Fattening Baby, Naturally

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice—just my own experience! 

At my daughter’s one-year appointment, my pediatrician recommended that we increase her weight gain by giving her Pediasure instead of milk.  Considering this same doctor had once suggested feeding our baby Bugles, Pringles, and Lorna Doone cookies just to help her pack on the pounds, my first reaction was very resistant.  After all, I wouldn’t eat those foods—did I really want to start a junk food addiction in my young child? 

I went to the store to check it out, and found that the first three ingredients of Pediasure are water, sugar, and maltodextrin.  So what is maltodextrin, anyway?  It’s a common food additive that can be produced from starch—Pediasure derives theirs from corn.  I’d been careful to feed my baby nothing but organic fruits, grains, and vegetables during her entire first year—it felt like all that care about avoiding unnatural foods would go out the window as soon as she chugged her first bottle of sugary, chocolaty, maltodextriny Pediasure. 
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Baby Rules I Violate in order to Save the Planet

There are some mothers who are up-to-date on all the latest recommendations in pregnancy and child development. These women avoid caffeine and soft cheeses during pregnancy and compliment their child in five different languages when he reaches a new milestone (five months ahead of his peers, no doubt). On the opposite end of the spectrum, we find the parents who, through lack of education and resources, remain ignorant of all the expert opinions in child-minding.

And then there are the parents like me. Parents who know all about the baby rules and regulations touted by medical and safety authorities and blatantly disregard them! Why do I do it? I guess I’m just a renegade, a rebel, a rule-breaker in general. Or . . . maybe I am just lazy. Or . . . I am doing it to save the world! Here are just some of the rules I break out of eco-consciousness:
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The Gift Wrap that Keeps on Wrapping

What would Christmas morning be without festive wrapping paper and fancy bows? (“It’s about peace and love and the birth of our Savior!” you answer.) Okay, but stick with me here. I’m talking about every kid’s much-awaited vision of Christmas morning. Will my daughter grow up deprived if I deny her the tearing-up-the-gift-wrap experience that is every American child’s birthright? Oh, she’ll have Christmas gifts aplenty—but this year, I’ve devised some eco-friendly alternatives to disposable gift wrap. If I start this practice before she’s speaking in full sentences, it should be easy, and she’ll never know what she’s missing.
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