Deep in the internet’s bowels you can find statistics to back up just about any argument or theory. Babycenter.com has collected a bizarre range of survey results on a huge range of parenting subjects. Access them here. There’s facts about everything from brands of breast pumps to life insurance policies, but of course it’s the nutrition and food topics that pique my interest.
One survey asked 4000 moms to rate the importance of several factors when cooking for their families. The two most important factors were taste and nutrition. Yay! Congratulations to all of you mums who don’t want to compromise on flavour, even when faced with fussy feeders.
Another interesting result was that 51% of mothers were prepared to cook two dinners each night just to keep the peace. I understand how this situation evolves, but I just refuse to do it! I try to make all my recipes healthy and packed with vegetables, so we feel good about feeding them to the kids but with the addition of a couple of ingredients, the adults can enjoy a delicious meal too.
A good example is these lamb meatballs – the feta makes them very more-ish and they can be adapted to suit everyone. Plus, they cook in the oven, avoiding a big revolting mess, because cleaning up more than I have to is also something I refuse to do.
Lastly from the surveys, 39% of mothers find going online to be the most peaceful part of their day…
Lamb & feta meatballs with pasta salad
Both the cooked meatballs and salad can be kept in the fridge for up to two days
500g lamb mince
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 egg, whisked
2 tbsp chopped parsley, basil or oregano
100g feta, crumbled
1 carrot, peeled, grated
1 small zucchini, grated
Canola oil cooking spray
200g wholemeal pasta spirals
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 vine tomato, finely diced (or ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved)
½ cup basil leaves, chopped (optional but recommended)
Preheat oven to 200C. Line a large oven tray with baking paper.
For the meatballs, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Use your hands to mix well, then roll into bite-sized balls and place on an oven tray. Spray meatballs lightly with cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes. Use tongs to carefully turn over, spray with more cooking spray and bake for another 5-10 minutes until cooked through.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water according to packet directions, then drain. While still warm, toss through the remaining ingredients.
Serve the pasta in bowls, topped with meatballs. Sprinkle with basil leaves.
SERVES 2 ADULTS & 2 KIDS
FOR THE ADULTS Add extra ingredients to the pasta salad. Try olives, chopped anchovies, spinach leaves, toasted pine nuts and dried chilli.