My son, who would eat nothing but junk food if he were allowed to, gives me little reports on what his classmates have in their lunch boxes. Mum, such and such has Twisties and BBQ Shapes everyday. Person B never has any fresh fruit! Oh person C is very good, they always have carrots and corn, sometimes they have a packet of chips, but only every-now-and-then.
Often his reports are out of concern, and I find it rather amusing to hear my voice echoed in his.
He has been listening! He comes up with little ideas, such as bringing spare fruit into the classroom each day so his friends can eat something fresh. What a little gem. Then there are the times I feel he is just trying to figure out why it is okay for his mates to have these ‘treats’ everyday but he has to miss out.He never actually says the words, but he doesn’t need to – I can read it in his face.
I try my best to keep the lunchbox as varied as I can. I have only recently come to realise that I have these little subconscious categories I feel I need to fulfil to create a balance. Not only varied in terms of food groups/nutritional requirements, but I mean psychologically balanced. That was a weird description, I know. What I mean is a kind of assortment that ticks each category – a nondescript item, a fresh/raw item, something new, a treat, a favourite.
You see, my kid is one of those ultra fussy eaters. I am trying to train him out of this somehow, by putting something new to try in his lunchbox I am hoping this will eventually do the trick. He relishes in familiarity, like a lot of kids I suppose. If I consistently provide a variety, it is this miscellany that becomes the familiar. To expect something different.
Perhaps I am over thinking it a bit?
But in all honesty the fussiness drives me batty sometimes. Meal times can be a huge battle – even before the first mouthful is taken!
There are times when I can just let it go, other nights it really gets me down. So guess I am forced to over-think it.
Lately, he has been asking me if I can make ‘healthy’ versions of the junk food he sees in his classmates lunches or in the aisles of the supermarket.
His first request was a healthy Mint Slice, I am still working on that one. The next was a healthy hot dog, but I am not sure I am ever going to get there. This week he asked me if I could make a healthy Anzac Biscuit. I absolutely knew I could.
The following recipe is dedicated to my lovely son. To demonstrate that healthy versions of his favourite treats are just as good as the unhealthy versions.
To let him have a little victory, and know that I am secretly winning too.
Healthy Anzac Cookies
To make these paleo, substitute 1 cup of flaked almonds for the oats.
makes 18 biscuits
– 1 cup Almond Meal
– 1 cup Gluten Free Oats
– 1 cup Desiccated Coconut
– 1/3 cup Honey (or maple syrup to make these vegan)
– ¼ cup Coconut Oil
– ½ tsp Baking Soda
– 1 Tbsp Water
– Handful of Flaked Almonds, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
Combine almond meal, coconut and oats in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
Heat honey and coconut oil. Add baking soda and water and stir until it’s foamy.
Pour this wet mix into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Roll mixture into balls, a little larger than a walnut shell, lay on a baking tray, and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon.
Sprinkle a few flaked almonds over each one then place in the oven to bake.
Bake for about 15 minutes, remove from oven then allow to cool on a wire rack.