You hear so many conflicting opinions on exactly when a baby should be weaned that i decided to attend a weaning class to hear for myself both the medical and practical reasons for waiting till baby is 6 months old, so i could make an informed decision.
The class covered all the stages from baby weaning to advice on feeding young children, including food allergies, childhood obesity and food related behavior, it even covered Dental Health. We were told horror stories of under 5s having teeth extracted due to high sugar diets, of a 10year old who will live with dentures for life, and of young children developing heart problems from being overweight. Perhaps scare tactics are necessary in some cases but i found it all a little too much, i felt tearful that these precious little beings were subjected to what can only be described as negligence, as adults we can make our own decision of what to eat and when, we are provided with the nutritional contents of each and every product we eat, children don`t have this luxury and its the parents responsibility to ensure they give their child a balanced diet, to ensure their optimum health now and in the future...i will step off my soap box now....
One of the most interesting parts of the session for me was the discussion about eating behaviors and the long term effects these can have, i have already read about the perils of confusing hunger with comfort and running the risk of your child becoming a comfort eater, they also discussed the merits of eating with your child, preferably at a table, without the TV on, as in the same way as an adult, your child is unable to determine when they are full if they are distracted by their favourite programme, and can either over eat, or under eat and then need more food later on...generally something sweet.
Coming from a family that ate at the dining table every night (except on a Saturday when we had our dinner on a tray whilst watched Blind Date / Generation game) I have always favoured eating at a table rather than in front of the TV, i enjoy conversing about the day (whilst keeping my elbows firmly off the table, not talking with my mouth full and while definitely not sitting on my feet..table manners were strict in our house, my dad thoroughly enjoyed keeping a watchful eye on his brood during meal times) I have decided i wish to continue this tradition, i plan to adopt the Ma` Boswell (Bread) style of saying Grace...i may even invest in a pottery hen.