Hi there. Welcome to Gastromommy! I’m Sarah, the mom of an amazing boy named Theodore (whom we call Theo), born in February 2016. I live in Southern California with Theo, my husband, Ben, and our dog, Zoe. I’m a former college-level Spanish and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor, turned stay-at-home mom and food blogger. I have always been a foodie, extremely passionate about cooking, baking and eating. I love trying new recipes, foods and restaurants. Cooking whole, delicious, healthful food for Theo has reinvigorated my culinary passion and inspired me to share my knowledge and ideas with others. It has been such a fun journey and I can’t wait to share it with you!
Gastromommy was born from a combination of my passions for teaching, cooking and photography.
Although I knew I wanted to stay home with my son, it was difficult deciding to leave my ten-year teaching career. For the most part, I relished it and found it extremely rewarding and meaningful. I loved helping my students and impacting their lives in a positive way. As being a teacher was a big part of my identity, it has been hard to let it go, even while knowing it was the right decision for this new phase of my life.
Along with leaving my career behind, becoming a mom has been challenging. The transition to motherhood is a huge change for which no book or advice can truly prepare you! As my neighbor says, your life explodes when you have a baby. Of course, my heart overflowed with unimaginable, unquantifiable love for this little person whom I had just met… yet it felt like I had known him forever and couldn’t live without him. On the other hand, I had to cope with the emotional and physical recovery from pregnancy and childbirth, sleep deprivation and fatigue, crazy hormones, and adjusting with my husband to our new life as a family of three.
As a very social person, being a stay-at-home mom, devoid of adult interaction for most of the day, has been particularly isolating and lonely at times. I have felt my brain going idle without some sort of intellectual focus. From time to time (even before having Theo), I have entertained the idea of starting a food blog, but never in earnest. As a new mom, it now seemed worthy of serious contemplation; I could blend my passions for teaching, cooking and photography, while still staying at home with Theo. Gastromommy was born! Because of it, I am a happier mom and Theo is even better fed than before, enjoying the fruits (and vegetables, carbs and meats) of my labor. ;)
Our BLW Journey
When I was pregnant with Theo in 2015, a good friend gave me an extra copy of the BLW book. She recommended that I read it and consider using Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) when my son started solids. I had already planned to do so, but after reading the book and talking more with friends who implemented BLW with their babies, I was completely convinced. BLW just seemed so natural, easy, fun and safe, and all of the BLW kids I know are adventurous eaters who love food.
Around six months old, Theo tried his first food – thick avocado slices with the skin on, which makes it easier to hold. Since his first toothless bite, it has been fantastic watching him explore new tastes and textures and learn how to eat with pleasure and enthusiasm. He’s already on his way to becoming a little foodie, and he is only ten months old!
While BLW is an excellent foundation for creating little foodies, it is normal to feel nervous and apprehensive about your baby starting solids. Especially with your first baby, the unknown can seem overwhelming. For me, it is always most helpful to inform myself and feel prepared through research and learning about others’ experiences. This preparation has enabled me and my husband to trust and enjoy the process and feel confident in Theo’s innate abilities. We knew, for example, that babies have to practice moving food around in the mouth in order to learn how to chew and eat successfully. (Part 3 in my All About BLW series explains this process in detail.) Needless to say, Theo quickly honed his eating skills through BLW and the benefits have been enormous.
I hope this blog inspires you to feel confident and excited about feeding your baby delicious whole foods. It can be easy and fun to make your babies and kids into better eaters, and to enjoy food preparation. Skip the purées and join me! Together, we can use the concepts of BLW and my wholesome recipes to feed our babies, toddlers, little kids and ultimately, the whole family. Let’s make our little ones into future foodies!
Sarah, the Gastromommy