Making Baby Food: How it's changed how the adults eat in my house and our future

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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I have a love/hate relationship with food (don't we all?). It's a huge part of my life: a way to get together with friends, a cure for my cold, flu, stubbed toe, paper cut, etc. I love to cook. I love to eat. Food is beautiful. A meal can be a work of art. It can also be the path to ruin. Sugar, fat, carbs, high-fructose this, unbleached that, maltose-something something, aspartame...the list can go on. TERRIFYING!! So, when Lincoln started to eat solid food a few months ago, I took creating healthy meals and showing him the value and ease of making healthy choices as one of my biggest parenting responsibilities. Yes, even this early, he WILL start to learn the right foods are his friends, the wrong ones are, well, just icky.

I make his baby food, which I really enjoy doing. I control everything: the ingredients (fresh, organic produce and meats), the length of time it sits in my fridge/freezer, the preparation method, etc. I often sit Linc in his little seat and talk him through what I'm doing while making it. He's my audience of one for my baby food cooking show where I show off the rainbow of fruits and vegetables that make up his delicious meals and tell him what they do for him. It is so important to me that Linc learns about food. I want him to be able to know the benefits of nutritious meals and make the right choices when I'm not around because other people aren't going to do it for him. Of course, I do know how harmful this can become if I get too crazy. We're not going to be counting his calories or weighing him every morning or anything like that. Also, I don't believe in strictly forbidding's just human nature to want it more. He's just going to be supplied with knowledge. Kind of like an anti-smoking campaign or the good old "Milk Does a Body Good" commercials: "See this stuff? It's harmful in these ways. See this stuff? It'll help you be strong!" Something like that.

When I was growing up, I didn't have this kind food education, and I doubt my husband did either. This is probably why during grocery shopping trips the stronger one of us (it varies) wrestles the other away from chips and cookies. If we're both weak that day, we'll end up going home with Oreos, Doritos, baked goods, etc. We crave these things often. Sometimes, I literally shake for something crunchy and salty. It's going to take us some time to retrain ourselves. We've already done away with pop/cola/soda (pick your word based on your location), which I used to drink a ton of. So, I have no doubt we can cut out/cut down these other things. We have to if we want Linc to be healthy. I'm no dietician, but I have learned a lot about nutrition and exercise over the years. I've been dabbling in this topic for over 15 years, which developed into a nice side health and wellness writing job, to gain the knowledge I have. Fifteen years of reading books, articles, studies, journals, blogs, Web sites, doctor and nurse interviews, documentaries, anything I can get my hands on. (You'd think I know better about those chips and cookies, right?)

By making Linc's baby food, I've become even more educated, and I hope I'm passing it on to him (and to my husband). It's definitely affecting the kinds of food that we're keeping in the house now. I can't be a hypocrite. We have to be an example for Linc All that's unhealthy is slowly exiting the house and is being replaces with whole grains, organics, homemade treats and other foods that just make us feel good. By the time Lincoln is able to get snacks and meals for himself, I'm hoping, he'll have a vast selection of healthy, delicious choices that he'll enjoy picking out for himself. I hope he has a lunchbox full of nutrient-rich, but appealing items that the other kids will be envious of and that Linc won't want to trade.

Right now, Linc's a brand new person. He's been fed, in my opinion, only the best so far. Right now, it's in my mind that anything less will taint his perfect little self and anything less for us will continue to bring us down. We are not on a diet. We never will be again. I'm not counting calories. This is the way we eat. We're just eating. Mine and my family's health is my motivation. I want us to be healthy, active and have a great life. I feel we're on the right track.











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