Saturday, 15 May 2010
The mean mummy
I am caught between a grin and a cringe as I type this: Jade turned 1 on May 16th. ONE!!! My baby girl is a year old. *sniff sniff* And all this time I thought the expression "time flies" was a tired old cliche. Turns out it's shockingly true.
My doctor warned me not to give her any egg whites before she'd had her last set of shots, which are scheduled for May 20th, in order to avoid an allergic reaction. Which meant that for Jade's birthday treat, I had to come up with an eggless cake recipe that didn't taste like sawdust and wouldn't draw the scorn of my brother-in-law.
I didn't realize what a challenge it would be to have an anti-refined sugar/food philosophy when raising baby Jade. I mean, there is freaking refined sugar in EVERYTHING, from a humble loaf of bread to so-called "healthy" baby food. I've always been one of those annoying, obsessive label-readers, but it comes in handy when you're trying not to stuff your kid full of sugar and crap before her first birthday.
It's not that I'm anti-sugar. Believe me, I lurrrrve a good chockie cake, a fizzy glass of coke, velvety ice cream or as many cookies as I can cram down my gullet. I'm just anti-sugar for wee kiddies with developing palates. I figure she's got a whole lifetime to eat crap, so why not feed her the good stuff before she a) knows the difference and b) gets vocally proficient enough to complain?
A few of my in-laws routinely accuse me (semi-jokingly) of being a "mean mommy" when we're over there for meals. My hubby's neice is a year older than Jady and eats whatever she wants on holidays and special occasions, which is mainly cake, ice cream and chocolate. Which is completely fine...for her. I'm not into the whole "your parenting skills are wrong and mine are right" judging extravaganza. But it doesn't mean my girl needs to eat Jell-O at six months, ice cream at eight months or cheap Easter chocolate before she's a year old.
So I quietly feed her broccoli, meat, tofu, salmon, Greek yogurt, beans, avocado and the like while my in-laws and various friends tsk tsk and say, "Pooooor Jade." Sometimes it gets tiring, but I've learned to trust my instincts and go with what feels right for us, mean mummy comments be damned. She's a pretty good little eater, and that's all the incentive I need to keep feeding her healthy stuff with minimal sugary snacks.
I hunted up a vegan mango cupcake recipe for Jady's first birthday treat, since mango is her all-time favourite fruit, and I whipped up a pretty tasty buttercream icing to go on top so no one who tasted them would gag. I think they turned out pretty well, although they were heavy little suckers on account of no egg. I figured I could throw them at anyone who made one "mean mummy" comment too many!
They looked like this:
And she seemed to enjoy them, which is all that really counts. Happy birthday, Jady Lady! May you live a long and healthy life and enjoy all the good things...sugary or not.