I HATE MEALTIMES! It’s funny how before you become a parent you have all these rose-tinted visions of how your life as a parent is going to be. For me it was playtime and picnics in the park, long walks on the beach and relaxed camping holidays. I never really considered what it would be like to have a child that doesn’t want to eat. My battle with food and Lillie has now been going on for over 3 years, that is way over 1,000 days and more than 3,000 meals! As each mealtime approaches I can feel the stress of those 3,000 mealtimes come flooding back. When Beanie Boy began weaning I felt elation that he ate most foods which I placed in front of him, there wasn’t much that he didn’t eat. I began feeding him homemade purees and then as his meals became bigger I would alternate between home made meals and baby food in jars. He was very much a savoury boy and really seemed to like his fish and meat so I was happy.
That was until he began to be amused by the fuss that Little Bean would make at the dinner table and now he copies her, he refuses to eat most foods too and between the pair of them they drive me to distraction. I try to remain calm and make out that it doesn’t bother me that they aren’t eating although some days are easier than others. Neither of them are particularly poorly children and they are both still steadily gaining weight but I just wish that they would try new foods and eat healthily because honestly, it makes me feel like I’m failing as a Mum when I have to constantly serve up plates of chips for Little Bean or pizza for Beanie Boy.
I was sent the results of some research recently into a report which was compiled by Cow & Gate Baby food and I wanted to share some of the key findings with you;
- 68% of mums have fed their baby manufactured baby food yet only 7% feel confident that the food is of good quality
- 39% of mums feel judged for using manufactured baby food and 21% feel like a bad mum for using it
- 23% of mums feel sceptical about using manufactured baby food because they don’t know what goes in it, and 39% are concerned about added salt or ‘nasties’, like preservatives and colourings, which may be present
- 19% of mums feel that manufactured baby food is a necessity but wish they could do better for their child
- 18% of mums will only feed their baby organic food and 9% of those surveyed said they believe manufactured baby food contains a lot of pesticides
- Babies are more likely to be fed manufactured baby food in Worcester (100%), Chelmsford (100%) and Brighton & Hove (90%). They are least likely to be fed manufactured baby food in London (58%), Aberdeen (58%) and Coventry (54%)
- Mums in Gloucester (42%) and Brighton & Hove (45%) are most judgemental when they see other mums feed their children baby food. Mums in Swansea (7%) and York (9%) are less judgemental
- Older mums (45+) are more likely to feed their child organic food
You see I know that I am not alone in my food battles with the children, but it’s surprising just how lonely those mealtimes can be! So to all other parents out there who struggle like me, you are not alone and hopefully in 10 years time we can all look back on this and laugh (with a large glass of wine!!!).