Eating healthy: my journey with food begins - N. J. Lindquist

Eating healthy: my journey with food begins

For some time, I’ve been wanting to write about my journey with food.

I know, that sounds strange.

But think about it. If there’s one thing we have in common, it’s eating.

And for each of us, that eating can be a lot of trial and journey.

It seems that every day we’re told something new about the food we eat, and whether it’s good or bad for us.

So I thought that by sharing some of the things I’ve learned, it might help you remember things from your life and make the kind of connections I’ve been making recently.

So here goes.

me at 3 months smallPrior to the age of 3 months, I have no idea what I was fed. And neither did my parents. Since I was adopted, and 3 months old when they got me, my parents had no idea of my medical history and no experience with other babies.

As you can see by the picture, which is the first one my parents took of me. I looked perfectly healthy.

But healthy babies don’t projectile vomit after being fed. Not all the time, anyway.

My parents took me to a doctor, who couldn’t find anything wrong.

After giving it some time, he suggested they stop giving me milk and start giving me buttermilk. (Which at that time was probably just the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream.)

My assumption is that the buttermilk came in a glass bottle from a small local creamery, since I know that was the norm at the time.

Apparently switching to buttermilk solved the problem; I stopped throwing up all the time.

As I became older, they started me back on regular milk, and since I no longer vomited, they assumed all was well.

But was it?

Based on what I’ve been learning recently, no.

More to come.


Footnote: As I wrote this today, I became curious about what babies were typically given back in 1948, which led me to discover a fascinating article at the Journal of Nutrition website.

It says, “A typical evaporated milk formula, as prepared in 1949, when I was a pediatric resident, included 1 can (13 fl oz) of evaporated milk, 19 fl oz of water, and ∼1 oz of carbohydrate, usually in the form of corn syrup (Karo) or sucrose. Such a formula provided ∼67 kcal/dL, with 15% of energy from protein, 42% from carbohydrate and 43% from fat. Home-prepared formulas were sometimes made with cow’s milk (usually pasteurized and homogenized) rather than with evaporated milk. These formulas provided about the same distribution of energy from protein, fat and carbohydrate as did the evaporated milk formulas. Most evaporated milk and most pasteurized, homogenized whole cow’s milk were fortified with vitamin D. Orange juice was given as a source of vitamin C.”

Read the complete article

  • Terri Picone says:

    I’m on a food journey, too, and like to write about it (and other things). I guess I was lucky that my mother breastfed me for six weeks, but since I projectile vomited, she put me on evaporated milk like yours. Which cured it. I know now that projectile vomiting isn’t a diagnosis requiring treatment, but only some babies’ response to being overfull.

    • njlindquist says:

      Hi Terri,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Hmm. According to Wikipedia, evaporated milk is “fresh, homogenized milk from which 60 percent of the water has been removed.” Weird that taking out the fat worked for me and taking out the water worked for you. :)

      And yes, from my picture you can see I looked pretty well-fed. We now know a lot more, but my poor, first-time mother, was frantic with worry.

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