Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Healthy Eating

I decided that Juliana eats much healthier than I do.  On the way back from the vegetable market, I realized that about ¾ of the veggies brought into our house are consumed by the littlest member. The majority of her diet is fruits and vegetables, with some Cheerio and tofu snacks thrown in. Plus few other things, like chicken, cheese, and rice cereal, but really nothing unhealthy. Realistically, even though I like most vegetables, I now know all of the other yummy tastes available, and when I want a snack I'll probably never think, “Mmm, mashed carrots.” I also have no real desire to give up my chocolate. The day will come when Juliana realizes what she is missing out on, but for now she is extremely content to chow down on mashed peas.

Yesterday when I was getting us breakfast, I decided that hers looked better than mine (a plain piece of bread), and included grains, fruits, and vegetables! So this morning I made us both the same thing: oatmeal. I am determined to like oatmeal because (1) it's healthy, right? And (2) while I love cereal and could eat it multiple times every day, it's hard to come by around here. My box of Multi-bran Chex I brought from the States is looking mournfully low, and even the local import store mostly has an expensive brand of corn flakes. I liked them fine when I was pregnant, but ever since then they taste like cardboard. Expensive cardboard. Thus – the search for a good breakfast alternative.

I have to determine to like oatmeal because really I don't like. But yesterday, as I was making up Juliana's oatmeal, it didn't look half bad so I thought I'd give it another try. Here is my “recipe” for mama and baby breakfast extraordinaire:
  1. Boil water (for instant oatmeal, of course. You think I'm actually going to cook in the morning?)
  2. Pour into instant oatmeal for desired consistency (with some blended for baby).
  3. Divide one mashed banana between the two.
  4. Add several spoonfuls of pre-mashed sweet potato (perhaps stored in ice-cube trays in the freezer).
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.
The result was actually quite tasty. Maybe not eat-every-day tasty, but pretty good for oatmeal. I made too much and didn't finish mine. Juliana, who has hardly ever refused food in her life, did not have the same problem. She probably ate almost as much as me. Meanwhile she enjoyed her watered-down apple juice while I drank my mommy juice (coffee, of course).

I am planning some other alternatives like mashed peaches or apples, more spices, some of our yummy local honey, and if all else fails, a generous portion of brown sugar (for me, not her). What was that about healthy eating?


Candy said...

I hope you learn to love oatmeal. I have never developed a taste for it as a cereal because I like crunchy cereals, not soggy ones. I did give y'all oatmeal growing up, hoping that you would like it, but it sounds like you take after me. 'Sorry! Your combination sounds interesting, but I don't generally have pre-mashed sweet potatoes on hand!

Anna said...

Mmm... I like oatmeal. I was going to suggest that you try it with fruit or perhaps brown sugar (so much for the eating healthier, eh?), but it seems you are already on top of that. It sounds like you have some good things to try. =) I say, try all kinds of fruit. And realistically, it's probably better for Juliana if you don't introduce her to any other foods or sweets until she's a lot older. I know as a kid you would never agree, but if you haven't ever tried other things, then you don't want them, so it's altogether better for you. I've read about people who don't let their kids have any sugars or processed foods up until they are in high school and they tend to be much healthier. That might be a stretch, especially living in China, but you could always give it a shot.