7.20.2009

{ feed ME - bebe edition }


I'm on the road most of this week for an event we are putting on + some other work related travel, so we don't really have a meal plan other than to bring lots of water, snacks & fresh fruit in the car with us. So, this week I thought I'd try to answer some of questions about what our kids eat and do they really eat as healthy as we do? The answer is yes! They don't go grocery shopping, I do! So they eat what I buy. I mention this because it is an important concept. I hear from moms all the time, "well my kids will only eat coco pebbles for breakfast..." Uh, no they won't. Not if you don't buy them. Not if you find the time to cook yummy eggs and whole grain toast with homemade jam. Their bodies need protein and fuel and not sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Anyway, Sam (5 years old) eats most of what we eat - there are some exceptions of course - she doesn't like some veggies such as arugula. But, she snacks on apples, almonds, greek yogurt, etc. when hungry. I always have bowls of fresh fruit and veggies out for her to help herself to whenever she'd like. She eats kale, tofu, bok choy, salmon. Now, she is a kid and if she had her way she would eat pasta everynight. But again, since I am the one who shops and cooks, she doesn't get her way. ;-) {While I'm getting dinner ready, Will is generally playing with the kids and then Sam comes in and helps set the table or I have her help add the chopped veggies to the pan or salad or go pick greens and peas from the garden. This helps involve her in the meal preparations.}

In terms of sweets...we don't "ban" sweets from her life but she doesn't have them frequently. On her birthday or at other kids birthday parties she can eat cake or cupcakes. When her grandparents take her out for ice-cream that is a special treat (not something that happens everyday). When we make baked goods at home to help them taste sweet but remain healthy we use agave instead of sugar. We make homemade popsicles with frozen fruit & whey protein for treats on hot summer days.

What does bebe Henry (9 months old) eat? Other than a lot (meaning large quantities) he is a very healthy eater too...He eats greek yogurt or plain goats milk yogurt, scrambled eggs, organic whole wheat cheerios, diced up avocado, pureed sweet potatoes and other veggies, hummus, bananas, tofu, homemade teething bisquits, etc. I will sometimes use organic jarred baby food from the store when we are traveling and I don't have access to a kitchen.

I generally make his baby food in bulk at the beginning of the week (puree it up in the food processor or blender and pour it into metal ice cube trays to freeze and then transfer to bags - I then just pull out a few "cubes" each meal time and warm them up.) Sometimes I'll follow a recipe, but for the most part I just throw in whatever I've got around - if I have bananas and peached that are mushy - I throw them into the blender and then voila I have his breakfast fruit (mixed in with some brown rice cereal or oatmeal) for all mornings that week. One of his favorites is blueberry/spinach puree and apples, kale & blueberries. Samme calls it blue or green monster food. Be creative, you'll be amazed at what they like to eat!

On a related note, making your own homemade baby food is way more affordable than buying the jarred organic baby food (ranging from $0.79-$1.29 per jar). For less than $1.29 I can mix together some tofu, banana & peaches and make 7+ servings.

Why do I do this? Because I can control what goes into his food, how fresh the food is, and I know he's getting the best nutrients in the purest form possible. Babies don't need sweeteners, fillers, or artificial anything -- just fresh, healthy food.

Here are some great resources for healthy family eating...

This family cookbook, Feeding the Whole Family.
This baby food cookbook, Super Baby Food.
This website, Nuture-Baby also has great recipes for homemade baby food.
This lovely blog, Raising Foodies, about Josyln's adventures in getting her kids to try new food.

photo via flickr

3 comments:

dmoms said...

you so rock for choosing to feed your kids this way. I just don't get why all parents don't. Good food is so important.

I hope you have a good week ahead.

PS~Erin said...

This is very impressive and inspiring. I aspire to serve my family similarly and work at it... It's somewhat of a challenge for me, mainly bc I'm the picky one of the family, but bc I want my kiddos to be healthy (and their parents) I do my best.

It's easy, as you say, to serve them what you want. It's gotten to be more of a struggle though, when my daughter started kindergarten, with the influences of her classmates' lunches and the school prepared ones. It's worth it though, and if I'm putting good stuff into her, then I stress a little less while she's away.

Funny little story about setting a good eating example for our kids... My hubby eats scrambled eggs, salsa, and raw broc for most of his breakfasts. My toddler prefers this breakfast now too. It's apparent that he doesn't like broc at all, as he takes a bite and makes a terrible face while eating it, but he wants to be like dad so he finishes his florets. Pretty funny and insightful to watch. I don't like/eat raw broc and guess what: My daughter won't touch it either. Hmmm...

Thanks for sharing all of this!

Kotori said...

I loved this post... and totally agree with you! My kids eat what we eat... no special meals here at my house either. Your comment about CocoPuffs made me laugh because I hear that too from moms and I wonder how they got in the pantry if she hates them so much!

I think it's so important to expose your kids to all kinds of foods right now - fish, vegetables, all different types of cuisine. Your post is very inspiring!