‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Born To Eat: A Book Review

Full disclaimer: Today's article is actually a book review (hence the title). If you're a Pie Hole devotee, you'll know this atypical. If you've landed on this page for the first time, welcome, you'll love it! This blog is all about the science of nutrition (written by a dietitian).

The book in question is "Born To Eat".

If you're friends with a new mum (or dad), married to a new mum (or dad), related to a new mum (or dad), or are a new mum (or dad)... You'll love this book. If you're a mum (or dad) with older young kids, this is still a worthwhile read.

Born To Eat is all about baby-led weaning, and how to feed your baby, your family, and yourself in a positive way that encourages body trust.

It's almost a self-help book that encourages eating all foods, banishing fears about certain "demonised" foods, and also explains many common nutrition myths. It points out which nutrients are important at different ages and why. But better, it's written by two dietitians and is based on nutrition science.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, let me give you a snapshot of this book, and why it is brilliant.
Baby-led weaning is the idea that babies are capable of feeding themselves (toss the spoon-feeding image out of your mind). Mummies and daddies provide nutritious foods that they eat (goodbye "baby food") in a way that is safe for baby. Baby decides what of it, and how much to put in baby's pie hole. Basically, it's a book that embraces baby's capabilities, and takes the stress out of feeding.

Born To Eat fosters the beliefs that:
  • Babies are capable of feeding themselves
  • Babies are excellent self-regulators (meaning they will eat when they are hungry and stop when they're full - a very important skill to preserve for later in life to prevent over-eating and also dieting)
  • Parents benefit from allowing their babies to feed themselves and self-regulate
  • A healthy relationship with food begins when babies begin eating, and is something the whole family benefits from
  • A healthy diet includes all types of food
  • The best way to help your child have a healthy relationship with food is to see the family (especially the parents) having a healthy relationship with food
Any parent who's gone through introducing solids knows it can be quite nerve wracking. Will they choke? Will they hate the meal? Should I do purees? How soft should this potato be? Is my child still hungry? Is my child getting enough nutrients? And more. Wow, I'm feeling overwhelmed just thinking about it... And I've been there with my baby... I might know exactly what foods and nutrients are important, but I had lots to learn about textures and quantities, like all parents.

Born To Eat breaks down the stages of early eating, answers the above questions, and puts parent's minds at ease. This book is also on-point because it:
  • Explains and shows how to make foods safe (yes, there are illustrations!)
  • Gives sample meals/recipes/approximate serving sizes for different ages
  • Gives tips throughout the book (one of which is how to teach drinking from a straw, which was brilliant and the way my daughter learned that skill)
  • Written with nutrition science at the center
  • Non-judgemental!!! It encourages parents to adopt some or all of the baby-led weaning technique
Whether you want to go whole-hog with baby-led weaning, or only half, or quarter-hog, this book is a must-read. My daughter is now 13 months old and she's definitely a "Born to Eat" baby.

Disclosures: I received no compensation, sponsoring, financial incentive, or other inducements to write this article.