Update on sleep problems, and food

An update from Anonymous (who was writing that she was smacking her baby to get her to sleep)! This is why I write this blog--the support you guys gave her helped her totally rethink what had been happening in her house and come up with a creative and clever way to shift things around so she could get herself into a better place to be able to mother her child the way she wants to. Yay everyone!

"An update on the sleep issues. I was so encouraged by the comments that i started to feel better. But i knew that we had to make a change so i thought about things and realized that we spend a lot of the week just getting take-out food which really begins to add up. So i talked to my husband and we agreed to cook at home or get frozen foods for a week so we could get a babysitter in and i could get some time for myself. That, and the fact that she just started sleeping a little better right around her 11 monthday, last week, has really improved things. She is still not sleeping through the night but i have gotten a few nights of 4 hour chunks which along with a couple of mornings to my own have made a lot of difference. Thank you to you and the commenters for not being judgmental and really helping me realize i am not alone.

Now i know it's probably not fair to ask another question so soon but just in case you can answer to this. As i mentioned we get a lot of take-out. That's how it's always been.. I feed my daughter everything we eat (except i limit the sugar). I know that outside food is not the healthiest and for her i always try to give whatever is healthiest in the options plus supplement with some jarred veggies and fresh fruit. What is the best approach to feeding your kid if you don't cook a lot at home?"

Ask away, Anon. I think you're just such a sharp cookie for stepping back and looking at how you could shift things around to alleviate some stress instead of sinking into a morass of self-loathing. But I'm guessing that you're probably not doing too badly already food-wise. I don't know about "outside" food not being the healthiest. If you're comparing a Big Mac to homemade pasta primavera, definitely, but if you're getting falafel sandwiches or pad thai vs. Hamburger Helper, you're probably better off with the outside food nutrition-wise.

It sounds like you're on the right track with adding the veggies and fruit. In a few months she'll really start being able to go to town on raw veggies (tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, cucumbers, etc.) and you can just ply her with those in addition to what you're eating and call it done. (A friend of mine jokes that Midwesterners add frozen peas to everything. Guilty as charged, but if it gets some more nutrition into the kids without a struggle, why not?)

You could also try commenter Elizabeth's trick of adding frozen spinach to smoothies. You really do not taste it. Honestly. (Surprisingly delicious, but gross-looking: chocolate ice cream, milk, spinach.) I've started making breakfast smoothies with raw spinach, and it's a really easy way to get a ton of greens without having to chew them. (OK, I should 'fess up that most mornings I show up at work with a truly disgusting concoction that my coworkers have nicknamed The Sludge, but which really actually tastes fine: frozen açai berries, frozen blueberries, frozen mango chunks, raw almonds, greens powder, flax seed oil, kefir, raw spinach, raw mung bean sprouts, and a little water to thin it out. Breakfast of Champions. The 2-year-old loves it, too.)

What do other who aren't cooks do about this in-between stage, when the baby is aging out of jarred vegetables but isn't really into raw ones yet?