Food makes us happy, right? Well it makes me VERY happy! I turn to food when I want a treat or a dose of happiness, as do so many of you I’m sure. But in recent years, part with thanks to various medical blips and hurdles I’ve jumped (or fallen!) through, I’ve become more aware and savvy about what I’m consuming.
This isn’t a healthy eating blog post by any means – I say, currently dunking a digestive in my cup of tea whilst I’m proof reading this post. Becoming a parent has made my eyes open to the food choices I make for me and my family, especially now I have a baby son eating solid foods. I’m responsible for his wellbeing and what he eats, and I have learned so much about how important it is to ensure I provide him with a nutritional yet safe diet.
This is featured post, working with the Organic Trade Board, to help their celebrity campaigner DJ Sara Cox spread the organic love this September with their “Feed Your Happy” campaign, designed to promote the awareness of organic food throughout Organic September and why it makes us happy. I’m joining in, as I want to share my views on organic food, and why it makes me happy – albeit only recently. #FeedYourHappy…
Over the years I’ve become more aware all things organic – organic food, organic beauty products (as per my association with Neal’s Yard Remedies), organic baby vests and sleepsuits for my infant son – the list goes on. The word organic isn’t a trend, nor is it a word in place to scare us. It simply gives us the opportunity to choose wisely when it comes to what our bodies are ingesting. But why so?
Organic food doesn’t necessarily mean healthier or more nutritional – that’s a misconception amongst us all because you can buy organic sugars, organic butter etc. Organic foods have been grown/produced with fewer pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms or radiation.
Do we really want to be consuming such chemicals and toxins when there are kinder options available to us? And for our children and those around us we love and care for?
There has been speculation and quoted evidence (I’m not qualified to support these claims) that the ingestion of too much of these mentioned (and harmful) residues can be linked to certain cancers and can affect a child’s developing body and brain.
As a new parent, this is enough to make wiser and different choices when I’m adding items to my grocery trolley and where I can financially afford to do so, I ensure me and my family eat organic as much as possible.
Notice I said “where I can financially afford to do so”? Being a realist, yes organic is more expensive, and no I can’t afford or control EVERYTHING we eat in our household or when eating out – but a few small changes here and there can make all the difference and reduce the amount of nasties we consume.
As mentioned above, I’ve experience some medical ordeals over the years (ordeal being the understated word at times) and combined with the miracle wonders of having a baby – that precious miracle of new life – my mindset encourages me to try and help myself by steering clear of foods that I know are probably covered in nasty pesticides, but more importantly ensuring I take care of what my baby son consumes too.
Becoming a mother has changed my outlook on what we consume as a family. It’s amazing how having a baby has made me realise and care more for the quality of the produce we eat. I want Henry and any future child of mine to be given the best options in life to support their health and development, and where I can help make this possible with the food I serve them, well….that makes me happy! #FeedYourHappy
I recently featured a mini recipe series here at Flamingo Monroe – featuring three recipes exclusively created by a guest blogger Weaning the Nation with all recipes created exclusively for weaning babies – but are suitable for the whole family. I tried and test the recipes before featuring them, using organic ingredients where I could…
Henry is now enjoying meals now that contain whole milk – whether that’s with his breakfast cereal or in a home made fish pie or creamy risotto – and thus I choose to buy organic whole milk for him.
I’m deliberately not wrapping Henry in cotton wool. If his formula-made bottle is often still in use (slightly) over the two-hour limit, or if he drops a rice cake on my (clean-ish!) kitchen floor and I pick it up quickly for him to carry on gnawing on, or if one day I catch him with a fist full of grass and mud entering his mouth – then so be it! Not only will he have to learn one day not to eat mud, but my personal opinion is such situations may help toughen his immune system.
However, when it comes to what I am deliberately feeding him, as his full time “carer” and before he can speak and communicate his choices, I make the meal decisions and I therefore feel assured and happy (#FeedYourHappy) knowing I’m saving his delicate and growing body from a number of unnecessary toxic pesticides and chemicals.
Seeing Henry enjoy his food is what makes me happy. Weaning, as we parents know, is a job in itself, not just a process of parenthood. It’s a duty of ours to introduce foods, flavours and textures over a period of time and whilst we all pray to not have a fussy little eater, when they enjoy those home cooked dinners make by us with love, it’s a delight to witness.
What makes me REALLY happy however, is making meals that both my 9-month old and I can eat together.
I’ve recently made us chicken risotto, salmon with stir fried vegetables and fresh pasta stirred in with my homemade green sauce made from organic spinach, brocoli, courgette and peas (image below). Eating together at meal times is one of my favourite parts of the day.
We’re incredibly fortunate in the baby aisles to be able to enjoy ready made organic meals and snacks for our little ones. Henry is a huge fan of Organix rice cakes – the apple ones are his favourite. He enjoys one or two as a pre-meal snack (or when I need to appease him whilst I frantically throw a meal together for him) and some times for his lunch I’ll spread them with cheese or avocado.
A favourite dessert of Henry’s is not only (organic) fruit but he LOVES the Little Yeo yoghurts from organic yoghurt brand Yeo Valley.
When it comes to pouches, they do come in handy on those days when you’re out and about. You simply can’t go wrong with Babease and Ella’s Kitchen – made with organic ingredients and thus trusted by us mothers.
Seeing Henry smile his way through his meals, choosing to open his mouth for the next mouthful and thus enjoying what I, his mother, is serving him, is for me one of the best things about this phase of parenthood – seeing him happy makes me happy. #FeedYourHappy
A happy face at meal times is so rewarding as a new parent when going through the weaning process…
What makes you happy when it comes to organic food? Share your stories and photos on social media using the hashtag #FeedYourHappy.
Thanks for reading!
I mentioned earlier this is a featured blog post. This is however an unpaid featured blog post because I feel passionate about the objectives the #FeedYourHappy campaign from the Organic Trade Board is encouraging. I only ever feature content on Flamingo Monroe I believe in, sponsored or not.