yes, today we are going to talk about feeding babies. not birds. excuse the title, i have just had that song stuck in my head all morning.
ramona is halfway into her six month, and we are eating real people food around here! well, not really. rice cereal doesn’t seem like anything i have ever eaten. and that one day with the mashed up yams was met with mixed results. but we are trying!
i put off feeding ramona for a long time. firstly, because she is still behind developmentally (still has a wobbly neck and all that) and secondly because it seemed so overwhelming. in the exhausting haze of new motherhood i read everything i could get my hands on about newborns (i was supposed to read about babies during the last 2 months of my pregnancy. oops. learn from me all you preggos: don’t wait to prepare!). and now i am just starting to realize ramona ain’t going to be a newborn all her life. now what? i guess i have to re-check out all of those books from the library.
anyways, the food thing seems overwhelming. because you know what? the food system in america is overwhelming. i have watched all of those movies talking about production, sourcing, agriculture, corn syrup, gmo’s, rice farmers in india, etc etc and it makes my brain hurt. and for many, many years i was content to put whatever was cheap and delicious in my mouth.
now, i am a rather haphazard eater. we made a commitment to go organic on the meat and dairy products last year, but we have slipped a few times. we go for the free range eggs, and organic fruits and veggies if they are on sale. but it all changes when you have a baby, right?
or does it?
we are on WIC (Women, Infant, Children) which is a program that provides low-income families with vouchers for certain foods–milk, eggs, juice, some fruits and veggies, formula–and up until now i have been more grateful than anything for what WIC provides (the formula vouchers alone save us $150 a month). but now that we are starting ramona on solid foods, WIC only gives us 3 options for baby food, none of which are organic.
i honestly didn’t think it would be that big a deal for me–hey, practically a whole generation was raised on gerber–but it is starting to become an issue.
for starters, it really isn’t that hard for me to find some organic veggies to cook and mash. and it isn’t that expensive, either. but there is the other part of me, the cheap part of me (i have always considered myself cheap instead of frugal, which can get me into trouble) that has these vouchers from WIC wasting away on my dresser. I need to get 17 jars of baby food, darn it!
which leads me to an interesting dilemma. in my mind, here are my choices:
1. use the vouchers and feed my baby the WIC food.
2. use the vouchers but only use a couple to feed my baby. donate the rest to a shelter.
3. don’t use the vouchers.
ok. here are the arguments that my brain makes:
1. of the three choices available to me, all are owned by evil corporations. gerber=nestle (see my post here for more on my feelings about nestle). beech nut=some swiss company. and i can’t find any information about the other company. i am sure they are evil too. what i do know is that i can’t trust people who can’t even tell me where or how the veggies/fruits/meat are grown. gross.
2. i could always use the evil corporate food for emergencies, or traveling, or when i am too sick/busy to make my own food. and then i could donate the rest to help out other people. but here is the rub: if i don’t think that this food is good for my baby, why would i want to give it to another? that brings up all sorts of icky ideas regarding who should get good food and whatnot, and makes me rather mad at WIC in general. would it kill the government to spend an extra couple of quarters so poor people could give their babies organic, local food?
3. i could be really principled and not cash in the government’s money for something i see as not only sub par, but part of a larger, more corrupt, system. the activist in my likes this one, but then my brain is all like: the government doesn’t care. which is true.
so anyways, what would you do? what have you done? i am not one of those moms who is super self-assured and knows what is going on all the time. we let ramona watch an episode of House M.D. the other day and she only owns about 2 organic shirts. so.
let’s end this on a high note, shall we? pictures of the Great Yam Experience, 2011.
i would post more pictures but my computer is being stupid. which kind of describes how i look in the first picture. also, god told me it was ok not to clean my apartment. so don’t be judgin’.