Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Back to basics

I've never really considered my body to be a temple. More of a canteen in a factory on an industrial estate, really, but there's nothing like having a baby to make you reevaluate what you eat. 

Up until a while ago I thought that Samuel would still be wanting me to spoon-feed him smooth mush until he does his GCSEs, but then he suddenly got a whole lot better at using his hands to feed himself. It's been excellent. And not just because it means we can bid farewell to our expensive friends at Ella's Kitchen and Organix (yep, guilty as charged), but also because now we can all eat the same things at mealtimes, which is surely the main goal of weaning a baby. The only problem has been making sure that the things we eat at mealtimes are less unhealthy. Less processed. Less, er, beige.

Don't get me wrong, we cook from scratch a lot, but sometimes after a long day at work or with a toddler it's just so easy to grab some kievs and oven chips from the freezer and revel in their stodgy, garlicky comfort.

But recently we've been putting a lot more thought into our grocery shopping and eating much better as a result. In an effort to go more seasonal and to not keep falling back on the same old faithfuls in the fruit and veg aisle, we ordered a weekly fruit and veg box. I'm finding this way more exciting than I should be. We get things in it that I'd rarely consider buying at the supermarket, so it means Samuel gets plenty of variety and I get plenty of cooking inspiration. There's currently a mango sitting in our fruit bowl and I'm planning on creating a mango hedgehog for us later. Yes, a mango hedgehog. And yes, being a stay-at-home mum really does have an effect on your grip of reality. 

Maybe that's why I've started making my own bread as well. I love bread, but I've always had a bit of a bee in my bonnet about all the unnecessary rubbish they put in mass-produced loaves, so I figured we'd all be better off if we went home made. I dusted off my notes from the amazing Virtuous Bread course I went on the other year and I got cracking. It's just as easy as I remember it being and there's something extremely therapeutic about pummelling a ball of dough after a morning of tantrums. It tastes pretty good, but the best reward by far is seeing your child eat a sandwich that you made with your own fair hands. 

I don't know if this healthy kick will last for long - the lure of the kievs is strong - but I'm certainly enjoying it at the moment. What's more, I swear all this fresh fruit and veg is making me feel a bit better and a bit less tired. So, yeah. Breaking news from Knittenden: fruit and veg and homemade bread is actually good for you. I like nothing more than to enlighten my readers on radical new ideas such as these.

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