I have three, beautiful, healthy, little boys who bless me with their love every day – I am so grateful for them! Two of my boys are excellent eaters, they are not fussy, they eat everything I give them and have very good appetites! One of my boys though, has sadly has inherited my sweet tooth, small appetite and food fussiness. I was always like that, always scrawny, never wanted to eat anything (except sweet things) and just never really felt hungry.
My poor mum tried everything to get me to eat, nutritionists, naturopaths, different tonics, different strategies, different foods, but the only thing that really worked for me was her sneaking in healthy goodness in to things she knew I would enjoy and eat. I still ate small quantities and I am still even like that now, but at least she had some reassurance that I was getting some goodness in to my body throughout the day if she snuck some nutritious little surprise ingredients in to my food. I can now only sympathise with what my poor mum struggled through with me all those painful years, I didn’t mean to be painful or difficult, I just have a strange appetite which means I don’t often actually feel very hungry and I have to be vigilant to make myself eat.
I am a bit of a finicky eater and have a fairly fast metabolism so I can lose weight very easily if I fall ill, some people think that sounds just great if it ever comes up in conversation, but it is really not a good thing at all, as I have had quite a few health issues because of it, such as a chronically inflamed stomach, oesophagus, ulcers, reflux esophagitis, etc. – it is quite a health issue, so I have to be very careful and ensure when I do eat, that I do eat well. On another note, I love sweet food, and I find it hard to abstain from sweet food all together, so I have to make sure I eat healthy before I allow myself any treats otherwise I will be quite full quickly and have no room for good, nutritious food.
Before I had my own children and worked in Early Childhood, I always thought that fussy children were fussy because their parents were not firm enough with them and didn’t make them eat well, but boy did I get EDUCATED!! My fussy, little one was BORN fussy, I noticed straight away when we introduced solids just how different he was to my other son, I just always struggled terribly to get him to eat anything and when he did eat, it was only teeny-weeny portions – like me all over! (Cue slow motion footage of Fern waving her fist menacingly at herself, falling to her knees and screaming dramatically “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”!!!!!)
For these reasons, I have to be sneaky with myself and my fussy, little man and be a “Nutrition Ninja” by sneaking extra goodness in to every food we eat to ensure we eat well despite our fussy ways and small appetites. So I am always looking for great ideas to pack extra goodness in to recipes that don’t look or taste healthy but are healthy!!
This one is a goodie!!
Healthy Lemon Slice:
1 cup pitted dates
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 ripe bananas
1/4 of a cup of raw cashews
1/2 a cup of shredded coconut
1/4 of a cup of room temperature organic virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
Juice of 1 large lemon
Zest of 1 large lemon
1. Base: Process the oats, coconut and dates in a food processor until it forms a crumb base that sticks together in your fingers, then press the mixture firmly into your slice tray to form the thick base, ensure it is even by pressing down firmly with the back of a large spoon.
2. Topping: Place the coconut and cashews together into your food processor and process it until forms a fine crumb, then add the remaining ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth. Taste the mixture and add anything extra to suit your taste – a handful of chia seeds, more lemon, more maple syrup or even more cashews if you wanted a thicker consistency.
3. Spread the topping evenly onto the base and sprinkle with coconut from a height.
4. Leave the slice in the fridge to firm up overnight, then cut it into slices and serve.
I would love to hear how you sneak extra goodness in to your children’s or your own food too, please share your ideas in the comments below or on The Grateful Mummy Facebook page! I just love new ideas!!