"you are in charge of what, where and when you feed your child. Your child is in charge of how much and what they eat of that. If you are providing balanced, healthy meals you are doing your job as a parent." Amy Whiteford
It's been a while since I have looked at a popular food blog, so, lacking all other inspiration, here we go with Healthy Little Foodies. This one, as they title suggests, is a specialised site in that it is all about feeding children with healthy food. It's a while since I have really had to worry about this - apart from the occasional dinner I provide for my grandchildren - but I do recognise that times have changed. I also recognise that I really wasn't a very good parent when it came to feeding my children. Well not awful, but nowhere near as good as my children and their partners.
This website is created by one Amy Whiteford, a modern-day yummy mummy it seems to me. She is originally Scottish but now lives in Sydney, has degrees in food science and has worked in the food industry, although she does not say in what capacity. She has two young sons aged 9 and 6 (I wonder if she updates this?), and this website is her job. She does it all. The sort of lady who makes me feel that I was a bit hopeless as a parent, although my children have turned out surprisingly well and are excellent parents themselves.
Anyway as well as recipes for various foods in various categories she also has lots of advice on various stages of parenting, and things like why babies can't eat honey, how to involve your children in cooking and so on. You can get a free ebook of recipes, check out her Facebook and Instagram pages. Pinterest too - what is Pinterest? I really don't understand what it is - well I see what it is but I don't quite know how it works. Yes I am stuck. I felt really clever mastering the computer - way, way back - mastering email and now creating websites and blogs, but since then I have not progressed and am way out of date.
Back to Healthy Little Foodies though. This is the current Home Page. As you can see it is a bit busy, but pretty clear. I assume the recipes change regularly - yes it seems to be every two or three days. That's a lot of recipes. I'm guessing that the ideas come from elsewhere but the recipes are not accredited to anyone in particular so I guess it's what she has personally done with an idea.
I didn't involve my children in the cooking process enough when they were growing up. Well hardly at all really unless we were making something special like a cake. I did take them shopping with me but I don't think I involved them much in choosing the fresh fruit and vegetables for example. I think I was a mix of impatience and fear - impatience in that they were obviously slower than I and fear that they would cut or burn themselves. Amy Whiteford like most foodie bloggers these days is a huge fan of involving children in the everyday cooking process. My own grandchildren get to make dinner one day a week I believe and are always ready to help. The girls especially are very proficient. And yet it doesn't really seem to be on the high school curriculum unless you choose it as an optional extra. Not even nutritional lessons. I could be wrong of course, but that's what it seems like.
I checked out one recipe - the most recent one which is for Cocoa energy balls. Very tempting looking and pretty easy although not super healthy I suppose - well maybe they actually are because there is no sugar - the sweetness comes from dates. Coconut oil - I'm not that convinced by coconut oil but health food freaks love it. Indeed the recipes on this site are full of 'healthy' ingredients such as oats, lentils, beans, coconut this and that ... but no nuts because of allergies. And where there is a possibility of something harmful - like the caffeine in the cocoa powder in the cocoa energy balls - it is clearly reported. Indeed every recipe has a full table of nutritional information.
So yes the emphasis is really on the 'healthy'. It's not vegan or even vegetarian but the emphasis, nevertheless is on fruit and vegetables and how to get them into your children's diets.
I feel marginally depressed looking at it. Mostly because I did not persist as she says one should, with the things my children did not like. Her advice is to find different ways of cooking and presenting something that is first rejected, continually offering it but not getting annoyed if it is rejected. And praise if it is tried. I think that was my real failure - I could not actually get them to try some things.
I wonder whether she will change her focus as her children grow? It's hard to maintain an interest in feeding small children when you are faced with a rebellious or sulky teenager, and then even later still when your children have left home - harder still. Although I suppose that's like saying primary school teachers aren't interested in teaching small children once their own have grown beyond primary age. After all some primary school teachers don't even have any children of their own.
A timely website to look at though I suppose. It's back to school time and the foodie magazines are full of lunch box ideas. I failed there too - yoghurt and Vegemite sandwiches I seem to remember. I never thought of making things like frittata or fritters, or savoury scones. Oh dear.