If you’ve followed my blog at all, you’ll know I’m a proud new Mama to a 10 month old little boy. Becoming a Mama has been a mind-blowing, overwhelming, humbling, terrifying, unbelievably proud experience.
One of the most exciting aspects of being a Mama so far has been my boy’s foray into solid foods. We are still enjoying breastfeeding, but at 26 pounds and 2 1/2 feet tall, breast milk alone is just not cutting the mustard!
We grow as much as our own food as we can, and our baby’s food has been no exception. My hubby worked his brains out in the garden last summer while I was stuck in the house pregnant and barfing. His hard work has meant that our freezer was stocked with homegrown, organic veggies waiting to be made into baby food.
As with everything, we’re not overly hardcore. Life demands compromises. Our boy ate store-bought organic brown rice baby cereal. Not ideal, but it is what it is. All my homemade cereals ended in gagging and tears (on both our parts.)
What will not find its way to our table are those scary toddler microwave dinners that line the grocery store shelves. Seriously. Microwave dinners for kids??? WTF. That is just wrong. And not necessary.
I wanted to start my kid off on the right food, not prep him for a life of frozen dinners from a box. So once all the gagging settled down, we began introducing solid food. Real food. Whole food. Tasty food.
I refused to believe all this garbage about kids only eating certain kinds of foods. I cringe every time I hear someone offer their child a new taste with the preface You probably won’t like this . . . Why??? WHHHHHYYYYY?
Talk about setting yourself up for failure.
So we’ve given him whatever we’re eating. (We were of course mindful of allergies.) After the initial introduction period we dove in head first. Our boy has quite literally; I’m pretty sure more of his food makes it into his hair than his mouth.
I’ve had friends who let their kids approach food as an experience, something fun and enjoyable – and those wee ones have grown into toddlers who can handle spicier carnitas than I can!
That is what I want for our boy. I want our son to grow up enjoying his food, knowing what real food tastes like. I want him to know where it comes from, how to grow it, and what to do with it in the kitchen. I want him to take pride in what he eats, and joy. Mostly joy.
Food is one of life’s simplest, most readily accessible pleasures. If I only allow him to eat ham sandwiches and junk food I’d be denying him that. That’s not fair.
So we are feeding him real food. Not baby food. Just food.
He is 10 months old and he eats eggs from the chickens he cheerfully greets every morning with a wave and a “Bwock Bwock!” He eats organic lamb and beef and chicken and quail and pork. Spicy pork stir fry with brown rice? Sure. Skettie and meatballs? Of course. Mushroom risotto and lobster? That too. Toast with real butter. Buckwheat pancakes. His Dad’s homegrown peas and carrots. Organic yogurt. Berries from the garden. Food. Real food.
As a mother, I couldn’t be more proud. He makes a mess. Spaghetti gets everywhere. His shirts get stained and the floor gets washed again and again and again. But he feeds himself, and he is proud. Already, if we try to feed him, we get a calm but certain shake of the head – NO.
I return to my reflection at the beginning of this post. Becoming a Mama has been a humbling experience. I often think of that lovely quote – I was a perfect mother. And then I had kids.
I have no idea if my son’s 10 month old eating habits will translate into a lifelong love of real food. But it’s a good start.