As the mother of five children, I thought I pretty much had the whole baby-feeding thing down by the time G arrived 19 months ago. I mean, how much different could this baby be than her four older siblings, right?
From Day One, feeding Miss G has been a bit of a struggle. She was born breech, by emergency c-section at only 34 weeks gestation, to a mama who had just been through the most horrible and stressful experience a woman can endure. The combination of my grief at the loss of my newborn’s older brother only three weeks before her birth, along with my surgery and her prematurity did a real number on the breastfeeding relationship between G and me. I had breastfed her older siblings well into toddlerhood with no real problems. Thus, ultimately realizing that I would not be breastfeeding baby #5 was a real shock to me.
So you see, feeding G was kind of problematic right from the beginning. Even after we gave up on nursing and went to full-on bottle-feeding, she was not easy to keep fed. We went thru MULTIPLE types of infant formula before finally finding one that she could tolerate – a brand so expensive that I joked at the time that it must have been made entirely of ground up unicorn horns and solid gold fairy wings. We spent so much money on that stuff in G’s first year that we could have bought our OWN unicorn by the time all the cost was tallied up. This specially formulated infant formula also smelled truly awful. The whole family eagerly counted down the days in her first year until we could transition Baby G from formula to solids.
I started trying to introduce solids when G was just past 6 months old, but honestly, she wasn’t really eating anything one would consider “real food” on a regular basis until around her first birthday. And as soon as she WAS eating solids with some regularity, it became clear to me that I now have my first picky eating baby/toddler on my hands. My other kids have all been pretty good about eating whatever I offer them. But G is extremely discerning about what she will eat, and even now, at 19 months, she eats so little on a daily basis that Jon and I joke she’s existing entirely on sunshine and fresh air.
She does still take bottles of (organic) whole milk for bedtime and naptime (and overnight still, too), but she is offered all kinds of “real” foods at meal and snacktimes by her grandmother, father and me, and to be honest, she just won’t eat that much of anything other than a few favorite items. She’s still pretty small for her age – small person genes + prematurity, I guess – so I do worry a little bit about making sure she’s getting enough calories of sufficient variety during any 24 hour period.
That’s where yogurt has become a real staple for us in keeping our picky eating one year old fed, and that’s why I was legitimately excited when the nice folks behind YoBaby yogurt asked me if I wanted to be part of their online conversation over the next few weeks. I immediately said yes, and thank you, because I can tell you very hontestly that YoBaby yogurt is possibly the primary food that my one year old consumes. It’s definitely her favorite food of all – ever since we started solids. Myyoungest child is, in fact, a real life walking billboard for YoBaby. For real.
All of my kids have loved yogurt as babies and toddlers, and with the exception of E, who at age 14 has decided he will no longer eat any dairy at all (long story), our whole family eats a LOT of yogurt during any given week. While I am not the full-on earthy crunchy mama that I know some of you reading this are (note my professed love of the deep fried Oreo), I do try to buy organic dairy products for my family as much as possible.
Because we are big yogurt eaters, and I prefer organic dairy, I have been buying Stonyfield dairy products for many years at our neighborhood food co-op, which just underwent a supercool, major renovation into Three Rivers Market.
(As an aside, when I met Jon, he introduced me for the first time to Stonyfield’s Chocolate Underground whole milk, organic yogurt, and that particular flavor and I are now in a committed, longterm relationship which I tap into whenever I crave chocolate. )
Although I’d bought Stonyfield yogurt for years for my three oldest kids, I didn’t discover their YoBaby yogurt until my now 4 year old, C was a baby. I immediately started buying it because it was the whole milk-organic, baby/toddler-sized yogurt that I’d been looking for, and ever since then C and now G have been eating it (C has now sized up to the YoKid yogurts). I don’t just serve it to them straight, either, I mix yogurt into many other things they eat – like their oatmeal. (Tip o’ the day: Mixing cold yogurt with hot oatmeal makes it taste better and cools it down faster so busy working mamas who need to get the heck out the door in the morning can get little kids fed and ready to hit the road.)
Sometimes when our family hits a busy patch and I don’t make it to Three Rivers for a few weeks, I end up buying a different brand of yogurt for my family at the chain grocery store in our ‘hood, and I can tell you that no one in our family eats any of those yogurts half as enthusiastically as they do when I have our fridge stocked with Stonyfield yogurts of all types.
G continues to be a very picky eater, and YoBaby yogurt continues to be one of the few foods she will predictably eat. It’s been an absolute staple for her this first year since starting solids – Jon and I really rely on it daily – and if any of y’all have picky little eaters in your own households – kids you worry aren’t getting enough of good stuff they need to grow, I would enthusiastically recommend that you give YoBaby, YoKids or any of the Stonyfield yogurts a try. They’re yummy.
In my next YoBaby post, I’ll be sharing my lifelong relationship with small dairy farms – I grew up around them in Bell Buckle, TN and was active in the 4-H dairy program – and why I think it’s more important to buy organic dairy products than perhaps any other category of food.
READ MORE FROM KATIE OVER AT MAMAPUNDIT (HER PERSONAL BLOG)