I am a proponent of plant-based and natural food diet. Not that I don’t indulge in sweet treats now and then. But I do so moderately.
So it was only natural that when Svadhi was born I was resolute in giving her the best nutrition I can. I breasted her for as long as I could (19 months) and started introducing her to a variety of vegetables and fruits. She loves tomatoes, cucumbers, ladies finger and most of the green vegetables. She will specifically request “I want more vegetables” during meals. She even loves eating four-angled beans (kacang botol) raw. And she absolutely loves bitter gourd. She’s also a fruit queen. She loves all kinds of fruits. When we dine outside, we often get comments from strangers like “Wah, I wish my children eat more vegetables“.
It’s not that she has never eaten any junk food. Sometimes when we are out visiting, it’s hard to say no to a well-meaning friend who wants to offer her chocolates or sweets. We are okay about it. Because I know that moderation is the key to a balanced life. I wouldn’t want to err too much on either side of the scale. As long as a big part of her diet is healthy, we close one eye when we travel.
Once at the supermarket she wanted me to buy her a packet of jellies having tasted it once somewhere. I didn’t want to oblige knowing that this would encourage unhealthy eating habits. I offered her dark chocolate instead and she agreed to let go of the jelly happily.
I am happy to nourish her with natural wholesome food. I realized that it’s all about the training of the palate to savor and appreciate the natural flavors present in fruit and vegetables. Once a child has been introduced and accustomed to a variety of fruits and vegetables during his or her formative years, good eating habits would stick for a lifetime. The child will learn to appreciate food in its most natural form.