I like to have a plan for whatever I do. I’m not so rigid that I can’t let things go with the flow, but I just can’t function without a starting and ending point and a vague idea of how I’m getting from A to B. Somehow, with the addition of school this year and long and short days and Henry’s nap schedule, I feel like I’m juggling with my eye on just one ball and I’m pretty sure that’s not how juggling works. I’ll just have to give myself another month to figure out how to keep an eye on the nap ball while catching the pick-up one once I’ve mastered that I’m sure I’ll have another ball thrown in.
The other trick I’m trying to learn is juggling meals with two very different picky eaters (and one of them isn’t my husband any more). For my daughter, smoothies were the key to getting more nutritious food into her little body and opened the gate for trying new things. I thought I knew picky eating until Henry started eating. So far, he has graduated from being a strict fructarian to eating a small variety of granola bars, Kashi waffles, fresh berries, apples, chicken nuggets, French fries, and hot dogs. Most recently, however, he dropped everything except the Kashi waffles, chicken nuggets, hot dogs and French fries. This is not exactly a fabulous diet. I decided to leave him be for a while, but I can no longer have him eating no fruit or vegetables. Today, I may have found the key to my success.
My son started eating hot dogs because I cut them in slices and call them circles. I don’t consider hot dogs a great health food, but it was a source of protein other than milk and I buy either the Applegate farm organic, uncured dogs, or the Nathan’s kosher reduced fat depending where I’m shopping that week (Whole Foods, Market Basket, Russo’s or elsewhere). Today, I wanted to see if he’d eat any apple since he ate them a month ago. I made large round slices and told him they were big circles. He threw a fit and wouldn’t calm down and eat his hot dog circles until I took them off the plate. Then I said, “How about stars? Should mommy make you stars?”. He seemed interested. I grabbed our bag of cookie cutters praying that we had a small star shape. We did. Et voila! He ate almost the entire apple. Next candidate…we’ll see if my daughter likes stars for her lunch box.
If you do make apple shapes, don’t waste the scraps left over after cutting out your shapes. Put the leftover apple scraps in a glass dish, add a little water only if the apples aren’t very juicy, and microwave for a couple of minutes. Mash it up with a fork and you have fabulous apple sauce. You can then add cinnamon, brown sugar, honey, whatever you like. Our apples are so good this year that we just add a touch of Cinnamon. We get our apples from our CSA. We also get apples at the Lexington Farmer’s market from Charlton orchards and/or Red Apple Farm.
My husband made last minute applesauce this way last night when I turned into maniac mom in the kitchen trying to entertain the kids by cooking with them, making brownies from a box (Hodgson MIll whole wheat and filled flax seed brownies – 2 for $5 at Market Basket), trying to start their dinner, our dinner, and plan my daughter’s lunch for the following day. In any case I thougth we needed applesauce for the brownies mid-way through cooking. I gave my husband the apples to peel, cut and zap and then realised that the applesauce was for the low fat version. I figured the whole wheat and flax was enough goodness for one brownie and went for the full fat. Having made the applesauce “daddy-chef” decided to have some. He loved it so much that now he wants to make a batch to jar/freeze for the family. This is actually a really good idea. It’s easy to buy bags of apples at the farmer’s market and since the season is nearing the end you can get some good deals on apples.
Here are a couple sites for preserving applesauce: preserving lancaster.extension.psu.edu/Nutrition/LetsPreserveNewsletters/LetsPreserve2004/Let%27s%20PRESERVE-Oct.%202004.pdf or freezing seasonalcooking.suite101.com/article.cfm/storing_apples
Bon appetit. ttyl your BFF (Boston Family Foodie)