by Amy McCarthy
“I wish all of us to have nurtured children and bodies. New moms, we forget about ourselves and don’t get the right foods because we’re tired and busy. Dr. Sue has been my best friend since I was 14 years old, and I thank her for making NourishMD.com, a really supportive and loving site.” - Selma Blair
Real food for kids is becoming a more and more prominent rallying cry. Parents across thecountry are really interested in making sure that their kids are being fed well. Problem is, though, that food companies and even the USDA are making bad choices for our kids. Actress and mom Selma Blair discusses what problems exist with kids food, and what we can do to make a difference.
Parenthood.com: What encouraged you to join the Get REAL for Kids Campaign?
Selma Blair: I didn’t eat particularly well my whole life, just like a regular midwest girl - meat and potatoes, and I never really felt that great. It was real food, but wasn’t the best. About 2 years ago, I felt bad and went on a cleanse and started eating better and I really felt like a new person. When I got pregnant, I didn’t eat any sugar or gluten and it made my pregnancy really euphoric. And, coincidentally, I have a beautiful baby who is healthy. When I look at public school lunches and what people are putting in their bodies - those processed foods - I’d like to raise awareness and make sure that my baby is healthy and has good options.
PH.com: What do you think are the biggest problems in children’s food and medicine products?
Selma Blair: I think it’s everything - I can’t speak for all Americans or all public schools, some have gardens and other great programs. I see these processed cheese foods and frozen dinners with so much sodium. I’m not against kids being kids and enjoying french fries - you don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian. You have to find a balance - greens are sorely overlooked with kids. More than that, it’s about knowing where your food comes from. It’s also sugary sodas and juice and the other “kids” stuff that is marketed toward them.
PH.com: How can parents be sure that what they’re feeding/giving their children is safe and good for them?
Selma Blair: Of course, because most of us aren’t farmers and growing our foods and that even the organic stuff has problems (like brown rice syrup). Really read the labels, and stick to the outer periphery of the grocery store where whole foods are. Go onto NourishMD at Get Real For Kids if you see something suspicious - we’re not all armed with this knowledge, but there are amazing resources. And grow your own food, even a little! I have a black thumb, but I can show my son that I can grow cabbage, I can grow a carrot.
PH.com: What changes have you made in your baby’s diet that you think are the most important?
Selma Blair: My baby’s diet is mostly my diet, because I’m still breastfeeding. I’ve just started to introduce him to solids and making my own purees. I haven’t bought any store-bought baby food, but he loves broccoli and peas and squash and apples in the teething net. Making your own baby food is so simple - Beaba (or Parenthood.com favorite Baby Brezza) is a little cooker that purees the vegetables and steams them at the same time. You’ll have to be careful, especially with peels. Once, I steamed a sweet potato with the skin on and almost choked my child - you learn as you go. Saint loves avocado, and he might stick with it until he’s one.
5. What changes would you like to see made to rules regarding the manufacture and labeling of kids products?
That’s such a big government problem, I don’t even know where to start. I wish, though, if it is labeled “all-natural,” I want to know what’s in it. Like everyone jokes, cocaine is all-natural but I don't want it in my food. We need a list! At this point, our drinking water is one of the worst things that we can give our children - I want to know what’s in that water. You just do the best you can without driving yourself crazy.
by Amy McCarthy