One day, as I was preparing a lunch of baked sweet potato and cottage cheese for my 11-month-old son, Eddie, the toaster oven binged. It was warming my lunch -- leftover pepperoni pizza. This was a typical scene: Eddie gets the wholesome treatment; I subsist on fast food. If I would never condone such foods for Eddie, why did I so heedlessly consume them myself? I am his caretaker, after all. Surely my health is worth considering.
An idea for an experiment began forming in my mind: What if, like Eddie, I ate only whole foods, organic produce, low-sugar snacks? Would I be healthier? Lose weight? What if I ate like a baby? Not forever; just for, say, two weeks. How hard could that be?
Then I recalled the recent documentary Super Size Me, in which the filmmaker eats nothing but McDonald's for 30 days -- leaving him overweight and ill. Eddie's daily diet is a far cry from fast food, but is it appropriate for an adult woman? I consulted a nutritionist, Susan Moores, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. She said, "From about nine to eleven months, family food habits start to sneak into a baby's diet. Step back and ask, "Who has the better diet?" The answer was clear in our family. Eddie was not only the best dressed of the three of us, he was also the best fed. On with the experiment!
Sally Schultheiss, a freelance writer in Los Angeles, is the mother of a 2-year-old and a newborn.