You’re Giving Your Toothless Son Solid Food?

We’ve hit another fun stage with my 6-month old son, Evren. It’s time for REAL FOOD. Yahoo! He’s been sitting up for awhile & regularly grabbing for our food. Plus, have I mentioned that he is a freaking moose? At 6 months, he weighed in at 21 lbs! So, all signs point to food introduction. As a health coach, nutritionist & self-declared foodie, I am just over the moon about sharing a good meal with him!

1362429876For the past few months, I’ve been devouring studiesbooks & blogs on the topic of food introduction to infants. Finally, we’ve decided on an approach that works for our family called Baby-Led Weaning. Essentially, this approach requires letting Evren control his own path to adding complementary foods to his diet, or weaning from breast milk to solid food. The real kicker with this approach is that we start with solid food  (check out the pic of him picking up an apple). Once he can feed himself, we can move onto to purees, soups, etc.  I know. I know. You must be thinking how totally ridiculous this idea is given that Evren has no teeth. It’s even more ridiculous when you learn that we still haven’t found a first-aid/CPR class that fits with our schedule. I’ve been dragging my feet on food introduction until our pediatrician finally modeled the heimlich for us last week. After a good whack in back (literally she whacked me super hard!), I was assured we could do this.

Some of you with only one child may be thinking, “ I should call Child Services on you’re a*s for negligence, or better yet stupidity!” But, I know there are some mamas out there with 2+ kids who are thinking, “there’s an actual name for when your new baby swipes the food off your plate, or when your two year-old shares his dreadful string beans with his infant brother or sister?” Once these fiascos occur, many mamas just say “eh,” and go with it.

1362430009I’ll be perfectly honest with you as to why we decided on Baby-Led Weaning for introducing food. Call me whatever name you choose. I don’t care. I am the biggest advocate of different strokes for different folks so I am hoping this stroke works for our family, provided I stop having panic attacks every time Evren gags!

1. I don’t have time to make pureed food. I was 40 pages into the Super Baby Food book, the bible of food introduction, and found myself in tears. I desperately want to feed my son organic, pure foods. But, I had no idea where I’d find the time since I cook a ton already for our family & my business. This pureeing thing was just not in the cards for us. Never mind the hassle of defrosting & heating & transporting…aaaahh.

2. I am kind of freaked out by using pre-packaged food for everyday use. The ingredients on many packaged organic baby foods are amazing. But, our family very rarely eats food from a package, so why would I feed my son processed, packaged food? Like most families, I will likely use these convenience foods on-the-go, but I just don’t want to use them all the time. (Even better – this week, I am trying two local baby food delivery services that specialize in organic food! Keep your eyes peeled for more info.)

3. I want to reduce his risk of obesity, diabetes, etc.  Studies show that babies who are in control of their food prefer healthy choices & learn how to regulate food intake that leads to healthy weight & BMI. I know this sounds unbelievable. But, I’ve seen this with my own eyes working with adults! Our bodies are amazing machines that know exactly what we need to function & live vibrantly. Remove the emotional connections (that babies don’t have yet) and most people would crave real whole foods instead of processed food & take-out.

What do you think? Am I nuts? Is my husband crazy for agreeing to this monkey business? 

I’m Danielle, a nutritionist & health coach who specializes in helping busy mamas (& dads) become their most healthy self so they can raise healthy, happy families. I work with individuals, couples & groups both in-person & virtually. Are you ready to feel & look amazing?! Contact me today.

We’re Doing Something Crazy… Who’s In?

So, my husband & I are about to do something CRAZY!  I mean really crazy. A family with a new 6-month old living in New England during a particularly snowy winter just does not do this. When I told my parents of our plans, I thought my mom was going to have a heart attack. She looked at me with wide eyes, her lip quivering with distraught emotion and said “what about me?” At a late holiday gathering, I mentioned our plans to my extended family. All 18 of them looked at me as if I had told them we were moving to North Korea. The only word anyone could utter was, “Why?”4185371At this point, you’re likely wondering, what is this god awful plan that has horrified this mama’s family? I assure you isn’t all that bad. In fact, some of you may already be doing it. So, what’s our plan? Well, we’ve decided to pull the plug on our television. Yup, I said it. As of this weekend, we’re tossing out the life sucking cable box & that overcomplicated remote. Okay, we aren’t throwing out the equipment per se because that would be expensive. And, we aren’t actually turning off the service because oddly enough that was going to cost us more money than just keeping it on and not using it. (I know! That’s ridiculous, right?) But, what we are doing is banishing the equipment to our musty, creepy basement (I can’t remember the last time I went down there) so there is no temptation to turn it on and zone out.

As of today, we’re trading in our life of empty relationships with actors who don’t talk to us (regardless of how often I laugh that their jokes, how rude?!), repetitive stories of solve this murder or that crime & mindless channel surfing. You see, we have this long list of house projects & life experiences we want to enjoy – there are just not enough weekends in the year to make it all happen. And, for some reason when that television is hooked up, all our grandiose plans to read books, have more sex (Cha-ching! this is likely what sold my hubby on the plan), connect with old friends, make house improvements, exercise more, or even catalog our adorable son’s life, they all just get put on hold.Some of you may be thinking “Duh, why don’t you just turn the tv off?” Well, either you are much more disciplined than us, or you’re kidding yourself. After a long day of work & parenting, you tell me how easy it is to avoid plopping on the couch & turning on the tv. It’s not as easy as it sounds, Sally. Go ahead, I dare you to try it.

Many of you may side with my extended family and think we’ve gone off the deep end. Instead, I like to think that when we’re old & gray, I highly doubt we’ll be saying, “Honey, I wish we watched more tv.”

Do you think we’re crazy? What would you do with 1-2 hours more each night? Is anyone up for the challenge? 

I’m Danielle, a nutritionist & health coach who specializes in helping busy mamas (& dads) become their most healthy self so they can raise healthy, happy families. I work with individuals, couples & groups both in-person & virtually. Are you ready to feel & look amazing?! Contact me today.

Demoting The Dishes, The Dog & The Laundry

First, let me start by saying that I love my husband, Erol, dearly. He is an amazing, smart man and a true partner in life and at home (thanks to my MIL, we usually have a 50/50 share of household responsibilities). So, the other day, my hubby had an epiphany. Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite an epiphany, but I did raise my arms to the sky like a church pastor and proclaim “aaaaaaa, I see the light” once he said what I am about to tell you. While chatting late Sunday morning, he says:I was hanging out with Evren this morning and, as I made my breakfast, I became really stressed by the mess in our kitchen. (Note to mamas: our kitchen isn’t always messy except after a loooong week and some well-deserved wine.) Then, I remembered reading in theWhat to Expect in the First Year book that babies need a lot of supervised, independent play time to explore their world. So, I thought maybe I could clean up and still engage with Evren while he played on his mat (aaaaa the 7653064light bulb has appeared). Then, I realized every time I am with Evren and you ask for my help with something, I always say “I can’t do that, I have Evren.” But, I realized today that I could! I can help when I am taking care of Evren (and, there it is mamas, the light bulb was shining brightly)! 

I am not sharing this story to throw my hubby under the bus because he really has moved into his new role as dad with ease. And, he’s only really been at this new job for a little over five months. I am sharing because after this beautiful “aha” moment, I started thinking maybe my husband was onto something. If he isn’t multitasking while caring for our son, Evren, then he must be truly living in the present, soaking it all in while creating a deep connection with our baby. Exactly all the things I wanted to be doing! I quickly started calculating the hours I spend dual processing vs. the hours I spend solely focused on Evren. The numbers were totally skewed towards housekeeping!
So, I am on a mission now. I’d like to spend more focused time with my son, Evren, without having our house become a disheveled disaster! My practical self wonders what the world would be like if mamas everywhere stopped multitasking when caring for our kiddos. Can you freaking imagine what your house would look like? But, I’m determined to figure out what works for me and our family. With help from a few mamas, I’ve captured some good steps to achieve this goal.

  • Regularly schedule activities for mama & kiddos out of the house. The “out of the house” part is key because the dishes, the laundry and the dog won’t be staring at you begging for attention
  • Dedicate an evening (or block of time) each week to handle non-daily household chores. As long as this is clearly communicated to every member of the house, it can reduce stress for those family members who can’t stand a messy house 
  • Designate a spot for all items (mail, toys, keys, etc.) so you habitually put them away and spend less time tidying. Do you have a pile of mail that has officially swallowed your kitchen table? Get an organizer so the mail can be quickly dispersed and handled at a more convenient time (like curled up with a glass of vino and your favorite TV trash, aaaaa sweet Revenge)
  • Hire a house cleaner or mama’s helper. If you have the means, this monthly expense can be a lifesaver. For me, I despise deep cleaning. No seriously, I would consider giving up a toe or even a finger if I never had to clean a toilet again. So, we eat fewer dinners out and I barely get new digs to make sure we have the funds for our cleaners. I have friends who LOVE hiring high school girls for minimal cash to help prep dinner, pick up the playroom, fold laundry, etc.
  • Let go.  <em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””>Before Evren, I could totally ignore a mess or a project to instead focus on something fun. Since I started working part-time to care for him, I forgot this beautiful skill of mine. Now, it’s on, baby. It’s on like Donkey Kong. Dishes, you are officially demoted!

Mamas, do you have the same challenge? Dads, how do you manage the family balancing act? Have you figured this out? 

I’m Danielle, a nutritionist & health coach who specializes in helping busy mamas (& dads) become their most healthy self so they can raise healthy, happy families. I work with individuals, couples & groups both in-person & virtually. Are you ready to feel & look amazing?! Contact me today.