‘Do they have kiddie meals?’ my friend asked.
‘Umm I’m not sure, like what?’ I said.
‘French fries? Cheese sandwiches?’
‘I’m not sure,’
‘What will N eat?’
‘Whatever’s on the menu”
A friend of mine with her three-year-old daughter and me with my 16-month-old toddler went for lunch today.
Since the place we chose didn’t have ‘child friendly’ food, the little girl had a chocolate milkshake while N finished half a chicken pie with roasted tomatoes, a few pieces of fish with vegetables, and almost an entire berry smoothie which was fresh berries (pulpy not strained) with a little yoghurt and absolutely no sweeteners
I am always surprised at ‘kiddie meal’ options.
I’ve been on an airplane where they insisted on serving me a baby meal since I was traveling with a baby. What was the baby food? A jam sandwich and some wafers if you please.
Or what about kiddie meals at parties and restaurants? Deep fried smiley potatoes, wafers, French fries, cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, pasta and pizza? Not only are they devoid of nutrients but they are actually damaging the insides of children!
I know I come across like a food Nazi. Believe me I am not. I want to expose my child to ALL foods. Yes he can have fries when the next kid is eating them. Yes he can have cake and pizza too. But yes he will have his vegetables, chicken, fish, soup, and fruit first.
The other day a mother said to me, ‘I read your blog. I hope you’re not making your child eat as per your diet. ‘
‘I most certainly am’.
‘No I mean, it’s ok for you it’s your choice, but for your child he should eat everything’.
‘He does eat everything’.
‘Does he eat chapati’?
‘Hmm’ which meant I rest my case.
Ok. He doesn’t eat everything then. Point taken. He doesn’t eat everything but as opposed to what?
No he doesn’t go out to lunch and eat cheese sandwiches as a meal or French fries. He doesn’t eat chapatis with jaggery or jam, he doesn’t need negotiations to eat, he doesn’t need to be bribed with chocolate or other treats.
I am not against all grain for N. He eats a dosa now and then or idli, which is fermented grains or grains prepared the proper way. When food is fermented it preserves nutrients and makes it more digestible. Grains contain Phytic Acid, a mineral blocker that prevents absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. If properly prepared/ sprouted/ fermented evidence shows that the content of many important vitamins increases, and breaks down the phytic acid.
I really liked these few lines from this article from Wellness Mama.
You know what else is a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals? Vegetables.
You know what also has MORE fiber, vitamins and minerals? Vegetables.
You know what also doesn’t have the potential to cause gut damage (in most cases)? Vegetables.
If we are feeling really brave, we can even add in foods like liver, broth, fermented vegetables and eggs and blow the nutrition profile of grains completely out of the water.
I’ve also heard that it’s because N is still young and he will start demanding other food soon. I’ve seen kids his age or a month or two older who fuss and demand other foods. N doesn’t have that option. He eats what his parents eat, that’s how we have always eaten. He has no special meals, and no options. He eats unprocessed real foods in as natural a state as possible. He eats nutrients, nutrients, and nutrients.
When he goes to parties and goes with friends to places, which serve fast food and pizza, he will eat all of it. I just don’t see the need to damage his precious little body yet, do you?
Thanks for reading. Are kiddie meals over-rated? Do we need to give our children meals just for the sake of filling them up? Why must we give them a choice when we know how bad it is for them and they don’t?
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