Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Feeding of Babies and Toddlers: A Comparative Study

Having sung the praises of those oh-so-cute 10-month-old babies, I have to add: not so much fun to feed. As in, jab spoon at mouth while waving away baby’s frantic attempts to (a) capture spoon, (b) mash cereal all over hands, face, and hair, and (c) throw spoon to floor. Which has prompted me to consider the relative merits of breastfeeding a baby vs. wrestling a meal into a toddler.

Food Preparation: Advantage – Breastfeeding.

  • Preparation of breastmilk is quick and easy. In fact, you can pretty much let the autonomic nervous system take care of it and still wind up with 8-12 nutritionally balanced meals delivered to your baby each day. And flavour = yummy! (a bit like vanilla ice cream).
  • Preparation of toddler meals can be a bit more challenging. It’s best to follow a series of steps: (1) Distract hungry toddler with yogourt while you boil water and add macaroni. (2) Boil macaroni for 7 minutes while toddler screams hysterically, "Camoni cheese! Camoni cheese!" (3) Stir in powder, margarine, and milk. (4) Serve. Caution: warn toddler that macaroni and cheese is "Hot, very hot!" (5) Clean up macaroni and cheese from floor while toddler howls in pain, having jammed mouth full of giant handfuls of very hot macaroni. (Why, you ask, do you give the macaroni and cheese to the toddler while it’s still hot? Answer: see step #2.)

Food Delivery: Advantage – Toddler feeding.
  • Load up your toddler’s plate with a variety of nutritious snacks: chick peas, raisins, almonds, whole wheat crackers, sliced banana, and carrots. Be careful to arrange these foods so that none of them are touching. Hand to toddler, then retire to couch and consume bon bons.
  • Breastfeeding, on the other hand, can be time consuming (if you consider 8 hours/day to be a lot of time to spend feeding your child). Retire to couch with everything you need within arm’s reach: TV remote, portable phone, magazines … you’ll be here awhile.

Side Effects: Advantage – Toddler feeding.
  • Toddler feeding side effects include: boredom, irritability, difficulty eating an uninterrupted meal.
  • Breastfeeding side effects, on the other hand, include mastitis, thrush, blocked milk ducts, and cracked, bleeding nipples. And those are the temporary side effects. Permanent side effects = boobs that point downward.

Final Score: Toddler feeding: 2, Breastfeeding: 1.

12 comments:

Mommy off the Record said...

WTF? BLOGGER I CURSE YOU. I SUBMITTED A COMMENT to THIS GREAT POST AND YOU DELETED IT. GAHHH!

(ok this is a test. will it go through this time?)

Mommy off the Record said...

Hallelujia! We're back up.

OK, well what I was saying was...that line about the bon bons....hilarious!

I'm not so fond of the toddler feeding. I mean, I have to really THINK about what I'm gonna feed my son. I have to buy it, I have to prepare it or heat it, make sure that he's getting most of the 5? food groups every day. It's tiring.

With breastmilk, all I gotta do is flip down the nursing bra and I've got nutritious breakfast, lunch, dinner AND snacks ready to go at any time.

So I'm gonna have to go with breastfeeding over solids. It's all about the convenience, baby!

Mommy off the Record said...

P.S. I tried to post a comment several times on this post so if Blogger does something weird and posts all iterations of my comment or something freaky like that, can you please delete them cuz that would be a wee bit embarrasing?

...OK, leaving your blog now. I think it states that in the Blogger Bylaws that 3 comments per person per post is the limit. LOL

metro mama said...

I'm with mommy off the record. Cakes is a great eater but my weak area is all the thinking ahead, buying, and preparing. She eats a wide variety of food but is still funny about texture so she rarely eats with us. Plus, we usually eat at about 9:00. I'm not sure when we'll switch over to family dinners - the quiet, late dinners for two are so lovely.

Christina said...

When we first started solids, we didn't have any problems. She never batted away the spoon, because she was a piggy obsessed with food. The only problem I had was shoveling the food in fast enough. Thank goodness she can feed herself finger foods now!

And as for mac n cheese - I'm totally in love with the Easy Mac. Prep is less than 5 minutes!

Nancy said...

I'm with you on the bon bons, except in my house it's "retire to couch with bon bons AND laptop."

Unfortunately, with our younger girl, food delivery is a little complex -- we do deliver the foods on the plate (not touching) but the babe will hoover one kind of food -- last night it was grapes -- and then grab for whatever inappropriate big girl food her sister is eating. Then attempt to throw the uneaten food and plate on the floor to signal that she's done.

So maybe there should be a "food cleanup" category too -- in that case, I think breastfeeding would win. Except for those unfortunate incidents of... um... leakage.

bubandpie said...

Okay, so we add two new categories: Planning and Clean-Up. Updated score:

Breastfeeding: 3
Toddler feeding: 2

(How could I forget the clean-up? Oh, yeah - because it's so traumatic that I make hubby do it.)

Oh, and Christina - we used to buy this wonderful organic instant mac & cheese, but then (of course) it went off the market. I hate the Easy Mac because it's so slimy (baaaad for clean-up).

Emily said...

Drinking our own breastmilk again, are we?(Well, I admit, you gotta at least TRY it.)
What I hate :
Toddler begs for mac n cheese
Mother makes mac n cheese
Toddler doesn't eat one bite and says that his 'nerves are telling him to eat peaches.'

Mother Bumper said...

Oh lordy I'm a lazy mom but I'm forced to be organized to feed Bumper. I'm introducing meats right now and the prep is killing me. Killing me I say. I might just lay down and die right now. Ok I won't but if I could get away with breastfeeding until she can prep her own food.. trust me, I would.

bubandpie said...

Emily - I was wondering when someone would call me out on that one. ;)

Mother Bumper - I think hubby might contest my qualifications to write this post, since I've mostly delegated the task of planning Bub's meals to him because I can't stand the stress! I'm still in charge of the Pie, though, and let me tell you, it's a wrestling match. (So was breastfeeding, though, to be fair.)

lildb said...

This is my daymare. The one I'm trapped in, perpetually.

I hate it.

When do we move onto the part where he eats? Anything? Instead of just sucking on the food for its flavor?

This post = sheer brilliance.

Mrs. Davis said...

Another side effect of breastfeeding (a good one though) is the increased metabolism. I am weaning now and miss my higher metabolism.

But I also enjoy having a drink before dinner.