You know, I LOVE my child. I love him so much that it hurts. He’s my favourite little human- incredibly funny, smart, cute and loving. His loving-kindness is such that I am humbled every day, because of him. What is more, he has taught me things from day one! The gorgeous and proud smile he gives me the moment he figures something out, like making sounds out of his new harmonica; the way he runs to me while trying to keep his balance; or all kinds of feelings I feel when he hugs me with his tiny arms- ah, heaven.
That said (you knew this was coming, didn’t you!), mothering can become smothering, both our littles and us, as parents. Parents, we are allowed to have mixed emotions! Besides, I don’t have my office, my colleagues, or my lunch breaks any more; my best friends are miles away from me. I don’t always feel good in my clothes, and can rarely enjoy privacy, or socializing. All the crying, whining, complaining, having to carry him, sometimes chasing him because he’s fast and he is everywhere and gets his hands on everything. Ah. All that can get to you. I try to follow respectful parenting which, by the way, has been a life saviour, but, still, my goodness, it’s hard. It’s hard especially when I am with him, alone, all day long.
Then there’s food
Then there is the housework. I might be vacuuming the flat at least 3 times a day (it gets messy!). I’m not even counting the dusting- which I never bother with anymore. You have to see the dinner table- our beloved, West Elm dinner table which we bought after months of deliberations and budgeting. There’s EVERYTHING on that table, and we’ve just given up the hope that we can get our neat, organized home back. And then there’s meal-prepping. Which, you know, I normally love. Part of why I love cooking is to see how people enjoy the meals I make. It is a challenge with the little humans, though. My little one is not as particular with his favourite foods as many others I know. He loves broccoli and peas, he eats carrots and green beans. He LOVES his chickpea omelette/pancake (and I add veggies and nutritional yeast to it!) Still, he changes his mind from time to time. For example, he decided that he didn’t like avocados anymore. Sweet potatoes? Nope. He used to love butternut squash, but not anymore. I want to make sure that he gets his omega 3s, so I want him to have flax seeds, but how am I going to incorporate that? And there are those veggies like kale or rainbow chards, which I would not have thought that he would LOVE to eat. Until now.
For a long-ish stroll in town: The pouch
Look at my little fish. This pouch is a life-changer. He is still wanting me to squeeze it from the bottom, from time to time, but I think he will figure it out soon. I prepare 5-6 pouches like this one, and, besides other food, I prepare like veggie burgers or tofu, they last for two days. There are various options online, like these. Just make sure that they are BPA-free, and that they have good reviews.
Ideal for a teething baby: The silicone feeder
I generally make a big batch and fill these feeders after filling all the pouches. Place the feeders in the freezer for an “ice cream” treat. This is a great idea also if your babe is teething because the frozen “treat” soothes the gums. Oh my God he loves them! These also guarantee me a few minutes on my own, because he definitely forgets about mummy when he’s having his ice cream. One day I will tell him that it’s just spinach and fruits!
Veggie popsicles?! Yes, please!
This is obviously a better idea for older kids and their parents! My little one is still trying to figure out how to manage it without constantly dropping it on the floor!
Gotcha. But the recipe, please? A few ideas
I like to use steamed veggies for the little one (except, say, celery and cucumbers, of course). I would steam from the night, and place the vegetables in the fridge. Then, in the morning, I blend the vegetables in my high-speed blender with fruits and healthy fats. I sometimes add the super-food mixes I keep talking about on Instagram. It is crucial to me to know where the ingredients are sourced from, what exactly they are, how often they have been quality-tested and so on, and I add some of their mixes because I trust their quality. Also crucial to me is to use organic for the kiddo, as much as I can. This is especially important if I’m using anything from the Dirty Dozen list.
Some combinations can be as follows:
- One banana, a handful of berries, iron-fortified baby cereal, avocado, flax seeds, and spinach.
- Banana, pear, broccoli, cucumber, celery, oats, raw cashews and chia seeds.
- Apple, strawberries, avocado, rainbow chards, walnuts, gluten-free oats.
- Bananas, mixed berries, iron-fortified baby cereal, flax seeds, cauliflower, sweet potatoes.
How much water? Honestly, I don’t measure how much of each ingredient I add in the blender. I always taste before giving it to the kiddo, to make sure it’s sweet/tasty enough. You should also make sure that the mix is not too liquidy (because the babe will make a mess, otherwise) but it is not so stiff either. You should be able to pour, even if with the help of a spoon, in the food pouch or the feeder. I followed the same rule with the popsicles, too, and they turned out just fine. Half of the fun is experimenting! Make a small batch first and see if your little one likes it. Or, if you’re too worried, use a simpler combination, like a banana and kale mix, and go from there!
As a bonus, here is him, eating the same “nice cream” from a bowl, trying to learn how to use a spoon. As you see, I have to use two bibs! My sweet, messy, adorable street-fighter <3