To be honest, The Toddler is on a strict diet of dirt and stones at the moment which is making things a little easier. He also likes the odd bit of grass. I've looked in my Annabel Karmel book but she doesn't seem to have a Soil & Bean Hotpot in her repertoire.
Actually I am pretty good because I do panic if they've not had fruit or vegetables that day but it's soooo hard especially if you're out&about or feeling lazy.
If I had my way, the Five-A-Day would be:
1) Left over Easter Egg
3) Pizza Hut
4) Walkers Crisps (any flavour)
5) Anything microwaved
OkayOkay, so I am exaggerating. But I have tried all the Annabel Karmel stuff even bloody Popcorn Chicken and it never goes down as well as jars from Boots and Chip Shop. I find when I have spent hours cooking some Annabel Karmel creation, it's often received with cries of "It's dis-gus-ting" and "I don't like it".
I just googled Annabel Karmel and I can't find anything bad said about her on the internet. That is frightening. She is one of those people that exist (like Gina Ford) who are there to show us that we are doing it all wrong and our goal should be to emulate them. These days I deliberately avoid reading the childcare gurus since it is precisely this modern orthodoxy that is causing the feeling that I am doing a bad job at parenting.
When I first was getting to know The Best Friend, I bumped into her in Morrisons and we got chatting. I really needed to get fruitshoots but wasn't sure if she was the kind of mum who would agree with that or give me a lecture. I was mildly panicking about the way the conversation might go but then I spotted in her trolley Microwave Fries (honestly I'm not that bad) so I knew it would be okay for me to grab my fruitshoots. It was precisely at this point she became a firm friend. We've all had these experiences. There are mums I have come across that really take it to the other extreme. For example, I went to a party once and there was a mum who didn't feed her daughter any sugar, ever. Clearly that child will grow up and gorge herself on sweets and chocolate whereas I find that having them in the house at all times makes my children have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude to confectionery.
What I do try and do is eat with the children. But family mealtimes can be a nightmare. There is the fidgety ants-in-his-pants Eldest One, there is the wild Toddler who flings food around the room and pours juice over his dinner. Then there is the moany Tomboy who whines "He's got the blue bowl, I want the blue bowl". Perhaps those families that never sit down to eat together but stuff themselves with ready meals in front of the telly have got it right?
Oh and can I just say that Jamie Oliver is really getting on my nerves with trying to change the way this nation feeds their children? That man can never be at home! I bet his wife is stressed out to the eyeballs that she's practically a single mum so sneaks the odd McDonalds into the house?
Anyway all I'm saying is surely there is a happy medium where you can feed the kids lovely home cooked food and crap without feeling guilty. Chocolate Casserole anyone?