There’s no time like baby starting solids to kickstart your own healthy habits.
This post is being brought to you by Plum Organics
When your baby first starts eating solid food, you get a lot of food for thought… literally. You contemplate every single morsel that goes into your little one's mouth, evaluating how it will help her grow and develop, and ensuring it's free of anything that might harm her. If only we mamas could pay as much attention to what we're putting in our own mouths!
Grace Lee, a New York City mom of two and founder of pregnancy skincare company Nine Naturals, says that leading by example includes eating by example. “The healthy lifestyle we introduce to our children is the foundation they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Especially in raising two girls, I believe it is important to help them develop healthy relationships with food and their bodies; teaching them how to eat well and take care of their bodies are steps towards that."
Now that her second daughter Frances is eating solids, Grace is committed to feeding her wholesome organic foods, rich in the nutrients her baby girl needs to grow and succeed. Plum Organics' new organic baby food line, Grow Well, makes it easy for her to supplement Frances' diet with flavorful combinations of ingredients that target different areas of a baby's development: digestion, brain, bone and muscle.
It just so happens that those ingredient combinations are perfect for mama too. Below, Grace shares her perspectives on healthy eating, and offers one of her favorite healthy recipes for mama, focusing on the key ingredients from Plum Organics Grow Well Muscle pouch: lentils, plums and cinnamon-apple.
How do you incorporate your organic lifestyle into the way you eat?
I started to cook a lot during my first pregnancy, as I realized it was one of the only ways I could control the quality of the ingredients of the food I was eating. I changed my food habits a lot with my first pregnancy -- I tried to eat fresh as much as possible, avoid processed foods, and eat organic. All of these habits eventually became so ingrained that I continued them past my pregnancy and straight into my second pregnancy.
How do you incorporate those healthy habits into your kids' meals?
Prepping baby food can be time-consuming. I find myself making one thing for my older daughter Charlotte, my husband and me, and then something completely different for Frances. I like to cook fresh as much as possible, but it's not always realistic given my busy work schedule. Having organic baby food from Plum Organics on hand is super helpful -- especially on-the-go in the diaper bag! I used them for both Charlotte and Frances!
What's it been like introducing solids to your baby?
Frances loves food! She was really interested in food pretty early -- around 4 to 5 months. Now that we've introduced solids, I try to give her a variety of foods and flavors to help develop her palate. I cook mainly seasonal foods, which are easier to find fresh and organic in the grocery. For the fall/winter, I've been preparing foods like apples, pears, butternut squash, and zucchini. Interestingly, what you eat even during pregnancy helps to inform and develop your baby's taste buds and palate. It's never too early to start eating healthy!
You can make the following recipe for yourself to enjoy with your baby while she eats a Grow Well pouch. You'll know you're both eating healthy, organic foods that are in harmony with the season: apples, lentils, cinnamon, plums.
Grace's Warm Winter Salad
1 1/2 cups of French or puy lentils (any dry lentils will do, but puy lentils do not become mushy as easily as others)
3-4 cups water
Rosemary (a few sprigs)
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
2 tbs of olive oil
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbs of lemon juice
Handful of mint or cilantro
- Mix lemon juice, 1 clove of garlic (pressed), and roughly chopped mint or cilantro with yogurt; salt to taste and set aside in refrigerator. Prepare up to a day in advance. Garlic will mellow out and flavors will be better incorporated if prepared in advance.
- Bring water to boil. Reduce to medium-low heat then add lentils, rosemary, and 2 cloves of garlic. Cook for ~20-25 minutes until firm but done, not mushy or falling apart. (Avoid adding salt during cooking to minimize skin splitting. Drain. Discard rosemary and garlic.
- Dice onion, plum, and apple and sauté in medium pan with olive oil until onion is translucent and fragrant. If serving as a standalone course, add spinach leaves.
- Add lentils to the onion mixture. Add olive oil, curry powder, a dash of cinnamon, and salt to taste.
- Serve lentils with yogurt sauce on side or top.
We want to help you and your baby get started on your healthy eating journey by filling your cabinet with organic, delicious baby food! Enter below to win 3 months' worth of Plum Organics Grow Well pouches! One winner will be chosen at random on Feb. 28 at midnight via our trusty Gleam widget below. Good luck!
This post is sponsored by Plum Organics.
Photography by 485 Creative for Well Rounded NY.