I would love to tell you that Molly and Alice are super healthy. Those kids who will happily munch through a bowl of lentil dahl with a side of cabbage, but they don’t. That’s not to say I haven’t tried, nor that they didn’t once upon time. When I was weaning the girls they both had everything with no problem at all. Ok, maybe not salmon, neither of them ever liked that.
I find most days I tear my hair out. As yesterday’s post eluded, most mealtimes with kids end up being a battle. My house has been all out war on many occasion but after the debacle with Molly not eating for years, and then discovering it was due to her tonsils, I now try to take a slightly more laid back approach. Slightly. I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that so long as they eat something that is ok. I’m not going to sit and attempt to make them eat cucumber and carrot sticks as they won’t be having any of it. I am also confident that as the years go on their tastes will change and they will soon come to love that healthy vegetable concoction as much as the endless supply of party rings that they now consume.
If you are the lucky mum who’s kid eat everything you put in front of them, I salute you. And would also love to know how you do it. However, for those of you who have resigned yourself to the fact that your child is going to live off beige for the imminent future then you are not alone. So this post is about being truthful and telling you exactly what the girls eat. Not the rose tinted version where I pretend they are super healthy. Who am I kidding?
The day starts relatively well and I can normally get them both to have breakfast. I’d love to say it’s a low sugar cereal but it’s normally cheerios or rice krispie shapes for Alice. In recent months I have even managed to get her to have milk on them which has meant I find less Cheerios scattered around my lounge and more in her bowl. Yes, my children eat their breakfast in the lounge. When you are trying to get them out the house and to school/pre-school I go for whatever is easiest. Molly is pretty good at breakfast and will normally have cereal, yoghurt and fruit or she is a huge porridge fan. It does have a liberal squirt of golden syrup on it mind you!
Now Molly is at school her eating has vastly improved and it gives me hope that Alice will follow suit. This has also coincided with having her tonsils removed so I’m not sure which contributes most. She has cooked lunches which she seems to love and most days opts for Jacket Potato and Beans but she does even eat vegetables. Shock Horror. The benefit of reception year is the lunches are free which means I know she is getting a good meal to keep her going through the day. They also get to eat fruit in the morning and she will now try things she never would before. She came home the other day proclaiming she now liked ‘koowee’, I had no idea what she was on about until she exclaimed it was green with black seeds! Excellent I thought and hastily popped to Waitrose to buy some Kiwis. Did she touch them? Did she heck! Oh well, at least she is getting a good dose of vitamin c at school.
Alice’s lunches are normally a picnic or scrambled eggs on her days at home. She bloody loves scrambled eggs. I would love it if her picnics were filled with colour but the only colour on them most of the time is the bag of wotsits! Both girls love the Warburtons Thins with ham so can highly recommend for littles. She will then most likely have something like a few mini marshmallows from my baking cupboard, a petit filous and a couple of token grapes. The grapes will always be left. However, if I have refused her pudding as she didn’t eat her tea she will merrily munch a huge bowl of grapes. Go figure!
I have tried to be really good with dinners this year and also stronger in refusing them alternatives. This does mean dinnertime can be long and drawn out mind you. I tend to opt for hearty family meals. Lots of shepherds pie, Bolognese, Fish pie and so on. Basically anything with a bit of beige and some hidden veg. I try to get as much veg in to things as I can but they can spot it a mile off. To combat this I do buy things like vegetable pasta which they seem to love. Most supermarkets have some version now and I’ve also been cooking lots from Jamie’s Superfood Family Meals. You can find a few of my family favourites here. They also have fish fingers at least once a week, normally with potato waffles and beans. Oh, and a lot of pasta. The one exception to the rule is broccoli which Alice loves, most of the time and when she is in the mood! Their dinner will inevitably be followed by a petit filous or some sugar free jelly.
Then there are the snacks. Alice would snack all day if she could and though I try to offer healthy things I am not string enough to listen to ‘but I’m a little bit hungry’ for the millionth time until I give her the required Jammy Dodger or two. A fair few biscuits get consumed in my house, as well as oat bars and bear yo yo’s. Yes I know they are bad for them. I have tried to make my own versions but they just aren’t as successful. The girls have recently found a love of Aldi pressed fruit bars as well which are great value. I do offer fruit and sometimes they will merrily devour a whole bowl of strawberries and other times they are untouched. I have never figured out why and have given up trying now. When Alice is at pre-school she has fruit morning, afternoon and with lunch.
It’s mostly hit and miss and a whole heap of mind games where Alice is concerned. She’s started using distraction techniques and lots of ‘mummy I love you’. As Molly is getting older she at least tries things even if she doesn’t eat much of it. It’s a start.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that most kids won’t eat the healthy stuff you give them but in time I’m sure they will. I’ve kind of come to accept that a balance is ok. That’s how I approach my own diet. They can have chocolate at the weekend (and any day a relative visits!) and a biscuit a day is fine. They eat home cooked meals and, with the exception of the fish fingers, everything is freshly made. They are both healthy, have excellent teeth and most importantly are happy. If someone tried to feed me fruit and veg all day I would probably rebel too!
So there you have it. The typical diet of my three and five year old. What do your kids really eat and if you are lucky to have them eating anything going please do share your tips and tricks.