Feeding toddlers is a daily drama, isn’t it? Do you make the effort to cook something fancy and risk them throwing it on the floor while you cry into your Pinot Gris (or 11th coffee?), or do you just dish up some scrambled egg and toast and say ‘job well done’?
Like most parents with fussy under-threes, I vacillate between those two examples, sometimes I get experimental in the kitchen, and the rest of the time I wing it as best as I can.
The other day while sifting through some inbox life-admin I came across an email I was about to hit ‘delete’ on when I thought perhaps I was being unfair. Most of you will be familiar with Gwyneth Paltrow (or GP as she is known among super fans) and her ‘Goop’ lifestyle website which offers up inspirational ideas for cooking, home décor, wellbeing, beauty and travel.
She has received a fair bit of flak over the years for some of her wackier ideas involving steam-cleaning your uterus, but her glossy recipe books sell many thousands of copies globally, so who am I to judge?
Deep in yet another family cooking-rut and in the spirit of GP’s ‘it’s all easy’ mentality, I decided to throw caution to the wind and trial two Goop-recommended ‘kid-friendly’ recipes on my unsuspecting toddler Leo, and his big brother Toby.
I scrolled through the dozen or so online offerings including the ridiculous sounding ‘deconstructed chicken salad rolls with edamame’ but eventually settled on two recipes to push my toddler’s taste boundaries. The ‘lentil and chickpea salad with greens and pita’ – he likes baked beans so why not this? – and the ‘wakame seaweed and zucchini fried rice’. It’s all easy, right GP?
After writing the very long shopping list, I immediately began regretting the whole experiment. Wakame seaweed is also not something I use much of (call me a low-brow bogan if you like), so I needed to visit two speciality stores before finding an oversized bag for $21. I failed to find the edamames and while I could have gone to the Asian supermarket, I decided three grocery shops by 11am was pushing Leo’s tolerance levels enough.