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Friday, 10 October 2014

Eat Local for Baby

It's amazing how easily moms, especially first time moms, are bought by what they find online in terms of what their babies should wear, what they should eat and how they should be raised. I have been caught up in the whirlwind of commercial baby merchandise, including baby food options and recipes more common to non tropical climates. It is so easy, especially when mothers have to work and the grocery shelves are packed with attractively packaged, ready to use, baby food.
I am grateful that my baby is fussy or I would have never been forced to acknowledge the obvious. When it finally occurred to me that she wanted to sample what we were eating, I was delighted. I chipped up watermelon and peeled ripe bananas for her to eat. She went after the bananas readily but resisted the watermelon. I found it strange as I was sure it was some nice sweet melon.
In time I found she refused the sweet stuff in preference for the tangy and sour tastes of plum, cherry, pommecythere and guava. My only regret is the length of time it took me to see my folly. I was so bent on the notion that she would naturally gravitate towards sweeter foods and would share our preference for a nice ripe mango. Turns out she would rather sample a five finger. So I stopped looking for applesauce and instead made regular trips to the market and the occasional stops by a roadside fruit vendor.
When she started to walk she was even more intrigued by the experience of going in the yard, watching a coconut get cut open and sampling some nice soft jelly. Or climbing up onto my husband's shoulder and trying to pick plum by herself. Cut out some sticks of sugar cane that they can hold onto by themselves and chew or hand them a peg of portugal with a small incision (be careful not to make it too big or they may get seeds in their mouth) and you would be surprised how easily you get  them to take in fresh unsweetened fruit juice on their own.
Widen the range of offerings you have for their little palate. We have them in large variety, year round and you will soon find that getting your baby or toddler to eat healthy is very easy. the earlier you introduce it and the more you reinforce it the more readily they will keep these habits when they get older. Eventually you will understand their preferences and provide more of what they like to take to school as a snack. If you have the yard space, plant trees with fruits they prefer and make it a family activity to raid these trees when they yield. These are not just memories, these are learning experiences and your children will love you for the gift of good health.

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