My friend Amy (Doula Momma) lent me Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. It is a huge, overwhelming with an abundance of nutrition information and ideas for adding nutrition to your child's diet. I have always been proud of Ian's eating. When your child begs for more asparagus, it makes you feel like you are doing something right! Now he loves chicken nuggets and fries as much as the next kid, but that is for eating out, not at home. He eats what we eat. But, the truth is, we could eat better as well.
Before Amy's son was born, they ate a typical American diet, in in the less than two years since he was born, they have totally transformed their diet to include a lot of vegan/vegetarian options, but for vegan/vegetarian cuisine to be truly healthy, it has to be more than the absence of meat or dairy. You need to have an understanding of nutrition and make substitutions for things like protein and iron that Americans are used to getting from meat. There is a whole world of options out there as we have seen from our experiments with Tal Ronnen's cookbook. But, what I am looking to do is take the next step to integrate some of these recipes into my life so I can "put them into the rotation".
Amy and her son Graham are going to be staying with us this summer so she can be closer to her doctor/hospital that she is using for the birth of her second child. She has offered to cook for us while she is staying with us. I didn't even feign protest. I think it will be great to learn from her so we can make some changes in our eating.
So, back to the book. I started with Super Porridge which involves grinding a grain like brown rice with a legume like lentils. You need to grind it for awhile so that there aren't any hard bits left. It makes a consistency like Cream of Wheat and has a much better flavor than baby cereal which Eva has refused to eat. Another great thing about it is that it is naturally sweet without anything added. I used the Vita-mix. My MIL got a new one and gave her old one to us. We didn't use it much at first, but we keep finding more and more uses for it. I keep telling MIL how much we love it. Anyway, it is great for grinding up grains. My MIL makes different flours for the bread she makes. We've hardly had time to catch our breath with all the moves, but since it looks like we will be here for awhile, now is the time.
I do want to say that when you get a book like this it is easy to feel guilty/badly that you haven't been doing this all along, but that is silly. I think this book has a lot of great ideas. If you incorporate them slowly and do not allow yourself to be overwhelmed, you will improve your family's eating and nutrition. The book also has recipes for cleaning products and play dough and craft ideas and more. I am going to order my own copy and will report back on our progress.
There are a few criticisms in the Amazon reviews to take note of such as the early introduction of nut butters, homemade spinach and carrot purees (the criticism is because of the high levels of nitrates in some carrots and spinach) and the amount of solids and strict schedule for breastfeeding. However, I think there are lots of good ideas. So dig in and have fun!