Thursday, April 05, 2012

What we did: We ate healthy food at home around the table 3 times a day!

That's a mouthful of a title, isn't it.  But it does sum up what we did when the kids were growing up.  I want to back up just a little though, and start from the very beginning -  what we fed our babies.

I attended a banquet Tuesday night after my son, Andrew's Phi Beta Kappa induction.  There were a lot of smart people sitting around those tables and the banquet speaker, a pediatrician and community activist, shared his thoughts about how people can make a difference in their communities.  His first of five points was, "Learn the be the best parent you can."  Then he said, "Breastfeed."  I was rather taken aback.  Not that I disagreed with him, not at all.  I was just surprised to hear those words in that setting. The first thing he had to say about being a good parent was about the very first nutrition you provide for your child outside the womb.  He told those law school/med school/Harvard/Columbia/grad school bound students to breastfeed their babies. I wonder how many of them will take his advice.

I didn't learn about breastfeeding from a doctor at a college honors banquet.  Rather, it was the women in Kawangware and Kamweleni, Machakos and Mombasa that taught me.  In the two years before our first child was born, I taught nutrition to village health workers and spent hours and hours in the company of rural Kenyan women.  I observed babies carried in kangas on women's backs wherever they went - to the market, the fields, to our classes.  When the babies got hungry, they breastfed them, right then and there, no disappearing to a private place, no covering up, just feeding their babies, as though it was the most natural, normal thing to do.  Which it was ... and still is.

By their example, those women taught me well.  When Erin was born, I knew I'd breastfeed.  Like all new moms, the start was a little rocky, but we made it through the first few days, and tiny as she was (5 lbs. 6 ounces) at birth, she grew and thrived on mama's milk.  All of our subsequent children were breastfed and weaned themselves when they were ready. I think the longest any of the little ones breastfed was just over two years, the shortest, 15 months.  I am completely convinced that this is the very, very best way to feed your babies.  Easy, free, and the healthiest food you can give them.

Well, we're not to the "three meals a day around the table" yet, but it's time to turn the corner and put this series of posts on the back burner for a few days.

I want quiet tomorrow, Good Friday ... quiet and time to meditate on the cross of Jesus.  Then, I look forward to reflection and rejoicing in the resurrection of my Savior, the bread of life, the one who bore the sins of the world on the tree and rose to new life, conquering death, so that those who believe in him will live and not die and join him eternally at the greatest meal of all, the wedding supper of the Lamb.

Jesus has died.  Jesus has risen.  Jesus is coming again.  Alleluia.  Come, Lord Jesus.

Happy Easter, all.  I'll be back next week.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Happy Easter to you, too, Beth! I will look forward to hearing from you here again. I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts.