Archive for the ‘ Dairy ’ Category

Just Ridiculous: Giving New Mothers Formula Is Like Giving Trying-to-Quit-Smokers Cigarettes

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

“A ‘gift’ of formula is like a ‘gift’ of a pack of cigarettes when you’re trying to quit smoking; it will undermine your resolve,” says Peggy O’Mara, editor-in-chief of Mothering magazine.

O’Mara made the comment in support of the fact that Massachusetts has become the second state in the country whose hospitals ban free formula gifts to new moms, in an effort to force encourage moms to breastfeed. Her remarks were excerpted in a TIME magazine article about the formula ban and the Mitt Romney connection (see the article for more on that).

I had to read O’Mara’s remarks three times–was she making a terrible joke? How could she seriously compare formula to cigarettes? It’s incredibly offensive for so many reasons.

For starters, I gave my baby formula, so how dare she even suggest a connection between a toxic cancer-causing product and a nutrient-rich food. I didn’t throw in the towel on breastfeeding because the hospital sent me home with a few free samples. In fact, I transitioned Mason to formula after I struggled for weeks to breastfeed. I finally confessed my anxieties to our pediatrician and he told me to let go of the guilt and switch to a specific brand of formula. He insisted that Mason would be just fine. And you know what? He was absolutely right.

O’Mara is also suggesting that moms lack free will. Using her logic, grocery stores should never offer free samples because some shoppers might be on a diet and the freebies might weaken their resolve to avoid snacking between meals.

It’s ridiculous.

I’m also appalled that Rhode Island and Massachusetts instituted the ban in the first place. Why should the government have that right? And what about moms who can’t breastfeed their babies for health reasons?

Take my twin sister, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis about a decade ago. She gave up her MS meds while she was pregnant, because the particular drug she was taking had been proven harmful to a growing baby, and by 30 weeks her symptoms were so bad I was afraid for her. However, Erin insisted that she would not go back on her medication–nor would she seek an early induction–because she was determined to give birth to a healthy baby girl.

When asked by her ob-gyn whether she was taking a breastfeeding class, Erin explained that her neurologist was urging her to go back on her MS medications immediately after the birth due to her declining health, and therefore she wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. Instead of being supportive, her doctor gave her grief about formula feeding and pressured her to delay taking her medication. Erin called me crying after the appointment, and I told her to ignore the b*tch.

Erin’s efforts paid off and she gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 41 weeks. Fortunately she listened to her neurologist and started her shots, along with an aggressive steroid infusion, immediately after she delivered her baby. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough: Erin had a massive relapse shortly after Natalie was born and was paralyzed for weeks. Imagine what kind of shape she’d be in if she had given in to the pressure to breastfeed.

When did breastfeeding become a tool for bullying?

Photo: Mother feeding a baby a bottle via mathom/

Add a Comment

He Finally Fed Himself His Own Bottle!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Go Mason — you did it!

The bottle blues are finally over. While Mason was eating his banana and pasta shells filled with cheese and veggies  for dinner tonight, he motioned for his bottle of whole milk.  It was on the counter, just out of his reach. I picked it up and was about to feed it to him when he snatched it from me and fed it to himself. I was so excited I nearly fell off my chair. I started cheering and clapping, Bug laughed but kept drinking away. Then he used his bottle to smash what was left of the pasta on his tray.

Smash away, Bug — just please keep feeding yourself that bottle.

I’ve heard that kids develop new skills fast while in daycare, but this feels like a miracle. Just last week one of Mason’s teachers told me that Bug threw a fit every time they tried to get him to feed himself his own bottle. I stood there, totally embarrassed. I knew that Feed Me Now Fit and it wasn’t pretty. Finally, it all clicked. Who knows why Mason picked tonight to finally take this next step, but mommy and daddy couldn’t be more proud.

Add a Comment

Tuesday Timesaver: Cheesy Veggies in 20 Minutes

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Last weekend while we were in Charlotte, North Carolina, I hung out my cousin Tracey. I’ve always adored Tracey but now that we’re both moms we’re even closer. At one point Tracey mentioned that her 2-year-old son Ethan has become a pickier eater as he’s gotten older. Mason will eat just about anything right now but it’s entirely possible that he’ll follow in his big cousin’s footsteps. Many kids turn into picky eaters as toddlers and the boys could be brothers with their blonde hair, fair skin, and blue eyes. (Watching them play together made me yearn to follow in Berit’s footsteps and try for #2!) Tonight I came up with a super easy veggie side dish that I think both boys will love. It’s a medley of cooked veggies tossed in a homemade cheese sauce. I chopped up the veggies then stirred together the cheese sauce as they were cooking. So simple and you can also puree it if your babe isn’t eating chunky food yet. The entire dish came together in just 20 minutes. I’d love to hear what you think if you try it out. What are your go-to side dishes?

Cheesy Veggies


Large carrot
2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli, stems removed
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
Shredded cheddar cheese
Milk, formula, or breastmilk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


1. Wash veggies. Peel carrot and chop into tiny pieces. Chop broccoli into tiny pieces, removing stems.

2. Fill a medium saucepan with water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat until bubbles are soft. Cook carrots and broccoli for 10 minutes or until tender. Add peas to the water for the last 5 minutes.

3. As the veggies are cooking, prepare cheese sauce. Set aside to cool.

4. Drain veggies and rinse in cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess water.

5. Combine veggies and cheese sauce in a medium-size bowl. Mix well until veggies and sauce are combined. To puree, dump it all in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

6. Divide veggies into 2 ounce portions and freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

Yield: 8 two-ounce side dish portions

Add a Comment

Baby Cheese Toast with Veggies & Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Best for Babies 10+ Months Old

Today has been chill, Mason and I have been reconnecting after our time apart. My boy has been giggling and happy all day, and his appetite has returned following his hunger strike in Washington, DC. For breakfast, he ate a Baby Omelet with Cheese and Banana-Cherry Oatmeal. He napped, we played, and then it was time for lunch. I made two of his faves — crisp toast with melted cheese and healthy cinnamon-spiced sweet potato fries. Both the cheese toast and the healthy fries are great first finger foods — they’re soft and you can chop them up into small pieces. (You can also hide some cooked veggies under the cheese!)

Hope your babe enjoys these recipes as much as Mason does! Try ‘em out and let us know what you think:)


Baby Cheese Toast with Veggies


Whole Wheat Bread
Shredded Cheddar or Mozzarella Cheese
Chopped veggies (spinach, broccoli, tomato, sweet pepper)
Olive oil


1. Spray a skillet with olive oil. Cook diced fresh or frozen veggies until soft.
2. Sprinkle cheese and veggies on bread. Toast in a toaster oven until cheese has melted. If you don’t have a toaster oven, spray a baking sheet with olive oil and toast bread on 350 degrees in your oven until the cheese has melted.
2. Cut into tiny pieces, removing crust. Cool, then serve.

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries


Organic sweet potatoes or yams
Ground cinnamon
Olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Wash and peel sweet potato. Slice into long, thin strips.
3. Arrange strips of sweet potato on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
4. Bake until sweet potato is soft, about 20 minutes. If you’re cooking for a younger baby, slice fries into tiny pieces or mash with a fork. Cool, then serve.

Add a Comment

Baby Cheese Sauce

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

broccoli_cheeseBest for Babies 8+ Months Old

Today was so delish. It started with two hours of playtime with my boy before work, great coffee, and a great meeting. At lunch, I dug into a juicy turkey burger and crisp fries with one of my fave coworkers. We ate outside, it was so gorgeous today! (Normally I nibble on a salad at my desk, distracted by an endless stream of meetings and deadlines.) Then there was my superfun dinner with Mason and a glass of wine (and girl talk) with a good friend. So delish.

Dinner was the best part. Mason loved his meal of Broccoli and Beef with Cheese Sauce. My inspiration for this dish started with Mason’s new love, broccoli. I wanted him to experience the healthy veggie with one of my old loves, cheese.  I got the cheese sauce recipe from Annabel Karmel’s Top 100 Baby Purees, although I used the basic variation from her book, which only calls for cheddar. I added beef to the mix because it’s an iron-rich source of protein, and it added some heartiness to the meal.

It was all so easy to put together. I already had broccoli and beef purees, along with the cheese sauce, in my freezer. I thawed the stuff then mixed two ounces each of the broccoli and cheese sauce with one ounce of beef. Try it out — and let us know what your babe thinks.

Basic Cheese Sauce from Annabel Karmel’s Top 100 Baby Purees


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk*
1/3 cup grated Cheddar cheese


Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste, and cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the milk, bring to a boil, and cook for a few minutes over low heat until thickened and smooth. Stir in the grated cheese until melted.

*I substitute formula instead of milk for the extra nutrients. I also double the recipe to make 16 ounces of sauce so I have extras to freeze.



Add a Comment