One Meal for All: A New Feature

After seeing my lovely mum have to prepare 7 different meals each dinner time to meet the whims of all members of the family, I’m determined that we will all eat the same meal in our house. However, this can be somewhat of a challenge when you take into consideration our dietary requirements.

Vegetarian, or not?

I’m vegetarian and S isn’t. We don’t completely agree on whether T should be vegetarian. I’d like to not give him meat until he is old enough to understand what it is. I don’t have a problem with him eating meat (ideally ethically sourced) when he’s older, but I think he should make that decision himself. S believes that by excluding meat from his diet when he’s young I’m essentially taking that choice away from him. So although T isn’t a vegetarian per se, I won’t be cooking him meat.

I’d love to go one step further and become a vegan, but it is incredibly difficult to have a balanced diet as a vegan, something that I don’t feel I have the necessary skills for, especially when feeding a growing toddler.

Low FODMAP

This diet was recommended to me by my GP as a new treatment for IBS. It has been clinically proven to reduce symptoms of IBS (abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhoea) in around 70-80% of people with IBS.

It isn’t a particularly catchy name, but FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides And Polyols. They are different types of sugars that draw extra fluid into the bowel and are fermented by bowel bacteria to produce excess gas (nice). This leads to bowel distension and discomfort. I’ll do a whole other post about the low FODMAP diet as it’s quite complicated but it basically involves eliminating all FODMAPs from your diet for 2 months then gradually re-introducing the different groups one at a time.

Baby Led Weaning

I’m not exactly a baby-led weaning convert, but I do agree with some of the principles. Baby-led weaning purists would say you can’t spoon feed your baby anything (even soup/porridge/yoghurt)- this I disagree with, it’s just not practical (plus the mess would make my teeth itch). Also there is the argument that our hunter-gatherer ancestors wouldn’t have had blenders etc. Well, surely they would have pre-chewed food for their infants and helped them eat food they couldn’t manage by themselves?

However, it does fit well with the ‘one-meal-for-all’ philosophy of our house, and I found it pretty easy to adapt my cooking to make it baby led weaning-friendly just by being aware of the salt content of different foods and making them easy to hold in the early days of weaning.

When making vegetarian BLW food it is important to ensure there is sufficient protein and iron in your baby’s diet. Also the Vegetarian Society advises limiting the amount of Quorn you feed your baby as this is too low in fat and high in fibre for babies. It should only be fed occasionally, and only to babies over 9 months.

Fussy Eating

Unfortunately this applies to both T and S. T is a bit better at the moment, it seems that his extremely fussy behaviour was just a phase. I’ve know S for 11 years now, so in his case I don’t think it is just a phase (but I’m still holding out hope). I, on the other hand, love food and there is very little that I won’t eat (except rice pudding, bleugh).

One Meal for All

I’ve decided to share vegetarian/vegan, low FODMAP, baby-led weaning recipes for fussy eaters (somewhat niche, I’ll admit) on the blog every Friday in a brand spanking new feature. All the recipes will be absolutely scrummy, so perhaps people without the same dietary requirements will be interested too. So without further ado, I give you…

One Meal for All Vegetarian, Low FODMAP, BLW-friendly recipes

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