View Full Version : Do your babies follow your diet?

01-09-2004, 02:57 AM
I'm just curious. For those of you on South Beach, Atkins, or anything remotely similar, how do you handle your children's diets? Do you still buy white flour and sugar products for them, or do they eat only whole grains and no added sugar foods? I certainly recognize that whole grains and less sugar are healthier, and I know dietary preferences are being formed, but I worry that if I really tried to implement a South Beach-type diet, James would not gain enough weight. Whole milk yogurt, for example, is one of his major fat sources. I suppose I could buy plain and add unsweetened fruit, but honestly, that YoBaby is so easy to carry around! Also, sweet yogurts, ice cream and puddings are about the only way I can get him to take his Zantac. And he likes graham crackers and cheese crackers and the like. Of course, a major problem is that I often consume the Teddy Grahams and Wheat Thins instead of him. Besides cheese and avocado (which he won't eat), what high-fat products can you give a toddler without adding sugar or white flour to the diet? I'm also feeling a little torn between the idea that if you forbid a certain type of food, the kid will go wild with it later on when he can get it on his own and the contradictory idea that kids will grow up generally liking and eating only what they are served at home. Any thoughts?

Elizabeth, Mom to James, 9-20-02

01-09-2004, 10:04 AM
Elizabeth, I'm not doing South Beach, but I do WW. Sara is just starting to really LIKE bread... toasted not, etc. We were making a grocery list this week and I ALMOST have DH pick up some "wonder" type of white bread. And then I thought, that's just crap bread. if I won't eat it because it's not that fab in nutrition, why would I give it to Sara? Maybe you or another experienced mom can shed some light if it's bad to give her whole wheat bread instead of the processed bleached flour stuff??? So as far as grains go, unless there is some compelling reason not to, I plan on having her have the whole grain stuff rather than the bleach/processes stuff.

But when it comes to yogurts, cheese etc... Yeah, I drink skim milk and have low fat yogurts, cottage cheese etc. But I will buy her the higher fat content. I figure with that stuff it will be easier to transition her to a lower fat (not no-fat) content when she's older.

And puddings, crackers, etc... she's a kid. If there's a healthier identical product, she'll get it... if not. Hey I ate pudding last night too! You can't take all of the fun out of life! :9

I'm not sure that this helps... and if anyone sees a health risk to what i've said, please set me straight. But it's my current plan. I don't want Sara to have to "learn" how to eat "right" when she's an adult. I want her to just grow up with that.

Oh and taboo foods... we won't have any. But I'm not gonna buy "play food" or stuff that I think is just garbage. If she wants it and we're out, she can have it. If she asks at the grocery store (we're a long ways off from that!), I might buy something occasionally as a special treat. i just don't want her eating it every day.

01-09-2004, 10:28 AM
Well, I have never bought white bread, so Sarah has always eaten whole wheat bread. I have switched us over to whole GRAIN breads now, and Sarah has followed suit. She actually LOVES brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and couscous, so that has been no problem.

But I definitely still buy higher fat dairy for her. She eats toddler yogurts (1% t 2% milkfat) and drinks 1% or 2% milk. (Actually, this is one area where I cheat. I can't be bothered with more than 1 kind of milk, so I also use what she drinks.) And she won't eat salad yet, so I give her other veggies that she does like. I try in general not to let her eat too many sugar products. She does get a couple Fig Newtons every day for snack or dessert, but I am switching to a "better" variety after we finish our huge box from Costco!

So I think its very important to make sure they get enough fat, but in general, she eats what we eat. One thing this diet has made me realize is how many carbs I feed her. It sort of opened my eyes as to how easy it is to start slipping down the carb road. AND it also made me aware of how often I finished her food! Yikes!

Also, if you go to Whole Foods or Trader Joes they usually have a "better" version of the staple foods that kids like, ones with no trans fats and made with whole grain. They have good versions of Goldfish, Cheerios, crackers, graham crackers, etc. I just look for those versions now.


01-09-2004, 05:38 PM
Yeah, Ainsleigh is a big consumer of Goldfish, Cheerios and graham crackers, so as soon as we finish what we've got, I'm heading to TJs.

I keep buying the higher fat dairy for Ainsleigh and Joel - both of whom are trying "bulk up." But I am SO glad you said you cheat on the milk thing, Beth, because I just cannot stand skim milk - not enough to go through 2 gallons before they go bad (although does skim milk even go bad?! haha) and I refuse to hae 4 gallons of milk in the fridge (since I buy them in 2s at Costco). I'll stick with 2%.

And I have always tried to feed Ainsleigh what we're having for dinner, but then also giving her the option of bread a cheese once she has turned up her nose. It's probably not the healthiest thing, but the kid just does NOT care for meat (although recently she has taken to sliced turkey breast - woohoo!). Strangely enough, she loves salad (but I just give her the stalk part of the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and avocado).

I'd say you could definitely alter your diet, but still offer James what he needs. HTH!

01-09-2004, 11:13 PM
I've been thinking about posting this same question because sometimes I feel like little Alice has put herself on South Beach. I've never seen her actually eat a sandwich, she just pulls apart the bread and eats the insides. Then she wants more filling. She does like crackers and cookies though and I had already been concerned about trans fats so started buying the Whole Foods brands. Mini stoned wheat thins, their version of fig newtons, and especially their cinnamon graham crackers! are all great.

I'm actually waiting on my copy of South Beach from Overstock so I'm not any kind of expert on this, but I kind of look at it as making my own diet more closely resemble my daughter's rather than the other way around. She eats what we eat but I always make sure she has a serving of vegetables on her plate, even if we don't. So the other night we were all eating pizza but I gave her a serving of green beans also. Unfortunately the green beans she'll eat straight from the can just aren't as appealing to me, so the adults just end up with pizza. This is what I'd like to change. And she will eat salad so we need to make that a more regular part of our diet.

One question though, it seems like I had read in Child of Mine that too much fiber in a child's diet can interfere with their ability to absorb the fat in their diet. I remember Satter saying you should alternate whole and white bread in their diet but I'm not sure if this is really the case or not?

Anyone else hear this or did I misunderstand?


01-10-2004, 04:30 PM
I had read Satter's recommendation to use whole grains half the time, too, which is partly why I asked the question. She says that eating too much fiber can give a child gas (though this I think lessens once you get used to a higher level of fiber in the diet - for adults, anyway), decreases absorption of certain nutrients, and may fill the child up too much. The last point was what I was most concerned about. If eating whole grains and lots of fiber is supposed to make you so full you eat less and lose weight, then that sounds like it's not the best plan for a small child. I'm not defending white flour, which I know is junk. I am just genuinely trying to figure out what the best balance is, especially for very young toddlers who are on the thin side.

I am also trying to find high-calorie, healthful foods besides dairy products - preferably portable ones! Eggs are an obvious choice for protein and fat, and I never think to cook them because I hate them and won't eat them, but I've had DH give James pieces of omelet before and he's never eaten them. I guess we should keep trying. He's eaten a little hummus, but wow, what a mess (he picks it off the pita chips). Other suggestions?

Elizabeth, Mom to James, 9-20-02

01-11-2004, 04:03 PM
I guess I think of it this way. When we are out and aboutm she gets LOTS of foods that are not whole grain. So by serving her those at home, I think it all balances out.

For other high fat foods, you could add butter or olive oil to his veggies. Sarah also really likes her soynut butter.


01-13-2004, 10:11 AM
We also add fat to my daughter's vegetables. She likes to dip so I'll mix up some mayo and dijon mustard and she'll dip her broccoli in it--often just licking off the dip but she eventually does eat most of the broccoli also. I really like Trader joes mayo and it doesn't have sugar added like other brands. Or if you take one of those jarred red peppers and chop it in the food processor and then add the mayo that's a good fatty dip too.

And although it's not high fat we've been eating a lot of edamame lately. You can buy them frozen and shelled and they have a decent amount of protein.

A question of my own....

about whole grain breads--does anyone have a brand they really like? Most of them seem to be loaded with sweeteners or trans fats and the labels on high quality white breads look healthier to me a lot of the time. I've been buying Whole Foods 12 grain but now wondering if it's really whole grain??


01-13-2004, 01:06 PM
I have typically found that 100% Whole Wheat bread is far better than a multi-grain bread. I haven't looked for a 'good' whole-grain bread, so I can't answer your specific question. I am curious though.

http://www.auction-pix.com/katasha/stuff/snowman.gif Mary & Lane 4/6/03

01-13-2004, 01:15 PM
If you have a Trader Joe's near you, they have several whole grain breads with no trans fats or added sugars. And you need to look for the words "whole grain" on the label and in the ingredients list. They are really hard to find.

But the dead giveaway is the weight of the loaf of bread. If its really light, then I can guarantee its not whole grain. Whole grain breads are dense and heavy.