~~~~~~~~THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED~~~~~~~~
Lyla @ 1 year enjoying mealtime
Since this blog is about sharing my knowledge based on my experiences and education, I feel obliged to share my experiences as a new mother specifically in providing wholesome nutrition for my daughter. Lyla, now 18 months old, is a good eater in general. I don’t know if that can be attributed to nature or nurture but I feel as if I’m doing something right. On my journey to attaining my RD (Registered Dietitian status), I was exposed to child nutrition and when I worked in the hospital, I covered the Pediatric unit on occasion. However, it wasn’t until I had my own child and was thrown into a “sink or swim” mentality, that I really got the hang of feeding a child.
Nursing had its challenges but was an overall success. I was able to do it for 7 months which seemed like a really long time- maybe next time I’ll attempt the recommended year but I highly doubt that’ll happen. Yes breastfeeding is an amazing bonding experience, you save a lot of money, and you know you’re baby is getting great nutrition and antibodies, but it has its drawbacks. It was hard being the only one who could feed my baby plus I didn’t love being ostracized to the nursery or a discrete corner of the room to nurse . When I returned to work, I found it challenging to keep up with my workload with my two 20 minute pumping breaks. And if we were lucky to get a baby-free night out, I had to feed her the second before we left and we had three hours max to enjoy ourselves before she needed to eat again. In short, I felt like a slave to nursing so I traded in my pump for formula at 7 months to get my freedom back. This is why I highly doubt I’ll be able to nurse for a full year next time.
When Lyla started on solids around 5 months, it was very exciting. Well, as exciting as rice cereal mixed with breast milk can be. It wasn’t until she started on pureed fruits and veggies that I really got into it. I tried all the jarred flavors out there- my favorite brand being Earth’s Best. They have such creative blends- broccoli zucchini, apple sweet potato, and carrot tomato. I experimented with homemade blends too using a steamer and my blender. One time I blended peas, avocado, and ricotta cheese and Lyla loved it! I tried so hard to expose her to unique blends and added spices to help develop her palette. I guess it worked because she is not your average toddler in regards to eating. Some of her favorites are beans, cabbage, brussels sprouts, salmon, and all types of cheese. I was persistent and implemented the “try it 10 times” theory. Usually, she liked foods the first time but brussels sprouts took a while. Since they’re my favorite vegetable, she had to like them too!