I see you, Mama.
You’re on the baby food aisle looking at HUNDREDS of options for formula and baby food. You just recently stopped breastfeeding or pumping and are trying to figure out what to feed your precious little nugget. Thoughts about natural foods, preservatives, GMO-free formula and so much more are rushing through your head.
As you study the ingredient labels with excruciating detail looking for anything harmful, you sigh– as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders. In your life, feeding your child IS your world and it’s a heavy burden. The Google machine barrages you with endless data, and guilt, about what the best foods are for babies and toddlers. One or more of these questions is probably running through your mind:
Should I have stopped breastfeeding?
Is homemade baby food better?
Should I try to pump my way back to a supply and forego formula?
Why are some formulas GMO-free and others aren’t?
Should babies eat kale? It’s a superfood, right?
What the hell is so wrong with fruit snacks?
Raising a human is terrifying. I get it. I’ve been there. I’m there now.
I know you worry, Mama.
I worry, too. But I can tell you that I’m not worried about the baby food or formula at the store. I worry about human trafficking, preventable diseases and drivers who text– but I don’t worry about food. I have complete and utter trust in my fellow farmers and ranchers, and the USDA and FDA, to do the right thing to bring food to the table for my family.
As a rancher and food producer, I know how the ingredients for that baby food are produced. I know the beef in “Vegetables and Beef” comes from a ranch like mine. My ranch is like that of hundreds of thousands of other beef producers. A ranch where the cattle graze on pastures most of their life. A ranch where they receive high-quality animal care in all weather and seasons (hello, March snowstorms). A ranch where the whole family (even the babe) is involved in raising and caring for animals that will become valuable protein for a hungry world.
And that formula – the dang formula. Why does it have to smell so unpleasant? Why are there so many different brands with far too many acronyms? I just want a brand that gives my little cowgirl the nutrition she needs so I don’t have to feel guilty about ceasing the breastfeeding journey.
As a mama with a M.S. and an unquenchable thirst for science, I know that formula with ingredients that are genetically modified is safe. There is no scientifically-acceptable data anywhere that shows any side effects of GMOs. None. And I can prove it.
The fact of the matter is, as long as your baby’s formula is iron-fortified, you are good to go. And remember, fed is best! Don’t let “mom guilt” or outside pressures trick you into thinking you aren’t doing what’s best for your child. The fact that you are so worried, proves you’re a good mama.
I hear you, Mama.
And I care about your concerns. I really do, I promise.
Avoid the agony and stress of deciding what to feed your sweet little squish. Grab some Similac and a few containers of Gerber bananas and enjoy this phase. Right now, in our home here on the ranch, there is nothing funnier than our squishy babe wrinkling her nose at the first taste of a banana. I’m here to ask you to please don’t fear your food. By all means, continue to be diligent about knowing what your babies eat. I know they are the most precious thing in your life and you worry like you breathe. But don’t fear your food or your children’s food. It’s meant to be prepared and enjoyed with love, not regarded with apprehension. If you have questions about your food – any of it – I beg of you, please ask me. If I don’t know the answer, I will find someone who does.
You didn’t have kids because you wanted your hair to fall out from worry and stress. You had kids because you wanted a more fulfilling life, letting them pull your hair out.
Take care, Mama. Love your babes and enjoy life.