own children sounds like a very balanced approach. Thanks for sharing and for your kind words. :)

Amy September 9, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I think you will do an awesome job with the HEABlet! Your blog inspires me to healthy eating. I feel like I have another friend out there who makes healthy eating a priority. It is a challenge with kids (I have 3), but the more you offer them healthy foods, the more they start to like them – (sometimes it takes offering it MANY times.) Starting when the HEABlet is a baby by making her food will be a great advantage. I do think it is a balance. I try to offer healthy sweets and allow unhealthy treats from time to time – for example I sometimes sprinkle m&ms in my daughter’s trail mix for a snack at school. Thanks for recommending this ebook – I’m excited to try some new ideas!

ida September 9, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I’d want to make my own baby food too!
My parents only allowed unprocessed foods, and at school kids would sometimes ask me about my ‘weird’ lunches, but it was never a big deal. And on pizza days I was allowed to buy if i really wanted to.
In middle school i really wanted to start drinking skim milk(all the other kids had it) and my dad actually called the health department to make sure it was ok for me to not drink whole anymore!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Ida,
Sounds like your parents truly cared about your diet – I think that’s awesome. So cute your dad called the health dept. :)

Amy September 9, 2010 at 12:33 pm

My baby (who is my third) is almost 4 months old and I’m nursing her. I’m excited to try making her baby food this time around, which will be coming up real soon. I’m excited to see what ideas you have with your little one!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Amy,
Yes! We can recipe swap. :)

leanne September 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm

I love this post! Although many children have a mind of their own about foods from an early age, I think if you lead by example for the most part those are the foods they will also crave.

I know that you don’t consume many processed foods but I’m curious when you were going through the process of removing or limiting your sugar intake, how many grams per serving was too high or okay?

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Leanne,
I never counted anything when I was losing weigh – no calories, carbs, sugars, etc. However, I did start reading food labels, and if I did buy something that came in a box, I tried to stick to 6 grams of sugar or less per serving. However, I pretty much made everything from scratch and never added sugar to anything, unless fruit was involved.

Heather September 9, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Your approach is very sound, and how we approached food withour daughter. She ate what we ate. Now that she’s older I’ll admit to sometimes making her mac & cheese when daddy and I are eating something different, but she still by and large eats what we eat and doesn’t get something different until she gives a good honest try to the family dinner.

She came home from school yesterday with a booklet they’d made of their favorite things to eat. Her booklet had pictures of grapes, apples, and bananas. I was one proud mommy.

And I’ve already downloaded my copy of the cookbook and am stoked by how awesome it is!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Heather,
So cute – I love your daughter’s book, and I’m sure there will be the occasional box of mac and cheese served at our house. I’ve been wanting to try the Annie’s rice pasta version myself. ;)

JenniferLeah September 9, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I applaud you for your decisions to give baby girl the best food choices available!! My daughter is going to be 2 in Oct and she has been raised eating clean foods and loves it. She actually will try to open the fridge to get the celery and hummus-her favorite snack.
Does she like the occasional “treat”? yeah, but I try to make sure it is as natural as possible. I am a FREAK about her not having any HFCS.
But you will be able to make your own food, it is actually quite easy. Swt taters, avacado and bananas are where we started.
Thank you so much for the link to the download the cookbook too!
Can’t wait to check it out :)

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:31 pm

JenniferLeah,
Love our daughter’s favorite snack. Sounds like you’ve done an excellent job. :)

Carrie September 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm

I can’t recommend strongly enough the book “Super Baby Food” by Ruth Yaron – http://www.superbabyfood.com/recipes.htm. I have used it, and bought enough copies to give as baby gifts (along with a cute bib) that I should have tried for a bulk discount. The recipe for homemade brown rice cereal alone is worth the cost of the book!

Jamie September 9, 2010 at 1:02 pm

I COMPLETELY agree. I buy this book for everyone I know who is having a baby. I learned so much from it. My son is now 2 1/2 years old and eats a much wider variety of food than other kids his age. He still loves his porridge!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Carrie,
Super Baby Food is on my baby gift registry, and I just got an email today that someone purchased it for me. So excited! :)

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) September 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I know, it is a great ebook, right?! You will be great with your daughter when it comes to food. I have really discovered that the everything in moderation part of learning works really well with my kids. My boys had twinkies for the first time last year. I know, weird, but then I made a homemade version and they liked them more. I think they realized that homemade stuff tastes better and it is fun to cook with them. It takes food to a whole different level. Pizza is another great example of something that you can make at home and really make it better for you. Family style meals work really well too. It makes food fun and it is a great way to incorporate a wider variety of foods. You know the tricks of the trade…you are going to be such a great mom! I can’t wait to know what her name is too!!! Have a great afternoon!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Sarena,
I love how your family always cooks together – I think that’s great, and I hope to do the same. Can’t wait for HEABified pizza nights! :)

Tina September 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm

We made our own baby food for my daughter and it was so great. I think its part of why she loves more real foods now. Plus, its cheaper! ;)

They do get picky though. I know I have things I didn’t previously think I would in our cupboards but still nothing over the top and its all part of balance. So important to not have kids feel deprived but for them to learn about the value of nutrition as well. You’re going to be a great mom. :)

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Thanks Tina. I’m so excited about homemade baby food! :)

Lynn September 9, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I truly think one of the most important lessons to teach our children is balance. It is the key to everything in my opinion. Not just with food, but with everything in life. You and CD will do wonderfully as parents because you are honest-to-goodness good people.
I can’t wait to find out her name either, Heather! :)

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Thanks Lynn. :)

Justine September 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I have never heard of feeding such a young child avocados, but I’bb bet it will work. It is so wonderful to see a new parent planning to feed their child real food. I work with people that are constantly giving their children processed foods and it all but kills me to see/hear about it.

Happy Thursday :)

Justine September 9, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I suppose it will be in her blood to love almond butter? :)

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Justine,
I sure hope so! :)

Little Bookworm September 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Really interesting post Heather. :) Thanks for the info about the e-book, it sounds great!

Junia September 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Heather,

You seriously are my favorite blog to read every day! I love the backlink to the smart school time recipes, esp. since I am a middle school teacher! :)

Junia

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Junia,
Thanks so much for reading, and enjoy the cookbook. It’s a good one!

Laura September 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm

My husband and I talk about this as well, and we’re five and a half months away from seeing our little one. I plan to breast feed as long as possible, as well. I also plan on raising a vegetarian baby, so I will be making all of his/her own food too. I’ve talked to my doctor about this already. She said the perfect starter foods are avocados and bananas, then moving on to sweet potatoes, squash and pumpkin.

Since I’m behind you in the gestation department, I can’t wait to start reading your baby food recipes. I’m not above benefiting from other’s experience. ;) Thanks so much for the link to the cookbook as well. There’s some really good stuff in there!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Laura,
You’re so welcome. Many congrats to your and your husband. Can’t wait to recipe swap. :)

janetha g. September 9, 2010 at 4:28 pm

i think you and CD are going to do a brilliant job at teaching the HEABlet how to make nutritious choices but still have fun treats :) can’t wait to hear the name!

Marie September 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I grew up in a water only house. My husband grew up in a “juice is the elixir of life” house. We’ll have some fresh OJ once in a rare while (treat!) but other than that, water is our staple. I do, however, get some Knudsen’s juice for my girls’ “morning drink” (That’s what they call it. ages 3 &1). They get 1-2 ounce of juice, some powdered probiotic, and maybe vitamin d or other supplements. Then I add some water and they down it.
Maybe after I master soaking and sprouting we can forgo the morning drink. Until then, it’s an easy way for me to get some good supplements in them.

As far as feeding your little girl, oh my goodness, I think she’ll be one of the healthiest kids around! Kids eat what’s available to them and what their parents eat. She is set.

I will say, though, that I totally agree with Avery in not being a food freak. No matter how you eat at home, kids will get offered junk food. So here are my tips: 1) NEVER say yes to a sucker at the bank. Your kids will never forget it and they will ask for one every time you go thereafter and 2) It doesn’t really matter what/ how much they eat at Grandma’s house (or any other social function where eating is involved.) I see my nieces and nephews get punished for not eating their veggies (like, no treat) at family dinners and I feel bad for them. Their just kids! They want to go and play. Worry about what they eat at home. They won’t die.

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Thanks Marie – very helpful advice. No suckers at bank – roger that. :)

Randi September 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Heather,

Are you planning to give the baby cows milk once she stops breast feeding? I am pretty much dairy free but I eat ice cream on occasion. And pizza once every few months. I’m so torn about giving the baby cows milk though! What are your thoughts.

Randi
PS. Happy 30 weeks! I think we’re almost exactly on the same pregnancy schedule though you may be 31 weeks. I can’t remember. :)

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Randi,
I’m about 30.5 weeks. So exciting. Hope you’re feeling well!

No, I don’t plan on giving the HEABlet cow’s milk as I think it’s totally unnecessary. If she wants ice-cream and cheese when she gets older, I have no problems with that, but there are plenty of other ways to get calcium other than milk. I grew up drinking tons of milk, and I was sick all the time. Once I backed off dairy, all my throat and ear infections, along with my chronic UTI’s went away. Not a fan of milk.

Jennifer @ keepitsimplefoods.com September 10, 2010 at 9:39 am

Well said! When I was in college (and a few year thereafter) I averaged a gallon of milk per week, not including all the dairy I consumed such as cheese and yogurt, etc. I had constant sinus and throat problems. Over the past three years, I have made an effort to seriously scale back on dairy and have noticed a significant improvement in my overall health (and a slimmer waist line) as a result. I still love dairy (ice cream, cheese, yogurt, etc), but have drastically reduced my intake for the better. I agree (and studies show) that children don’t need dairy for calcium and other nutrients. Those misleading Got Milk campaigns (which encourage us to consume tons of diary to make us strong and healthy) are a result of food politics, a strong Dairy lobby, and government subsidies to dairy farmers. It has much to do with politics and little to do with health. As HEAB said, there are plenty of other ways to get calcium.

Natalie September 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm

I loved hearing your plans, and I think they are perfect. You are so lucky to have a husband that is so on board with you too. I have a question – I couldn’t produce enough milk for my son, and I am allergic to dairy and don’t really believe in most of it. If you absolutely had to give the baby something else (like formula), what would you give her? I don’t know if I can have more babies, but I have often wondered about that.

Thanks for the link to the ebook -it looks awesome!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Natalie,
Oh gosh – I’ve thought about this, and I have no idea. I don’t want to give the baby cow’s milk or soy, and I haven’t really researched other options. I know there are other formulas out there for babies with allergies, but they are so expensive. I really hope I can breast feed for a while! Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. :(

Katie September 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I can’t wait to hear the name!!!

I have a friend who made all her own baby food, and she just blended whatever her and her husband ate, and froze them in little jars. Her daughter, at 8 months, loved kale, tofu and avocados the best. 3 things I don’t even think I ate until I was about 25. :)

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Katie,
Haha – me too. Unless my avocado was shoved into some greasy Mexican cheese covered dish, I never ate it. Gosh, I don’t think I even ever bought an avocado until after college. So sad that I missed out on the creamy yummines for so long.

Emma September 9, 2010 at 7:31 pm

As anyone who routinely reads/writes healthy living blogs and does not (yet?) have children probably does, I have often wondered how I would teach healthy eating habits to my children (if I were to have them). I was the girl whose friends *did* tease her about her “healthy” lunches, who lusted after the “I’m buying” kids’ Tastycakes her mother refused to buy, who looked forward to putting her babysitting charges to bed so she could raid the pantry. At the time, I was embarrassed by the lack of Herr’s Sour Cream and Onion potato chips, soda, and Hamburger Helper in our house, and having friends “eat over” could be uncomfortable.

Now, I envy the produce they eat straight from their garden and their (pricey) raw almond butter, and excitedly look forward to homecooked meals from my mama. In fact, I can happily say I am *proud* of my family’s values, and how they are reflected in what we eat.

I’m not exactly sure how you impart your food philosophy to your kiddos, but I imagine it’s similar to how you impart *any* wisdom, life lessons, or beliefs to a kiddo…which I’m also not sure how to do. But, I think you’re on the right track with “lead by example.” And I think the biggest lesson *I* learned from my childhood is, don’t make food rules. My mama meant well (LOVE her), and, food rules aside, she wasn’t obnoxiously strict, but the “don’t eat that” thing just did not work for me. I think it’s better to teach kiddos about choices: what they are, why we make the choices we make, and allowing them to learn.

And, rest assured – despite my rebelliousness against the “food rules” at age eight, I eventually learned that there *were* good reasons for the rules, (such as, monosodium glutomate is NOT a necessary ingredient of delicious popcorn) and, at that point, my mom was more than willing to teach me. (She’d also loosened up by then, which helped!)

Major thanks to you and Mama Pea for “leading by example” for all the future mamas out there. If I ever DO have a kidlet of my own, I have some great role models. :)

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Emma,
Wow, sounds like you ate really well growing up, and even though your mom had her food rules, it sounds like there were only out of love for you. I came from a Hamburger Helper family, and I was so overweight. It was awful. As much as I love my parents, I wish they had enforced a few rules when it came to the food in our house, but there were none. I’m hoping not to be too restrictive with myself or the HEABlet, but I have to admit, I’m not buying the Hamburger Helper.

Thanks for your encouragement, and I hope the HEABlet realizes that there are good reasons behind some of the rules we might have. I’ll try not to do so much of the “Don’t eat that”, but rather explain why certain foods are better choices. :)

Emily September 9, 2010 at 8:01 pm

I’m excited to hear that you plan to make your own baby food since I’m about to start this weekend. I can’t wait for your recipes! (My daughter just turned 5 months old today. We would wait until 6 months but I have celiac disease and the latest I hear is that you should give your baby gluten bet. 4-7 months to prevent it hopefully). I was debating between sweet potato and ground meat (read both were recommended), but you’ve made up my mind to go with sweet potato! Thanks!

I am nursing and I’ll tell you what, it wasn’t easy for me in the beginning (let’s just say natural labor and delivery was nothing compared to breast feeding!. I wish I had paid a lactation consultant to be there when she was born to ensure the first feeding went well. It’s different for everyone though. :) Now its a breeze!

I look forward to future baby food recipes!

HEAB September 9, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Emily,
I definitely plan to feed the baby ground meat, but I wasn’t sure when to start that. I have so much to learn! However, I want to start out with avocados and sweet potatoes.

I have heard some horror stories regarding nursing and kudos to you for sticking with it. The hospital where we’re planning to give birth has an excellent lactation consulting staff, and I’m planning on paying the $100 to have someone walk me through how to nurse step-by-step while we’re there. Glad to hear it’s going better and Happy 5 month Birthday to your baby girl! :)

Emily September 10, 2010 at 3:36 am

I’ll definitely be interested to hear the ground meat recipes! I know my mom used to mix in some applesauce to make it smoother… still seems odd to me!

Your $100 will be TOTALLY worth it! I’m glad to hear you’re all set! Thanks for the “month”day wishes! :)

Ashlee September 9, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Heather, it is so crazy to me how our views on raising our children and their “diets” are so similar. I have these same thought all the time! It is so hard to decide how to balance what we want our children to eat without them being the “weird” kid or feeling deprived and binging on sugar. (I had that friend too) Anyway, I feel so good I am not the only one with this philosophy because most people I know think I am crazy. Look into http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com also. It is great!

HEAB September 10, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Ashlee,
Yeah, sounds like we share many of the same philosophies, and you are definitely not crazy! Well, if you are, then I am too. ;) Thanks for the link – will definitely check it out!

Pure2raw twins September 9, 2010 at 9:09 pm

CD and you will do just fine!!! You two are great people…will be great parents…although I understand your worries, I think about the same things when and if I ever have kids. Thank God for Alisa and this book!

Jessica September 9, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Heab! Don’t you worry–I can already tell that the little heablet is going to be a happy, veggie-loving child! As you may or may not already know, I was raised a vegetarian and couldn’t be happier with my upbringing. I rarely envied those friends of mine eating their meaty burgers and their families were always very accommodating when I was coming over for dinner! Prepare your child for some good pasta meals though, that’s for sure! Especially when traveling ;)

And i’m glad to hear that you won’t be stressing the rules too much–just feed her whole foods but also allow for the indulgences and “junk food” every so often as well! Nothing off limits! She’ll know what to choose :)

HEAB September 10, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Jessica,
Thanks for all the encouragement! :)

Quix September 9, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Yep, I was the kid who’s parents never kept anything fun around, and I would LIVE for the days I would go to a friend’s house and get a grilled cheese on white bread. My parents were very meat and potatoes (and didn’t quite understand seasoning) and growing up I was all but vegetarian. Give good foods, and really listen to what she likes. Don’t force it, I guess, that’s my advice from experience. :)

Then again, don’t be like my friends who feed their kid only ice cream, french fries, and chicken nuggets because that’s all he’ll eat. :P

HEAB September 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Thanks for the advice Quiz, and no worries – no chicken nuggets or french fries at every meal. ;)

Jennifer @ keepitsimplefoods.com September 10, 2010 at 9:27 am

This recipe book looks wonderful! It’s so great that you are thinking ahead about the HEABlet’s diet. I think if you get her started off on a healthy track, you won’t have any problems. Until she gets teeth, a food processor and fruits and veggies will serve you fine!

Alisa September 10, 2010 at 4:02 pm

So sweet of you to mention the ebook – thanks Heather!

You will do an awesome job and no one is perfect, especially when it comes to diet! My friend struggles to raise her son (now almost 3) away from processed junk, and all in all, she does a pretty darn good job. He loves most veggies and even likes stronger flavors like ginger and garlic. Pretty awesome for little taste buds. Oh and he LOVES sweet potatoes and avocados. My friend said she constantly craved sweet potatoes in her third trimester so she’s sure it was him :)

HEAB September 10, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Alisa,
Oh my gosh, so sweet of you to put the book together. I’ve already gotten a lot of positive feedback about it. It’s really got some great recipes. Thanks so much for sharing and keep up the good work! :)

Alisa September 10, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Aw shucks *blush* :)

Barbara September 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Heather! I was just thinking about what you’d name her! With the popularity of ‘celeb’ unique names, and your penchent for nut butters and as a namesake to your blog, I propose (inspired by Gwenyth): Almond!

I think making healthy food should be viewed as fun! Have pizza for dinner; make it yourself. Coconut/Almond or Whole Wheat flour, add veggies, lentils, broccoli, tomatos etc. You’ll be a great mom; just focus on love and health. Not ‘good vs bad’ food, weight etc. She is going to be such a loved little girl!
Can’t wait to hear her name!
Barbara

HEAB September 10, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Barbara,
Almond – haha, could you imagine? Don’t think CD would go for that one. ;)

Thanks for the sound advice…can’t wait for our family’s HEABified pizza nights!

Melissa @ TryingToHeal September 10, 2010 at 10:11 pm

I’m sure with the combo of your genes and chris, heablet is gonna love sweet potatoes, avocado, kale and almond butter. :)

HEAB September 11, 2010 at 7:09 am

Thanks Melissa…I sure hope so! :)

Brenna Kater, the Oceanskater September 13, 2010 at 7:55 am

I don’t think it’s hard to feed your baby whole foods. So far, our almost 10 m/o has had potatoes (sweet, white & red), avocados with sea salt, cucumber. watermelon, peaches, plums, apples, pears, brown rice pasta with olive oil, hard-boiled egg yolk…. and I’m sure other things. Oh, and lots of bananas! We did more purees with our older son, but that’s too much work for me now :)

HEAB September 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Brenna Kater,
I would like to go on your 10 month old’s diet. Hehe, his foods sound delicious! ;) Thanks for the encouragement!

Tom December 12, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Two thumbs up! Start eating healthy young is the way I wished I was raised, so hard to pass up good unhealthy foods.

Tom @ Losing Stomach Fat

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: