How come “nutrition” is not a topic that is covered at school? Maybe it is nowadays, but in my time of being a student, we barely talked about that during “natural sciences” classes as we called them in France. But isn’t that such a fundamental in everybody’s education? Learn how to feed yourself properly so you will be in good health? Have you seen what kids are being fed at school? My recent experience gave me this answer: a lot of sugar, wheat, and industrial dairy products. Why? I really wonder why!
If we should embody the change we want to see in the world… what I’d like to see is good eating habits starting from early childhood. As far as I remember, I didn’t get so much of that, and I have gone through some pretty messed up eating habits while growing up, so I hope for the next generation to experience less of this! School should ideally be one place to learn about good nutrition, but this mostly has to start at home.
Where “L” stands for love …
What we do for our children is always out of love. This is the intention to start with, and if we don’t have that as the fundamental, all the other vitamins and minerals won’t be of use.
NUTRIENT-DENSE FIRST PURÉES
If you have a baby nearing 6 months of age, you might hear a lot about “solid food” lately! What they mean by “solid” is actually semi-solid because until babies get more teeth than the usual first 2 then 4, we are puree-ing everything!
So, what are we supposed to reduce to a mash for our babies’ lunch? What food are easy to digest for a 6; 8 or 12 months old baby? And what food are good for them to grow healthy?
As these are not information that most paediatricians will go through with you around here, we , parents, have to be resourceful in finding this info ourselves. I personally consulted my own nutritherapist for some advice, plus when I came across Cecilia Yu’s Dose of Vitamin L, I knew her workshop would help me be confident about providing my baby some nutritious, tasty and immune boosting meals.
And just for you, dear readers, this is an example of nutrient-dense purée that your baby and even kids will probably love. I actually recommend to make more of it so you can have some too 🙂
FROM ANCIENT WISDOM TO WESTERN COOKBOOKS
Cecilia has lived between Hong Kong, the US and Korea before moving to Thailand. She had to step away from her successful career in Consulting to look after her daughter who was asthmatic and repetitively suffering from respiratory infections at only 1-year old. As a first-time mom back then, what else to do than following her doctor’s prescription? Was there any way around prolonged antibiotics treatment, frequent hospitalizations, neubulizing and other medications (sometime as much as 6 kinds in a day) for her little one?
Looking for a path towards natural, sustainable health for her daughter, Cecilia found some answers thanks to Ayurveda, Naturopathy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), enlightened by ancient wisdom guiding the body to heal with food and nature.
The idea of utilizing the healing power of food and plants resonated with her, but after a year of back and forth TCM consultations, she needed to find out how to make it convenient and practical in the context of her home.
As traditional medicines’ concoctions sometimes involve scarce ingredients (and also, challenging to a kid’s palate!), Cecilia opened up to more mainstream recipes, and connected the dots together between traditional medicine and western cuisine, placing natural, wholesome, anti-inflammatory and immune boosting ingredients at its core.
Her conviction that what makes a person healthy mentally, spiritually and physically has been validated by the course she completed in 2018 at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (INN). Her own experience with healing her daughter (now off asthma medications and with much less respiratory infections along with less health complications result from them) had make her stronger of an advocate for optimal health starting with nutrition. And her passion about healthy and delicious cooking lead her to the Academy of Culinary Nutrition’s programme.
The practical aspect of easily available and delicious ingredients made so much sense to her as a mom, wife and woman willing to live healthy, every day.
PARENTS, YOU CAN DO IT TOO
Cecilia is empowering parents to be proactive in providing their kids with healthy and immune boosting nutrition. During her workshops, she is dispelling some myths of what many paediatricians are telling us. In this region, for instance, that rice is a main ingredient of your kids’ first solid foods… Cecilia was telling us about rice’s phytic acid being hard to digest and health compromising to the a small child’s developing gut, where 80% of the immunity lies. That instead of rice, we should explore complex carbs, that are nutrient dense, such as root vegetable: pumpkin, butternut squash and so on! That added to those, we shouldn’t forget about fat. More specifically, good saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, when stored and cooked (or not) in the right temperatures can nourish the brain, gut, and help the body absorb certain immune and cells building vitamins. And what about spices and herbs? Add them too! They are very beneficial to the immune system, plus, they will help your children to acquire taste for more flavours.
Another myth she is dispelling is about kids being “fussy eaters”. How many times have we heard parents claiming that? And that parents should ask themselves why. By introducing enough textures and tastes from the early age, and more than once, we are doing our kids a favour.