In my last posting of Spice it Up!, I shared with you that my son comes from a culturally diverse background. We have really tried to introduce all types of foods and flavors to my son, and we started when he was 8 months old by adding spices and herbs into his homemade baby food. Now, as a toddler he eats everything that we eat, with a few exceptions. Fortunately, he has a sort of “try anything, go with the flow” personality which will fare him well in our multicultural family.
My parents are a mix of Italian and Swedish, and my husband is 100% Indian. It’s funny because, I grew up in a small town in Western New York which has little to no ethnic diversity, and our idea of eating “exotic food” was the local Chinese buffet. It wasn’t until I went away to college, that I realized there was a whole wide world of flavors out there that were much more exciting than my mother’s tuna noodle casserole…sorry mom. It was at that time, I started working at an Indian banquet hall, where we catered Indian parties and weddings. I remember being in awe at the ornate outfits, decorations, and most of all the rich flavors and smells of the food. Little did I know, someday I would be immersed head first, into the Indian culture.
My husband and I dated, married, and decided to wait about 2 years before starting a family. In that time, we discovered a lot about ourselves and each other. The biggest revelation for me was that despite the fact that our families were culturally so different, they surprisingly had a lot in common. The core values of family, happiness, and education dominated on both sides. That’s not to say that a few things weren’t lost in translation along the way. Before our son was born, family members and friends would ask how we were going to address issues like religion and holidays. I would simply explain that we were going to expose him to both religions and all holidays, and when he became old enough, he could choose what he wanted to believe. As far as holidays, who doesn’t love a reason to celebrate, and just because you associate a holiday with a certain religion, it never hurts to know the traditions behind it.
I love the fact that our son will have exposure to many traditions, and out of old traditions we will create new ones that are unique to our family. Proudly, we use herbs and spices to spice up our food, and use tradition and diversity to spice up our lives.
Mandy’s mission at Mush Homemade Baby Food is to educate parents on the benefits of making baby food at home and provide consultation and education services to moms who are wanting to make their baby’s food from scratch but don’t know where to start. For more info about Mush Homemade Baby Food consultation and education services visit her website, check out her blog, or find her on FaceBook.