Walk down the baby isle of any grocery store and you will surely find bottles and cans of baby formula. It is everywhere, it is expensive, and unlike breast milk, it is a dead food. It does not change with the babies age, it does not contain enzymes, it is not raw. It is just formula, fake milk in a package.
Keep on walking and you will come to the "baby food". It begins with the beloved invention rice cereal. The makers of this seem to know that this rice cereal is in fact useless because even they on the package mention that it should be mixed with breast milk or formula before feeding it to your baby.
You move on to find the jars of baby food. Pureed fruit or vegetables or "beef dinners" in runny form so that even the toothless four month old can consume his first food from a package.
Keep walking and there are the "toddler meals". Now, instead of sharing a healthy meal from your plate, your two year old can have his own food microwaved in a plastic bag and handed to him, all soft enough that little chewing is required.
Is it any wonder that we are a nation of sick, diabetic, obese people who love fast food?
We are literally being taught from the earliest moments of life that dead food in a package is what is best for us. Then when we are adults and overweight we learn about fresh fruits and fresh vegetables and whole grains and how that is what we should be eating. By then, normal, natural, live food is so incredibly foreign to most people that they do not even LIKE healthy food.
This is world breastfeeding week. When I think of breastfeeding I think of a perfect food intended to start and sustain life. It is naturally followed by healthy foods shared from the plate of mom and dad. A baby ready to eat food does not need to be tipped back in a high chair and spoon fed, he GRABS what he wants. He puts it in his mouth and low and behold, HE CHEWS IT!
What better way to teach a child healthy eating habits than to begin them on a natural live food? And then, when they show interest, share natural whole and live foods from your own plate. Not only do children begin their solid foods with diverse tastes and textures, but it forces mom and dad to think about what THEY are eating.
If you know that refined white instant rice is not good for you, and that it spikes your blood sugar and causes you to gain weight, why on earth would you feed it to your baby?
If you know that microwaved TV dinners are not ideal foods, why feed them to your toddler?
We can not expect to have healthy adults that enjoy good food if we don't raise children who are fed healthy whole foods. It begins at the breast.