Wednesday, September 28, 2011

a child's love for whole food

My quest for greener and simpler living is a long a tiresome one. And I fear I have as many failures as successes. But the one success of which I feel quite confident is a move toward valuing whole, unprocessed food. Now keep in mind this is coming from the girl who loves a good gummy bear, but my gummy consumption is the exception not the rule (I have my sugar-induced migraines to thank for that.)

Introducing children to whole food at an early age is critical. Yesterday morning, I watched three kids eat their breakfasts on the subway. One little girl - maybe eight or nine - was eating mini powdered donuts and drinking a bottle of chocolate milk. Two other children, a little boy maybe around three and a little girl no more than year were sharing a Grandma's Chocolate Cookie. Now, I know kids have to have their treats. My son can't walk by the corner bakery without walking in, pointing to a sprinkle cookie and say, "dat. dat. dat." (translation: that one.) And fortunately our baker/laundress (keep in mind our bakery and laundromat are attached) is Balinese and out of a general appreciation for Chris and the turtle's heritage and an overarching adoration for our little family, often hands us one of these sprinkle cookies with our bag of quarters. But for breakfast? Come on!

Chris and I read Rapley and Murkett's Baby-Led Weaning over a year ago, and I highly recommend it for any new parent. Not only is it a radical approach to introducing solid foods, but it's premise is: it's essential to introduce kids to good whole foods early on. Another great book is Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck, who aside from being an amazing woman unto herself, is also married to  Rob Kaufelt of Murrays' Cheese. I actually wish I had read Real Food before conceiving.

In the end, I think our whole food introduction is paying off. The turtle likes carrots, apples, bananas, beans, oats, cheese, milk, yogurt, chicken, good bread and peanut butter (of the true peanut and salt variety). And our approach which is "eat what we eat" is more often than not a successful one.

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