I'm super excited about this guest post -slash- guest video! From the beautiful and inspiring blog Keep it Real, Tara and her son, Will, videoed themselves making Baked Custard from Nourishing Traditions. My whole family watched the video last night, each of us with big grins. Will is an amazing kid, and Tara is a patient, talented, and loving mom! Below the video, Tara shares more about Will's autism, her children, her life, and their real food journey.
My name is Tara and I am married with three children. They are 16, 12, and 9. While I’ve always had interest in healthy food and cooking, it wasn’t until this past summer that I dove into the ‘nourishing traditions’ style cooking – adding fermented dairy and vegetables, soaking grains, making bone broth, seeking out raw milk and pastured animal products and cutting out vegetable oils. I have loved every one of these changes and my husband is encouraging of it all (even if his taste for the more sour foods is still developing).
My children have done fairly well – as well as can be expected being as they were not born into this diet. I don’t have the advantage of training them from an early age with these foods. My oldest son has an interest in health and nutrition and is very much a people pleaser – so he will pretty much eat anything I put on his plate. There have been very few things that he’s turned away. I even make him kefir smoothies that he takes to school with him and he lets his friends taste them. Of course they turn their nose up at the sour taste, but I am happy that now they’ve heard of kefir!
My 12 year old daughter is MUCH pickier. I’ve wanted to bang my head against the wall more than once in dealing with her food tastes. BUT, I have to remember to be grateful for the foods that she does prefer like raw milk, hard boiled pastured eggs, all meats, and most soups and stews I make. When I get frustrated that she won’t touch the more sour foods and shies away from fruits and vegetables, I just have to remember to be patient with her.
Our youngest son, Will (9), was diagnosed with autism when he was younger. At nearly five years old he still couldn’t put together a functioning sentence and had many behaviors and sensory issues, including food. Through years of intensive behavioral therapy, diet intervention, biomedical intervention and lots of love and patience, he is the boy you will see on the video. Will also has the most physical issues out of my kids. He gets sick more often, has seasonal asthma, and digestive issues. His diet is far from perfect and where I would want it to be. I use every opportunity I can to teach him about real food and get it into his body. Whether it’s preparing a recipe with him or sneaking a more nourishing food into his meals (like pureed liver into his grass fed hamburger), I am constantly trying to steer him on that path.
Just today I had a small victory. I’ve been making sourdough bread for the past month or so. He kept rejecting it, but I kept serving it to him. The other night he ate a piece toasted with butter, but I thought it might have been a fluke. The true test is with a sandwich (which he LOVES). Today I made him a peanut butter and jelly (organic, natural, no added oils or HFCS) sandwich with thinly sliced whole wheat sourdough bread (it soaks for 24 hours). Half way through he exclaimed, ‘This is amazing!’ Halleluiah!
When we go to our rented barn to milk the goats and collect the eggs we always cheer for our real food. I make it a celebration each time. When I get him to take a few sips of milk (he’s not a fan) I always tell him to say ‘thanks lexi and tessa’! Those are the goat’s names. When he eats an egg I tell him that Pickles, his favorite chicken, laid that special for him and isn’t it good and wonderful. Thanks, Pickles! If nothing else my kids WILL know where their food comes from and I will do my best to teach them what I can for the time left that I have them.
Thank you, Tara! Will is an amazing boy. Please thank him for sharing the baked custard video with us, and tell him that I and my family are very proud of him!
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