Feeding our children the right foods is always a concern for parents. Is it nutritious, is it full of vitamins and minerals and the ‘right’ kinds of fats? Once we start weaning, we realise that what our children will eat can be largely out of our control, particularly if the child in question is a bit of a picky eater.
I have one of those – not that Botboy started out as a picky eater. In fact, when weaning he ate most things. Up to the age of about 2, whereupon he discovered the word ‘no’ and suddenly refused to eat much of anything except peas and carrots.
You would think that’s a good thing, a child that eats vegetables. But when that’s all he will eat, not so much. No meat – not even chicken nuggets or chips would pass those lips willingly. It took a lot of coaxing to get a potato and some beans in. Now he is 4 we are able to do a few more meals, but anything new or unusual is a big fat no.
(Of course, at pre-school he eats everything. So – just my cooking then!)
When Organix gave Botboy the chance to test out their new range of Mighty Meals we thought he would be the perfect subject. We sold it to him on the premise that this was ‘special food just for him’, that he would ‘be a big boy’ if he would just try it out and offered a big piece of cake at the end of the experiment.
Rather grudgingly, he conceded.
I’ve used Organix before, at the weaning stage. I like that the food is full of healthy fruit and veg, that it’s organic and that it’s sold as being wholesome and full of goodness. I’m a sucker for a label, this one really works for me as it appeals to the need to be a good mum while fitting in well with my time-short working mum lifestyle.
A lovely box of samples arrived to test out. Microwave meals aimed at toddlers aged 1-3, described as wholesome, hearty meals with lots of different flavours. The portion sizes looked a little small for a 4 year old, bearing in mind he has just turned 4 and 2 months ago would have fit the 1-3 age bracket these are marketed for. But I would say about right for a 1-2 year old.
We got out the first Mighty Meal to try. I have to say they did not look overly appetising once heated up – not really like the pictures on the packet. But then not many microwave meals do.
Botboy set to on the spaghetti and meatballs. Unfortunately, he rejected them fairly quickly. So we pulled in expert tester, Sackgirl, to give a 2nd opinion.
Sackgirl will try most foods and loves meatballs, so it seemed a safe starter. She, however, also said no. I had to agree with her, the meatballs were a strange texture and pretty tasteless. The spaghetti was soggy and bland. Altogether, it was a bit mushy.
Not ones to give up, we moved on to the pasta and chicken. Not overly appetising to look at, we again were disappointed with the lack of flavour and general mashed texture.
As a last resort we tried out the chunky tomato soup. Again, this should be the easy option, as Sackgirl loves tomato soup. Described as a thick, chunky soup, perfect for toddlers, the Organix Mighty Soup was actually watery and tasted rather like a bowl of washed out tinned tomatoes. For some reason I think of soup as more creamy.
At this point the test team went on strike; further meals were refused. By way of compromise we went on to the Goodie bars. Luckily, by their nature these are more solid and chewable. A thumbs up from the test team.
In the interests of fairness I did try some of the non tomato based meals – the vegetable and chicken korma had a faint taste, the hearty veg, bean and lamp hotpot has some firmness from the kidney beans and the dumplings that came with the veg and beef stew were rather like the meatballs in texture.
For a weaning baby, bland and mushy is perfect. Babies like to slurp down their meals. They have more sensitive taste buds and need less flavour while they try out new tastes. Organix are great for weaning – it’s a reassuring brand based on healthy food.
Once a child is 1, certainly by the age of 2, they are usually already eating solid foods such as fish fingers, bread, cookies and pasta meals. I think the Organix toddler meals are just the wrong type of food for the age group. There is loads of variety on offer, but we need more lumps, more flavour and more texture please, Organix!
No payment was received for this post, although I did receive the samples. However all of the opinions are my own (with help from my test team)!