Many of our personal habits now, both good and bad may have started early on in our childhood, passed to us from our parents or siblings. And another thing we know as adults, is that bad habits are hard to break! Whether it's smoking, cursing, or bad eating habits....if you have ever decided to quit doing something you consider a "bad habit," you have experienced the challenges that come with the temptations to fall into old patterns.
Growing up, I lived at home with my brother, sister, and a single mom. We were busy with extra-curricular activities of three children, sometimes my mom even worked two jobs, so eating out, and eating microwavable meals were the norm for us. I grew up on McDonald's chicken nuggets, and man I loved them!
Now as an adult, that way of eating is a "bad habit" for the lifestyle that I desire to live. I made the choice to change those habits, but it has taken me all of 5 years of marriage to really feel like I have a grip on things. People used to talk about how disgusting McDonald's was, but even as an adult I LOVED it! When I began grocery shopping for my husband and me almost 5 years ago, the majority of things I bought were from the frozen section. Now, I seldom eat at fast food restaurants, and as I mentioned previously in "How to Balance Your Grocery Cart," I buy the majority of my groceries in the fresh produce section.
So although I feel like I have KICKED the major issues of my bad eating habits, it's still tempting when my husband decides to get Ice Cream! (CONFESSION), and we sit together at night, like we have this week and have a bowl together....a BIG BOWL!
As a mom of now a 6 month old, who has started eating whole foods, I have made the decision to START 'EM YOUNG!
For our son, we have made the decision to do baby led weaning. We knew we weren't going to do store bought baby food, even before he was born. I had planned to puree his foods myself, but then my friend told me about baby led weaning, and I loved the idea. Basically, you skip the pureed baby foods, and give the baby strips of fruits and vegetables, and they learn to feed themselves.
With the vegetables I give him, I steam them, then cut them in grab-able strips, if they need to be, then I freeze a small bowl of them. Then when it's time to eat, I give him the frozen fruit, so it feels good on his teeth, and it doesn't break apart as easily. This has been a super easy process for us, and he has taken to it so well!
Plus, it is not a ton of extra work as some might think. Most the time, I will take the vegetables I am making us for dinner, make a little extra, and once they are cooked freeze a handful of them, then after I have taken his portion out, I then season ours. So I have frozen fruits and vegetables on hand, so I don't have to cook just a small portion each time he is ready to eat.
I am so excited about this way of feeding him because I am really able to control what he is getting, and know that it is fresh, good fruits and vegetables. Plus, I love seeing him learning more and more how to pick up the foods, and use his hand-eye coordination to feed himself, and discover the new tastes.
I hope that by doing this, and Starting 'em Young, that I am setting my son up for huge successes as he grows up. That he will learn good eating habits now, and will grow up LOVING fresh, whole foods, and will avoid the struggle that I had to go through.
I do plan to do some purees with him, for example I made homemade apple sauce this week! Which was fun for me as well, something I have never done! I will be sharing that process and recipe with you in the near future. I feel like it is important for him to try different textures, plus eating purees will teach him the skill of using a spoon, and learning to get the food and bring it to his mouth with a utensil.