What’s the difference between a tangerine and a mandarin?

Tangerines have a medium fibre content, mandarin low… Who knew?

WARNING: this post contains poo!

One of the biggest changes in my life when I had a baby, was the amount of time spent thinking about, discussing and generally dealing with poo.  Months go by when it’s not a big deal,  and it’s just another part of your day when you and your partner ask each other or the minder in creche “poo today?”

Then once in a while, it becomes a focus – there’s too much, or not enough.  Right now there’s not enough.  I nearly had words with the pharmacist yesterday so vexed was I by her quizzing – no, he doesn’t even eat bananas, he has weetabix & porridge for brekkie, his diet hasn’t changed, he gets enough fibre I think given his general diet… I think it was caused by teething initially a couple of weeks ago – that catch all ailment that explains away so many things.

She seemed happy that that could be the main trigger and recommended 2.5 mls of Duphalac twice a day and keep going past the point of it improving.

But I’m on a mission now to solve the problem at source, as I can only listen to my little guy shouting ‘sore bum bum, no poooooo’ as he grips onto my shoulders for so long.  Lunch of brown bread and baked beans and dinner of brown rice, babycorn & green beans with marinated tofu.  And, the biggest treat of all, we’ve been giving him watered down prune juice.  It’s gross, but he thinks its christmas as it’s usually water or milk all the way in this house.

I found this link to the Dietary Fibre Content of Common Foods  really helpful in sussing out my meal plans.  Obviously common sense played a part, but when I was marinading tofu I had no clue how high or low fibre that is (low).  It’s also made me rethink his snacks for the week – for example – convenient Organix fruit pots (apple & peach) and grapes are out, the pear & kiwi puree I have in the freezer is in.  I always puree any fruits I don’t think we’re going to get through, and they come in handy for a snack.  In fact, the same puree even went into the pancake mix this morning instead of banana!

If you have managed to read this far, then you must be a parent, and you’ll be pleased to know: there was a big result before bedtime without half as much discomfort as last time. Anyone any other tips on how to help this along naturally?


I’ll have my own TV show next like Peppa Pig

Mama tells me I was in the paper.  Her and me. And she said that I had to eat all the fud she puts in front of me now because more people want to read about it.

But I just eat what I want and when I want.  Like last week when  Mama came to get me in creche and I had a biscuit and she put my coat on but I held on to my biscuit and she put my bike helmet on and put me on the bike and I still held onto my biscuit and I ate it on the way home while I looked at buses and I didn’t drop any apart from into my tummy.

Do you like my tattoo? Dada took it gone now.

At home I don’t like when they put me in my chair and don’t sit down and eat with me. Sometime dada stands at the Hot and makes a mess for him and mama’s dinner and they give me what we didn’t finish at the dinner before.  I might have a shout and throw myself about a bit until they sit down. Or else maybe I do colouring if I’m not hungry yet.  I can climb into my chair but not out so I am stuck. Then they sit down and they talk and it’s not about sand or playdoh or snacks or Timmy Time or anything so that’s when I decide I will eat my dinner.  The other day I had fish pie and that’s when we had different dinners because mama doesn’t eat fishes but dada makes it and I love it.

I like when we eat all at the same time and then I can eat from any of our plates.  We have 5 plates, I counted them like this 2, 3, 5!  I am getting good at numbers.

Sometimes now when I eat my dinner up I get squeezy cold fruit for my sore tooths from the freezing box that my magnets live on.  I know it’s there now so I’m going to ask for it all the time.  Even though mama eats some on me.

– Dom

It’s not easy being green

A few weeks ago we got a gift of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty.  Pickings are comparitively scarce for good veggie ccokbooks – I was left disappointed recently by a glance through Simon Hopkinson’s The Vegetarian Option which I bought on the back of his Good Cook TV series (though I must stress I actually haven’t tried making any of the recipes yet).  This one came tried, tested and recommended.  A cursory flick made me really look forward to trying some stuff out, and we’ve made 3 recipes so far – Chickpea Sauté with Greek Yogurt, Puy Lentil Galettes & Green Couscous.

Loves a good grain

This is the Green Couscous – I often cook with couscous, but it’s one of those ‘in from work, in a hurry, what’s in the veg drawer’ no brainer dinners, so it was really nice to actually use it in a proper recipe.  And hey, if it’s good enough for Martha Stewart….

The child loves his grains, I’ll give him that.  I would say that for everything new we try, or everything we try try and try again, we alternate with something we know he’ll eat.  They tell us he’s a savage in creche, so I think that might have a good deal to do with why he doesn’t always eat that much with us in the evening.  Since he moved from a high chair to a little group table & chairs setup in there, he also has ample opportunities to eat other toddlers’ leftovers – and he takes them by all accounts.

So I can see that Dom’s couscous doesn’t look that green.  I can assure the reader that the end product looked like the book/pic on the Martha Stewart site.  I just added the rocket and some feta after I’d served up his. I’m going to hedge my bets and say he’s not going to go for either of those yet.  The pistachios, spring onions & herb paste provided enough flavour for him I reckon.

After our fits and starts and intermittent cooking successes recently we’re trying to do a plan of sorts for the week before we shop – about 4 dinners planned and the rest is leftovers/freezer food/top of the head stuff.   I’m the queen of googling ingredients for meal ideas, loving the end result. and then never being able to find that recipe again.  So I’ve high hopes for this padded white (well, it’s already stained but any good cookbook should be) tome to be our go-to guide each week.

Are any readers a fan of Yotam Ottolenghi, veggie or otherwise?


Wow! Who is this super healthy mum & her amazing eating toddler?*

Fame at last

*Eek!  It’s me!

I just got a text from my nearly-sister-in-law (3 weeks to go!) to tell me that me & Dominic’s blog got a mention in today’s Irish Independent magazine.   Having stayed up til the unholy hour of 1230am – VdeP table quiz, we didn’t win –  then risen for teething & rugby by 6am, I’ve not been very tuned in today at all.  So this bit of news has dragged me away from a saturday night wine & telly slump, as Dominic is fast asleep as any 21 month old should be & can’t be disturbed to blog.  Welcome any and all new readers!

I feel slightly fradulent here – Dom’s going through an awfully fussy time this week – 2 lower incisors are to blame, but in general, he is getting harder to please.   He did chow down on sweet potato wedges for lunch, but this evening he threw lovely courgette slices & sweet red pepper chunks (previous  favourites) across the table and proceeded to spoon out plain white rice for himself.  He may have had some creamy almond butter sauce but it definitely wasn’t intentional.

(One point to note, is that Dominic is not actually vegetarian, neither is my husband.  I never cook meat/fish, Mark does about once a week.  I fully intend to buy That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals for Dom though and guide him towards his mamma’s way of life…)