Eat Like A Baby

Since having my daughter Sally in April, I have come to realize that the phrase “sleep like a baby” really doesn’t make any sense. Or, I should say, it does not make sense if you’re referring to my baby. Because for her to sleep, we have needed everything from pacifiers to noisemakers to rocking chairs to made-up lullabies. She’s finally coming around in the sleep department, but I am still not sold on that phrase.

I’d like to replace it with “eat like a baby.”

For the past month and a half, I have had the pleasure of making all of Sally’s baby food. Most of what she has eaten has come from our weekly CSA box. I usually take one night per week to settle into the baby food-making routine: chopping, steaming, roasting, pureeing, sorting, labeling, freezing, washing dishes. Three or four hours later, I am completely exhausted. But when I get to feed Sally her fresh butternut squash and kale puree the next morning, and see the excitement in her eyes as she tries a new food, I feel such a strong sense of satisfaction.

It occurred to me one day that Sally’s diet is much better than my diet. In six weeks, her little 15-pound self has eaten four pumpkins, three squash, bags of apples and pears, over a dozen beets, one bunch of kale, three heads of cauliflower, two heads of broccoli, three heads of kohlrabi, and many more organic fruits and vegetables, most of them locally picked. She hasn’t eaten any Halloween candy or French fries or pizza, and she hasn’t indulged in any Miller Lites or glasses of red wine.

So, rather than sleep like a baby, I think we should all try to eat like a baby. Of course, we will have much more variety, but if we can try to make fresh fruits and vegetables the center of our diet, our health will improve and we will look and feel better. There is a reason that babies are so healthy-looking and happy all of the time!

I think this is an especially good challenge as we enter the holiday season. There are plenty of delicious, healthy holiday dishes that are traditionally served at Thanksgiving. Try to make these the focus of your plate, and forego the things that don’t truly celebrate the spirit of the season: choose a roasted sweet potato dish over a dinner roll; a slice of homemade apple pie over a frosted cookie.

I hope your Thanksgiving week is full of delicious food, family, friends, and relaxation. And I hope you can try to eat a little more like a baby, and sleep a little less like my baby!