Growing Organically: Mealtime to Motherhood
As a mother of three children, I intimately recognize the desire to provide nothing but the best for our young ones, and how important nutrition is, especially during children's early developmental years.
When I was a young teenager, I found out I was pregnant with my first child. Obviously, I was slightly shocked, and I quickly had to re-evaluate my life. Instead of giving up on my dreams, I vowed to create a wellness system. With a lot of hard work and dedication, I ultimately pursued the life I had always dreamed of for myself and my family.
After the birth of my first child, I learned a lot about myself. I saw how I was perpetuating a generational curse that I’d witnessed for a long time. In order to keep up with school, work, and my fast-paced life as a mother, I depended on fast food and junk food to: keep my child quiet and make life much easier and more convenient for myself.
Fast forward to today: I’m raising three healthy children, running three businesses, finishing up school; while still finding time to show up for my husband. That's not to say everything is easy. If we’re being honest, juggling everything involved with mealtimes can still be a pain in the neck.
So what really changed? Me. I've immersed myself in breaking barriers, and my first avenue was health and wellness. I’ve spent over 20 years in women’s health, coaching, clinical research, and writing award-winning books, and what I’ve noticed in every stage of success is that the primary years are the most important when it comes to growth.
Health and wellness is such a popular topic for adults. But what if we started these practices with our young children? What would the lives of our children be like if we treated holistic health and wellness as an integral part of their early childhood education?
I must admit that for many years I’ve fallen victim to only focusing on my food intake, neglecting what my children consumed. All for the sake of convenience. It wasn’t until later in my career that I learned about pesticides, allergens, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers. These topics were not talked about in my family or community, and especially not at the dinner table.
The health and wellness of babies, toddlers, and young children play an integral part in their mental, emotional, environmental, and social well-being.
I learned this when my oldest was just about 18 months. We rushed her to the hospital with a 102.5 fever, a stiff neck, and no energy at all. I was an eighteen-year-old girl who had no idea why my child was receiving a spinal tap. She was later diagnosed with a rare condition, but with the introduction of more fruits, vegetables, and whole foods into her diet, we later learned the illness was no longer in her system.
I would like to say this was the beginning of “organically growing.”
I made a conscious decision to begin working on my mental wellness because I knew that if I didn’t, my traumas would get the best of me and the best of my child.
Sharing my story with you is really important. My goal with this series is to bring you organic truth. I want to share real moments of parenthood, womanhood, and self-reflection with you. I want to bring you moments of laughter during mealtime, as well as a safe space where your words are heard, responded to, and even supported.
At the end of the day, children learn from the adults in their lives. As parents, guardians, and role models for these babies, toddlers, and young children, we have the power to influence how the rest of their lives may unfold. It is during these early years in their lives that we can demonstrate what a positive lifestyle full of healthy choices and wellness practices looks like.
Let’s do this together by organically growing, supporting one another, and finally looking forward to mealtime.