Healthy eating for toddlers, the new humble brag?
So I want to start this post by saying there is absolutely nothing wrong with children eating healthily, but just recently I have noticed a massive trend on Instagram and tiktok of mum's posting videos of their children, weaning on ridiculously healthy food.
Now, again, there's nothing really wrong with that, but it's just annoying!
And maybe I'm jealous just because my pre-schooler is at the "I have three or four set meals, mainly involving chicken dippers or fish fingers that I will eat and I won't touch any other food because I'm ridiculously picky" stage but I've noticed more and more mums posting videos of their baby weaning on foods that basically belong in a fitness influencers story.
From green smoothies to quinoa on toast these babies are absolutely living it up, I've even seen a child being given Herbalife, and power to them (not sure about the Herbalife thing though) the amount of vitamins in their system is probably off the chart and it's much better than eating processed food, but the fact that some people's babies have a better diet than Gwyneth paltrow is not what I'm taking exception to, my annoyance is with what's known as the humblebrag.
If you don't know what a humblebrag is, let me explain. There's a good chance you will have been exposed to a humblebrag maybe even without knowing it, especially if you hang out on social media, I'll have used social media in the past, which in the 21st century if you haven't I'd be quite shocked.
The humble brag is when you pretend to be modest but you're actually showing off, an example I saw the other day was when a woman on a local Facebook neighbourhood group, posted a picture of her massive garden, and then said "my garden is such a mess, we are looking for something a little bit bigger in the future, but until then, do I know any gardeners in the area that could come and give it a spruce up" her garden looked perfect there was no real need to put a photo up, and she didn't reply to any of the comments, it was just an excuse to post a picture of her beautiful massive garden.
You see the humblebrag all over social media, sometimes people will post pictures of themselves in a brand new outfit, brand new hair, looking a million dollars and then caption it, I look a mess, or I'm exhausted thank goodness for makeup, and I know we all have insecurities, but these are all just examples of a humblebrag, AKA attention-seeking.
The whole "weaning your baby on food that looks like it belongs in a health retreat on social media" game is a much more subtle convert one however.
You may get the occasional "it's so difficult to get him/her to eat new foods" post whilst their baby happily munches on a Alphonso mango from deepest india.
But mainly these posts are set up as if everything is normal, usually the baby is sat in a high chair, and everything seems normal, but look a little closer, and you'll see that everything is far from normal, it's absolutely perfect, and I personally think that is where the problem lies.
The tray on the high chair will be spotless, the baby itself will be as clean as a whistle, and the food being presented to the baby, would make a Waitrose food counter look like a greasy spoon cafe.
This is all just an extension of the perfect life being presented on social media, and I wanted to say that it's ok for your children's eating times not to look like this.
Children, especially babies who are weaning throw food around, children just play with the food and don't eat it, they slide it around that white tray on the high chair, and get it messy, some turn their nose up at most things, some eat absolutely everything, most will change their mind on things, and we all start out with the best intentions, feeding our children fruit and veg, and maybe some meat, but mark my words, by the time they are preschoolers, most of that will be out of the window and your child's pallette will be a very limited one and it probably won't look as healthy.
So power to the people posting the perfect weaning videos and power to the toddlers getting all that nutritious food, but let's remember to post the realities too, and let's remind ourselves that real life doesn't always look like that, and you're doing a great job no matter what your child's eating journey looks like (unless your child is living solely on Herbalife, in which case I'd probably look at a bit of variation)