Re: Actually, Banana Baby Food Is Delicious. I Sometimes Pack It For Lunch Instead Of Yogurt.

1

I liked that article, but it amuses me that things that would have been practical three or four generations ago, and maybe looked down upon (Real Babies are Healthy Gerber Babies) two or three generations ago are now trendy yuppie things.

In any case, it's something I hope to do should we ever have kids, because I've tasted baby food, and it's no wonder babies don't like it, because it tastes awful.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:54 PM
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Remember! Don't give babies honey!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:55 PM
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I'm glad someone is praising the food mill, as I use one all the time and was raised on milled food from my parents' table, but the tone of that article is insufferable. 1 is exactly right. I can imagine a similar article about how making all your child's clothes is really important because this way you can make sure they share exactly your tastes in fashion.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:00 PM
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I don't understand all the baby-food hate. I eat baby food occasionally. It's not bad.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:01 PM
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I should add, I can't imagine how effective or long-lasting a plastic food mill could be. Mine is steel and will never ever die.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:03 PM
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We had a plastic and metal one when I was a little kid. My mom used to put veggies in it for the babies.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:04 PM
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I have a platinum mill.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:09 PM
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but it amuses me that things that would have been practical three or four generations ago, and maybe looked down upon (Real Babies are Healthy Gerber Babies) two or three generations ago are now trendy yuppie things.

Also amusing: the fact that they consulted not one but two "pediatric nutrition specialists."


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:11 PM
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I had a routine in high-school before morning swim practice of Gerber baby cereal with raisins and wheat germ. It was OK by my standards (but mind that my standards were formed in the land of Jello molds, Chex mix and Kraft dinner.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:17 PM
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If this is what toddlers are eating, I'm going to start eating toddler.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:24 PM
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8: Yeah. I mean, good for them, but also, kinda sad. "Is it okay to give my child something besides prepackaged food?", like the baby is a ferret or other small exotic pet.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:30 PM
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Don't give ferrets honey. The stinking weasels'll never let you hear the end of it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:34 PM
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Ferrets smell so bad. Even descented! Friggin' weasels.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:44 PM
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I am so getting a food mill!


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:57 PM
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The only meat I would eat as a very young child was hot dog, so my hypothetical children will eat hot dogs. Because, hey, look how great I turned out.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:59 PM
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You can descent a ferret?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 10:08 PM
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16: Well, ascenting them is a bit messy and goes in the other direction.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 10:10 PM
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While lateraling a ferret isn't something you should try unless you are accustomed to an option offense.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 10:23 PM
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16: Yeah, you can get them a surgery to remove their musk glands or something. It doesn't really work.

18: Shovel pass, dude.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 10:24 PM
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19: do you get to keep the musk glands?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 10:30 PM
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I actually read that article and thought, wtf, this is news? And then, shit, I should have gotten paid for writing *that*.

Also you do not need a food mill. A blender works fine.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 11:33 PM
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21: Blenders are slightly annoying to clean; are food mills more or less annoying? My hypothetical child's future hangs in the balance.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 11:37 PM
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More annoying.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 11:43 PM
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Not insane.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 11:55 PM
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23, 24: It's two word taglines, right?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 11:57 PM
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Less annoying. There are little bits for stuff to get caught in, but for some reason I hate cleaning it less than I hate cleaning my food processor or a blender.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 11:59 PM
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11: For sure babies are now delicate exotics. How can parents trust themselves when there are specialists with advanced degrees from fancy medical centers giving advice all the time in every medium of communication? (On the other hand, I'm amazed at a civilization that needs to warn people that closed cars get hot in the sun and their kids or pets can die if left in one.)

We (in the late Sixties) checked occasionally with our parents , older friends, and our Dr. Spock paperback. There was far less anxiety about the whole process though one could see the level increasing by then.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 12:00 AM
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I did all that for the first one, but couldn't be bothered after that. To be honest, with the last one, even opening a jar three times a day was a bit too much hassle, but fortunately babies can live on breastmilk alone for months and months. And of course the eldest has turned out to be the pickiest eater.

I remember telling an earnest friend that if god had meant us to make our own babyfood, he wouldn't have created Baby Organix spicy lamb with apricot.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 12:17 AM
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AB and I just discussed 2 nights ago whether we would try to puree our dinners for Kai, which would result in baby food conceptually identical to that cited in the article. The upside is cheaper baby food. The downside is that it doesn't matter what they eat as 2-y.o.s, they'll reject everything as 3-y.o.s - it's (literally) human nature. So it's not as if being exposed to sophisticated flavors as a baby makes a difference as a kid. And since none of us (except presumably Ben) were exposed to sophisticated flavors as children, yet many of us have sophisticated palates now, I'm not sure any of it is a big deal.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 5:29 AM
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we picked out the garlic cloves, fearing they'd be hard on the baby's stomach

When Iris was first crawling, she was inexplicably obsessed with eating garlic paper (in general, she wasn't one to shove everything she found into her mouth). One particularly large piece lodged in her throat, leading to a coughing fit that resulted in the loss of an entire bellyfull of breast milk. AB was devastated.

I kind of suspect that, if you're feeding your kid fully adult recipes, details like garlic are irrelevant. AB tells of visiting Ghana where huge cauldrons of super-spicy pepper soup would be cooking - soup too spicy for her not-wimpy palate - and infants in their mothers arms would reach their arms into the soup and lick it off. It's all acclimation.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 5:33 AM
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The pediatrician of a friend of mine sort of guilt-tripped her on that. Oh, just mash up a bit of what you're having for dinner. The thing is, she has a pretty demanding job and she's usually having takeout.

So her husband gets some kind of organic baby food at the store.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 5:37 AM
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I think most people overestimate the degree to which pureeing is necessary. We weren't purists -- the kids got stuff out of jars as well -- but they got an awful lot of non-pureed stuff off our plates between six months and a year. Little bits of chicken are soft enough for a baby to gum them; potatoes get fork-mashed... a kid who's old enough to eat solid food at all is old enough for it to be solid, rather than goo.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 5:49 AM
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32: I think that's basically what the pediatrician said, but my friend didn't feel right about mashing up pad thai.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 5:56 AM
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We used a lot of jarred baby food with our first, but then decided it was crap and moved over to the some-of-what-you're-having approach, which of course necessitated cooking proper dinners a lot more. A side effect of this was having everyone have dinner together, so it wasn't so bad because we still like each other and stuff. Of course, we were in a position to rearrange our schedules so that cooking and eating like this was possible in the first place.

Part of the incentive to do this was provided through watching an acquaintance nearly starve their kid (seriously, it was fucked up) by way of bizarre intergenerational transmission of their food issues and awful eating habits -- imaginary allergies, notional intolerances, frozen microwavable dinners a staple, etc.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 6:06 AM
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a kid who's old enough to eat solid food at all is old enough for it to be solid, rather than goo.

When I used to feed my brother mashed up rusks in milk --- standard baby stuff --- he'd happily 'nom' away with a smile on his face and then there'd be a look of concentration at the end .... a pause ... and then he'd stick his tongue out and on the end of it would be any little crumbs of rusk that hadn't completely turned to goo. He really didn't want the firm bits.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 6:21 AM
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Fortunately babies can live on breastmilk alone for months and months.

Sure, if you're willing to ignore the studies of how children fed that way turn out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 6:32 AM
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29: Against that, of course, is what you mention in your follow-up comment: kids who grow accustomed to spicy foods early on tend to tolerate them better as adults. But you're right that it's neither necessary nor sufficient to having a good palate as an adult (and again, amusing to think that 'feed your kids what you eat' is an exercise in getting them to be sophisticated. I get this probably isn't the case with the Ghana pepper soup.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 6:49 AM
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kids who grow accustomed to spicy foods early on tend to tolerate them better as adults

You would not believe the number of doctors and other medical types who insist that small children should not have anything vaguely spicy or even strongly flavored (garlic, etc) on the grounds that it is medically unnatural, the eating habits of the world notwithstanding.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 7:08 AM
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Well, you're Irish, Gonerill. Perhaps they fear if your youngest generation becomes accustomed to spicy food they'll militarize in an attempt to conquer a place that has it.

The anti-garlic recommendation really surprised me, especially since I think garlic is supposed to be good for digestion.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 7:30 AM
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The downside is that it doesn't matter what they eat as 2-y.o.s, they'll reject everything as 3-y.o.s - it's (literally) human nature.

Yep - #1 used to eat e.g. lentils and spinach, and tomatoes as quickly as possible before I could cut them up for a sandwich, and then at 2.5 years, began to refuse everything. For a while I thought it was just that she had learnt to say 'no' and was making use of it, but it does seem to be a common thing. The other three didn't though. Now, she prefers stuff that's not too strongly-flavoured, though she loves grapefruit and marmalade, neither of which I'll eat.

Fortunately babies can live on breastmilk alone for months and months.

Sure, if you're willing to ignore the studies of how children fed that way turn out.

Well, she does have a squeaky voice .... Apart from that, I don't think she's too sickly.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 7:31 AM
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The Scientologists don't lie, Asilon. (Breast-feeding is heavily promoted by the Pope in Rome, you know. Ever think about that?)

But that's OK. You may be a bad mother, but I'm sure that otherwise you're a very fine person.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 7:37 AM
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40: Asilon, she's gorgeous. Very cute video clip.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 7:38 AM
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32 - actually there's a whole thing over here - I assume it came from over there though - about 'baby-led weaning'. I.e. once your kid is 6 months or so, give it finger food and let it eat what it wants, rather than worrying about pureeing. Like Cala said back in 1, it's very funny watching people slavishly do completely normal things that have been going on for centuries, just because some random attachment parenting forum/NYTimes article on the internet told them to.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 7:43 AM
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36: studies funded by the milk formula industry...


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 7:58 AM
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Well, you're Irish, Gonerill. Perhaps they fear if your youngest generation becomes accustomed to spicy food they'll militarize in an attempt to conquer a place that has it.

You mean, they'd transform into Scotland?

Never has a country more closely integrated the curry sauce into its native cuisine.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 8:10 AM
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I believe in breast feeding while the baby is in utero. Like a human Klein bottle.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 8:35 AM
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my niece started to eat bread first, without the sides, the sides she'll give back, she wouldn't eat cookies or other pastries then, just bread, without jam or butter spread, coz those she also wouldn't eat, has a very refined taste :)
her favourite is the soup which i posted the other day, now she can eat whatever is the dinner, just if not hot of course and the larger bits my sister removes or cuts small
she loves to eat her multivitamin, another one with the fish oil she spits out though, and candies she doesn't know the taste yet, just sometimes my sister gives her one pill of M&M, so the other day she said her dad to have his money to buy it from the kiosk, so funny
my 3 mo nephew sometimes doesn't eat his breastmilk like for the halfday, my sister worries what's wrong and whether she should add some formula to the feeding, i say to her maybe he just knows his limits and feels full


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 8:39 AM
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While she was breastfeeding, my SIL found that when she ate garlic, the twins would get gassy and cranky, but I'm sure that's idiosyncratic.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 8:52 AM
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Sure, if you're willing to ignore the studies of how children fed that way turn out.

Let me earnestly say that you shouldn't spread such nonsense. It's hard enough to get women in the U.S. to breastfeed as it is.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 8:53 AM
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There was far less anxiety about the whole process though one could see the level increasing by then.

Yeah, and I've said this too; on the other hand, there's also the "we now know that divorce is actually pretty upsetting for kids" line of argument. And I'll tell you, having gone to a school site council meeting yesterday (I'm on the committee! for a two-year term! whee!), and seeing what the budget of PK's school actually is ($448 / year for GATE, i.e., gifted programs. That's Four hundred forty-eight period), current parental obsession has to be as much reaction as cause of our mass divesture from the public sphere....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 8:55 AM
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42: She is indeed. I looked at a few of the photos; I love the one where her hair is blowing in the wind.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 8:58 AM
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49: I think most of that has to do with the shamelessly anti-breastfeeding culture of the US. (I didn't have to look very far to find this, for example.)


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 9:03 AM
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48: It might not be idiosyncratic, but I expect it depends on the mom and the baby a lot more than the pediatricians sometimes think.

asilon's children seem to have cornered the market on gorgeous.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 9:04 AM
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Cala, sssshhh! Don't let apo hear you say that, he'll sulk!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 9:12 AM
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No, no, we're competing in different markets.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 9:13 AM
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Exactly. International immigration law provides a protectionist function for homegrown gorgeousness.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 9:13 AM
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Are there studies showing that breastfeeding is bad for kids? I thought I just made them up.

Nonetheless, having the Pope promoting something like this has to raise a few eyebrows? What does he know about breastfeeding? I mean, really. He's gay.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 9:18 AM
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Huh. The number's gone up since last I knew. Good news. I wonder how much of the increase is better education and outreach in hospitals and how much is that more offices allow women to pump during the day and it seems more normal to do so. Not that that does anything for women in service and other low-status, non-office jobs.

The demographic breakdown will come as no surprise. The CDC says:

Nearly 74 percent (73.8) of women who gave birth in 2004 initiated breastfeeding, up from 70.9 percent for infants born in 2000, and nearly achieving the national objective of 75 percent for breastfeeding initiation. In contrast, rates of exclusive breastfeeding were far below the national objectives. Among infants born in 2004, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding through age 3 months was 30.5 percent (target 60 percent) and through age 6 months was 11.3 percent (target 25 percent).

Similar to rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration, disparities exist in rates of exclusive breastfeeding. By sociodemographic characteristics, rates of exclusive breastfeeding through age 3 months were lowest among black infants (19.8 percent) and among infants of young mothers (16.8 percent), have a high school education or less (22.9 percent and 23.9 percent, respectively), are unmarried (18.8 percent), reside in rural areas (23.9 percent), and are poor (23.9 percent).

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 9:22 AM
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57: No, which is why I called it nonsense. It's much, much better for kids.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 9:23 AM
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I feel bad now, thinking that my Unfogged post might cause someone not to breastfeed.

Asilon, keep breastfeeding! Don't ever stop!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 9:30 AM
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60: Emerson joins La Leche League.

I was talking about the vast population outside the Unfoggedariat that hangs on your every pronouncement. I did warn you that I was being inappropriately earnest.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 9:37 AM
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I resent being bullied into taking the Pope's side in this.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 9:43 AM
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on the other hand, there's also the "we now know that divorce is actually pretty upsetting for kids" line of argument

I'm kind of missing how this statement relates to the care and feeding of infants.

Also, it's not actually accurate. Divorce is not inherently bad for kids if done right (i.e. cooperative co-parenting, not putting the kid in the middle, etc.) I have a book from my therapist full of studies on this at home.

(Yes, of course I'm being defensive.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 9:57 AM
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62: Even the Pope can stumble into being right now and again. E.g., he's anti-death penalty and pro-funny hats.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 10:02 AM
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There was a photo in the newspapers awhile back showing a conference of the major Christian groups in Jerusalem: Catholic, Armenian, Ethiopian, Coptic, and Syrian, IIRC. Each wore a different funny hat.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 10:09 AM
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Kraab--I actually think that a lot fo women who can't breast feed for whatever reason are made to feel really bad about it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 10:20 AM
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I assumed JE was just making a joke similar to the old "Eating is terrible for you - our mortality rate is 100%!"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 10:21 AM
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pro-funny hats.

When I was in college and still devoutly Catholic, we had a huge blizzard and the bishop announced that people could skip Mass that week if need be. I went anyway (it was short walk), but one of my classmates said, "Why are you going? You don't have to - the Big Hat Boy said so!"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 10:22 AM
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66: That's definitely true, but it can vary a lot depending on the community they're in. I imagine more peer disapproval takes place in the crowd we're discussing here. Other women might be more likely get disapproval from "experts" (doctors, nurses, and lactation consultants) at hospitals and clinics, but not on a daily basis.

I admit I have to reign in my judgment of mothers who don't breastfeed, unless there's some specific barrier. Shut up, Kraab, and mind your own business.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 10:55 AM
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Yeah, Kraab, go breastfeed someone if you feel that way!

||

Bill O'Reilly's success proves the existence of God

That's 190 proof prosperity theology right there for you, folks.

|>



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 11:00 AM
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I assumed Emerson was just warning us off breastfeeding based on how he's turned out.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 11:21 AM
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Fact: In the 1970s, the Gerber company introduced a line of adult foods called "Gerber Singles" that were packaged in the same jars as baby foods. Marketing classes cite this episode as one of the worst brand extension mistakes of all time.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 3:57 PM
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Fact: If they'd just put alcohol in the jars, it may well have worked out fine.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 3:59 PM
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Really?

Although, as in the title of the post, I knew a woman in college who loved Gerber apricot baby food. The reaction when she found she'd accidentally bought sweet potato (apparently disgusting) was hysterical.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 3:59 PM
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the grounds that it is medically unnatural, the eating habits of the world notwithstanding.

What does the world know about raising kids, anyhow?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 4:01 PM
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I tried to get my baby brother's apricot baby food when I was about five. It was really good, but my mom was a total bitch about it. Mmmmm.

As a family practice MD (then called general practitioner) my dad promoted breast-feeding starting in 1948 or so. His success was not great, except maybe among the poorer Catholic women. I haven't read a history but I think that immigrants were taught that breast-feeding was old country, unscientific, unsanitary, and unhealthful.

I don't know if even I was breastfed, but I'm pretty sure none of my siblings was.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 4:08 PM
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I was breastfed, but apparently I didn't like it. I weaned myself at a scandalously early age; hence the food-milling.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 4:11 PM
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Shut up, Kraab, and mind your own business.

I'm sure you do, but in the spirit of earnestness in this thread, please continue to do so. The experience of a couple of my friends has been that they had to stop breastfeeding much earlier than they would have liked, one due to gallbladder surgery and one due to crushing post-partum depression, and the extra judgment ("now you've ruined your baby FOR LIFE") from some quarters only made matters worse.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 4:17 PM
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Sally weaned herself at 51 weeks. It appeared that she'd figured out I was cutting her off at a year, and wanted to make it look like it was her idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 4:18 PM
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My sisters and I were all weaned at around nine months and promptly developed ear infections.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 4:23 PM
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My son finished his toilet training on the train. I think that he liked being carried through the train to the toilet. He showed up at my mom's house continent and never had an accident again.

No great feat, he was about three and overdue by the standards of proper parents.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 4:26 PM
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