The Challenge of Real Food
I thought the first year of pumping and breastfeeding was difficult, but a whole new challenge has presented itself. I now have a one year old who eats “real” food, with a side of breastmilk here and there. For a whole year, I have relied on breastmilk as the main source of nutrition for my baby boy. On the days where I, his mother, skipped meals or only ate cheese all day long, I always knew our baby would be ok because he was being taken care of with each nursing break I took. As that one year mark hit, I could tell that his nursing, while still beneficial, had become more for comfort and actual meals are becoming a necessity.
The Problem with Real Food
I would not consider myself a great eater. I have gotten out of the habit of making meals and, because my husband and I have differing schedules, I often find myself having dinner at four in the afternoon and eating a nighttime snack (of candy) around 9 pm.
My habits, while they get me through the day, are not going to work for my son.
I am trying to look at this new “real” food challenge through a positive lens. This is my chance to grow as a home cook (notice I did not write chef) and find a way to feed my family that works for us. I have gathered some resources that have been helpful to me in the past and the plan is to create weekly menus. Hopefully this will guide all three of us into a lifestyle where food isn’t a constant struggle and the question of, “What are we going to eat?” disappears.
Born to Eat: This book is a great introduction to eating whole foods and baby led weaning. It can be utilized from infancy and beyond. It gives helpful examples of food combinations and has been helpful to me when trying to brainstorm meal ideas.
Inspiralized Littles Ecookbook: This ebook has a plethora of meal ideas and recipes that are geared towards little mouths but are also delicious enough for the whole family. If you are more of a “google mama,” there is an Inspiralized Kids website with tons of similar ideas at no cost. (A spiralizer is helpful for some of the recipes but not required for every recipe listed.)
I started by meal planning “real” food for the week, and I will worry about weekends later. I picked out two different breakfast options to rotate throughout the week and tried to find dinner options that had some connections in order to reduce food waste (also something I need to work on). Having this plan written out and visible helps both my husband and I stick to the menu. As I write this, we are only on week two of this new lifestyle, but the hope is that we can continue to have a plan and follow through.