|Corn and peas on boat. Offered by my aunt...she helped us so much with everything!|
Today's post is inspired by our little trip to my grandma's village, last weekend. When I first travelled with my baby, I searched the internet for information about baby led weaning when travelling. I found nothing! It seemed so difficult for me. When I am at home, I have my food, my appliances and everything. But, what if I go somewhere where I don't really know what food and equipment I can use?
Things get harder if you consider my obsession with food! I don't want my baby to eat highly proscessed salty and sugary stuff, is that a problem? Yes, it is. Because these products are everywhere and people around want to feed my son these kind of stuff all the time. Unfortunately, polite denial doesn't always work and many times I find myself grabbing a lollipop or something from my baby's hands.
Eventually some people will understand my opinion and step back while others will attack me telling me that I'm a bad mother for not letting him enjoy life ?! And that when he grows up he's going to be eating only unhealthy food because I deprive these from him now. I doubt, actually I think that's ridiculous, he's just a baby who doesn't even know what desserts are and he totally doesn't need them.
Things at home are easy, there is always plenty of food to pick. To keep my son unhealthy (and non-vegan) snack-free, I need to have a variety of foods in our diaper bag when we go out. But, what happens when we travel for days (even for a few) with many relatives who want to help/feed Nereus?
I gathered some tips that have made my life easier. My experience with big greek families (these guys want to be a part of everything), might help you, too. I hope they do!
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PREPARATION
This first part of this post has to do mostly with people who want to give food to your child. Things will be easier if you keep these in mind. If you aren't visiting your big greek family and want to read the more practical part of the post which has to do with food just scroll down.
- Show understanding. It's probably the first time they hear something like this (vegan baby led weaning...wtf?). They have never seen a baby growing up this way and they are worried.
- Have the answers ready. This will make you confident and help you convince the more open minded ones that you are not a crazy person who wants to harm his/her baby! That means 'be educated!', you need that anyways.
- Don't try to accomplish the impossible. Trying to convince the elders is probably crazy. Don't do this unless you want to lose your mind. A good tactic, if you don't want to fight with them, is to say yes to them and then do what you do.
- Breathe deeply and stay calm. You are going to hear serious bullshit. Please don't get crazy.
THE PRACTICAL PART
- Consider where you are going. What kind of food will you find there? Will there be any restaurants with vegan choices?
- Take food with you. Expecting to find nutritional yeast or salt free rice cakes in a small village is at least unrealistic. So taking from home some foods that you baby enjoys often is something you must do!
- Stay clean. When you're away from home, either travelling (by car, boat, airplane etc.) or at your base (hotel, house, camping tent etc.), you don't have your washing machine and a variety of cleaners. That's why you want to avoid messy foods. That means no soups, no sauces, no too oily food and no food that leaves ugly stains (such us banana and avocado).
- Clothes. If you want to offer messier foods, a lifesaving idea is to take one pair of eating clothes for your baby and another one for you (if he's on your lap when he eats). Eating clothes=clothes that you don't mind getting spoiled.
- Cloths save lives. Sometimes, the most simple food can become messy in a baby's hand. Have some clean cloths close in case your baby gets the idea to make a face mask with his carrots.
rice cakes, crackers, dry waffles, bread, dried fruits, plain pasta, steamed green beans/asparagus/carrot/corn/peas/tofu, apples, pears, grapes, cucumber, plain chickpeas/beans