Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fussy in their own special way

The thing I have been noticing recently is that while all good eating children are about the same, fussy eaters are all fussy in their own special way. I have been reading a book by a nutritionist who is absolutely convinced that kids are only interested in raw vegies and so all the recipes are based around meat and salad. I've got the totally opposite experience where everything needs to be cooked (and preferably hidden). Similarly, a lady at work was telling me how much all kids love carrots -mine doesn't!

To add to the degree of difficulty, Leo's list of things he will eat seems to change weekly at the moment so I never know what is on and off the menu. So I was thinking that the best kinds of sharing recipes are the ones that can have things added and taken away depending on what your own special fussy kids are into.

Here is a basic fried rice that was successful tonight for us but can easily be adapted if your little one is feeling more or less adventurous!

Eleanor's Basic Fried Rice

2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 cups cold cooked rice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger crushed
4 slices ham, chopped
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 spring onions chopped
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce to serve

Heat a wok over high heat and add half the oil. Briefly cook eggs until they form an omelette.
Remove from pan and chop egg into small chunks.
Add the rest of the oil to the wok and fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds.
Add the rice, ham, peas, egg and spring onions and cook for about 5 mins until all heated through.
Serve with sesame seeds, soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce to taste.

* If your little one will eat onion, carrots, zucchini or corn - these are all excellent additions. Add any additional vegies to the wok with garlic and ginger and cook until softened.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The confessional...

I have to come clean - today I took Leo to get a happy meal from McDonalds. I can't even pretend I didn't have any food in the house. I had dinner planned with ingredients in the fridge but a playdate with cousin Frankie went overtime and I just couldn't face racing around trying to get the cooking done before Leo got too hungry and went crazy.

To make matters worse, Leo was soaking wet from an afternoon where he was not only in the pouring rain but also in a wading pool. Consequently he was just wearing the only dry pair of shorts available and some sandles and looked like a drowned rat.

So wouldn't you know it, as we trudged back home - me with a giant bag of Maccas and Leo carrying his happy meal - I ran into an old school friend. I was super embarassed because this is the first time she had met Leo and he couldn't stop talking about his burger and had his shorts half-way down his bottom and I just didn't feel like the model of good parenting in the circumstances. My friend kindly texted me afterwards to let me know that she was actually on her way to get KFC and hoped that no judgement would be passed in either direction!

It's bizarre that I feel this level of guilt about feeding my child a burger - especially as those canny people from McDonalds will now package it up with some juice and apple slices. When I was young, my parents took me to get a cheeseburger once a week so I would eat some red meat and I see this as a totally acceptable thing to do.

So I can only hope that my guilty admission will make others feel ok about resorting to fast food now and then. Gaz and I have decided that once a month is totally fine and I would definitely totally recommend choosing the apple slices in the happy meal - it makes it much easier to sooth your conscience later!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Why Christmas is just like international travel...

I was thinking last night that the Christmas/New Year period for us has been just like the last time we went to the UK although thankfully without the 24 hour flight involved. There have been all sorts of late nights, lots of social events with hardly any kids, and heaps of parties where the only thing that appealed to Leo was bread, meat and Christmas cake (and biscuits and chips if they're available). This was also Leo's preferred menu when we were overseas with unfamiliar food.

So I've been back on my travelling tactics - in particular bringing lots of snacks and focusing on the healthy things you can get them to eat at other times.

My current favourite snacks that fit in a handbag are Bellamy's apple snacks (just dehydrated apple slices that are crunchy) and the apple flavoured wholegrain rice cakes that you can get in the baby section of Supermarkets. I read a book about kid nutrition recently that suggested that most kids love raw vegies (ha!) but if you are lucky enough to know one of these children remember to pack some brocolli and radishes for them.

As for healthy things that they'll eat other times, for us it is still avacado on grainy toast and porridge at breakfast time and when all else fails, bring out the bolognese!

I think the main thing that reminded me of travelling was just having to relax about everything that is out of your control - it's just more important to have fun during the festive season. I hope you had a good one!