When I became a mum I became more passionate about healthy cooking. As you know Amber had meningitis as a newborn and when she pulled through I wanted to focus on her health and on so called ‘brain food.’ There was no way I was going to feed my baby processed food or jars. Also when I compared the cost of buying prepared baby food to home cooking, it came out cheaper to cook the meals myself.
All you need is a good blender and a hand blender, these can be picked up cheaply at supermarkets or Argos. I would buy a 1kg bag of frozen mixed vegetables and then fresh vegetables as required. And I would use Sunday as my baby cooking day, cooking 3 different meals then blending or mashing them before allowing them to cool and freezing them in small tupperwares. I bought a second freezer for £30 from Gumtree to use for baby food.
Even though it was quite exhausting meal prepping as I was still suffering from SPD and would get pain from standing up, it was worth it because it means that now, 3 years on Amber is a fantastic healthy eater who loves broccoli, spinach, sweet potato, salmon and avocado. I would also add a pinch of paprika to her meals and now she loves anything with a paprika flavour.
I’ve also made an effort from day one to have her in the kitchen with me when I’m cooking or have her snuggle with me while I watch Jamie Oliver, it’s hilarious now because she blows kisses everytime she sees his books in the shops.
Food is a huge part of my life and now also Amber’s. I want her to grow up like I did, with home cooked meals and not being a fussy eater. I want to know that I’m nourishing my child with the best food and giving her a healthy start.
I know that not everyone grew up with home cooked meals, I have memories of staying at my best friend’s house at the weekend was I was in primary school and getting excited because her mum would cook chicken nuggets and chips, something which I wasn’t allowed at home. I know that bad eating habits can be passed down to future generations and that we mimic what experienced. But I would like to think that the endless free recipes and tips from Dieticians and chef’s will help anyone who who is struggling to adapt to a healthier lifestyle.
Now obviously kids will be kids and there’s nothing wrong with treats now and then or a happy meal if that’s your thing, but remember it’s never too early to introduce proper food to their diet. The two books which I have pictured above were a great help at the start for me.