I had so much fun taking part in the last BritMums challenge that I thought I would give this one a go too. Only this one was going to be an even bigger challenge than the last.
I have given Matthew citrus fruits to try before and although he really does love the orange flavour, he absolutely detests the texture and often gets very upset with me for giving it to him.
However, with his weekly Special Needs group being back after the Summer, and with an attempt at giving him a much more nutritious diet, especially on those days where he is exhausted after his class and therapy sessions, I decided to dig in and try to come up with a way of incorporating this fruit into his diet.
Much like the Red Meat challenge, the aim of this one is to get more vitamins and essential nutrients into our little ones. These Chilean Mandarins are packed full of Vitamin C and are a great source of fibre, calcium and magnesium, all things that Matthews current diet really lacks in.
However, this is where it gets difficult.
Matthew doesn’t have the motor skills to get inside these mandarins, despite how easy they are to peel, and although he was happy to play with one like a ball when I gave him it, he had absolutely no understanding that this little gem was packed full of deliciousness on the inside. So mummy had to help.
As well as this, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve already tried him with citrus fruits before and he loved the taste but definitely not the texture. So this left me with a bit of a conundrum. How do I present this treat to him, without him knowing what it is, but making it appealing to him all the same?
This is what I came up with.
I had to give him it in a form that he didn’t recognise and with other tastes and textures he comfortable with, so that he could enjoy it.
Now this may look like it is packed full of sugar and insurmountable fats and salt. But it’s not.
Matthew is already on a pretty restricted diet, so we are always very careful about what we are putting in his body.
I chose a few simple ingredients and recipes to make these little snacks and i’ll share them with you now.
This first idea was super simple. My boy loves chocolate (just like his mum & dad) and so I thought I’d be clever and disguise some mandarin segments with some chocolate. Et Voila… The chocolate dipped mandarin. I used a Free From (Dairy, Eggs, Gluten & Nuts) bar of Kinnerton Just Chocolate, melted it, and dipped the mandarins halfway in before leaving them to set in the fridge.
My boy loved them… As did I!
The next thing I made was these little fairy cakes from Sainsburys. They are part of their Deliciously Free From section. It is a vanilla cake free from Dairy, Wheat & Gluten.
I topped it with a mixture I made of Vegan cream cheese (Violife), a few teaspoonfuls of icing sugar and the juices of one mandarin. Topped with 2 individual segments. It was both healthy and delicious.
And finally I made these little treats. These are Free From (Gluten, Wheat & Dairy) pastry cases from Tesco.
I used the remainder of my melted chocolate, mixed it with the aforementioned mandarin icing and plopped a dollop in each case. These were my faves… Healthy Chocolate Orange pastry tarts! Yummy!
Unsurprisingly… these were also Matthews faves! 🙂
So there you have it… Not entirely simple… But definitely not difficult little snack ideas to get some delicious fruit into your kiddies!
I understand that most children would’ve been happy enough with a juicy little mandarin they could easily open and enjoy, but with my little monkey comes extra challenges and as long as hes eating all of this delicious good stuff, I’m more than happy to keep coming up with fun and yummy ways of getting him to!