The other day, I took my one-year-old to a pediatric dietitian. Over the last several months, her weight hasn’t been keeping up with her height, so the pediatrician thought it wise to get some nutritional guidance.
I got plenty of guidance at that visit, but how do I apply it? The dietitian thought I should:
- wean the baby off breastfeeding and feed her plenty of formula
- feed her every 4 hours (no snacks of any kind in between – not even fruit)
- stay away from whole grains and opt for refined flours instead.
I left the office contemplating which one of the suggestions was the most bizarre. On the face of it, the advice goes against everything we seem to know about nutrition. Whole grains are more nutritious than white, breast milk is preferable to formula, and many small meals better than three square ones.
The last point really took me by surprise, but from conversations with several other people, including a registered dietitian, it seems that the extra fiber in whole grains interferes with absorption of certain minerals and causes babies to feel full faster, preventing them from eating more calories.
But as much as I didn’t welcome the idea of setting up a separate pantry for the little one, it was the first suggestion that left me clueless. Unlike our other four kids, this one has a host of allergies, including… milk, making milk-based formula a non-option. And as long as the jury is out on the safety of soy, I have no intention of pumping her with a quart of soy-based formula each day.
So now what do I do? Any ideas?
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