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I should have been horrified at little Chloe’s language

“B*****!” announced Chloe from the back seat as her water cup exploded all over the car. “B*****, b*****, b*****!!” As the lovely husband shot me a disapproving look, I popped on a CD and tried to change the subject.

I'd been told that ignoring experimentation with bad language is best. Little kids often drop it if they don't get a reaction. Will it work? We shall see. After stubbing my toe at high-speed on an enormous plant pot, I was hoping that my string of white-pain-induced profanities had flown under Chloe's radar. However she lured me into a false sense of security by keeping it inside for two weeks and then repeating it word for word in perfect context. I know I should have been horrified, but I have to admit I was also marvelling at just how absorbent those little brains are. It's all too easy to underestimate how much they are taking in.

Fortunately, as little Belle whispered her first word a few months ago, I haven't tainted that miraculous moment with something inappropriate. Securing the key to his heart (and given time, his credit card) she's been saying “dad-da” over and over again. It's often followed with “uh-oh” which is funny, because I often combine those two in the same sentence myself. Especially when I am hiding a new pair of shoes.

While babies are great at any stage (let's overlook the teething and reflux), I do love this age. Belle celebrates her first birthday tomorrow and on the cusp of talking and walking, it's a fascinating time. After a year of super-healthy eating, she's also about to have her first encounter with a cupcake. I'm sure it will be messy.

Still, these days, as we're packing cupcakes full of sneaky ingredients like carrots and zucchini, I'm not so worried about the sugar. My kids are going through a super-healthy phase right now and can't get enough of the good stuff. This has changed before and I'm sure it will change again, so I'm busy taking advantage of easy dinner times and cramming in as much nutrition as possible!

This week's surprise has been the success of the chickpea frittata. I'd never heard of making frittata from chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour until I stumbled across the Lucini frittata mix in Lindo's. A little sceptical that anything made solely from chickpea flour, olive oil and water could be tasty,

I whipped up the traditional version for the family to try. It was amazing! We made a deeper version that was crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle. I've since made a thinner version (in a larger dish) that was more solid. Either way, it's incredibly tasty.

The good thing is that while eggs are fairly high in cholesterol and saturated fat, chickpeas aren't. I'm not actually anti-cholesterol, but it's nice to have something positively healthy in every way on the menu. Chickpeas are rich in several minerals, including folic acid and iron, so they are especially useful for vegetarians and vegans. They are also a great, low-fat source of vegetarian protein which means you can serve the frittata in place of chicken, meat or fish.

Also, according to the George Mateljan Foundation, studies are now linking chickpeas to well-controlled appetite. Apparently those consuming a small amount a day (one-third of a cup) ate less processed snacks, and less calories overall. This will be because chickpeas are low-glycemic and as they release their glucose very slowly, they help to stabilise blood sugar (and appetite by association). Just in case you need any more convincing, chickpeas are also a good source of antioxidants and fibre.

The frittata mix comes in three flavours: traditional, rosemary and chilli. Obviously for kids, the traditional is your best bet, but all three are delicious. See below for some serving ideas and enjoy!

· Frittata “fingers” alongside quality chicken nuggets/fish fingers and green veg

· Frittata with roasted vegetables and baby tomatoes

· Frittata wedges with niman ranch beef or mixed bean chilli

· Frittata wedges with grilled fish and green salad

· Alternatively, add sautéed onions and sliced Applegate organic sausages (or roasted veggies for a vegan version) to the frittata mix. Allow five to ten minutes' extra cooking time and serve with green salad.

The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. She can be contacted at nourishbda[AT]gmail.com

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Published August 05, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 05, 2011 at 10:18 am)

I should have been horrified at little Chloe’s language

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