When I was a child I depended on my parents to provide me with the food I needed. I depended on them to know that what they were giving me is good for me to have.
When I got to be older I got to start making some of my own choices in nutrition, which usually meant a bit more junk food!
When I graduated college and started living on my own I realize I probably should start eating a bit more healthy. I tried to eat veggies for each meal. Of course “veggies” could mean canned tomatoes at that point. haha.
When I got married I was basically in charge of making sure we ate good food. I cooked simply, but tried to cook healthy as well. But had plenty of treats as well. Soda wasn’t unusual, or candy bars, or homemade cakes.
Then I became a vegetarian. I realized that for both health reasons (humans aren’t really designed to eat meat) as well as humanitarian (you’d never eat meat again if you really realized what those animals went through) I didn’t want to eat meat anymore. So I had to learn how to cook more vegetarian food. I learned with enthusiasm and can now cook a variety of vegetarian and vegan food, some of which rivals carnivorous cuisines such as sausages and burgers.
Over the past couple years I’ve tried more and more to be aware of nutrition, picking up facts about what nutrients I need, things like make sure you eat something with Vit C at the same time as something with iron so your body can absorb it better. Most meals are fairy balanced.
Now I have a child, who is dependent on me for her nutritional needs. So I have to make sure she is getting the best I can give her.
But what frustrates me is that there is SO much information about their and so much NEW information, that it is hard to know what is really most important and what really is the best for you.
I know that fresh fruits and veggies are the best. But trying to get a 16 month old child to eat fresh veggies is NOT an easy task. She’d starve! So she eats a lot of bread, pasta, etc. (all whole grain) with some protein (usually tofu) and veggies when we can sneak them in (she’s getting better). Most people would say it’s an okay diet.
But she has eczema. So what is she allergic to? It’s hard to know exactly. So far dairy, kiwi (I’m guessing all citrus) and corn seem to aggravate it. So I researched to see what I could find out about eczema. One person pointed me toward an alkaline diet. Apparently some foods end up as acidic residue in your body and some as alkaline. Overall you should be eating 75% alkaline foods daily. Grains end up as acidic. Svara’s favorite food, go figure.
Apparently there are enzymes in fresh foods that help your body digest them. Cooked foods have no enzymes and so draw from your body. Strong bodies don’t really have a problem with that. Some people (such as those who get eczema) can’t always handle it and end up with reactions.
So I decided to take one step towards eating more fresh foods – sprouting. Sprouted legumes count as veggies, have much more nutrition than their cooked counterparts, and have enzymes. So if I could sprout legumes and make them into dips and spreads instead of using cooked, that’d be one more nutritious thing I could offer Svara.
Sigh… it seems to be too hot in Malaysia to sprout properly. Only about 10% of my beans (I tried two different kinds, two batches) even sprout. Even with LOTS of rinsing they all end up smelling funny and eventually mold.
So it’s back to boiled beans… what can I do?
I can only do the best I can do. I can offer healthy choices. Not always the healthiEST, but as healthy as I can and as healthy as she’ll eat. I wish I could do better. I wish I could know exactly what she needs to make her eczema go away. I wish I knew if there was something I could have done differently. There’s just so much information out there.
Sometimes I wish I could be the kid again and have someone else make my dietary decisions.
One last note – one thing everyone can do to make sure they are getting the best the earth can offer is buy organic as often as possible! Even though it’s more expensive, we now buy almost exclusively organic produce. And it’s all grown locally, too, which is even better for the environment (less shipping). At least that is one decision I know was correct.
Sorry for the long post and no pics, just had to get my frustrations down!