Sunday, October 12, 2008

Heinz means...

I have tried very hard with my little pudding to give him nutritious dinners every day. He's not afraid of a bit of brocolli, my boy and he'll happily snack on raw red peppers and slices of root veggies. He likes salad and I think he believes that pasta is always cooked with spinach. OK, so he knows the words for 'biscuit' and 'ice-cream' and he'd prefer to eat bread than nearly anything else in the world but in general, his diet has been pretty healthy.

Recently, however, things have slipped and personally, I blame his swank new nursery. It's not that I'm getting lazy, I mean, it takes as much energy to cut and pan-fry potatoes as it does to cook something more healthy, it's just that recently it's been a little more difficult to get the fresh veggies into him. So, I've been playing that old Mum's game 'hide the vegetable' by making vegetable fritatas and home-made rice cakes and spaggheti sauce loaded with veg and then pureed. This, of course, makes him even more resistant to the idea of non-processed food and down we go. It's a slippery slope, and last night we squelched noisily to the bottom with me delivering him a dinner containing 2 fish fingers, 2 courgette frittatas and a pool of baked beans. And how did the spud greet this fast food fat mountain?

'Oh WOW!!'

Yes, that's right. The first time my son has ever greeted his dinner with anything better than a smile; 'WOW!!' he said again. And then, I kid you not, then, he actually said 'Yay!!'

We have never had baked beans at home before. I have nothing against them, in fact I quite like baked beans. It's just that they come in bloody great big tins that we never finish and after a week we find them going a bit sort of fatty and hard at the back of the fridge. Yesterday, however, the availability of tiny tins of beans was revealed to me on the supermarket shelf. I know, I imagine they've been on sale since I was 8 but trust me, I've just never seen them. So, I thought 'why not'. Once home I was anxious to try them out so I opened one up, spooned out half, heated up the beans and inadvertantly unleashed the Power of Two on them as my toddler practiced his new fork skills until there Were No More.

The spud's new nursery is teaching him all sorts of cool things. It's Montessori and so every game has some sort of practical value and there are lots that involve transferring something from one pot to another. Water gets poured from one jug into another or squeezed in a dropper from one bottle to another and beans, beans get spooned from one bowl into another bowl and this, combined with the inevitability of beans for nursery lunch, has clearly taken our little spudlet's imagination by storm.

He leaned into his dinner, swooped the fish fingers and courgette aside and began vigourously forking up his beans. He was squishing them on, pushing them on with his knife, stabbing them, scooping them... he had a whole raft of new skills which seemed designed solely for the purpose of getting beans onto fork. Once in a while I, armed with a sneaky second fork would slip a piece of fish into his mouth and he would accept then give me a withering look as he choked it down and went in for more beans. 'More! More! he said when they were done and God help me, I went back, heated them up and gave him The Rest of the Tin. That's right, a whole 150gm tin of beans went into his maw. It was astonishing.

Now, I'm all in a dither. I mean, I know that baked beans are not the devil - I bought them, after all. It's just that they ARE fatty and full of sugar and now he expects to see them at home, on his plate and, eventually, around his ever-expanding midriff. The only solution I fear is a return to fresh steamed vegetables... Tomorrow, it's off to the market and, from now on I'm afraid that beens means greens in this house.

15 comments:

Michelle said...

I had to laugh at the Spud's response to Montessori food at home. Your resolve to switch back to only green beans at home is even better! Do all mothers have that hidden fear that once their child likes something not so good for him he'll never eat another vegetable? I know I do!

Jennie said...

What the f... is Montessori? I feel like I'm missing out!

I read somewhere that baked beans weren't as bad as their reputation. Regardless, I've entertained the idea of making my own even, to make them a tad healthier. Alas, what brekkie is complete without fatty, sugary beans??

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk said...

Beans are OK - a good source of protein (listen to me all knowledgeable!)
There is a great Charlie and Lola book in which Charlie persuades his very reluctant little sister to eat everything from peas and carrots to tomatoes - well worth a try!

Jonny's Mommy said...

I agree. Good source of protein.

Good luck with slipping the veggies back into his diet!

I foresee a battle on the horizon

Well, it should make for an interesting post anyhow.

Sparx said...

Michelle - that's it! That's it exactly, that's my fear...

Jennie - You may be better at it than I was... I tried to make my own baked beans one year and failed miserably. I think I was afraid of adding the sugar and fat and frankly, that's what makes them!

Tara - ooh, will have a look, he likes a bit of Charlie and Lola. Mind you, got some steamed broccoli and carrots into him today...

Jonny's Mommy - well, I managed it! Will have to try to make it sound interesting...

Frog in the Field said...

Sparx...chill!
They go through phases and out of them as quick as you can blink.
Mine will live onpancakes for a bit, baked beans for a bit, I'm sure the youngest could survive only on Jaffa Cakes, go with the flow, as long as he drinks juice and water and eats a balance of stuff, it's fine. And, at his age he'll be burning up tons of calories!

The Trooper said...

Haha damn cute!! A little bit of baked beans will do him no harm dont worry.. He's only a kid after all!

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wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Good on you for finding a Montessori nursery. As for his liking of baked beans, you could do a lot worse. Beans are full of protein and count as one of his five a day. You can buy low-sugar and low-salt varieties too. When my kids were young, I swore there'd be no dinners of sausages, fish fingers, baked beans, potato waffles, etc. Well, that went out the window. As Spud grows, his taste buds will change and he will go through phases and liking and not liking certain foods. Just keep trying and don't give up.

Jen said...

I've heard a lot of things, both good and bad about Montessori schools - what do you think of them? I'm going to try and write a post soon about a new book I bought "Eat This, Not That" for kids.

DJ Kirkby said...

Beans are okay, but much healthier (lower sugar and fat) if you make them yourself in a crock pot. Our boys eat them but the older (rugby playing) ones insist on a side order of bacon with their homemade beans and molasses bread. Apparently, for them anyway, protien is much more effective if it once used to draw breath...

Kat said...

You are so good. I have to hide all veggies in my kid's food, and I don't make nearly enough of an effort.

I haven't read you in a while, looking forward to catching up.

Sparx said...

Frog - good advice, thanks! I took it tonight and gave him bread and butter when he turned down his dinner... not the healthiest option but he ate two other good meals so... heck with it.

Trooper - thanks! You're right as well...

Michelle - thanks!

Wakeupandsmellthecoffee - I swore the same too but there are worse foods, I agree! I'll look out for the low sugar ones, sounds a much better idea.

Jen - so far so good, they seem to be really great. Will pop over for a read of your post in a bit.

DJ - you're very brave making them - I tried once but they were rubbish, have you a good recipe? I won't be doing bacon unless the frog makes it - I'm veggie. The spud isn't but only when his Dad cooks!

Kat - welcome back! Yes, hide-the-veggie, works in a pinch!

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