Posts Tagged ‘
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
“Jewish?” asks my son Jack every Saturday and Sunday morning. His pronunciation of the word “juice” is still a little off.
Be glad you’re not my kid. In the economy of food at our house, juice is just one notch down from holy and sanctified.
When can Jack have juice? Only on the weekends, in the kitchen. And it’s 100% organic juice, which we water down greatly.
(He can drink a little bit of juice when he’s sick, like right now.)
Why am I so weird about my letting my kid drink juice? At least it’s not soda, right? Or some sugary, food-dyed cocktail.
People across the world and throughout time have wondered why we’re all here; as in, what’s the meaning of life?
Similarly, everyday thousands of people are looking for an answer to help get rid of their kid’s eczema.
Well, I have an answer.
For nearly a decade, I suffered from excruciating eczema; in particular, dyshidrosis.
Mine is completely in remission now, but only because I radically changed my diet and lifestyle. About three years ago when I starting experimenting with ways to get my “Freddy Krueger hands” to stop oozing, I discovered that if I stopped drinking juice for a couple of days, my skin condition improved.
So I stopped drinking juice all together.
While my son may look nothing like me, he did inherit my sensitive skin condition and he is prone to eczema.
And sure enough, if he drinks more than one serving of juice for more than one day in a row, the back of his neck and his thighs break out.
This didn’t happen just one time. It happens every time. In fact, I’m pretty sure his eczema will bad tomorrow with how much juice I’ve let him drink since he got sick a few days ago.
But why does 100% organic juice make eczema worse?
Because it’s a processed food.
The vitamin-packed juice of the fruit is separated from the healthy fiber of the fruit. Together, the juice and fiber digest properly in our bodies.
But apart, it’s messin’ with nature and stuff.
That’s why we feed Jack actual fruits and veggies, even if we have to puree them and mix them together. So he gets all the nutrition he needs from the whole fruit or veggie.
And that’s why he thinks prunes and broccoli taste good.
Jack’s dentist, Dr. Snodgrass, even warns against giving kids juice regularly, in his brochures. The high consistency of sugar in juice, especially when the child sleeps with a sippy cup full of juice, can lead to cavities.
This is taken from the guidelines of The American Academy of Pediatrics in regards to the subject:
- Babies and toddlers should not drink fruit juice at bedtime.
- For children ages 1 to 6, intake of fruit juice should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces per day (about a half to three-quarters of a cup).
- Drinking too much juice can lead to poor nutrition, diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain, bloating, and tooth decay.
- All children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits.
So am I really that weird after all when it comes to being extremely conservative about my kid drinking juice?
I invite you to read a blog by Lisa Leake, who is not okay with juice either. Her blog is 100 Days of Real Food.
Here’s what she had to say today on her Facebook wall:
“A few readers have asked what my kids drink besides milk and water…and I hate to say it, but the answer is not much! They occasionally have juice (which is usually store-bought 1-ingredient organic apple juice) and by occasional I mean 1 – 2 cups per week on average and it’s diluted with water.”
The way I see it, a kid drinking juice is like an adult drinking alcohol. It is to be consumed in moderation.
So that’s how it’s treated in our house:
Juice is “baby booze.”
Categories: Health, Must Read, The Dadabase | Tags: eczema, food, fruit juice, Health, healthy, kids drinking juice, parenting, toddler, vegetarian
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
Kids eat the darndest things. Or maybe it’s just mine.
To our amazement, Jack loves broccoli. He opens his mouth as wide as it will go in an effort to get as much of that green stuff in at a time.
I mean, usually with new foods, especially healthy ones, we put them on his plate in hopes he’ll just eat them without question; eventually having to force him to take a few bites when he refuses.
But with broccoli, you’d think he’s eating cake and ice cream, based on the passion and speed he eats it.
That would be one thing. But in that same dinner when he first proclaimed his love for little green trees, he just as eagerly wolfed down some “all natural, organic, unsweetened” applesauce.” Utensil of choice?
A toy truck.
Yes, we provided a very cool giraffe-shaped spoon for him. But he made it clear to us that he preferred an old Matchbox toy truck, that was actually mine from the 80′s, to scoop (?) his applesauce up with.
It has become a regular occurrence, too.
But for some reason, Jack won’t use the truck as a utensil for other foods. Though I would love to see him try.
One thing’s for sure: I’m not going to prevent my kid from eating healthy food, even if, in theory, he should like it.
I’d much rather keep him under the illusion that broccoli tastes just as good as a Happy Meal. For what it’s worth, we already provide the toy with his meal anyway.
An all-you-can-eat broccoli buffet served alongside unsweetened applesauce and a toy truck as the utensil?
Many toddlers would turn down this opportunity, but as for Jack, he’s eating his fruits and veggies by the “truckful.”
(Ah, come on… Like you didn’t see that pun coming!)
Does your kid have a weirder eating habit than mine? I want to hear it!
Categories: Health, Home Life, Must Read, Nostalgia, Storytelling, The Dadabase | Tags: applesauce, broccoli, food, fruits and veggies, organic, toddler, vegetarian
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
Jack associates Jill with food. He associates me with… doing weird activities, I guess.
When he whines or gets antsy, my wife’s natural reaction is to assume he wants a snack. So he gets one.
But my natural reaction is to move him to a different room or take him outside. I just change the scenery and he so quickly forgets about why he was upset.
When I am taking care of Jack, he doesn’t get snacks. He doesn’t ask for them. He doesn’t think about them.
My wife is the nurturer. I am the adventurer.
For the rare times I get home with Jack before Jill gets there, Jack and I head straight to the living room and start playing.
It’s not until Mommy arrives that Jack remembers he’s hungry and immediately runs to his high chair, moaning on account of the munchies.
With me, he only wants three meals a day; no snacks.
With my wife, he wants three meals a day, all complete with 2nd helpings; and of course, a snack or two in-between each meal.
Why? Does his appetite truly increase when Jack sees his Mommy?
Nope. But seeing her triggers him to think, “I could eat…”.
What made me think of this double standard is the routine of our family car rides on the weekends. Typically, whenever we leave the house, it’s just after a meal.
Then we load up in the car, with me in the driver’s seat and Jack and Jill in the back. Once we’re all strapped in, I start driving. Then I hear Jill getting out a snack for Jack.
Not because he’s hungry, but because he wants an activity to entertain him. And hey, if Mommy’s activity involves food, he’s not going to turn it down.
I imagine if Jill was the one driving and I was the one entertaining, Jack wouldn’t be eating at all in the car. Because I would be too busy annoying him with his toys for him to think about unnecessary snacks.
Categories: Health, Home Life, Must Read, Story Bucket, Storytelling, The Dadabase | Tags: food, healthy, kids' food, parenting, snacks, The Hunger Games, toddler
Monday, May 7th, 2012
This picture right here is currently one of my favorites of Jack: He’s got a mouth overstuffed with wheat bread.
Sure, it’s not a very flattering picture of him; but it is hilarious because it totally sums up his current eating habits.
Like most toddlers, I assume, Jack has a fairly limited palette. When he’s wolfing down one of the few selections of food he will eat, he doesn’t understand the concept of pacing himself.
He can have a handful and a mouthful of spaghetti with a full plate in front of him and he still manages to mumble, “More?”
Sometimes in the morning after my wife feeds him his typical breakfast consisting of a whole wheat blueberry waffle or two, he will point to the box of Cheerios.
Recently she gave him a small cup of them for the car ride with me to his daycare. He was pretty quiet the whole 30 minute trip there.
Once we arrived, I opened up the hatchback-style door on my Honda Element and began unstrapping him from his car seat. I noticed the cup of Cheerios was empty.
As I lifted him up, Cheerios poured out of his shorts like quarters in a lucky Las Vegas slot machine.
Jack began laughing like a sneaky little squirrel. He totally pranked me.
I take it he wasn’t actually still hungry that morning.
Saturday, March 31st, 2012
When my son Jack was 9 months old, I wrote about how I was over eating out at restaurants. It just wasn’t enjoyable or relaxing in anyway. Seven months later, things have fortunately gotten easier for my wife and I to the point we actually want to take him out to eat.
My wife told me about this trendy place in Nashville, just 8 miles from our house, called The Pfunky Griddle where you make your own breakfast right there at the table.
Understandably, I was silently skeptical; not just for the thought of having to cook my own meal but also imagining Jack sticking his hands on the hot cooking surface.
But, you know, it works… enough so that we actually have gone to breakfast there for the past three Saturdays!
For one thing, Jack is now able to sit in a booster seat as long as he’s entertained. The sights, sounds, and smells of cooking your own pancakes (or French Toast, as I always choose) is definitely fascinating to him.
Secondly, he gets his own spatula to slap against the tile table in front of him, allowing him to believe he’s actually cooking like my wife and I are doing.
Thirdly, they always seat us in the sun room where Jack can hear the birds singing in the morning; not to mention, if he does get antsy, I can easily run him outside for some fresh air.
My wife and I are confident in the food because they provide whole wheat batter and bread (or gluten free if you request). Plus, they make really good coffee. Their dirty chai is nearly $2 cheaper than Starbucks’ version.
And at about $6 per person for all you can eat, it’s hard to complain about the prices.
Taking Jack to the Pfunky Griddle has become our new Saturday morning tradition. But we have to get there early, by 8:30, because after all, it is a trendy place.
In fact, so trendy, that back in October 2008, Parents magazine featured it in an article called “8 Reasons To Visit Nashville,” which The Pfunky Griddle has framed and featured on the wall as soon as you walk in.
The next time you’re in Nashville, you’ll probably see us there. Bring your toddler and see if he or she enjoys it as much as Jack!