The writer at three months
with her beloved mother
I like to imagine that my mother’s love for my healthy diet began long before I made entry into this planet. I can imagine her nourishing her pregnant self as my unformed body grew in her womb with a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, starchy food, foods rich in protein and dairy foods. I imagine her steadily gaining pregnancy weight, neither too much nor too little from her growing daughter.
I see her once upon a time religiously taking her folic acid and vitamin D supplements, talking to her doctor if at all she had any special dietary constraints as many pregnant women would be; vegans, diebatic, suffering high blood pressure, anaemia or whatever the health condition could be.
My beloved Mummy, I imagine her avoidingalcohol, caffeine, cholesterol and sugar at all costs and instead choosing to incorporate lots of fibre in her diet by eating whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables .I imagine her taking strolls in the neighbourhood as a form of exercise… and carrying on with the same tradition of healthy eating soon after I had been born as I latched on to her. Breast milk is still the most complete meal for all babies below six months of age several decades later after my birth. I see her at the market choosing from the season fruit, a wide selection of lean meats, poultry, eggs and beans or peas, choosing low fat milk or yoghurt to ensure that she produced sufficient milk for me.
And fond memories of our mealtimes as she lovingly ensured that my little self had three wholesome meals a day, incorporating all the needed food groups into my menu and at six months of age incorporating carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, lean protein, milk and dairy foods into my diet weaning me from exclusive breastf milk. A balanced diet is paramount for all little growing bodies.
One awesome memory I have is of Mummy …giving me some smoothie that she had lovingly blended from some papaya, avocado, banana, pineapple and carrot and encouraging me to take it as she said,”Kwamboka – this juice is nutritious!”. Pardon Mummy’s misnomer.
Fizzy drinks, sweets, confectionaries, biscuits and sugary cakes would only be eaten on occasion, perhaps to cub childhood obesity and remember water was always in abundance.
A challenge to the readers of ‘Wacha niKwambie Uzima’ to cultivate good eating habits in their little ones. A challenge to Kwambie and to all of us to make food as exciting as possible to the little tots in our lives by:
üMaking food as bright and as colourful as possible.
üCapitalising current interests of our children into their diets e.g. sandwiches shaped as animals.
üInnovative and fun ways of presenting food.
üIncorporating the little ones when we go to buy foods and as we prepare the same.
And many more.
Because a child with healthy eating habits today is a healthy adult of tomorrow. Thank you Mummy for all the ‘ yummy’ meals of yesteryear. I love you!
A nutritious and healthy weekend is wished to all readers of ‘Wacha niKwambie Uzima!’ and their children too.
Sources http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/nutrition-for-kids/art-20049335 http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2012/02/5-ways-to-make-food-more-fun-for-kids.html http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/healthy-eating-what-young-children-need http://www.babycenter.com/0_diet-for-a-healthy-breastfeeding-mom_3565.bc http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/eating-right-when-pregnant The writer is a Food Science graduate from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya.