Tag Archives: Eating

A Few Germs Can Be Good For you

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Last Sunday, we attended a birthday bring and share celebration.  Miss E had lots of fun eating, dropping food on the ground(by accident) and then refinding it and eating it.  After she had finished eating she pottered around in the garden, picking at the grass, digging in a bunch of stones and just being generally curious.  later in the afternoon someone we didn’t know came and introduced himself to us.  Mr P and I got talking to him and Miss E continued to potter about stepping on and off the decking where she had earlier been eating.  It transpired this guy was a Dr in a hospital.  We chatted some more and all of a sudden out of no where he yells, “NO!!”  At the top of his voice.  It terrified me, and I started looking round in a panic wondering what sort of emergency was taking place.  “No!!  We don’t eat that, it’s been on the ground, yuck yuck!!”  I look down to find Miss E stood with a piece of her own tortilla chip that she had obviously dropped earlier on while eating.  She was looking at this man like he had completely lost his mind, which, quite frankly, I do believe for a moment he had!  From his reaction you would’ve thought she was about to chomp down on some cat poo or something else equally as horrid and hazardous to her health.

It totally bemused me.  Here’s a newflash folks, getting dirty isn’t dangerous!  Eating a tortilla chip that’s fallen on the ground not so long since isn’t going to kill you either!  Everywhere we go these days there are dispensers for hand sanitiser, you can even buy bottles of the stuff to carry round with you in your bag just in case you need to fend off any terrifying germs.  Cleaning product companies are always coming out with an even better formula to fight those germs that creep into our houses under the cover of darkness.  I mean, just how on earth did our grandparents manage to survive as long as they did without all of these ways of fighting the germs?!

Folks, we need more dirt; we need more kids to pick things up off the floor and have a nibble, why?!  Because their health depends on it.   A child’s immune system needs to be kept active and well honed in order to be able to protect him/her from the real threats out there.  When a child grows up in a super sanitised environment, their immune system becomes bored.  There is nothing for it to process, and, a bit like an under stimulated child, it’s going to make its own fun.  It picks on innate things and the body then becomes allergic to these things just because the immune system needs to have something to exercise with and keep active with.  This may lead to asthma, pet allergies, food allergies etc.

Our homes and lives are too clean and this has an effect on our children.  We have two dogs, two gerbils and now two fish, so Miss E spends her days petting these animals, lying on them(the dogs that is…don’t think the gerbils would appreciate it much), crawling in and out of the dog bed.  When she’s outside, she’s free to pick up dirt and let it sift through her hands.  She often needs a clean set of clothes after playing outside.  And she is forever finding some bit of dropped food on the floor.   And we don’t use any chemical based cleaning products.  However, out of all her friends, she has to be the healthiest.  Her friends suffer from various food allergies and eczema.

So just remember we need a little more dirt in our lives and can be a huge boost to our immune system 🙂

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Don’t Make Food An Issue

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Recently, we attended the birthday party of a friend’s child.  We got to the food, and, wow, what chaos!  Granted, the food wasn’t food I would choose to serve like pizza, processed chicken and fish, but there were also veg sticks.  We have always used baby led weaning.  There have been no purees in this house, no forcing food down our daughter’s throat.  We have firmly believed that she knows better than us what her body needs and when it needs it.  She gets offered the same food as we eat.  If she doesn’t want to eat, she doesn’t eat.  It is not unheard of for her to go over 24 hours with just water and breast milk and then start eating again.  Does it make me anxious?  Yes, of course, it does.  I am her mother, and, despite the fact she remains happy without the food, I worry that she’s ill or going to get ill.  But I choose not to force the point or make an issue out of her refusal to eat or project my worry onto her because I know she will eat when she feels the need.  She has never had a screaming fit over food being forced into her because we have always given her control over what goes into her mouth.  We don’t make a deal over how much she chooses to eat.

Here we are at this party, and Miss E was given her food and tucked in right away.  The other kids (many of whom were a lot older than Miss E) screamed and fussed like crazy, parents were shoving them back in their seats saying things like “eat your dinner!”  They were bribing them with ketchup,trying to push the food into their mouths and all sorts just to make them eat.  But nothing doing.  All that was happening was parents getting increasingly frustrated and children starting to associate food with bad memories.  Miss E ate with a very bemused look on her face the whole time.

We want our children to grow up with a healthy association with food.  In order to do that, we need to provide them with nutritious, good quality, well balanced meals and leave the rest up to them.  They will eat when they are hungry, and they will eat as much as they need to eat.  If we don’t leave that decision up to them, we may well be building the foundations for eating disorders and unhealthy eating habits in the future.

Reconnecting With Our Food

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When we bought our house complete with large garden, we had always dreamed of growing our own veg and digging out some plots.  The first year we were here, I made a start and then took a teaching post then became very ill, so it came to a standstill. We got some potatoes and nice courgettes and a few chillis, but that was about it.  Then I was pregnant and super ill. Last year, we fenced off a section at the bottom of the garden where we want to grow the veg and that was all that got done.  We really want to get a move on with it this year.  So my husband’s been hard at work, clearing out bushes and trees and digging out the plots. I’ve ordered potato seeds from Rocket Gardens and the rest of our seed from Real Seeds.  So this time there’s no turning back!!  Hopefully, we will have lots of lovely vegetables to eat in a few months time and our daughter will be able to grow up understanding how food grows and the right conditions that it needs to grow before it gets to the point of landing on our plates at the table.  Exciting times ahead!  Have you ever grown your own vegetables?  Any hints and tips for getting started?

Giving Myself A Break

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Do you have parenting idols?  People you aspire to be more like?  People who seem to have this parenting this down, who never set a foot wrong, who seem to be sailing through without a care in the world?  I have……….or should I say I did!  There is this lovely mama who I kept wishing I could be more like.  We’ve been corresponding a lot via emails and we have met a few times (we know her husband).  She has given me a lot of advice over certain things regarding which wraps were good ones to get when I was looking for a woven, how to deal with a high needs baby, what cream to try to soothe my skin when the candida bacteria started attacking my epidermis and it looked like I would have to give up breastfeeding as I was in total agony.  I wished and prayed I could be like her, unphased, calm, enjoying parenthood to the max (don’t get me wrong I LOVE it, but she just seemed to love it that little bit more!).  She’s a cloth diapering, AP parent who seemed to be making super healthy choices for her children.  I also make healthy choices (and today found out just how much).  I don’t let my daughter eat many sugary things due to the issues I have and looking back I know without a doubt my high sugar diet from childhood has left me in the mess I’m fighting so hard to get out of and I do not want that for her.  But as I was planning my daughter’s party, I kept wondering about the food choices thinking oh my goodness I bet she doesn’t let her boys eat this, or will she be tut tutting at the fact that some of the sandwiches are made on white bread?!  Silly things, but yeah, they were big concerns in my head.  Some days I would feel I was an unfit mother.  I wasn’t giving enough of myself to my daughter, I wasn’t gentle enough, I wasn’t patient enough(this mama seems to have patience in abundance!).  It got me down.  It got me wondering why God has made me a mother when really, I wasn’t so cut out for this job and other people were giving their children so much more.

Today, we met up in the city as she and her family were over this way for work related purposes.  She suggested eating lunch at Pizza Hut………….never did I think she would eat in a place like that as I had epitomised her as this super healthy person who wouldn’t want to be that junk into her children.  Well, my eyes and ears were opened over that lunch table: her boys get squash to drink………..I only ever allow Miss E water and when she does come to have anything else it will be milk first and then 100% organic fruit juice watered down. Her oldest son who is nearly toilet trained wears a ‘sposie at nighttime……….never thought I’d hear her say she put anything but cloth on their bottoms.  Not only did the boys have pizza, they got a HUGE bowl of ice cream filled with candy(and they’d already been taken to a candy store earlier in the day)to feast upon.  She and her husband drank about 3 huge pepsi max’s each while I sat there with my water.  They opted for a delayed vaccination schedule and we opted out completely.  They still see the HV but wish they didn’t, whereas I sent the one here packing from the start and refuse to have anything to do with their optional service.  Those are just for starters.  I also had her in my mind as this calm, genteel mother who always spoke in quiet measured tones…wrong!

Lessons I learned today:  Free yourself from the trap of trying to be more like someone else.  Things aren’t always what they seem!  Don’t build someone else up to be something they aren’t.  Don’t think someone else is better than you at this parenting business.  Give thanks to God for the parent He has made you and only look to Him as the epitome of what a good parent is and strive to be more like Him not like anyone else.  he has made you as you are for the purpose that only you can fulfil and only YOU can parent your children…..otherwise some other mother and father would be parenting them and you wouldn’t have them.   And……….give yourself a break!  You are doing just fine mum or dad, just fine 🙂  Keep up the good work!