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Nutrition for Pregnant Moms, Babies, Toddlers: Part 1 of 5

Robyn Openshaw - Oct 17, 2012 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: My baby is breastfeeding, and doing great. But I know I have to make the transition. Besides blending cooked vegetables, what else should I do?

Answer: Please share this blog series with anyone with a baby, or anyone thinking about starting a family.

What I’m about to tell you is worth more than money could buy. I wish I’d had this information before I even conceived my oldest son.

I must make this disclaimer first: My comments should not stand in for competent medical advice. Talk to your naturopathic medical doctor or other qualified, holistic practitioner before implementing these or any other strategies.

In my opinion, the information I want to share with you in this blog series is worth more than the four-year degree I got before going to grad school. I’m crushed that I spent a year feeding my son crap (on the advice of a pediatrician!) before I studied hard (many sources), learned the truth, executed on it, and forever changed my entire family’s future, for the better.

What I’m going to write here is a digest of what I learned during years of intensive study, when my first child was very ill with asthma. He was constantly choking on yellow and green mucous coming out of his nose, which meant it was all over in his head, throat, and throughout his body. No babies or children who have yellow and green mucous are healthy.

The mucous made his tiny body the perfect acidic, sluggish, anaerobic environment for getting every little virus that came down the pike. Which led to more asthma. Which led to more drugs. Which led to more mucous production, along with the dairy and sugar and chemical-added “foods” I fed him. You get the idea?

But I didn’t know that, then. I was a deer in headlights. A young mother with little information. Overweight and struggling with my own major health problems.

I’m even more crushed to think that not only did I lose a year to total ignorance, as I began my career as a mother, but there are women everywhere who would do anything for their kids, but they have no clue about the devastating consequences of following their pediatricians’ nutritional recommendations. And they follow bad counsel from doctors who are untrained in nutrition, for years.

(Mine said to pump my little guy full of pus- and bacteria- and steroid- and antibiotic-tainted milk of another animal. Of course he didn’t call it that. That’s me being sarcastic. He said to feed him lots of milk. And if I couldn’t get enough bottles of milk in him, I should just add a few scoops of artificially colored, sugar-sweetened NESTLE QUIK. When my son’s weight fell precipitously, he said to feed him lots of ICE CREAM.

A grad student I met after one of my lectures in Arizona last year told me she’d interned with that same pediatrician. And she told me he’s still giving people the same awful advice. She said he tells his patients, “Vegetables and fruits are just fiber. All babies need is milk, for strong bones. Lots of it.”)

What happens when we follow standard pediatric advice?

I turned my oldest son from a 8 lbs. 9 oz., 23” healthy newborn, to a Failure to Thrive, barely breathing, blue, constantly ill baby so underweight he fell below the 5th percentile. Following his pediatrician’s advice.

And then I stopped doing what the pediatrician said to do. I stopped buying what the pediatrician was feeding his own family. Baby formula made from dairy, then dairy milk and cheese and popsicles and white bread and chicken nuggets, hot dogs. Peanut butter and jelly. Maybe some cooked veggies now and then, a banana and an apple each day, just to feel better about my parenting.

And when I STOPPED doing what my culture’s parenting standards dictated, and started following true principles in nutrition, all the problems disappeared. My boy became strong, robust, healthy, 6’3”.

He went on to lead the state in RBI’s (runs batted in) his senior year of high school and pitch in the final two games of the state playoffs.

If he doesn’t achieve his destiny, it’s damn well not going to be because I failed him.

What I’m going to write in this blog series is worth many books I’ve read, and lets you just dismiss a lot of the OTHER books and web sites I wasted time on.

Most published nutrition advice is heavily influenced by the industries who created the mentality that there’s a dairy product for every nutritional need, and a drug for every medical problem.

What I’m about to write could mean that your family never uses an antibiotic again. (We haven’t, for over 17 years.) That you use M.D.’s only if you break an arm or get in a car accident. Isn’t that the ideal? Where did we get the idea that we have to lean heavily on doctors, because we’re so often sick, and cannot problem-solve our family’s own minor issues?

My next post reviews breastfeeding versus the alternatives. How long to nurse your baby, and what to do if you can’t.

Posted in: Health Concerns, Relationships, Whole Food

15 thoughts on “Nutrition for Pregnant Moms, Babies, Toddlers: Part 1 of 5”

Leave a Comment
  1. Anonymous says:

    Robyn what do you do for health insurance? We live a holistic life and never go to the doctor or use medicine. We just got a high deductible plan should anything happen but I hate feeling like I’m throwing away $215/month for something my family never uses and for something that doesn’t cover anything alternative or natural. What are the best options for naturally minded families?

  2. Anonymous says:

    THANK YOU!!! I CANNOT wait for the rest of these articles. I’m feeding my kids the same way I have been eating – green smoothies, a lot of organic eggs, and no dairy. I’m worried they need more fat than I give them?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait for the rest of this series!

  4. Anonymous says:

    My children both suffered from chronic constipation and a year and half ago we started on green smoothies. Since then we have made drastic changes to our lifestyles. My children absolutely love their smoothies (even the ones that don’t taste that great) but the rest of the day is really a struggle. We have cut out a lot of refined foods from our diet and they like a lot of things that most kids might turn their nose up at like prunes, walnuts, and flax muffins. Dinnertime is the absolute worst! I am constantly trying new recipes to get them to eat healthy food but most days my kids got hungry to bed because they refused to eat what I made (especially my 2 year old, and he never had any of the processed foods my 4 year old had). I am trying to supply optimal nutrition for my kids but they won’t eat it and so many days I am so discouraged that I am really to go back to chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. When do they start to like the healthy food I make for them? Kids in Korea eat kimchi, shouldn’t mine be able to stomach quinoa? Please tell me it gets easier.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m laughing out loud at the baby with those huge grapes! Seriously, can you say “choking hazard”? Please people, cut them up before you give them to your baby! My daughter was past her 2nd birthday before I felt comfortable giving her whole grapes.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The suspense is killing me! Seriously. I can’t wait for the next post. Thank you for taking the time to address this topic.

  7. I can’t wait for your next post! I’ve breastfed all my children, but now we are adopting. I have no idea what to feed a newborn if not baby formula.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am SO excited for this series! My breastfeeding baby is almost 6 months and although I plan to keep nursing for a while I can’t wait to start introducing foods the HEALTHY way. I just started this journey a few weeks ago and am loving the green smoothies and am eating a lot cleaner (never did eat the SAD to begin with though, I hate fast food and love fruit and whole grains!). Getting up to 60% raw will be a challenge but at least we’re making progress. I have been so confused reading all kinds of conflicting nutritional advice but your stuff finally seems to make some sense. Thanks!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’m excited for this series! I currently have a 6-month-old who I’ve been exclusively breastfeeding. He’s in the 2nd percentile for weight but completely healthy. His pediatrician is pushing baby food but I’ve been avoiding baby cereal, just giving him pureed fruits, which I hope is the best thing.

    I also have a 2-year-old who LOVES green smoothies and begs for more before I can finish mine. He has had 1 minor cold in the last year.

    Thanks for all you do! I wish you had a class in Vernal.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I can’t even tell you how excited I am for this series! I have had so many of these questions. Can’t wait to get your take!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Lol! S Price, I was thinking the same about the baby in the pic with whole grapes.

  12. Anonymous says:

    YES PLEASE! I started following you (your blog, that is) just before baby # 2 was born last year. Got my blendtec, started weaning my then-4-yr-old off of SAD foods… Vowed to keep new baby “pure”! We did really well (almost 100% raw when we started introducing foods; still breastfeeding) until she started teething and was no longer satisfied with purees. She wants texture, and mixing veggie purees into some brown rice or quinoa didn’t cut it for very long. THAT’S the point where we got frustrated. She loves her green smoothies, but otherwise how do I keep her mostly on veggies that can’t (read: shouldn’t) be cooked? She is now 1 year and 2 weeks with 3 teeth. She loves to eat whole fruits like pears, etc, but she can’t really safely eat most veggies. They’re too firm. I’m already afraid her sweet tooth is winning, even though her diet is really quite healthful. I hope you have some specific advice for this stage we’re in! I’ve been waiting for this series!

    Also, to your first commenter, I asked my friend that question just the other day! (they are superbly healthy, no insurance). She said they figured that one broken bone per year would still cost less than what they would have paid in insurance costs….however, my husband was in a near-fatal accident at a time when he didn’t have insurance, and it sucked big time financially. I wish there was an easy answer!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Venn, I don’t have any kids but have also thought of adopting. Look in to sesame milk (raw, organic, homemade of course) and barley grass juice as substitutes for breast milk. I have heard that they are very appropriate substitutes. I haven’t done any look in to it myself, but it might be worth looking in to. I heard about these from a holistic/natural guru that I really trust.

  14. Kristin Matthews says:

    Julie, it does get easier. IF you are willing to stop feeding your kids refined sugar. If you do that, nothing else tastes good to your child. Kids don’t have the sophistication to discern that they don’t feel good eating all artificially sweetened foods. All they know is that they want the drug. They don’t know anything about good fats and good carbs and the benefits of grains not stripped of bran and germ. They just have a visceral reaction to demand the chemical they were supplied that is more addictive than any illegal drug, even cocaine.

    Kaitlyn, why is veggie purees with a hearty complex carbohydrate not enough? That is a great idea. You can also cut up avocado, a fabulous food for baby. I also mashed a banana for my babies every day, although at your baby’s age, she can just eat it, right? You can make quinoa cookies with coconut oil (see Ch. 11 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods recipes) with a green smoothie or blended veggies. Lots of options. Sauteed sweet potatoes plus some cucumber juice blended with mint and an orange. Endless options. 🙂

    Chicken nuggets never have to be a part of baby’s diet. It’s lots of disgusting parts of an animal that should never be eaten: feathers, beaks, claws, skin, gizzards, bones, bowels. Suddenly the vegetable purees mixed with brown rice don’t sound so bad?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Medical insurance alternatives are available. If you are a Christian family, you can join a medshare group like Christian Healthcare Ministries and others. Check out their website for the low rates and options. Your monthly contributions go to pay other members’ actual medical expenses instead of making insurance companies rich. And YOU decide what care you need and by whom, not an insurance company. I was so frustrating paying over $800/month in insurance premiums for my family that never goes to doctors–and none of that money ever actually went to medical care! Now I feel like my donations are helping families in need. And they’ve got my back if we ever have an injury or accident. Search for other similar alternatives if this one isn’t for you.

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