Friday, October 23, 2015

Will My Son Take His Baby Bottles to College?

The Littler Dude was never a baby who wanted a pacifier. His older brother was the opposite, taking his trusty froggy Wubbanub everywhere for his first 18 months until he woke up one day and was done. But for my younger son, baby bottles were his jam. He loooooooooved to chew on them, and of course the white creamy liquid inside was a major bonus. In fact, he loved them so much that I assumed he would be taking them to college with him, given his reluctance to giving them up.

So Mrs. Dude and I came up with a plan to convince him to give his beloved Dr. Brown’s blue bottles to Oliver, a baby chimp at the LA Zoo we’d seen on several of our visits. We prepped our 2-year-old before one of our regular trips to the zoo, bagged the bottles up, and he left them outside Oliver’s viewing area under the premise of passing them on to someone who really needed them more than him.

Not wanting to litter, we subtly snatched them up and stashed them in a bag until we got home that night and the Littler Dude felt so proud for being such a big boy and graduating from bottles to big milk cups like his brother. Our plan had worked to perfection!

Except it didn’t.

The next morning he woke up pining for his Smurf-hued drinking buddies and was stunned to be told they were now in the care of baby Oliver.  We rehashed the whole plan to graduate to big cups, but he was not interested. We tried putting his milk in several different cups, but he wouldn’t take a sip, choosing instead to drown his sorrows with swigs of water.

Now water is obviously not a bad choice, but while it is wonderful for hydration it is lacking in protein and a slew of other vitamins which come standard in dairy milk. I thought watching his older brother devour one of his multiple glasses of milk daily would convince the Littler Dude to give it a shot, but no go. He’d often ask for milk and I assume he must’ve hoped we’d forgotten about the bottle removal plan and were going to revert, but that wasn’t going to happen. So he stopped drinking milk altogether.

Mrs. Dude and I began to wonder if we’d made the wrong choice, or were being unnecessarily strict and agreed we were not. Change is an integral part of life and it was OK for him to stick to the decision he’d made to give up the bottles. Still, I worried about my growing boy getting enough important nutrients to stay healthy, grow big and strong and feel like he was consuming enough, and since he’s a tad stubborn, like his old man, he wouldn’t budge. So I started to look for other options.

Fortunately he’s the most open-minded eater I’ve ever encountered. Anything edible that he sees, he’s willing to try. He might spit it out, which happens rarely, but at least he gives everything a chance. Shortly after Milkgate erupted in our house, we went to visit some cousins who exposed him to their kid-friendly little smoothie bottles and yogurt tubes. Boom! Just like that we were back in the business of dairy protein and he’d found something yummy to easily take on the go. Thankfully these seemed to be a gateway because after a milkless month, he gave those big boy cups another whirl. Just like a lot of things, he dipped his toe in the water first by starting with a few sips before following his big brother’s lead and enjoying a giant big boy cup of milk first thing in the morning to power up for school and another after arriving back home to recharge the batteries spent playing all days with his pals.

Thankfully he’s always been open to a variety of fruits & veggies, so while we were concerned about his nutrition at first, I had no doubt he was always in good hands with the vast dairy options. And his recent 3-year-checkup at the doctor confirmed that he’s growing like a weed and smarter than a parent. Or at least this one, who doubted his choices, not expecting him to come full circle so quickly during Milkgate. But he knows what he likes and I guess all the protein, vitamins and nutrients, which are making him smarter, stronger and bigger every day, helped him find his way.




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This post was sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board, who are once again participating in the Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign with the NFL to encourage kids to eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods, powering and empowering them to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

As part of this program, qualifying California schools can apply for grants up to $4,000 to help support their health and wellness curriculum. They need to implement plays from the 2015-2016 edition of the Fuel Up to Play 60 Playbook to be eligible.

Want to get your school involved? To apply for a fall grant, visit fueluptoplay60.com for more info. Grant deadline is November 4.

I was compensated for this post by the California Milk Advisory Board, but all opinions contained within are entirely my own, for better or worse. That’s all I have time to include, as I have to run to the market to grab my kids another gallon of milk.




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