Monday, June 20th, 2011
Mason’s been eating solids for about five months now and at 10-months-old he’s just starting, somewhat grudgingly, to get into finger foods. He’s also at the point where he can try lots of new things, however, I find the expert studies on when to introduce allergenic foods such as peanuts and fish to babies to be totally confusing.
And there’s lots out there to be confused about. For starters, nearly 6 million children (1 out of every 13 kids) has a food allergy, according to a new study. That’s more kids with food allergies than ever before–and experts aren’t exactly sure why. I’m gluten intolerant so I worry about my son inheriting an intolerance as well. And did I mention we both have eczema–another risk factor for developing food allergies?
Then there’s the study that came out last week. Despite the rise in food allergies, Holly Lebowitz Rossi reported last Friday that the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine asserts that there’s less reason to worry about highly allergenic food such as cow’s milk, hen’s egg, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and gluten. According to the report, feeding this stuff to your child before the age of six months is not associated with increased incidence of eczema or wheezing in either infancy or later childhood.
With all of these studies and different experts weighing in, how are moms supposed to know what to do? For answers I called my pediatrician, who is based in New York City’s Gramercy Park neighborhood. “The new data is all over the map,” he agreed. “But the important takeaway is to just try little bits of the more allergenic foods, like peanuts and fish, at a time. That way you won’t be faced with a giant problem if there’s a reaction.”
Makes good sense. I’m a worrywart but I’m just going to have to dive in and follow my gut as well as Mason’s lead. What about you? Do you think the studies are confusing? How do you decide when to start your babe on more allergenic foods?
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*Photo from allezpancakecafe.wordpress.com
Sunday, June 12th, 2011
Best for Babies 8+ Months Old
Mason’s a little peanut, a string bean. He had his nine-month checkup on Friday and he’s still only in the third percentile for weight, although he’s in the 50th percentile for height. I’ll admit it, I’m proud that he’s tall but sensitive about his lack of girth. I worry that he’ll get picked on when he gets older if he stays this skinny. I was a tall, super skinny kid (sorry, Bug, you get it honestly) so I know what it’s like to be teased. Luckily the ribbing I got was more kind than cruel –ie. the boy who called me Chicken Legs all four years in gym class, thank you very much Evan You Know Who You Are –but not everyone is so lucky. Thank God Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist when I was in middle school.
To be skinny as a girl is much different than to be skinny as a boy. I feel so defensive when some mom exclaims, “My son/daughter was 16 pounds at five months!” I try to laugh it off with, “Yeah, gotta love Mason’s metabolism” but I always feel like it’s some pointed remark like, “Why are you starving your kid?” (For the record, any mom in our playgroup will tell you that Mason eats more than any other baby around; sometimes I wonder if he has a hollow leg.) The worst was when one mom told me that her kid could “eat Mason” because her kid was so much bigger than Mason. Um, how am I supposed to react to that?
My defenses were up after I noticed that the scale only inched up two pounds over our last visit. To make matters worse, the doctor called Mason “perfect.” As a recovering perfectionist who has tried (and failed) to be perfect the last thing that I want is for someone to put that impossible-to-obtain label on my kid. I let the offending remark go in favor of grilling her, “Are you sure everything’s OK?” Yes it is, she said, because he’s growing steadily, however, some more fat couldn’t hurt. I’m to add olive oil to his veggies and feed him lots of eggs, pasta, and fresh mozzarella. She said he should also continue to eat avocado as often as possible too.
I took the doctor’s advice and made Mason’s first omelet Saturday morning. I started with a fresh egg yolk and made his mini omelet exactly like I would make my own, with a few exceptions. I was much more generous with the olive oil. (Must pack on the pounds.) And I used calorie- and fat-rich yolk, I only eat egg whites. When I was finished cooking, his omelet resembled a mini version of the one Chris normally eats but without the side of bacon. I cut it up into tiny pieces and coaxed Mason to feed himself. At first he was a little awkward with the egg but after a few bites he gobbled it up, along with homemade applesauce.
Score! Now on to the next fattening thing…
1 egg yolk
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped veggies optional –
(peppers, spinach, broccoli,
onion, mushroom, tomato)
1. Pour a bit of olive oil into a skillet. Heat.
2. Separate the egg, and add egg yolk to the warm skillet.
3. Flip egg after a minute or so. Sprinkle in cheese. Fold over and serve.
Organic Gala apple
1. Wash, peel, and dice apple. Cook until tender (about 15 minutes).
2. Reserve some cooking liquid, then plunge cooked apple into ice water for about 3 minutes.
3. Puree cooled apple until smooth.
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What about you? What do you love to serve your babe for breakfast?