Food is a topic that most people enjoy. What to cook, how to prepare it, food philosophies, the good the bad, the delicious, and the putrid. Not Raising Brats author and reporter, Hillary, inquired about what her readers eat and feed their children. This topic is one I am passionate about and I didn't feel I should write a blog post in the "brats" comment section. So here is my response.
I will start by saying I am not a great role model. A picky eater that has vowed to learn to try new things-and been successful at it in some cases. I come from a midwestern, steak and potatoes and snacking family. I swore up and down I didn't like potatoes for about twenty years. Then when my chef brother made roasted redskin potatoes for me I changed my tune. I like them baked, fried, roasted, sauteed, mashed, with garlic, and learning to eat sweet potatoes.
When my daughter Sophia was born I was bound and determined NOT to take her down my wayward path of poor eating habits. I breastfed for eight months and started solids at eight months. The first food in her mouth was organic bananas-hand smashed by me, not Gerber.
I bought, boiled, and pureed organic sweet potatoes and smushed organic avocados. Being a spring baby I delighted in going to the farmer's market each Saturday looking for a new fruit or vegetable to try.
I still try to live by the "Super Baby Food" cookbook which easily and in detail lays out why and how you should make your own baby food. It talks about cost savings (a bonus for any budget conscience parent-even when buying Organic!) and nutritional value of the plethora of fruits and vegetables available to use fresh and frozen. I made my own rice cereal, frozen dinners, and Popsicles. For the skeptical, let me share that I live an hour from work if the traffic isn't bad and I could still mange to make time to make the food. I was even in Target the other day ogling a woman's four-month old baby in the baby food aisle and told her about the "Super Baby Food" cookbook!
Now that Sophie is two and eats "big people food" I try to include the following in each meal. Dairy, fruit, whole grains, protein, vegetables. So for lunch today we had a Boca Chicken patty, strawberries and some Snikiddy cheese puffs. (They are made with whole grains.) I do worry she doesn't get enough of this or that but for the most part I think we are on the right track. She loves fruit, has decided drinking milk isn't all that bad, enjoys water now so she isn't drinking as much juice and when we do snack I give her very small portions and try to make it something healthy.
I am gearing up to train for a 1/2 marathon so my wayward habits will have to disappear. I'm a much better eater in the spring and summer because I love the summer fruit varieties. But as I continue my quest to teach Sophie how to eat I am also willing to try new things. It doesn't mean I have to like it.