Ella is almost 14 months now, and a lovely happy little girl. She has just started walking and is running around super proud of her self.
As a mother you have a lot of thoughts about what is important for you to teach your little one, and what to pass on. I have three key areas that are important to me: Healthy eating, physical activity and self-esteem.
It’s easy to judge other people. Everyone does it, and I am no exclusion. One area I am very judgemental is within nutrition. I think it is so important to teach your child healthy eating habits, and I can’t bear the thought of having to order chips and nuggets for Ella, cause she wont eat anything else. Its impossible to say for sure, but I think I have made a good job here. Maybe I am just lucky, but Ella is very good at eating the foods I give her, and from day one I have let her taste all different kinds of food and lots of flavours. I have let her appetite and interest in exploring run our weaning process. I never force her to eat anything, nor do I praise her for eating. Eating is a natural action, and should not in any way be tied to any kinds of assessments whether its praise or judgement. What I can do is to offer her a healthy well-varied resource of food and let her eat it her way.
As Ella was on formula from early on I also started weaning quite early. I did a lot of research in what nutrition small babies need, and I started making my own porridge for her. I added fruits, and seeds, such as apricot and pumpkinseeds, to increase the iron content and I added coconut oil to make sure her growing body always had the right amount of good fats. As she grew older I have continued reading a lot about nutrition for children and about what they need. Maybe not too surprising it’s very close to the nutrition a grown up need. I think It all comes down to using good raw material and varied ingredients, Lots of vegetables, and fresh meat, whether its fish or chicken/beef etc. Children need a lot of energy, due to growth and activity level so I am not scared of using good fats in my cooking. Adjust portion sizes and you can always eat the same thing as your child does. I think eating healthy dinners and lunches with your child is one of the best ways for you to pass forward good eating habits to your little one.
I will write more about my approach to self-esteem and physical activity in a later post.
Nom nom, Salmon with potato, broccoli and greek yoghurt.