Our children depend on the food we feed them, in order to grow into healthy adults. As a parent, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves about nutrition, because the quality of food that we give them, will determine how healthy they will be throughout their lives. How well they will deal with illness and disease, this responsibility is not something to take lightly.
The best way to ensure their health and well being, is to look after yourself. Children learn from observation and from example and we need to set a real good example for them and it needs to start from the moment of conception. We need to be showing them,1. healthy eating habits!
Breastfeeding is vital for any babies well being, so if you are able to, I really advise you to breastfeed. At the end of the day, it is the reason that us woman have breasts, why any mammal has them, to feed their offspring. I could write a whole post just about breastfeeding and the numerous benefits, but I will keep that for another day. But as long as the mother is eating wholesome food, that breastmilk is the premium food for babies.
What we feed our babies and toddlers, has a huge effect on their long term health. We are setting them up for life, when we choose to feed them a well balanced and wholesome diet. Building up a healthy immune system starts from birth, so everything that your child consumes is either helping to strengthen their immune system or hinder it!
My girls have been raised on a vegetarian diet. I have tried to change it to vegan, but the French half of them, loves their cheese too much (and it is a link to their father, so I don't push them, that is their decision to make). So from a young age I have to make sure that their bodies receive all the right nutrients, providing them with the perfect building blocks for a strong and healthy immune system.
My girls love their fruit and to snack on raw vegetables, because that is what they have always snacked on. They get super excited if I bring home blueberries or raspberries, that is a real treat for them and I often experienced other people's surprise at their reaction, especially when we go into a shop and they ignore the sweets etc and go straight for the berries, or in my youngest daughters case, the dried seaweed crisps! Just you try and get her to share them, good luck I say!
I do give them sweet things, but they are always home made and more times than not, they are raw. There is no processed foods in my home or processed sugar. I use dates to sweeten most things or coconut sugar if I can afford it. Dates and almond butter are a favorite round my home.
Especially almond butter that we have made ourselves, from the almond harvested from the trees on the land. The next step in good health, is showing your children how to make healthy food themselves. All my girls know how to make nut milk and nut butters, how to make their own nice cream. They always have an abundance of fruit growing around them on the land and can pick them whenever they are hungry.
I am a big believer in the importance of consuming a super healthy and nutritious breakfast, especially for my girls. As it is still Spring here, they have porridge every morning. What they add to it, is almost ritual like.
We make our own seed mix, which we make every week, with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds,linseed's and goji berries (yes I know not a seed). My girls love to make this themselves. They also have coconut oil, date syrup, banana, apple and every now and again I get them some bee pollen as well.
Feeding my girls a well balanced diet is my number one priority, so the majority of my income is spend on food. What I am not able to grow, I buy from local producers and I always try to buy only what is in season.
Having my girls help me in the garden, is a wonderful way for them to be connected to their food, as well as helping me in the Olive Harvest and the Almond harvest. When we are connected to our food, when we know where it comes from and how it is produced, then we are more likely to eat healthier.
I plan to start sharing some of the recipes that I make for my girls and the ones that they assist me in making. We really are what we eat and we as parents have the power to affect what our children eat, helping them form good eating habits that will last throughout their lives.