One of my favorite aspects of motherhood is feeding my family. Solitude in the kitchen with my favorite music blaring and my creativity sprawled across the cutting board and sizzling on the stovetop. When given a good hour to myself in the kitchen, my productivity soars as does my mood. Yes, these days come just a few times a month, but I try to savor them. Most days, I’m whipping up the best I’ve got while my boys are lined up across the couch watching their daily allotment of PBS Kids.
When teaching our Enlightened Baby Food class, I hear from mamas and partners that they would love to not have a macaroni-and-cheese-and-hot-dogs-will-only-do child. How do we make that happen? Well, mamas…this actually began during your pregnancy. “Broccoli with a Side of Amniotic Fluid” by Enlightened Mama’s founder Liz Abbene discusses how mamas begin to shape baby’s palate (yes, you guessed it) with the flavors of her diet swimming about in her amniotic fluid and later on in her breastmilk.
Long before we had children, my husband and I made choices in how and what we eat. These choices were similar yet different, so (as in most aspects of partner-hood) we found a way to meld them together and committed ourselves to remaining consistent with these choices when we began feeding solid foods to our children. These choices are different for every family, and each family creates its own food culture which is the foundation of forming your child’s palate.
Want minimal processed foods in your baby’s diet? Commit to not having it in your home. Want baby to have a flare for flavor? Put a pinch of cinnamon in those pureed apples and garlic in those mashed lentils. Most importantly, remember that you are your child’s best example. Eat what your baby is eating. Sit at the table and enjoy the food you’ve provided together. Smile. Say, “Yum!” Have fun.
The second Saturday of each month we offer our class Enlightened Baby Food. Come and discover the whats, whens, and hows of introducing solids to your sweet little one. I’m excited to share that in 2013 we will begin to include Cynthia Lair’s Feeding the Whole Family: Recipes for Babies, Young Children, and Their Parents.