Links to Think

Links to Think: 13.03.04

March 4, 2013


Co-Feeding: How to Get Your Family Involved with Healthy Food – Mark’s Daily Apple has an article on some great ways to get kids involved in the full process of food. (He has some great tips for families even if you’re not following Mark’s eating styles; I don’t follow a fully primal diet myself, but do enjoy many of his thoughts and writing that extend far beyond the parameters of primal eating.)

“A recent email from a reader gave me a great idea for making this a reality. She called it “co-feeding” (a la co-sleeping) and described it as getting the kids (and all other family members) involved with the shopping, cooking, and eating process. I thought this was a fantastic idea and figured I’d run with it.

After all, food has always been a social phenomenon. Cuisine itself is the transformation of raw dietary fuel – plantsanimals, and their associated micro- and macronutrients – into food that appeals to human sensibilities. We cook food and follow recipes and pay attention to presentation and color and all that other stuff because other people are going to be eating it. Without people to appreciate and observe the sum total of a dish, it’s reduced to its base materials and, in my opinion, somewhat cheapened. To a hungry dog, curry is just a big pile of tasty calories (and future diarrhea, maybe). To a strict reductionist/nutritionist, it’s turmeric, coconut milk, ginger, garlic, beef broth, carrots, and onions (and you can go even further down the rabbit hole). To most people, it’s a delicious, rich, aromatic, invigorating, stimulating experience. And so food is about people. If we can involve our families with the food-making process, perhaps they’ll come to appreciate food and make healthier choices on their own, or at least buy into what you’re serving up. Because it’s not just you serving it up; they’re participating, too.”

“This isn’t a sprint… Start slow, and make sure your kids are adept at a skill before moving on to the next one. Skills include washing produce, whisking, beating eggs, emulsification, knife skills, spatula work, tong handling, seasoning, smashing garlic, egg separating, use of the stove and oven, sautéeing, grilling, and the list goes on and on.”

“If there’s one theme running through this post, it’s that people need to have a stake in their food. When you do that, when kids have a role in the decision-making, food-preparing, and cooking processes, they are far more likely to be interested in the end result: a healthy, Primal plate of food. Giving them a personal role in the process also makes them less likely to develop neuroses from having their desires imposed upon by an authority figure. Parents are the ultimate authority in the parent-child relationship, but it shouldn’t be a totalitarian regime that engenders rebellion and resentment.”

Trendy mothers who swaddle their babies are causing resurgence in hip problem that died out 25 years ago – Swaddling too tightly can cause hip dysplasia, reports The Daily Mail online. (Although this is a UK publication, I believe the implications are the same for US parents.)

“Mothers who tightly swaddle their babies to prevent colic are causing a rise in a hip problem that disappeared 25 years ago, a doctor said today.

The practice – eradicated in the 1980s after educational programmes – is now back in fashion with some websites selling tight ‘swaddlers’ to keep babies warm, help them sleep and avoid the crying associated with colic.”

“‘I advocate swaddling in the right and safe way, which means ensuring babies are not rigidly wrapped but have enough room to bend their legs – they don’t need to have their legs straightened as there is plenty of time to stretch before they start to walk,’ he explained.

‘But, and this is worrying the orthopaedic community, it seems to be increasingly fashionable among parents to follow the re-emerging trend of tight swaddling.'”

Other alternatives are to allow babies to sleep on their stomach (which was also a recommendation until recently), or practice babywearing. Both of these will help with both colic and hip dysplasia, when done safely, and can also help prevent positional plagiocephaly (flat head).

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