I've never really followed the beaten path. Those who know me know that I have very strong ideas about what I think is right and wrong and I stick to my guns (sometimes to my detriment.) So when people started to ask me why my daughter was such a good eater at such a young age (one- and two-years old), I wasn't quite sure what they were talking about. I just fed my kid what I thought tasted good and what I knew was good for her. I fed her a balanced diet and I included her in the cooking process from the beginning; by that I mean that I would hold my infant on my hip and show her the peas that I was boiling to make her baby food, or let her stir all of the ingredients together for our Thanksgiving stuffing when she was 18-months old.
With so many people asking me the same question, though, I started to notice that some kids would only eat bread, or they would refuse to eat anything green. I realized then that maybe I was doing something different and that I might be able to help other parents get a healthy diet into their kiddos, and help them teach their kids to be good eaters from the beginning, like I had with Lorelei. And so, on March 13th, 2011 (1 year ago today), I decided to share my "recipes, tips, kitchen foibles and philosophies" with anyone who might want to read; and so was born The Food-Minded Mama.
It has been a very fun year of documenting what we're cooking and of memories with friends in the kitchen and around the table. It's also been very rewarding having been named a Blog of the Month by Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution (based on my original, kid-friendly recipes). And, of course, it's been very flattering (to date over 7,500 people have visited my blog). I am pleased to say that my readers are not only parents, but people who are looking for easy, tasty recipes. (I love that!)
There have been some frustrating times too. When I wrote what has become my most popular post "Definitions - ... And now I'm a snob" I really had to dig deep and define what my thoughts were about my perspective on feeding kids. (I also had to hit the delete button a lot to keep the post PG rated.) I have also had to come to terms with the fact that people take some things that I say in this blog very personally. I've been called a snob, curt, rude, judgmental, hoity toity, you name it. Here's how I've decided to deal with this; I won't let my feelings get hurt anymore and I ask that people just, please, don't read if they don't like what I have to say. Turn the page. Look away. It's a blog. It's my blog. My thoughts. It's not a news paper. It's not a thesis. It's my life.
On the other hand, I would very much appreciate a comment if someone has a different perspective or would like to start a conversation. Contact me. Let's talk about it. So much of my perspective on food is based on a lot of personal issues that I have with food; mostly aversions. Deep rooted, gag reflex kind of stuff is the true foundation of many of my strong opinions. Chances are that if I say something with fervor or disdain it's because of my issues with food, not because of any judgment that I'm passing on the rest of the world.
Like many bloggers who have experienced some success in reaching a larger audience, I have aspirations of making The Food-Minded Mama more than what it is today. I would ideally like to earn some secondary (if not primary) income from the blog. (I certainly put a lot of hours and thought into it.) And, of course, there's a book deal and/or a movie in my future, right?
I want to be sure to thank my friends and family for their support and encouragement (and editing services for the bigger pieces.) A big thanks to my sponsor Fonté Café and Wine Bar where I spend my mornings writing and poking the Twitter bear. Thanks also to The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation for confirming that this mama has something to say that may help someone else. I appreciate so much of what Jamie and his foundation are doing and I am thrilled to be even a small part of it.
And so, for now, onward and upward. I'll finish this post with some of my favorite posts from the past year.
Chicken Soup and Bathtime
Gnocchi - Part 1: Lessons from a Pastaio
Me against Three
Braised Short Ribs. 'Nuf Said.
Spilling My Pumpkin Guts
If you have an idea, go for it!
If someone challenges your position, take that challenge, chew on it, and be willing to change your mind.
Stay true to who you are.
Kiss your baby and hug your friends and family.
And, by all means, laugh!