Shortly before discovering I was pregnant I read Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, and upon finishing it declared that I would never eat chicken again. A few months later, when roast chicken was the only thing my growing peanut wanted, I ate my words wholeheartedly.
Her eventual arrival revivied my curiosity about the process my food undergoes before reaching my table. I had always enjoyed eating my fruits and vegetables, as equally as I enjoyed my three glasses of milk a day and double servings of meat, but with my daughter’s date for starting solid foods fast approaching, I realized I needed to learn more about what I would be putting into her little body.
There are endless ways to classify the way you eat. Vegetarian, Vegan, Flexitarian, Vegivore, Paleo, etc. It didn’t take long to conclude that I needed to modify my diet somewhat, but I refused to subscribe to any dietary label. I replaced most dairy with soy or almond milk, and rather than eating animal protein twice a day, reduced my intake to two or three times a week.
It’s about balance in our household, not restrictions that might encourage a young girl to view food in a negative light. Instead, I’ve tried to teach her to embrace food and have fun with it, while developing a taste for fresh ingredients and a healthy variety of veggies, fruits, and grains. I love watching her eat, and when she enthusiastically stuffs a brussels sprout into her mouth, shovels her peas in, or yells “broccoli more mommy” it reinvigorates me to find new recipes to tantalize her growing appetite.
This week I baked broccoli burgers (get recipe here) for dinner and they were excellent! Nice texture, great flavor, and easy to put together-I will definitely be making these again!