Our fridge is a humorous MECCA of milk: organic whole for the wee one, almond milk for me, lactaid and chocolate soy milk for the husband. I usually buy them all two at a time, too, since they all last quite well, and because we simply fly through milk here. It’s a good thing we bought that french door fridge because we really need that room, courtesy of one heck of an obvious milk fetish.
A friend recently asked why on EARTH I would spend the money on organic milk for the baby, especially with how fast babies go through milk. Yes, organic milk is a bit of a splurge. Especially when you are going through a carton a week, but it is one that I feel is necessary. Let’s look at the root of the matter, what exactly is organic milk. Well, according to Google:
“Organic milk is defined by the USDA as milk from cows that have been exclusively fed organic feed, have not been treated with synthetic hormones, are not given certain medications to treat sickness, and are held in pens with adequate space.”
So, yea. Does that answer the question? No, not really. I have to admit that although I am a huge fan of milk and cheese and ice cream and a veritable variety of all kinds of dairy products, milk? Is kind gross. I mean, why on earth do we drink cow’s milk exactly? Wouldn’t it be gross to drink human milk? That’s silly, of course, human milk is designed specifically for human babies. Well… by the same token, cow’s milk is designed specifically for cow babies. And the average, non-dairy cow, doesn’t produce NEAR the amount of milk a dairy cow does. The principle is the same for a nursing mother… you only produce what you need when it’s needed, otherwise you aren’t lactating, correct? So dairy farmers pump cows full of all kinds of hormones to get them to produce as much milk as possible. And in the process of such, the poor cows often wind up getting all kinds of infections from being overworked AND in turn the farmers give them antibiotics to treat such. So? Those infections and subsequent antibiotics wind up in the milk you’re drinking.
EWWWWWWW. Am I right?
And I realize that organic milk surely isn’t perfect. The organic food industry is just that, industry. Ultimately, industry is just in it for the business and they aren’t consistently looking out for my little nugget’s welfare every single second of every single day. BUT? I feel like organic milk is the best I can do in the situation so it is what it is.
So often times, I ask myself if regular old milk, hot dogs, soda, boxed mac-n-cheese, bologna sandwiches on white bread, copious amounts of sugar and fast food was good enough for me as a kid then why am I so concerned about my baby girl’s diet? I mean, I turned out just fine, right? Well. I think that’s marginally subjective. Looking back, my health has been a consistent issue my entire life. I’ve had blinding migraines since I was 4 or 5. I remember my mom having to put me in a pitch black room and rock me to sleep crying from the pain I endured from those headaches and I easily had them 50% of time for a few years… they diminished as I got older but I’ll never forget them. No doctor could ever explain why I had them. I’ve also suffered from PCOS my entire life. It has never been weight related, it is purely hormonal. I do not ovulate on my own, at all. No doctor has ever been able to explain to me why. I’ve also had acne and suffered from consistent and often unexplainable dental issues. Maybe I didn’t turn out so fine, after all?
I honestly don’t remember drinking water on a daily basis in any real amount until I graduated high school. I couldn’t tell you what vegetables my mother ever made me eat other than mashed potatoes, corn or the occasional carrot dipped in ranch dressing. At dinner last night I actually laughed to my husband as I watched my 15 month old baby girl shovel sweet potato and green beans in her mouth, that I don’t think I even ate a meal that healthy until I was in my 20’s. Sad, but true.
I’m not perfect with her diet. It would be impossible for me to not occasionally rely on the conveniences of packaged foods, but even then I still shoot for the best options possible. What, you ask?
These are my usual stand ins. I know that Nutri-grain bars are probably the worst of the bunch, but she loves them. And they are a quick and easy snack in a pinch so until I find a healthier grain bar alternative (suggestions???), they will do for now. Plus I can get them in big boxes from Cost.co on the CHEAP. We also get the Veggie Straws from Cost.co–so yum and there are only like 6 ingredients, all of which I know and can pronounce! I love Annie’s boxed snacks options, as well as the Yo-Baby yogurt (a GOD SEND, she could eat 4 of them in one sitting), hummus and the organic whole cheese we buy directly from Whole Foods. Otherwise, she eats a ton of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grain whole wheat bread, brown rice, beans, organic eggs and the occasional serving of organic meat. I strive to get her 5 fruits and veggies in every day and I’d say, on average, we make it happen. I’ve cut out processed meats like sausage and deli meat almost entirely now. I still cannot look at my husband’s sliced ham deli meat in the fridge without throwing up in my mouth a little bit.
So there you have it. My child eats like an absolute champion. And other than 2 cups of milk a day? She only ever gets water. No juice or soda here and I sure hope we can keep it that way! (As a side note, I’ve even gotten my husband to kick his diet soda habit in the past month. I am so proud of him! We are a water loving bunch here!)