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No Melamine Here

The other day a friend and I were lunching and the subject turned to melamine– the stuff usually found in closets, furniture, or dishes (scary enough), but most recently found in–gasp–food! We shared how grateful we were for what we know about diet and health, so none of the food items on the dreaded lists ever touched our grocery carts.

I am known to be quite strict about the diet of my children–not so much today that they are older (though I still monitor sugar, meat and stay away from poisons such as msg when it’s  within my control)–but so much more when they were younger.  I have had someone come up to me at a party and ask if it was true that I even brought my own food for my children during birthday parties.  When they were babies, yes, of course I did that and this only happened once or twice and at family birthday parties at that.  Babies have their own schedules for eating and I wasn’t about to starve mine while we waited for everyone to be ready to eat. Also, I prepared my own baby food  (mashed organic fruit or vegetables when they were just starting on solids) that I felt their little, undeveloped digestive systems could tolerate.  I didn’t give them food with spices until much later on. No junk. No sugar. And it has served me well.  Today, they eat whatever I serve, vegetables and all, and in healthy quantities, too. I am proud to say that my children eat well and they know what’s healthy and good for them.

This is why the melamine issue doesn’t affect my family.  We don’t consume any of the products that have been found to be contaminated–never have, never will. This is one of those life investments I will gladly bear ridicule for because I know that what you lay down for your children the first few years of life is going to be a habit later on.  One of the baby books I read explicitly stated that the foundation you lay about diet the first three years of a child’s life, is what they will eventually want to go back to in adulthood.  How can you go wrong with simple, organic, healthy, life-giving food?

I was much stricter when the children were smaller.  Today, of course I make allowances, because I don’t want the children to feel deprived about anything.  We have a chocolate day and an ice cream day. They asked to collapse that into one day–Saturday–because now they like chocolate ice cream.  But if it’s a birthday week, we will probably have birthday cake (chocolate, naturally), more than once! This week I made them yogurt parfaits for breakfast with some homemade organic blueberry syrup (from frozen berries I found in S&R), fresh bananas and muesli and a dab of nutella for an unexpected (and much appreciated) treat.  But I never allow them multiple servings of dessert to their heart’s content because even they have observed that when they have too many “treats”, they come down with a sore throat or cold faster. Moderation is something we all need to learn, the earlier the better.  The amazing thing is we never have arguments about it.  They will try to ask for more, of course, but in the end they know they’ve had what they need.  No need to gorge!

Once in a while they will ask to please order a pizza or burgers from Brother’s and I will say yes but….and they know that a big organic salad comes with all that.  So there is room for not-so-healthy food as long as we choose the least toxic of the lot and then pile on the greens.  Now that they are bigger, they are better able to handle it.  But if they’re having a burger, I also make sure they have a probiotic.  These are some of the ways I try to help their bodies along.

When they are older and have a bigger life outside of the house, I know that they will probably go through a phase of just eating whatever, whenever, and gross amounts at that, but I am secure in the thought that the foundation is already there, so eventually they will find their own balance.  

I know some people tsk tsk at me, wanting to call me mother-from-hell because their kids have all the Jollibee, junk, tv, video games, everything they feel a child ought to have–which I don’t.  But modern-day horrors such as melamine in food remind me that I am on a path that continues to serve my family well. For that I have Steiner Education to thank,  because it opened the door to a lifestyle of health that is the biggest, most sensible investment we should all make for our families.


Leave a Comment
  1. willa maglalang / Oct 22 2008 12:59 pm

    I relate to your story a lot, although I must admit that you’re way ahead in living this healthy lifestyle. I learn a lot from reading your site.

    If you don’t mind, I ‘d like to know where you source your probiotics.



  2. panjeetapales / Oct 23 2008 8:48 am

    Thanks, Willa. I take OMX. I think if you google it you’ll probably find sources near you. If not, please send me a private email so I can give you the number of my source. It’s quite pricey and that’s the downside, so I’m always on the lookout for alternatives. My sister swears by kefir–seems to be the rage these days, and I will definitely try that soon. It’s a natural probiotic, among other things. I’ve seen this being sold at the Sunday Market in Greenbelt so give that a try. There’s also quite a selection of probiotics in Healthy Options. I find that you have to experiment to see which one works for you.

  3. willa maglalang / Oct 27 2008 1:19 pm

    Thanks for the tip! I tracked down the kefir and wheatgrass
    booth yesterday. In the process, I discovered almond milk as well, which my son now can’t get enough of.

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