Smart Bites for Baby was created four years ago with the birth of my son.
When my son Magnus was born, he was initially diagnosed with a debilitating liver disease.
Eager and earnest to do what I could to make him as healthy as possible, I began to fervently research foods that could enhance growth and stimulation for my newborn, first through what I was eating during the breastfeeding months, then through what he was eating when he began to eat solids. What I discovered was an array of superfoods that can enhance growth and development of a growing body and brain. And I realized that very little had been written or explored in this area – how to cook whole, organic and fresh foods that can nurture both the body and the brain of a child. I began to cook for new mothers, kids of my neighbors and friends, and started to exchange recipes with parents and chefs. I discovered fun and stimulating ways to encourage interest and excitement in children about food. And I also learned that much of the superfoods that nourished the brain was found in my native cuisine, Japanese food.
And Smart Bites for Baby was born.
Smart Bites for Baby is about learning and cooking with the most enriching ingredients for both the body and the brain, paying attention to color, texture, temperature and presentation.
It is about looking at food as a developmental tool that can stimulate babies and toddlers.
For example, if you put four small bowls of green peas, butternut squash, potatoes and beets in front of a 9 month old baby, he will be amazed at the color. It will be a stimulating experience for him to taste the food. It is also a great way to provide a diversity in nutrients, as different colors in food necessarily entails different vitamins and minerals (yellow food provide beta-carotene, dark red/blue colored foods provide anti-oxidents, green foods provide folic acid and fiber, etc).
Smat Bites for Baby is thinking about what we feed our babies and how we do it.
It is about providing fresh, organic, locally-produced and seasonal foods that integrate superfoods, exploring world flavors to ensure diversity in flavors, textures, temperature and colors in order to stimulate all of the senses, and hence, your child’s brain development.
Seeing the potential of food as something more than just providing basic nutrients, I have realized that it is a powerful thing – and you can provide your baby with daily stimulation – not through videos, games or books – but through what they eat.
The human brain experiences the kind of exponential growth in the first two years of life, never to repeat itself again.
Why not make the most of this window of opportunity to stimulate the baby’s brain all the while nurturing the body?
It is my hope that as a parent, as a family, and as a community, we can encourage healthy eating habits for our children, provide a way to understand food as a developmental tool, and give the same respect to feeding our children that we give to our most important dinner guests.
There is so much to enjoy and explore with our children.
Let’s learn together.