Have you ever wondered how you were fed as a baby and how it affected you? Even if you don't actually know, you can probably guess, whatever your family thinks you should be doing with your baby, they did with you, and more. Do you think it affected your relationship with food when you got older? Does it still affect you now? It affects me...
Let me tell you what I remember and what I have been told. The weaning started very early, not sure how early, but probably at 4 months or even earlier. I was fed vegetable soups from the bottle, then thicker mush, for a while. I was fed every 4 hours or so, with no snacking in between. Proper schedule, great for mums, not so much for babies!
What I know for sure was that I was fed a certain amount and not a spoon more. Yes, this also can be a problem. Whether you feed your baby everything, feed purees or proper solid food, feed on demand or according to a schedule and what not, it can all affect your baby. And even if you try your best, you can still mess up! It sucks!
You would think that was the end of it, but no, and I have to mention that my parents are not crazy psychos, they are lovely people. This trend continued throughout my childhood and way beyond, till I moved out at the age of 18! My parents were so obsessed about me eating too much, that my food was restricted. I used to cry because I would say I was hungry and wanted more, but didn't get more. They thought they were doing their best, didn't want me to get fat and so I never did. I was pushed into sports and given healthy food. We never had sweets, crisps or fizzy drinks at home, and certainly no takeaways. Home baked cakes were the only treat. The only source of junk was my grandmother, but still, these were just occasional treats.
Did I eat everything? I did, I was a good baby. I was not fussy about my food, never liked spinach or liver, but ate everything else, always wanting more. You can see that traditional weaning is not all evil, yet this is not what I chose to do with my baby and not what I recommend to others. Was I being fed healthy food? I sure was. Was I ever a fat baby or a fat teenager? Never, always slim and sporty. And yet I'm messed up and I know it.
I moved out at 18, went to uni, and over 10 years grew from size 10 to 18. My parents were no longer controlling what I was eating, I was making my own decisions and finally got to eat as much as I wanted. Before long, it was out of control. And you must know how difficult it is to lose weight. Do I blame my parents? No, I don't, but at the same time I am sure that the reason why I went off the rails with food is because I never was in control of food before. I was never given a chance to learn for myself how to control my appetite. My food was always controlled by others, portion sizes were limited. Even now I don't feel that I can control it, food controls me.
I will never know for sure, but I think that if I was fed on demand, I would have been able to learn to control my appetite. It seems like such a small detail, yet this is where my parents went wrong. And they still believe that what they did was right and I am constantly being told by my mum that I give my baby too much milk, that she should not be eating so often, that her stomach is sticking out! She is a baby (FFS!), a healthy happy baby, as happy as they get. She has gone up on her weight chart quite a lot since she was born, but so did her height, and she tops the charts with both. This is good, and certainly not a cause for concern.
If you can relate at all, you will not want your baby to go trough the same, or some other weird food related thing. It may not seem serious, but it is. Food and weight issues affect confidence, self esteem, can lead to bullying, not to mention health issues!
Bringing up healthy kids is not a competition, you will not get a medal, share this with other mums who could benefit!