But first, i must remember my manners and introduce myself.
My name in Natalie. Like millions of other mothers and fathers out there my life is certainly a juggling act. I am a mother to two gorgeous children (aged 5 and 14 months). If having children is not an adventure in itself, my husband and I decided to step out into the scary depths of running a small business. So with that, i headed back to work part-time to help bolster the family income whilst the business gets firmly on its feet and is up and running. Thankfully with a wonderful support network of family, friends and a brilliant preschool we manage to function as a happy little unit most of the time and i am very blessed to have health, energy and love to keep all those balls in the air. But i would have to say that the time in the day that all those balls can momentarily go crashing to the ground is around dinner time.
Now before i go much further I must also mention that i have always held a passion for food, cooking, nutrition and of course eating.
When i was young and a teenager it was all about cakes. Cake, slices, biscuits. Thats were the passion began. However with a new love and my first adventures moving out of home, it was about exploring all facets of food. Indulgent breakfasts, ‘fancy-pants’ burgers, wrap lunches, dinner parties, desserts, standard midweek meals and of course still my love of cakes.
When my son arrived in 2008 this did not change a great deal. We were blessed with a good eater and apart from moving our family meal times to what seemed at first to be an obscenely early time of 530pm, not much else needed to be altered. Well, in 2011 that all changed. My smugness of what a ‘fine eater’ i had created in my son was quickly diminished when my beautiful daughter was born. Once we set of on the journey of solids at around 5 months i quickly discovered that this girl had other ideas on how dinner time should be. What was once a carefree easy meal between two adults and a preschooler became a slinging match of risotto, soup, mashed veg, bolognaise and pasta to name a few. I struggle to find a meal that she loves. Vegetable intake is minimal and fruit intake is close behind. Dinner time is often hard work and whilst i try not to think of the ‘S’ on the ‘F’ word, it is often ‘Stressful’ and ‘Fatiguing’
For the first time in my life, my favourite past-time was fast becoming my ‘hate-time’. Even with a love of food and cooking even i start to dread the afternoons when i must head into the kitchen and don the apron for the evening battle. So it got me searching. I do love flicking through a cookbook or foodie mag but i struggle to find an appropriate meal to please all.
Whats more i have news for recipe writers out there. My children do not want to eat a pizza face made out of vegetables and nor do they LOVE pasta bakes. And to be honest, there are only so many pasta bakes that i can eat myself before i feel like a rolling ball of pasta myself. And since i am on a role may i just say I am determined i am not doing nor do i have time for to cook two dinners a night (kids meal vs adults).
Now, i do not claim to be a nutritionist or dietician. I am not a chef or super organised. Nor am i super rightous on what we should and shouldn’t eat. Everything in moderation i say, but i do believe in wholesome food and homemade food and personally believe that thats what i want in my kids mouths. I know children are meant to go through ‘stages’ and i am hoping we head out of this one soon, but until then i am determined to place a wholesome meal in front of them so they have the opportunity to learn that ‘this is the right way to eat’. So i am doing what i wish i can find out there in the blogosphere and still search for. Some inspiration and a little motivation to find a meal that = empty plates. A little blog on successful meal times. I am not saying your kids will LOVE these meals but i thought i would share some of the success i have had. I would love to share recipes with parents that I have had success with even if it just inspires you to keep on placing a nutritious meal out there that the whole family will eat, that they will enjoy and that does not involve pasta with a cream sauce, cheese on top and baked for 30mins on 180 degrees.
Look forward to sharing the successes. Hopefully i can share some real soon.