Ewelina Wieczorek: I don't know if it's 'sins', but certainly modern mothers are succumbing to feeding fads too easily. They have also become very comfortable (let's not hide it - it's easier to open a jar than to cook a healthy soup or make homemade fruit puree). Yes, the fact is that modern women often work and have their own businesses. And these, say, would be partly justified. However, I know many mothers who are on maternity leave, do not go to work, are at home all the time, and still prefer to buy ready-made products rather than cook themselves.
Personally, I am quite cautious in following loud news and skeptical about modern ways of feeding young children.
Why are jar dishes less valuable than meals prepared at home?
E.W: I assume that what I cook myself will be better than the one I bought in the store. When cooking, I know what I add to the dish and what I don't add.
Small children are a specific audience. They are young, yet immature organisms that are just beginning to eat like adults. Therefore, they should ensure a good start in terms of health, according to the saying that the shell soaks up when it is young, it smacks in old age.
Not only that, baby food producers rely primarily on the feelings and concerns of parents. As we know, we care especially for small children and want the best for them. Since the manufacturer promises to produce a super healthy product, most parents will buy it, out of concern for their child. This is the typical psychological play of large corporations.
Remember that fresh food from jar food is different in that it contains more nutrients, e.g. vitamins, because it doesn't go through the lengthy processing that fruit and jar vegetables undergo.
What happens to the carrot right after picking? Usually it goes to the bazaar within a few days, home, then to the pot and is served to the child, while the jar is frozen, then thawed, loaded into bags, sometimes frozen a second time, after a few months pasteurized and mixed according to the recipe, thrown in for jars, storage and stores. Such a product is something other than a carrot from the bazaar. What about the fact that the jar has a list of nutrients, since their absorption is incomparably smaller than from fresh products? It is not enough to consume the right amount of ingredients, they still have to digest and assimilate somehow.
Do you think that serving meals from jars may have an impact on future nutrition problems for children. If so, which ones?
E.W: Of course it can. While jars are hosted in your child's diet from time to time, nothing bad happens. Sometimes it is actually more convenient to take a jar in a bag than to pack other dishes (trips, going out to friends or for a long walk). However, we should remember that after the child reaches the age of one, he should be treated in the context of nutrition almost like an adult ...
It is not true that small children only like sweet and delicate dishes. Instead of serving him sweet or bland slurry from jars, let the child try what we eat ourselves. Maybe it turns out that his favorite dish is cheese salad or spaghetti?
If we stick to the mush, we will teach the child that the hard is inedible. My professional practice has already shown me many cases of families in which several years of children did not want to eat anything except soft, liquid and sweet meals. On the children's menu, an apple, carrot or potato in a uniform have no reason to exist.
One and a half year old children should like almost everything that is crunching in their teeth: toasts, crispbread, rice wafers. Instead of mush, they should demand a decent sandwich, instead of fruit puree from a jar - a piece of pear or hard apple.
To sum up, eating jar dishes makes children lazy and I constantly accept parents with children in my counseling center who have a very poor menu - they just don't like eating fragile vegetables and fruits. They prefer drinks, yogurt, cheese, porridges, which is all you can eat quickly or drink.
For example, Gerber introduced meals for children over one year of age, because at this age, mothers are generally going to a diet based on solid foods - hard, brittle, forcing the child to bite ...
What do you think about the emerging controversies around baby food: MSM in Gerber products, too high (than the consumer is informed) sugar content in Hipp products, etc., or loud controversy around Żywiec water?
E.W: What do i think It is known that some information should be checked before you believe it. However, I think many of these messages are not mere slander, but simply the truth. Just because the jars are intended for small children does not mean that they are devoid of sugar or mechanically separated meat.
And the Żywiec water? Well ... It should be remembered that the minimum amount of minerals it contains qualifies it as a source of spring water, not mineral water. It's a big difference. Remember that water has not only specific ingredients, but also energy. I highly recommend you the movie "Water memory" (can be viewed on the Internet). You will learn many interesting things.
Where do you think in today's parents so much doubt about the proper extension of the child's diet?
E.W: It seems to me that today's world is going in the wrong direction. And it's not just about human nutrition, but also about other issues (upbringing, education, spirituality). We trust what is modern, and we do not return to nature and what has been tested a long time ago.
Companies that make jars or other children's products often assume in advance (and even openly speak about it) that mothers do not know the norms, are unable to choose the right proportions, they do not know how much potassium, iron or other ingredient is in a particular product ... is a message that only their product will provide their children with a healthy and balanced diet. It's highly dangerous. Healthy eating is not about proportions at all! It's about the bioavailability of this food, the preparation of fresh meals, the energy of food that we eat.
Have you not noticed that today we do not learn about certain principles of feeding or dealing with young children from our mothers, grandmothers, but from advertisements? We learn to expand a child's diet from labels on some jars ... We often don't know how to make baby porridge!
If a woman is not able to feed her child healthy, how were we fed? Jars have been widely available after only a dozen or so years. The absorption of minerals and vitamins from jars is less than from fresh foods. In addition, healthy eating is not just a certain amount of nutrients in the food. Every mother is able to feed her baby healthy, without the help of laboratories and large factories.
Yes, people like facilitation, but the worst thing is that the older generation still supports it, saying that in their time there were no such amenities ... Upbringing and caring for health requires effort and attention, there are no shortcuts or easy ways. However, the concerns know very well that a group of parents is a good customer who likes such an easy path and will probably choose it.
For me, marketing and persuading that a 2-year-old child should eat jars is not serious. It's just like starting to produce diapers for 7-year-olds, because why go to the toilet, when you can arrange your need sitting at a desk in school?
You also wrote about the recommendations of well-known institutions of the Institute of Mother and Child, Children's Health Center, etc. There are suspicions that they can be bought ... Parents may feel cheated ...
E.W: Of course it happens.
On one of the websites I once found the story of a resident from Wroclaw, we have a three-year-old Jasia who learned about bacteria in the water of Żywiec Zdrój. Earlier, she tested popular baby desserts on the terrazzo floor ... She stared at the floor for a long time, where she had broken the jar several hours earlier. There was a fruit dessert for babies from a well-known company.
She said that the floor where the dessert had spilled had become ... snow-white. She began to wonder which ingredient behaved as a bleaching agent. And what effect such a bleach can have on her child's body.
On the dessert label, she did not read how many vitamins were in the jar, she read that the composition of the product was agreed with the Institute of Mother and Child, which advertises on its website as an "expert in family care". She decided to consult an expert in writing. The Institute did not respond to the first letter. On the second, in a sharper tone, came the answer.
She learned that the manufacturer is responsible for the quality of the product and its actual composition. So scientists did not study what's in the dessert they signed on at all!
Recommendations of well-known public institutions, such as the Institute of Mother and Child, Children's Health Center, CZMP in Łódź, or the Food and Nutrition Institute, are highly valued by producers and very expensive. For the opinion of scientists, which allows placing the name or logo of the institute on the product packaging, the manufacturer pays according to a specific tariff, from several dozen to even several hundred thousand zlotys.
Doctor Zbigniew Hałat, epidemiologist, president of the Consumer Health Protection Association claims that scientists simply sold to the corporations. Food producers rent state scientific centers to promote their products in a camouflaged manner. So we are dealing with advertising medicine, which has nothing to do with real medicine, but only with the cynical earning of large money.
And sweet cheese for children like Danonki and ready porridges for children - should you reach for them?
E.W: Sweet cheese and porridges are ... just too sweet. They have a lot of sugar. And this does not bode well for children's future health. Yes, if a child eats this type of product once in a while, nothing bad will happen. We are talking here rather about regular administration (several times a week).
When talking about porridges for children, it's worth looking at the label. The first porridge for babies from 6 months of age is: oat flour 43%, next milk 33% (skimmed milk powder, demineralized whey), vegetable fat (contains soy lecithin - emulsifier), calcium carbonate, vitamins: C, niacin , pantothenic acid, E, B1, A, B6, folic acid, K1, D3, biotin, b12; ferric diphosphate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, sugar.
A lot of it for a product that should basically be as simple as possible in its composition. And the addition of synthetic vitamins is also not a sensible idea.
The best cocktail / cream cheese is yogurt or natural kefir mixed with fresh or frozen fruit, sweetened with bee honey. Danonek looks really weak compared to such a meal, in every respect. Even the taste one.
How to avoid mistakes in feeding children? How can we be sure that we do not hurt children, that we really give them the best?
I know a mother who gives her son Rutinoscorbin from October to March, for fear of colds and flu. At the suggestion of friends to give him regular tea with a teaspoon of bee honey and lemon juice and garlic, she stated that she would not expose her son to allergies from bee pollen ...
How to avoid mistakes in feeding children? First of all, do not be naive, run away from chemical drugs, synthetic vitamins and processed, convenient food as far as possible. Today, we really need a certain dose of skepticism. Let's rely on what has been checked and what is closer to nature.
Nature is an orchard, garden, plot, forest, meadow, field ... Factories and large corporations are not nature. It's business and marketing. And of course, we will not run away from them completely. However, we can drastically reduce their impact on our lives.
Ewelina Wieczorek: nutrition consultant at the Epicenter of Health