From the moment I learned of my pregnancy with Aiden, I became super careful of what I put into my body. I drank so much water and when I did occasionally have a soda it was a Hansen's and not a Pepsi. I added more fresh fruits and vegetables to my diet and cut out red meat completely. (Well actually my body did that on it's own as I was disgusted by red meat my entire pregnancy.) I believe it may have been a natural defense mechanism of my pregnant body, loosing the cravings for foods that were not so good for myself and my baby and replacing them with cravings for foods such as fruits, veggies, whole grains and white meats. Every time I ate something that was not going to be beneficial for my growing fetus such as a cookie or a king-sized Butterfinger bar, I imagined my tiny baby ingesting all that sugar and the guilt set in. This kept my sugar-binges under control. I always ate whenever hunger set in because I knew if I didn't, nausea would come and that wouldn't be a pretty sight. For the last trimester of my pregnancy I even woke up at 4am with this crazy, insatiable hunger that wouldn't allow me to sleep until I ate. I remember feeling like my stomach was eating itself away until I fed it. My little guy was sure hungry at all hours of the day and night just as he would be after he was born.
After I gave birth and began breast-feeding, I continued to have an even greater awareness of what was going into my body as I held my little angel baby looking at me with his little, trusting eyes. I continued the healthy eating with the mindset that I was the sole source of all his nutrients, AKA the "liquid gold." I began feeding Aiden whenever he wanted it from me, free of any schedule. Somewhere in all the preparing for motherhood books I remember reading about how some people think it is so important to put baby on a feeding schedule from day one. Something about this felt off even before I dabbled in my knowledge of the attachment parenting principals. I mean seriously, do we deny ourselves the luxury of eating whenever we feel the need? Then why is it necessary to apply this scheduling to a newborn baby who doesn't even know night from day? Who's needs are we fulfilling when we schedule a baby? Ours or theirs? And who's needs should come first? These questions led me to learning more about attachment parenting or parenting on instinct. It felt right to honor my baby's need to be fed at any time just as fulfilling my need to eat at all hours during pregnancy.
As Aiden grew and began eating solids, I began to get more creative and making all of his food myself. I just figured if I'm already feeding him the best milk possible, why mess up the plan with processed baby food? I feel that just the act of breast-feeding sets your mind to continuing the pattern of eating whole, fresh foods as much as possible. It becomes part of your sub-conscience. You are what you eat right? So my baby food making frenzy began. I made friends with my magic bullet, a butternut squash from my local farmer's market and these little baby cubes containers, (for freezer storage) and was happy to put in a little extra effort to give me the peace of mind that I was providing him with the most nutritious food I could.
Aiden is now 11 months old and thriving. His favorite foods are yams, bananas, apples, guacamole, my home made chicken noodle soup and as of tonight my, "Go Green Orzo" which I created tonight in a pinch as we had almost run out of Aiden-friendly foods. Before eating this dish, Aiden refused his peas. He threw them at me. He smashed them into his hair. He even faked coughed as if he was choking on them. I had to think of a way for him to enjoy them so I came up with this recipe on a desperate attempt for him to re-think his boo on peas. He LOVED it! Yea! Here's the recipe, happy eating!
Aiden's Go Green Orzo
1 box of orzo
1 small tub of pesto sauce, (or make your own)
1/4 stick of butter
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 bag of (thawed) frozen peas
Cook orzo according to directions on the box. Drain and add butter, cheese, pesto sauce and peas. Mix and enjoy!
This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.