Healthy-Feeding and Older Children, Knowing When to Draw the Line

It’s time to cut her off.

Sure she’s still young and growing and absolutely adorable but we have to end it.  As it is we’ve gone way past socially accepted norms.  I’ve avoided doing it in public for a while now, just couldn’t handle the strange looks we’d receive and people were getting increasingly rude with their comments.  And now that she’s 8 I can’t pretend any longer that she really needs it anyway, it’s just for comfort now and like my mom said, I can’t let her go on thinking she can just take advantage of me, use me like that forever.  I can’t even imagine what my mom would say if I told her what happened last night…

Brace yourself… Lolie actually asked for it. (I’m totally blushing here, don’t judge me!)  She knew what she wanted and she asked for it.  That would really freak some people out!  You know how many times I’ve heard “they are really too old when they can ASK for it!  That’s just so disgusting!”

We were preparing for her birthday, asking her what meals she wanted and she said… (my stomach’s in knots just thinking this!) taco salad!  Homemade taco salad for lunch.  And a veggie and fruit tray.  Spinach and mushroom crepes for dinner.  Homemade cake.  I tried to dissuade her, offered Papa John’s Pizza, Taco Bell anything, McDonald’s, Chili’s, and more but she refused!  All she wants for her birthday is healthy, homemade growing food.  Carrots!

I can hear it now: “she asked for spinach and mushrooms for her birthday dinner?!  Oh. My. Gosh.  Someone get this kid a Happy Meal with extra large fries and supersized Coke STAT!”

I’m pretty sure healthy-feeding her for this long has ruined her.  She’s probably developmentally behind her peers, physically malnourished, emotionally stunted and over-attached to me now.  What was I thinking?  I guess I wasn’t really, it just sort of happened.  The recommendation was to healthy-feed until 6 years old, school age but it just felt so right, so natural that I continued.  I mean, if it was so good for her brain development, bone growth and all that then why would it suddenly stop?  We have our own term for it: growing food.  We were both happy, it worked for us and she seemed to be thriving and even though she was past the minimum age recommended to healthy food-feed, she still seemed so young to me.  So I let it keep going.

But now she’s gone and asked for it?!  That’s clearly not normal, maybe even perverted.  What 7, almost 8 year old child actually turns down pizza in favor of a salad?  Rejects a Happy Meal and prefers spinach and mushroom crepes?  Turns up her nose at a brilliantly colored store bought ice cream cake and specifically requests a homemade cake from scratch?  Or begs for homemade whole wheat bread and doesn’t even know what Wonder Bread is?

I’ve ruined my Lolie!

There comes a point when you just have to stop healthy-feeding a child.  If it’s come from the ground or is fresh, made from scratch and void of branded packaging it can’t be good for the child to continue past 6, certainly not past 8.  Going to 10 would be positively revolting, people everywhere would lose their Taco Bell taco meat product tacos at the thought.  If you don’t stop it how will the child eat in the future?  How do you know EXACTLY what they are eating without a package label?  How will they learn how to feed themselves?  How will they recognize the brands of sustenance?

My friends will be freaked out that she asked for it, that she doesn’t even want junk food.  Some of them had a hard enough time that I even did this at all (after all, they only ate prepackaged and fast foods and they are fine) but this will really be too much.  Once they can open the refrigerator and get their own carrot you’ve got to stop it, right?  I mean, what in the world would happen if kids everywhere thought eating carrots and food that came out of the ground and not out of a box or package was NORMAL?!  Our very economy would be in danger!  It’s not like we don’t have access to other foods, it’s not like we’re uncivilized, right?  It would damage their perspective of the human body and food.  Years and years of therapy would be required for all these confused kids that would think it’s actually good to eat this way.  No, for her mental health and our socio-economic standing I just can’t allow this to continue!  I wonder if our friends will even let their kids play with her any more.  If word of this gets out it could ruin her socially.  It probably will destroy her chances of getting the lead in the spring play… she’ll get kicked out of the ballet studio… summer camps will reject her… no hope of getting a date for prom… Harvard will totally laugh at her… she’ll never find a job… she’ll be living at home eating like this and completely dependent on me forever!

It’s her birthday and I have to cut her off, she’s simply too old.  It will break her heart and I know she won’t understand but how can I let her continue?  I’m so sad just thinking of it but we have to be done, that’s just all there is to it.  Today was the last time, no more.

*sob*

I will tell her tonight as she nurses to sleep.  At least she will still have that, so glad there’s no taboo surrounding breastfeeding.  How sad would that be?

_____________________________________________________________________


From the American Academy of Pediatrics: “Exclusive breastfeeding for approximately the first six months and support for breastfeeding for the first year and beyond as long as mutually desired by mother and child.”

It is my hope that mothers continue breastfeeding as long as it is right for them and their child.  The decision to stop should be an informed one, using research and individual considerations of physical and emotional health to determine the best choice for each mother and her nursling.  Whether that is 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months, or 6 years.  Pressure to stop at some arbitrary date and claims that breastmilk has no nutritional value after a certain age are uninformed and potentially damaging. Instead of telling women what they need to do we need to support them in making informed decisions.  You can find more information on the value of breastfeeding beyond the first year at Kellymom.com.  I believe every woman should have support without pressure or condemnation no matter how long she breastfeeds.

By the way, I’m thrilled my daughter requests homemade food full of veggies and whole grain goodness for her birthday and I won’t be cutting her off from that nutrition for any reason.  Not even if it isn’t normal for a child her age to turn down fast-food style pizza and other nutritionally similar options in favor of whole foods.  Also, in the interest of honest representation, she hasn’t breastfed in quite some time.

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Comments

  1. LeAndra says:

    LOVE! HAHAHA!

    What about homemade pizza? I find pizza highly nutritous if made correctly! It can have some of EVERY food group!
    Sorry…I love pizza!

    • I totally agree! I’ve been known to consider pizza a healthy food choice and it really can be though I wouldn’t think of Papa John’s in that group, LOL!

  2. You were right, I loved it!

    “Once they can open the refrigerator and get their own carrot you’ve got to stop it, right? ”

    Too funny! Especially because my 2.5 year old son’s newest thing is to stick his head down my shirt and yell “yummy milkies!”

    • I should have had the foresight to call it something more acceptable, like milkies. My 2 1/2 year old saunters over, starts pulling up my shirt and says “Boob!” And if I don’t conceded right away? “Mommy! Me want boob! NOW!”
      Of course he also goes around randomly assigning genitalia to people (That man have penis, Mommy?), so the word “boob” is the least of my problems 🙂

      • Lol, my son calls them titties, I had no foresight either. He would scream “I want my titties! I want my titties!” when he got upset.

        • The La Leche League Website has lots of different aritlces their book is terrific, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding it covers virtually EVERY BF related topic. I also like Sheila Kitzinger not sure of the name, but she has many books about childbirth, postpartum year, and breastfeeding

  3. Angelica says:

    Brace yourself! My almost 11yo dtr not only asks for homemade soups, pastas, sauces, etc. for her lunch but she proudly parades this list of homemade “horrors” past her classmates, takes the criticism and laughs it off! Steamed veggies, bannok, chicken and fresh fruit all go into her lunch kit of her own volition. How do I know? She makes her own lunches from our dinner leftovers! That’s right! I’ve committed another horrible sin! My children take leftovers to school for lunch…happily! No pre-packaged lunch packs, no pre-packed crackers and cheese, no … oh wait, they do take juice not-from-concentrate in boxes…right! Ok, they’re sorta normal. There’s hope for me yet! But there’s no added sugar or flavouring to those drinks so they’re still under suspicion from the ever-know-it-all classmates.

    Bah! Until they get too embarrassed to take the food to school, I’m not going to waste my $$ and time with those pre-processed packs!

    • Sarah C. says:

      Oh but Angelica, why wouldn’t you want the pre-packaged stuff? It’s so much EASIER! Sure, it’ll end up costing you an arm and a leg, but still. It’s just so EASY! Really, you should put your foot down and cut them off. Far too old. Tsk tsk!

  4. You crack me up!

  5. melissa says:

    Not too off topic, but one of my favorite moments was the day our family was at a fair and the people near us were at a food stand ordering corn dogs and my daughter turns to me and says, “what is a corn dog?”. I was elated!

  6. Excellent! Thanks for the chuckle – and the nodding as my kids are right there with yours! (though we have had more packaged crackers lately)

    But the fun bento box lunches that my kids take using leftovers or fun real foods are WAY more fun than school lunch any day!

  7. Although this was very funny to read, I’m not as strict about the food issue..my kids know what “junk food” is, but don’t have it on a reg. basis. Was the part at the bottom correct though, about you nursing her? I’m new to this blog and just wasn’t sure if I was getting your whole sense of humor! haha

    • No, I didn’t breastfeed Lolie much past 18 months, just how it worked out in our case. 😉

      I’m not super strict about food either, not at all actually. We just stick to having mostly healthy food available but we have the occasional junk food option. 🙂

  8. rachelavache says:

    This is so shocking, I can hardly believe I’m admitting it in public. The best way to get my 9-year-old son to try a new dish is to…oh, my…put spinach in it. We’ve tried to dissuade him, but the demon spinach is his favorite thing. It has convinced him to try new soups, salads, and other foods he claims to hate. We even got him to eat beans when we hid them in spinach enchiladas. I fear we’ve ruined his iron levels forever. Maybe he’ll grow out of it. I can only hope his little sister does not suffer from this same affliction!

    Thanks for the laugh. 🙂

    • haha! My nephew when he was little lived off canned spinach, because he because obsessed with Popeye for a short while, and wanted to be just like him. My sister actually used spinach as a “reward” for good behavior… HA!!! If only he knew! 😉

    • Hillary says:

      I lived with my sister my first year of college in a house of 5 people. My sister and I shared most of our food and went grocery shopping together. We were raised to eat pretty healthy and one of our roommates once told us “You guys are always eating spinach! I don’t understand it!”

    • LOL, my mom used to have to give me the spinach last in my meals because I would devour all of it and then claim to not be hungry. I had to eat everything on my plate to get the spinach.

      It was her way of getting me to eat brussel sprouts(which I now LOVE).

      She did the same thing with unsweetened applesauce with pork chops, I had to eat my veggies first before I got my pork chop smothered in applesauce… Now I love cooked carrots(I used to despise them).

      Moms are smart when they use healthy food to sneak in healthy food!

      • Lizette says:

        I wish that would work with my DD… I’ve tried… she’s the most stubborn thing. She would rather not have chocolate than eat lettuce!

    • My bible is The Nursing Mother’s Companion Guide. It’s the most comprehensive book on brnfetaesdieg that I’ve ever read. I cannot recomend it highly enough. It’s now my standard baby shower gift.It has an index where you can look up symptoms or problems, diagrams, charts, and all kinds of useful information.

  9. Loved this! My girl stopped nursing at 18 mos when I was 5 mos pregnant with her sister. Hoping this latest little one will nurse past 2.

  10. This was so fun to read! My hubby & I live on a farm & grow our own veggies. Trying our hand at baking etc. We’re newbies so it’s quite the adventure. We eat mostly local/home grown..organic & unprocessed foods. But we’re not militant either. It feels really good to instill habits that are healthy & life giving. Whole foods & clean eating por vida!

  11. Heather says:

    Home made cakes are WAY better! Who wants that yucky pre made stuff? I’d rather take the extra hour to make batter and icing ANY DAY!( In fact, I do a cupcake project once a week where I make a new cupcake)

  12. Some of my fondest memories growing up are of my mom cooking for us. From scratch. Unprocessed EVERYTHING!! And I’m serious about that one. She even made our own nut butters!! We did occasionally go out to eat, but 99% of our meals were wholesome and delicious, and I still crave them to this day (24+ years later!) With how easy it is, I don’t know why more people don’t do it…much like breastfeeding 🙂
    Love the blog, btw 🙂 Will definitely share!!

  13. well I hope you don’t let her eat that in public, can’t you at least find a corner or take her to restroom or your car? nobody wants to see that child eating healthy food in public. you have to be considerate of everyone’s feelings!! heeheehee!

  14. Oh I am so sad. this used to be my kids then Grandma went and introduced them to poptarts, prepackaged snacks, white bread and canned ravioli…ICK! Honestly my kids had never had white bread before last summer. But fortunately that great foundation has stuck with them. For my sons b-day dinner he asked for grilled fish.. brussel sprouts with “spots” (veggie season blend LOL) and broccoli. but alas he did also ask me to make him french fries.
    But we seem to have struck a balance between mom wanting veggies and granny spoiling her kiddos. 🙂

  15. HEHE this post is great!! Just yesterday my 2.5 yr son asked me for…eeek…red peppers for his snack, ugh I couldn’t believe it 😉
    It is so wonderful that in this day of real fake food and over advertised crap that there are still kids out there that love veggies and things that are *gasp* good for their growing minds and bodies!

  16. It’s funny cause I actually have been told off for healthy eating. Our old (and fired) daycare provider complained that my children wouldn’t eat white bread or vienna sausages. And apparently one of the moms at our school was perturbed that I put beets in the chocolate cupcakes I made for my son’s birthday. And I’ve been told off for saying “NO to Nutella” and really told off for participating in the Nestle ban.
    In fact, I’ve probably received more flack for instilling healthy eating habits in my kids than for breastfeeding in public or extended breastfeeding.

    • Amy Messick says:

      omg, my sister in law complained to my husband about me being vegetarian and raising the girls around that…that i’m a bad influence!!! wth??? i thought i was the only one out there that had someone complain about their healthy food preferences! (not that i’m ALWAYS healthy, but overall, yes) Why do these people have an issue with what WE eat? Oh, i forgot, we’re supposed to feed crap food to our kids from the drive-through…that’s right!!! Silly me.

      • My sis-in-law gets constant flack from my mother because she’s raising the kids vegeterian. And now that they’ve identified some food intolerances in one of their girls, my mother complains that her diet is too restricted. I guess she’d rather they let her eat junk and then give her meds to treat her behavioural problems and antibiotics to treat the UTIs.
        Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago she told me off on my facebook page because I bought the kids Koolaid – just once and it was because they had been awesome good that week and when asked what they wanted asked for Koolaid and cookies.

        • It can be frustrating when family criticizes your food choices, but being opposed to a purely vegetarian diet doesn’t have to mean they’d prefer you eat junk.

          I’m personally a fan of the GAPS diet when it comes to food intolerance, and it includes a lot of animal products (preferably pastured, raw, grassfed, etc.). Being okay with meat and other animal products does not equate to being a fan of junk food.

          All we can do is make choices based on what we have decided is best due to experience and research. That doesn’t mean people won’t criticize, simply that we know we’re doing our best and that they mean well.

  17. LOVE this! I’m sending it to every mom I know! It made me laugh out loud!

    • @Dana, my 17 year old son is the same way- He will be eating salads and gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free and soy-free health foods while other kids his age are eating junk food. However, several of his homeschooled friends eat like him or have been curious enough to try what he eats! 🙂

      • This is going to sound a little obserd I’m sure, but would you be willing to educate me on the foods you DO eat? I’d really LOVE to be able to pull in the reins so to speak with my families dietary needs, and I would love to do it in a healthy way without sacrificing flavors and foods the whole family will actually enjoy. If you don’t mind, I’d really appreciate it!

  18. Dawn Shepard says:

    Imagine the looks 13years ago when my now 16 yo put down an ice cream cone and said “I like salad better, can I get some?” … At a popular steak-house with the whole desert bar available. He wanted more veggies. Gotta love it.

    • @Dawn, my 17 year old son is the same way- He will be eating salads and gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free and soy-free health foods while other kids his age are eating junk food. However, several of his homeschooled friends eat like him or have been curious enough to try what he eats! 🙂

  19. Oh, my goodness, I LOVE this! Hahahaha! I hope my boys are the same way when they get old enough to ask. (As a side note, they’ve been “telling” me they want to nurse since they were newborns…)

    • Thank you! I have to tell people that all the time! I can’t believe America is so deep into this idea that babies aren’t people and can’t communicate that we actually say that a child who can ask for food shouldn’t get it! It’s ridiculous! I feel so vindicated to see another mom make that point!

  20. What an entertaining post! Loved it!!

  21. Barefootmama says:

    At my sons first birthday I had fresh fruit and sandwich makings. My mom handed a party goer, a little one year old a strawberry, it was his first one, yet the kid had had a kids meal. I mean, my kids eat crap food, but they will pick apples before cookies. When I go to the store, I have to get them each a piece of fruit its there “check out candy”. My four year old is addicted to celery.

  22. Lol! I love this!! My 2yr old LOVES veggies! I asked her what she wanted for lunch and she said veggies! I think we’ve ruined her!! Sadly, she does know what junk food is(chips, cake, icecream). DH and I are still learning to eat better and trying to get packaged food out of our diet. It’s working, but still not totally there. We do eat a lot of fresh fruit, veggies, lean turkey or chicken, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, very little salt, eggs, soy milk, oat meal and lots of water(yes, she askes for that too). She doesn’t know what soda pop, McDonalds, french fries, etc are, thank God. I just pray that she will still have good eating habits when she is older and that she stays as slim and healthy as she currently is because at the end of the day, that’s what matters.

  23. Beachgirl24 says:

    So jealous – i nursed until 16 month old, just happened on its own and fed wholesome baby food purees and whole grain cereal – now that she is eating more “adult” food she is sooo picky. We have her eating some fruit – melon, kiwi, and banana – carrots is the only veg and the occasional broccoli and avocado and that’s it besides whole wheat pasta and cheese – she is a cheese loving monster – we do feed it her all natural organic – but not my first choice. Have tried a ton but she just spits it out – she is almost 20 months old – any tips/hints? Thanks – great post!

    • Mel Horrod says:

      Just keep trying. All kids (and adults!) go through phases of what they do like and don’t like. Don’t be pushy, but do keep on putting a little bit of the same things as everyone else in the family eats on her plate. Kids are great copiers -I had to get my own diet in order so my kids could see that I walked the walk and not only talked the talk. Also if you don’t want your child eating it then don’t buy it and bring it into the house. I hate, hate, hate my kids eating those really unsatisfying pre-packaged cakes. Therefore I never buy them but I do make my own, and even better, get them involved in making them with me! Hth.

  24. Best. Post. EVER.

  25. Her choices sound so damned delicious. Our Kindy has a healthy lunch and litterless lunch policy, so no prepackaged stuff allowed. :0)

    We have a “quick” meal once a week, usually home made taco and salad wraps, (store bought) pizza or oven fish & chips, but every other meal is made from scratch. THis is only because I tutor some nights. In the first 5 years they are developing their likes and dislikes and tastes, so it’s important to feed them the sorts of foods they will like forever. Next food I’m working on is getting the girls to eat eggs…

    We have a “eat all your dinner up if you want desert” rule in our house. If they don’t eat what we cook, we do NOT make a different meal for them. We say, no desert for you, you must not be hungry if you didn’t eat your yummy dinner.” Simply they get the option of plain low-fat milk, and that’s it. If they eat all their dinner they can have a Milo or a “milk shake” (flavoured milk made very weakly).
    And a tip from our house? Lollipops don’t work as bribes if the kids get them all the time, Mothers! “Deprive” your kids of lollies, and they’ll turn themselves inside out at the offer of a lollipop!

    My Husband has aweful eating habits, and his mother actually said to me (repeatedly and with the kids in earshot), “oh, no matter if they eat their dinner, no matter if they’re full, they can always make room for desert! Um, I wonder how long it took for her kids to realise they didn’t have to eat their dinners and they’d still get desert?!”
    I want our kids to be able to go into any restaurant from any nationality, even vegetarian, and be able to choose several items off the menu – and enjoy them! You can’t do that unless they have a wide range of tastes that they are used to!

    Hmmm…. our kids eat most foods, although it is hard work and persistence that goes into it, and I’m grateful for it!

    Great blog. My oldest fed for 18 months too, worked out that way because we wanted another and needed fertility drugs to do it and I didn’t want them in my little girls system. There was no info for them on LactMed.

    My youngest fed for 2.25 years. She could ask for it from 14 months, so anyone who has that “if they can ask for it they’re too old” crap spewing from their mouths should go suck a lemon… it might cease their verbal diarrhea.

    Have a great day! :0) Jade.

  26. I really want to know how you get your children to eat such healthy foods. My 3 year old only eats beige food. Bread, crackers, pancakes, cereal, etc… she loves fruit & eats tons of it, but I cannot for the life of me get her to touch a vegetable. It doesn’t help that her dad also has terrible eating habits therefore he always makes it available for her to have cookies, cake, nutty bars etc. I’m sick of her eating habits, HELP!

  27. Thank you! This is awesome! I just love it.

  28. decaturmamaof2 says:

    very well done – Brava!!!

  29. What a delightful story. You kept me in suspense the whole time. Healthy foods have to start from the beginning and from home. Does breastfeeding create healthy appetites in children? I wonder. All three of my adult breastfed children make incredibly healthy food choices. I wish I had been breastfed longer- would I choose mushrooms over chocolate?

  30. My son loves all crunchy vegies. He eats all healthy food. At two, a lady (without my permission) offered him cotton candy & he looked @ it then@ her & tucked it in his armpit & went back to playing…funniest thing I ever saw.

  31. LOL
    My four year old daughter was offered every takeaway food under the sun for her birthday and requested “roast beef and veges”.
    Then she chose a birthday cake that has a doll in it (doll in a bassinet).
    She didnt eat the cake, she just wanted the doll. (clever cookie)
    When we are at the shops, I don’t have to worry about her near the lollies, I have to watch her when we are at the snowpeas and mushrooms, she eats them off the shelves….
    I am glad I am not the only one with a “broken child” maybe there is a support group out there for us…
    My daughter has tried every food and does not go hyper with sugar, she doesnt ever want lollies, she will have one, i will have 5…. I go to macdonalds she has sushi….. its just not right.

  32. Kimrose says:

    Wonderful @ pointing out the ridiculousness of it! My older son nursed until 4 1/2 – self weaned – but partially b/c there was “no more milk” one night – we both cried. There were moments when I could have been “done” – but only moments – SO GLAD that we self weaned – I couldn’t personally imagine doing it any other way – and he just happened to LOVE to nurse! :0 We didn’t have the foresight to call them something else or anticipate him being old enough to ask loudly in church/the grocery store, etc. as he got older! 😉 Now when his four month old brother is nursing he’ll still say fondly “I love the boobies” like they’re old friends or something – he’s 5 1/2 now…I think you probably only truly “get it” when you go through it – when you see how nourishing it is to them on many levels – and can’t imagine “cutting them off” from something that’s clearly so good for them. I already don’t imagine this little one being THAT old for some reason – but I’m hoping it’s not too early – but the decision will definitely be his. I can’t be bothered with other people’s opinions either – you realize eventually that the only people you have to do the right thing for really are your children and yourself.

  33. Courtney Elizabeth says:

    I am a huge fan of satire and cynicism, but I found this a little confusing. I just don’t see how it makes a point, and it’s almost a little tasteless…some of the ideas seem to condemn parents who (for whatever their reasons…lack of money, knowledge, support) might not be able to feed their children lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Am I missing something?

    • It’s about breastfeeding older children and the social criticism associated with it. It’s not actually about healthy feeding and in no way does it criticize people that don’t feed their children fresh fruits and veggies.

      • Courtney Elizabeth says:

        I understood the intention behind it, of course, I was just giving some constructive feedback as to the way it was delivered.

        • Your argument is akin to saying that people who advocate for breastfeeding are condemning moms who are truly unable to breastfeed, when that is rarely the case.

          Not to mention, that having a lack of knowledge is, in my opinion, no excuse for doing something or not doing something. If you’re old enough to have a kid, you’re an adult, and should be responsible for your decisions. That includes researching your options when you make decisions. Just because no one has offered up information to you (and I’m using the general “you” here), does not mean you can’t go do the research yourself and make an informed decision. That applies to breastfeeding, healthy diets, labor and delivery, vaccinations, schooling, I mean the list goes on and on. If you can’t adequately defend your choices, why did you make them that way in the first place?

  34. At a mall that we take our kids to play at on rainy days (because there is an inside play area) we’ve been approached and told that we had to buy our food from the mall in order for the kids to play. Which, I thought was a little odd… It worked out in the end because there was a grocery store, so we went and picked out healthy foods instead of ordering from the food court.

    On a completely separate occasion, I was told at a playground program that I take my 16 month old to, that it is the city’s policy for breastfeeding women to go to the bathroom to do it. I was so shocked, I couldn’t even speak.

  35. My first son is still nursing at 2 years 8 months old. It’s still very important to him and he shows no signs of even thinking about weaning. For a little while now, whenever the topic would come up with a fellow woman (one actually asked at what age he’d weaned at, and I had to say “not yet”) I felt my demeanor become apologetic, and I HATED it! Until earlier this week, a friend of mine and I were talking about nursing our little ones (her 2nd is the same age as my 1st, but her’s weaned a few months ago) and she expressed how great she thought it was that he was still nursing and how she’d wanted to make it to her daughter’s 2nd birthday, but her daughter decided to wean a couple weeks before that. I’ve decided that I REALLY need to stop acting apologetic, or embarrassed, about my son’s continued nursing and be proud that I’m helping him be as healthy as he is. My second son is now 4 months old and, during his pregnancy, we did have to cut back some and set some time limits-I could only take so much nursing pain and the hormones. And I know he would drink everything I had if I let him have “full rein”. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t impose restrictions on him. As it is, he still nurses at least 3 times a day, often more due to getting hurt occasionally doing boy exploits. 🙂
    Even though he’s been introduced to more junk food than I like (chips and cookies), we are really strict on what kinds he can have, how many, and how often. My husband’s aunt talked for months about how he couldn’t get enough of the green beans (fresh and steamed!) last Thanksgiving. She was simply beside herself that a child would WILLINGLY eat food like that! *rolls eyes* This is the same aunt whose husband tried to pressure me to give son #1 a taste of chocolate cake/frosting when he was…..4 months old!!! When I protested, they said, “But he’ll like it!” And they wonder why their son wouldn’t eat his veggies! 😛 This uncle also tried to give him some cheese spread (he saw it though, and wouldn’t eat the cracker at all) and whipped cream. When I politely said “He doesn’t eat that,” he kept trying to coax him to it. I repeated louder and firmer, “He DOESN’T EAT THAT!” Thankfully, we only see these relatives a few times a year. Ai yi yi!
    He loves his veggies, fruit, bread (but wouldn’t eat it until he was 23 months old), dairy, etc. His typical breakfast is organic yogurt and some sort of fruit. Actually, I have to limit his dairy too or else he’d have cottage cheese, hard cheese, yogurt, with milk to drink for 1 meal. 🙂
    Thank you for this blog post. I just needed to vent to people who think along the same lines I do. My hubby gets tired of the rants after a while. 🙂

  36. Oh, we did Baby Sign Language with our 1st son and he could sign for nursing at 7 months. “Stop when they can ask for it…” 😛 What a load of crap!

  37. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! Especialy love this: “How do you know EXACTLY what they are eating without a package label? ” So true AND so encouraging. Thank you.

    Tandem breastfeeding working mom of a 4 and a 2 year olds, WELL beyond the norms.

  38. I love your post. Thank you for sharing. I have an 8.5(!) year old, you know what I mean. Mine will be a blackbelt next week and plays the drums.
    Florida.

  39. Too funny my daughter calls it (thanks to her daddy) “boobie time” there is a song too it goes to the tune “Turkey in the Straw” as we were at Cracker Barrel one time there was a singing turkey so that song made her think and turned into “boobies in the car ha ha ha boobies in the car hey hey hey etc. That being sung of course loudly did not help my cause which was to nurse my toddler in private as so many people FREAK seeing a toddler now preschooler nurse. I really REALLY am proud of any Mom who can hold her head up it has been a long road for me and finding social networks like this has helped me tremedously. Thank you all!

  40. Thanks for the advance warning-I could be falling into this same trap-my lad is nearly 8 months and he chooses to eat the cucumber off my plate first, followed by apple and then orange-HOW CAN I STOP THIS??? PLEASE SAY IT ISN’T TOO LATE FOR US??? Should I impose a strict McDonald’s and KFC diet from now on?!

  41. Ha ha that’s awesome. I’m that generation that was fed a tame amount of McD’s and other junk when mom & dad were busy.. not excessive though. As I grew older I became more health conscious and make an effort for healthy eating.

  42. I *heart* you! Now I have a place to share my shameful secret. My 13 yo asks for it too! Mostly mashed potatoes from scratch instead of a box.