Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Meat of the Question

 I've never done so much research and second-guessing myself, and then more research than the first year of Miles' and Ridge's life. All I ever wanted, and all of the moms out there can raise their hand to this, is make my babies first year be the healthiest and happiest year!! To give them the abundance of all the fruits that they needed, that they deserved. To stimulate all of their senses equally, to not over stimulate them. To start them on solids at the appropriate time, but when was the appropriate time? Not to compare where my baby is at growth wise with other children, but my friend’s baby is already drinking out of a bottle by themselves and I haven't even fed my baby a bottle yet! The simplest and purest statements that go through a lot of moms’ heads, open a Pandora box of am I do everything I'm supposed to. The answer is YES!!

When I was 12 years old I decided that I was going to become a vegetarian. You might think that is quite young to make that kind of decision, and especially being raised in the Midwest with nothing but meat and potatoes and my mother's family being cattle ranchers. Yes, it was something that I felt deep inside that was true to whom I was. I did the research cause I wasn't going to be a potato chip and grilled cheese vegetarian, even though those things were welcome in my diet, I wanted to make sure what I was getting was pure and simple food. I've had to educate people when they wanted to hear what I had to say, and not judge people for what they eat. Even my family, who is the most unconditional, class act, loving and welcoming family I had to educate. My mom always thought the organic thing was a lot of smoke and mirrors, but when I explained to her that when she went out into her Nana's garden and picked the fruit and veggies out to eat, they eat all organic.

So when I was pregnant with Miles I wanted to look into raising the boys vegetarian. I got some questions and concerns from some people. Asking if I thought I was neglecting my kids of vital vitamins, proteins, irons, etc. If I was going to educate people about their concerns, I had to get my facts straight. So off to do more research I went. I found that the America Dietetic Association backs up our family’s lifestyle. I found out that vegetarian lifestyle is rising in the United States. All the resources that I apply to myself, I could apply to my babies, to my family.

When it comes to your choices involving your family, be confident. Educate yourself, educate the naysayers and educate your children and family. We are teaching our children to stand up and make choices, to educate themselves. If we don’t stand up as parents and lead by example, who do our children have to look up to? Whether you’re raising your family meat, vegetarian, or vegan, have an open nonjudgmental mind and keep the line of research open-as the world and our minds are always evolving. With moms I think our minds try to evolve about 3 things at once, but don't second guess the choices you are making for your family when it comes to their nutrition needs. If you’re putting in a loving effort, that alone should put your doubting minds to rest.

Enjoy Outside!
Courtney Washmuth
Live, Love, Eat and Grow