Foodie Friday: Advice from others

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Categories Feeding, Foodie Fridays, Mommy Issues, Other people

Has anyone else noticed that food topics tend to bring out other people’s advice? Be they friends, in-laws or Dunkin’ Donuts employees (seriously!), everyone seems to have an opinion about how you are feeding your baby. Or, in our case, babies.

It seemed to start in the hospital, with the intense focus on how much milk the baby is getting, how often and whether your supply is sufficient. Each nurse and (awful) lactation consultant had a different opinion about what/how/when/how much we should be feeding the babies. I remember how stressful I found that experience in the hospital and how glad I was to be home. We went to visit the pediatrician the next day, and his only comment on feeding was, “Oh, you’re breastfeeding? Great! Keep on going if you can, because it’s great for the babies. If it gets to be too much, don’t feel guilty.” How refreshing! We finally stopped worrying about food intake as my 36 weekers started gaining a pound a week. Hard to worry at that point, except about childhood obesity.

They hit their "bulky" phase at 8 weeks.
They hit their chunky stage

Of course, this started a whole new round of comments. “They are so big! I bet they need some solids to fill them up!” Nope. The lactation consultant said to wait until 6 months. “I think he is eating too much. Your pediatrician is going to tell you to feed him less”. Um, thank you Dunkin’ Donuts lady. You are very nice but could you focus more on giving me my iced coffee and less on giving me medical advice? I know that moms of babies who are on the littler side get a whole other set of comments, probably even harder to handle.

As they got older, the unsolicited food advice continued. “Really, you’re pumping milk to use for cereal? You should use formula.” Um, ok. But this is working for us. “When are you going to stop breastfeeding?” Probably at a year, so I don’t have to start direct depositing my paycheck at BJ’s for formula. Ugh. And then, “REALLY?! A year? Isn’t that longer than most women BF?” Or, “You should continue BFing until they are two or three”. Yeah, this is a decision for me and me alone to make, thanks though. Even my lovely husband doesn’t get to weigh in (much) on this one. “Really??!! You’re not giving them wheat until a year?” Yep. That’s what the pediatrician said to do. “Can they

Even with no teeth, being in the high chair is fun
Even with no teeth, being in the high chair is fun

really eat large pieces of food like that?” Yep. “They can’t chew without teeth”. Um, watch them.

My recent favorite occurred when Seth had them at BJ’s and the samples being offered were crackers with Nutella. When he asked for two crackers without Nutella for the kids and said they couldn’t have nuts yet, the free sample lady began to pontificate on how no one worried about allergies when her kids were little and these concerns seem very limiting and a bit silly, really, to her. Um, thanks?

 I don’t quite understand this flurry of food-related advice—we don’t get anywhere near as much advice about speech (where they are a bit slower than average) or walking (also slower) or their tantruming or crying or anything else. I’m not sure what it is about feeding that brings the advice out of the woodwork.

Does this happen to you too or is it just me? What comments have you gotten around feeding? How do you respond? Do any of them really bother you? Share with us!

Bye-bye breastfeeding, hello cow's milk. Abigail's a fan.
Bye-bye breastfeeding, hello cow
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9 thoughts on “Foodie Friday: Advice from others”

  1. I think this is a case where everyone is an expert because everyone eats!

    My worst pet peeve is the people who do not respect our “food has to be eaten at the table” rule in our house. For some reason, the grandmas get so riled up that we make them sit at the table.

  2. Oh, how you hit a nerve. My mother went on that same rant about not restricting foods when my sister and I were starting solids. This is the woman who raised me – I was allergic to dairy, beef, orange food colouring, eggplant, bananas, nuts … the list goes on. Perhaps she was resisting the connection between early exposure and allergies because she felt guilty about mine, but you’d think she, of all people would know better. I’m happy to report that my girls are almost 2 and half, and no allergies yet!

    Most people thought I was loopy to completely avoid exposure to refined sugar for the first 12 months.

  3. Man, everybody’s an expert, aren’t they? I think the other stuff (like gross motor or language) is more complicated, and no one has any idea. With food, it’s something we can control, so we all have the “best” ideas on what to do. Greeeat…

  4. Plus, of course, the recommendations we get from our pediatricians sound so “official,” and yet recommendations have changed so much over the years. So everyone thinks the advice they get from THEIR doctor is gospel, and can’t believe anyone else would do it differently.

  5. How true this is!

    I had the kids in Sam’s Club today, and there was the biggest 8 month old I had ever seen. Seriously, he was at least 20 lbs! HUGE! I purposefully didn’t make any feeding related remarks, because I know I was really sensitive to people thinking Jonathan was “too big.”

  6. Love the experts and the unsolicited advice.
    I get the looks sometimes when I tell them my kids were wearing 3t shorts this summer when they will be 5 next month. Yeah, they were short! But the waists fit them perfectly.
    My guys don’t look small at all. They just take after me and their dad.
    Not to mention they never sit still. They burn everything off before it even gets a chance to turn into fat.

  7. This is so true! We were just at my daughters’ 15 month well baby check up and the ped asked if they were drinking “whole milk” so I answered that they are still breastfed, and I kid you not her response was, “wow, you still have milk this long?” So I guess even the so called experts don’t know everything!

  8. Sometimes, when I tell people that I don’t want my 21-month-old b/g twins eating refined sugar or fast food, I can almost *feel* them restraining themselves from remarks about depriving them of fun. This is true of their grandparents in particular. My mom likes to joke about taking them to McDonalds the first time my back is turned. What she doesn’t get is that it’s going to be OK with me for her to do that at some point–grandparents will get privileges once the kids are older. But I just don’t think they need M&Ms and french fries before they’re three. And I want them to associate rewards and fun with non-food sources.

    Great blog, by the way! I’m so glad I found it.

  9. Thankfully I have received very few comments from others about how I feed my boys.
    But I have wanted to comment (but restrained myself) when I saw my neighbors daughter at age 14 months, being fed birthday cake with frosting, bite after bite from her dad’s plate with dad’s fork.
    The *last* thing I would ever do is fork feed that much frosted cake to my boys.
    Same baby has been seen in her stroller with frosted pop tart in hand, chomping away.
    My boys did down some cake at their 1st birthday party on their own but that is the limit of their experience with such sugary items. Each to his own…

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