As parents we want our children to have a wholesome upbringing, to be healthy and happy, to establish a strong foundation from which they can eventually contribute to the world. When I think of wholesome and what it means to me, I think of rosy faced kids running around in the sunshine, clean crisp sheets on their beds, the smell of homemade cake wafting from the oven and a yummy, nourishing meal on the table at the end of the day.
Nutrition today is extremely confusing. It has become fractionalized and scientific. It has become about vitamins and minerals, fat content, sugar and salt not about nourishment or deliciousness. Most of us feel we are doing well if we’re buying products labelled organic, natural, preservative free or additive free – this is not always the case. Food manufactures still manage to sneak in many artificial chemicals and numbers (most of us don’t even know what these are) allowing our food to sit on the shelf for a year or more. This can’t be good, or natural or healthy!
The secret to feeding babies and children is to simply feed them real food – whole food – food that is as close to its natural state as possible. Feed them foods that their little bodies will recognise, foods that will nourish them and taste delish. Feed them foods that are homemade and from fresh ingredients. Feed them like this and you won’t go wrong. Rather than a banana paddle pop, which is full of those sneaky numbers and fake foods, make your kiddies a smoothie. Real full cream whole milk (no low fat, trim, skim, high calcium, high fibre or any other for that matter) real bananas (not an artificial flavour), unflavoured…plain…probiotic rich…yoghurt, a teaspoon of raw honey and a dash of cinnamon…yummo!!
Our children’s food culture begins at home with us. This is where they learn how to eat and what to eat. They can water our veggie gardens and chase our chickens. They can stir, mix, taste and chop. They become a part of what is cooking in our ovens and what is bubbling on our stoves. They learn about food – real food, they connect with the seasons, and they eat with great gusto and greedy delight. So out in the sunshine they go, with the pink in their cheeks and a full tummy – ready to take on the world…or at least the back yard – for now!
Piera De Luca is a nutrition student, fabulous cook and mother of 3
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