|Does Iron Man get enough iron, man?|
Alex had his hemoglobin levels routinely tested at his one year appointment. Normal levels are between 11 and 14. What the unit is, I don't know. 11 and 14... kilometers, let's say. Wait, that doesn't make any sense. Anyway, normal levels are between 11 and 14, and Alex's level came back at 11.4. This seemed like kind of a problem to me, and I asked the nurse, "Isn't that on the low side?" She said it was fine and that it was in the right range and that I should just make sure he's eating his cereals and what not. I found this reply wholely unsatisfying, and I fretted for days over Alex's hemoglobin level before finally moving on to my next preoccupation, which was an insane diaper rash that Alex developed. I'm talking red, raw, and miserable. But at least it was something else to worry about- hooray! Nonetheless, I push red meat and fortified cereal and eggs and raisins on this kid as if we're in the running for some iron-eating award. Is there an award for this? And ARE we in the running??
See, that's the good thing about Alex- he'll basically eat whatever I give him, even as I'm mentally calculating his iron percentages as I dole out half a cup of Chex. But, Andy- Andy will take one look at a meal I've thoughtfully prepared for him and declare, "I don't like dinner." Andy will say "I'm all done!" as I'm walking his freshly prepared plate over from the stove (or microwave). Andy will get upset if blueberries are on his plate, thus tainting the rest of his food. Andy will cry if his grilled cheese is not cut correctly and will refuse to eat it. Andy will gladly not eat breakfast unless I tell him that only kids who eat breakfast get to go to preschool. Andy's iron intake levels are dangerously low (in my admittedly unprofessional, art school degree opinion).
Does PediaSure solve this problem? Does it really fill in the holes in his diet? After having a PediaSure offered to him at various points during a week, Andy began to really love the taste of it and would start demanding at random times. It's become an almost daily habit at this point, and I feel like he's kind of back on baby formula- albeit, pricey baby formula with a chocolate flavor. I've started to panic that maybe too much of it is somehow bad for him, or interfering with his regular diet of "no, I don't like this" and "all done." I asked the nurse at his three year check-up a few weeks ago, and she was quick to reassure me. "It's very nutritional!" she exclaimed. "One a day is perfectly fine! In fact, sometimes we *prescribe* it!"
Which made me think that maybe PediaSure, while not a sponsor of this blog, is indeed a sponsor of my doctor's office. But at least my worries were put to rest, and I was able to give Andy a PediaSure as a snack later that day with a mostly clear conscious.
Now, though, Alex watches as Andy revels in his chocolate drink. Alex grunts and cries out for his own PediaSure, and Alex will seek out Andy's empty cup after Andy has finished his drink and basically lick the inner rim of it, trying just to get any taste he can. The bottle clearly says that it is for ages two and up, though, so poor Alex is out of luck for another year. But, oh, how fast a year goes. Soon enough, both boys will likely be throwing a fit over my cooking and demanding their chocolate drinks as they watch Dora and Diego take a vacacione to Rio de Janeiro or whereever the heck it was that they found that shape train. And soon enough, maybe that daily dose of PediaSure will put my fears to rest about Alex's kilometers of iron.