I have hesitated to admit this, because I used to brag about how well-rounded a palate my child possessed, but things have changed in the past few months, and….(deep breath)…
My son is a picky eater.
And while we are confessing things, I should probably tell you that while he is perfectly capable of drinking from sippies, straws and regular cups, my 14 month old is still a slave to the silicone nipple.
And one more thing…shhhh... He’s still on formula. Not the next-step, toddler version, but the good old Similac Alimentum, a.k.a. our Stinky Savior. You’d think the kid would have jumped at the chance to get off the stuff, which smells disturbingly like regurgitated potatoes, but no. He can’t get enough. Since he’s highly allergic to milk protein, whole milk isn’t an option, but we’ve offered him all sorts of substitute milks – rice, soy, oat, grain. Vanilla flavored, chocolate flavor… we even made him a smoothie of chocolate soy milk, fresh strawberries and banana. It was delicious. But did my kid drink it? Nope. All he wanted was the rotten potato powder.
He’s also been on a food strike lately; pretty much all he will eat is fruit, Cheerios, the occasional egg, these little organic spinach pancakes, and avocado (yeah, avocado is a fruit, I know… but I like to pretend it counts as a green veggie). He drinks his weight in water (flavored with the tiniest bit of pear or apple juice – still keeping to the 6oz maximum recommended by the AAP), but other than that, it’s Alimentum or nothin’. I figure he could use the vitamins and calcium in the formula, so I still give him about 14 oz a day. Sigh.
My pediatrician suggested that we try a next stage formula, but here’s the rub: it doesn’t come in a hypoallergenic form. Yeah, they have a soy version, but soy makes me a bit nervous (we’ll touch on that in a later post) for my son’s, err, family jewels, and we’re raising him as a “California Vegetarian” (veggie with fish, because what Californian can resist sushi?), so he’ll have his fair share of soy products without adding soy milk to the mix.
But her suggestion got me thinking – what’s the deal with this “next stage” formula? I’ve seen it in the formula aisle, and it confuses me… don’t kids just switch to milk (or a milk substitute) after a year? Who in their right mind would continue to pay a small fortune to Enfamil when they don’t need to?
Google led me to Dr. Greene’s (author of “Eating Greene”) website, where he explains:
Toddler formulas have many of the same vitamins and minerals found in infant formulas. The main difference between toddler and infant formulas is that toddler formulas contain a greater amount of calcium and phosphorus. They are designed to match the higher calcium and phosphorus levels children need as they grow, similar to the levels found in whole milk.
One benefit of formulas over whole milk is that many of them contain DHA, an important omega-3 fatty acid (that you would find in breastmilk). One way or another, getting DHA in the diet seems especially important in the first two years. If you think your child needs formula after the first year, switching to a toddler formula at that time is one way to accomplish this while providing her with the extra calcium and phosphorus she needs.