We often hear laments of mothers, everyone has their own story to tell but the only thing everyone can agree on is that motherhood does not come with a manual.
Seasoned or first-time moms, we are totally left to our own devices to figure out what is good, what is healthy, what is character building; and the list can go on and on.
For me, it had always been about nourishing my son. What food do I give him, how often do I feed him, will he choke if I feed him that; again, the list can go on and on.
Just to backtrack a little, we had our son in KL, where were expatriating; so I did not have any ‘grown’ figures or guidance whatsoever and that surely caused some kind of anxiety. One thing is for sure though, I made a pact with myself that running and chasing after my kid, just to feed him is a definite no-no. (psssstt..I do not want to be like many of my Indian counterparts; enough said!)
Then the real deal came when the little bub transformed into a
toddler. Of course, its one of my happiest times; he started
walking and running, not to mention talk. I was all ready, armed
with a high chair, I have a vision like many of those moms we see
on magazines. Kids sitting, eating and I smiled away, enjoying
motherhood. But what do you know, the toddler had different
ideas; he threw tantrums and vomited out everything at meal
Then there was another phase – food grinding. I mean, seriously, I actually did that. What was I even thinking, grinding food for an 18 months old boy is surely not going to get him eat his food – EVEN MORE! There is no texture and whatever it is, tasted as bland as it can be; absolutely no flavours whatsoever.
Then through all these paranoia, I got to know that my little one has eczema and asthma; that only made things worse. My poor baby has seen it all with his paranoid mom.
It was quite a journey; wasn’t the easiest of times. I can clearly remember that one time I cried my lungs out, defeated – felt like a bad mom; a failed mom. To think back about all that happened, I have to say, I had all that onto myself. Instead of just having fun, exploring and enjoying our meals, turned it into a battleground. I was paranoid; making weekly menus consisting of protein and charting vitamins. Wow, was that even me?
Then one day, out of the blue, I came to my senses; I realised I cannot go on like that. I started reading up and that changes my perspective. I devoured all information and being an expat, I am lucky in the sense that I can get myself connected with people from different parts of the world – I observed, learned then, practised at home.
The real turning point was when I started my food business; that is the best thing ever.
We started doing food shopping together; vegetables and all. We read labels, we cook hearty meals, we talk about good and bad food, we eat anything and everything; we love our soups. We visit vegetable farms and pick out our fix for the week. We even started growing vegetables at home and pick them fresh for our meals. Fish, soups and vegetable are staples in our home at most dinner time. And you know what, the best of it all, meal times are not battle zones anymore.
I have to say, I am truly proud of the mom I have become. It is not an easy road but a possible one, nevertheless. Through all these, there is one thing I know for sure, the only way to make kids eat is not to hide vegetables in between rice, it is actually when we inculcate good eating habits in them; not forcing and ordering around. I learnt it the hard way and hope no moms reading this blog will have to go through the same.
I am so happy to say that now, the whole family knows the importance and enjoying good, tasty, fresh food – the organic way.