to ask what 'processed/pre-made' food other people actually feed their young DC?

(136 Posts)
Thurlow Sun 06-Oct-13 10:50:06

Just curious really. 20mo DC currently still eats well <frantically touches wood and prays this lasts a little longer> and we've been able to keep snacks still as oatcakes, veg sticks, that sort of thing. But I'm a pretty crap cook, so the meals aren't lovingly homemade stews or that. Yesterday she had supermarket filled pasta and sauce, few extra veg packaged food other parents actually do feed their young DC. Especially as often you come across threads where squash/chips/chicken dippers are considered the foods of the devil grin

Off the top of my head, we feed the toddler:
Fish fingers
Baked beans
Pre-filled pasta
Pasta sauces from jars (does that count?)
Very occasional microwave baby ready meal
Processed meats like haslet, cheaper sandwich ham etc

What pre-made or processed food do you feed your DC?

<dons semi-hard hat for 'bad food' flaming...>

tethersend Sun 06-Oct-13 10:53:48

Well, I certainly never feed the DDs Pot Noodles.

Oh no.


catgirl1976 Sun 06-Oct-13 10:55:59

YY to baked beans, quiche, occasional fish finger, occasional pasta sauce from jar and occasional M&S baby ready meal.

He's had a McDonalds once and joined us in a Chinese takeaway for my sisters birthday.

abigboydidit Sun 06-Oct-13 10:58:32

2.5 year old gets orange squash, dairylea, sandwich ham and pasta sauces. He had allergies so were limited what could give him but I would happily have given him fish cakes, fish fingers, baked beans..

8 month old gets rice cakes and breadsticks, hummus, pesto, Philadelphia cheese, potato scones.

melonribena Sun 06-Oct-13 10:58:54

For 14 mth ds

Fish fingers
Mini waffles
Bakes beans
Picnic sausages - he loves them!
Occasional jarred sauces
Microwaveable rice??
Malted milk biscuits
Precooked chicken
Sandwich paste
Ice lollies

I'll keep thinking!!!

natwebb79 Sun 06-Oct-13 10:59:05

My DS has fish fingers, chips (although chopping a sweet potato into wedges, brushing a bit of oil on them and whacking in the oven for 20 mins is dead easy and makes you feel more saintly, ha!), potato waffles. Not much to be honest because I'm lucky that both me and DH like cooking from scratch. If I hated it then I'm sure I'd resort to more convenience foods. grin

natwebb79 Sun 06-Oct-13 11:00:56

Oh hang on, forgot about lunch! Ham out of a packet is a favourite, cream cheese, dare I say he probably has a biscuit every day. He runs a bloody marathon's worth every day though so I'm not too worried.

Squitten Sun 06-Oct-13 11:01:03

In our house I'd say that main culprits are pizza, fish fingers and baked beans. Sometimes me and the 2yr old will get a sandwich and packet of crisps from the supermarket at lunchtime and there's the odd take away curry if they are still up when we are having one.

I just liberally sprinkle frozen mixed veg into their morning cereal to balance it all out smile

CircassianLeyla Sun 06-Oct-13 11:01:19

We do fish fingers, baked beans, noodles and jar pasta sauce. I am sure there is more.

5/7 nights they do have fresh cooked food and they have packed lunch that is sandwich/fruit unless DH goes to the supermarket and buys a 28 pack box of bloody crisps.

bakingaddict Sun 06-Oct-13 11:01:21

Most of the things you've mentioned parents feed to their children whether they are upfront about it or not is a different matter.

I am a good cook but resort to meals like fish-fingers, chips and beans about once a week and my 2yr old has chocolate, crisps, juice and sweets not every day mind but she still has them. I allow a certain amount of junk into a varied and balanced diet because I feel that they can be accommodated as treats

Just watch the salt content though, switch your baked beans to low salt ones

You can get the same effect of jar pasta sauce by reducing down a tin of tomatoes with some herbs. These kinds of pasta sauce usually have a lot of sugar in them other than that your fine.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 06-Oct-13 11:01:45

I think 60% of DC diet is like this.

As long as DS is eating I don't care where the calories come from. He is borderline at being underweight.

natwebb79 Sun 06-Oct-13 11:02:01

He would have baked beans but I'm Leguminophobia (not even joking!) grin

RandallPinkFloyd Sun 06-Oct-13 11:03:35

If no one minds I'm going to lurk and see if I can steal some ideas.

In all honesty I would feed my DS anything if there was even a small chance he'd eat it! He doesn't 'do' hot food hmm

sweetiepie1979 Sun 06-Oct-13 11:05:28

Baked beans
Fish fingers
Pasta (not the sauces though)
Everything else is home made
Actually no she had bacon and sausages too
She dies have crisps and choc though. She is 27 months x

jars of tomato puree

I grow my own apples, cherries, pears, strawberries...courgettes, fresh cucumbers, etc. And sometimes I even remember to freeze/bottle/jam some of them.

But really, most stuff is processed in some way. I just check the ingredients. Chips made with potatoes and oil and frozen for my convenience are just fine by me. So are fish fingers with cod, breadcrumbs, salt, cucumin, oil. Just watch out for sweeteners, colourants, etc, and try not to get too hung up about stuff! Don't forget that even 'fresh' fruit and veg from shops has been irradiated/waxed/perfumed. Life is too short, really.
<slack mother>

PlatinumStart Sun 06-Oct-13 11:08:56

In terms of actual meals and things like cakes etc 99% is made from scratch - the only exceptions are occasional fish fingers and baked beans.

BUT my DC (8,7,2.5) eat way more processed snacks junk than most people would tolerate. Crisps, sweets and chocolate are a fairly regular part of their diet. I find it difficult to worry

fuzzpig Sun 06-Oct-13 11:09:09

Lots of things mentioned above but also DCs were having stuff like cheestrings, pepperami etc until we agreed to cut them out

HippaHey Sun 06-Oct-13 11:13:09

My 17 month old eats fishfingers, beans, pasta etc for meals and rice cakes, breadsticks for snacks. Im lucky in that she loves fruit and veg so can usually add a lot of fresh veg to a quick meal which makes me feel a bit better smile

Shes also partial to a gingerbread man from the bakers while we are out and about shopping!

gordyslovesheep Sun 06-Oct-13 11:15:39

casting my mind back we did things such as:

fish fingers
pasta and sauce
bread, cheese, cucumber
breadsticks and humus
sausages and mash
roast chicken dinner (if we where eating it)
cat food ...if they could get to it without me noticing

Floggingmolly Sun 06-Oct-13 11:17:31

Mine are addicted to cheese strings, but won't touch real cheese.

tethersend Sun 06-Oct-13 11:19:41

I'm sure I read that cheese strings were just cheese anyway.

Floggingmolly Sun 06-Oct-13 11:29:06

Are they? They certainly don't taste like it!

FreudiansSlipper Sun 06-Oct-13 11:37:55

baked beans, sausages, fish fingers (he only likes the expensive ones from sainsburys), bread, ham, cheese, pasta (make own sauce), crisps, biscuits

He loves mcdonals would eat it everyday along with crisps despite me making nice home cooked food sad

Fishfingers or chicken dippers, frozen peas and tomatoes are a regular Friday tea at ours. I got the idea from an episode of Charlie and Lola grin

pigletmania Sun 06-Oct-13 11:43:32

Oh so you guys are in the same boat as me

Spag Bol
Beef with gravy
Baked beans
Canned meatballs
Ready rice
Any fruit and veg
Pom bears
Mr Kipling little cake bars
Occasional chicken nuggets happy meal
Curry (care of pataks)
Home made shepards pie, stew

Ds eats anything, he is the human Vax

pigletmania Sun 06-Oct-13 11:44:09

Ds is 20 months btw

tethersend Sun 06-Oct-13 11:50:59

The CLAIM to be real cheese... Is that the case?

Fivemoreminutesmummy Sun 06-Oct-13 11:54:23

Mine eat whatever we eat (all from scratch) which sounds good but is usually followed by whatever crap we eat for pudding too.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 06-Oct-13 12:04:04

Fish cake
Baked beans
Pasta shapes in tomato sauce
Garlic bread
Cocktail sausages
Scotch eggs
Onion bajis

We cook most nights and put it in the freezer for DS. He eats a fish cake type meal about once a week. He's not a fussy eater (apart from salad) and eats well so I can't complain.

arhivetsh Sun 06-Oct-13 12:07:20

Only bread, nothing else is processed.

miffybun73 Sun 06-Oct-13 12:13:52

Baked Beans
Fish Fingers
Sliced Bread
Chicken in breadcrums

hettienne Sun 06-Oct-13 12:14:00

DS is 3.

Freezer food
Filled pasta and sauce
Tinned beans, ravioli, macaroni cheese, ratatouille
Filled gnocchi
Kids microwave ready meals
Crisps and chocolate

miffybun73 Sun 06-Oct-13 12:14:19

Breadcrumbs not crums, I can spell really

miffybun73 Sun 06-Oct-13 12:15:08

Wow arhivetsh, that's impressive.

How old are your DCs?

Thurlow Sun 06-Oct-13 13:28:14

bakingaddict - Most of the things you've mentioned parents feed to their children whether they are upfront about it or not is a different matter.

Exactly grin

I always wondered because if you're not a massive fan of cooking and/or you don't have much time, the reality of what you serve for meals has to be slightly less than the standard I see on MN sometimes. I can rustle up some pasta and veg so DD doesn't have a ready meal when left alone with me, but as I'm not a great or experienced cook it's beyond me to make a shepherd's pie or spag bol with a toddler at my feet!

Interesting that most people buy the same processed things.

Like most people, DD eats well as DP cooks from fresh a lot and we freeze up meals, but I'm sure her average meals at home aren't stunningly impressive. I'm reassuring myself by the fact that so far we've avoided cakes, biscuits, crisps and sweets in any regularity, so her snacks at least are still very healthy and low in salt.

Arhibetsh, not even baked beans or sausages?!

MummyPig24 Sun 06-Oct-13 13:44:55

Fish fingers every Friday, ds has them at school and dd at home, plus oven chips and peas.

They eat chicken dippers sometimes, also sausages, ham, cheese, crisps, biscuits, baked beans, jarred pesto.

They are fruit and veg lovers and I cook from scratch most nights so I don't sweat them eating some processed stuff.

ZippityDoodahday Sun 06-Oct-13 13:54:46

Not much processed food here other than fish fingers, cookies (as a treat) & Jelly. Can't think of anything else. DS's eat that's (heavily) processed.

ouryve Sun 06-Oct-13 14:00:44

It's hard not to use processed foods, even if you deliberarely try. It's difficult to find tinned tomatoes without added citric acid, these days. I picked up a tin of coconut milk, the other week and was horrified by the ingredients. Your average stock cube has an ingredients list that reads like the index of one of my organic chemistry text books. It's the same for most of the more expensive stock pots, too.

giveitago Sun 06-Oct-13 16:10:20

fish fingers
baked beans (about 4 times per year)
If have play dates I get in breaded chicken goujons.
Pre made pizza (my dh brings home fresh pizza sometimes - but pizza is pizza - all crap imo)

Pasta sauces - all home made (did you realise you can cook up a really good tomato sauce in 20 mins). But pasta is also pasta and is processed imo.
I get some mini baby belle stuff sometimes. But he's not that into it. Also processed ham (aka ham).

So quite a bit.

My get out clause is that if he has processed food has to have it with a green vegetable.

jellyandcake Sun 06-Oct-13 16:22:53

My 2.9yr old refuses to touch the following:

Potatoes unless roasted or made into chips
Fish unless smoked mackerel (very salty!) or in fishfingers

So I really struggle with lunches! I'd happily make jacket spuds with tuna, macaroni cheese or ham omelettes but he won't eat a bite. So fishfingers and baked beans is a very frequent staple if we don't have leftovers from dinner. He likes a hot cooked meal like curry, chilli or bolognese but I can't do that every lunch time! He was great at blw when weaning but eats far, far more processed stuff than I ever envisaged back in those days!

giveitago Sun 06-Oct-13 16:52:26

jelly - think that is normal.

I remember my ds hugely fussy (less so but still fussy) and we at a party when he was 2.9 where others his age were chewing on legs of lamb. DS ate 2 crisps. Met this other lamb leg eating kid recently and he's now far, far fussier than ds. So have hope.

KateSpade Sun 06-Oct-13 17:02:43

My 2 yo will eat:

Fish fingers
Chicken dippers
Pasta & pasatta sauce
Ham / cheese sandwich (occasionally)

And that is it! But at nursery she eats bloody everything, even things like cod morney, Mexican rice, curry, but if I try her with anything different (I tried lasagne last night) she refuses to eat it & goes to bed hungry...

Not sure what to do if I'm honest.

ohnoimnot Sun 06-Oct-13 17:08:01

Its so easy to cook and freeze your own food and much cheaper. You dont need to be a good cook just buy a Annabelle Carmel cook book.

Processed foods are so bad for babies and adults.

The M&S kids range ready meals are amazing and I sometimes get them for myself

mumofboyo Sun 06-Oct-13 17:37:58

Nearly everything I feed them:
Fish in many forms
Potatoes in many forms
Chicken pieces that're breaded or coated
Bread, toast and sandwiches

I can, and do, cook many meals from scratch (today for example they've had home made stew) but still many of the ingredients are pre prepared or processed. And a lot of the time it's easier to make something out of the freezer. Yesterday they had pizza fingers, potato croquets and cauliflower. Not particularly unhealthy but all of it pre-preapared. Even the veg I use for curries, stews and chillis is pre chopped and frozen.

mumofboyo Sun 06-Oct-13 17:39:24

And I use Asda's great stuff range of kids' ready meals and young's fish pies for when I really can't be arsed. I don't see a problem with it.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 06-Oct-13 17:58:23

Fish fingers
Baked beans
Ham & bacon - occasionally

... Probably lots of other stuff I don't think of as processed.

Oven chips.
Bread and bready things.
Flavoured tofu.
Hummus. Lots of hummus.
Occasional veggie burgers.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 06-Oct-13 18:19:41

Only bread here, no because I am some sort of earth mother, but I'm a coeliac and most processed foods contain gluten so don't enter our house.

LordElpuss Sun 06-Oct-13 18:32:51

I'm struggling to think of anything DD (9) eats that isn't processed

Oh wait a minute !

Nope, can't think of anything.

hettienne Sun 06-Oct-13 19:11:56

Non-processed things DS eats:

Fresh fruit
Vegetables (mostly from freezer though)
Some meat and fish
(do rice and porridge oats count as non-processed?)
Can't think of any thing else

arhivetsh Sun 06-Oct-13 19:21:52

They are twins 2.5 yo, no sausages, no baked beans. We get 2 big boxes of organic fruit & veg delivered weekly. Meat is from butcher who gets it from a local farm. We rarely eat meat though. Most is beans and pulses which I soak and cook at home. They drink water. DC are bright & healthy so no junk is working for them.

LordElpuss Sun 06-Oct-13 19:21:55

Think brown rice is unrefined which may or may not mean unprocessed. Read a nutritionist who said children under certain age can't tolerate just brown rice or brown pasta - bad for their gut, need to mix it with white.

<helpful post>

arhivetsh Sun 06-Oct-13 19:25:59

I have MS so processed food, meat and dairy are really bad for my health, so as a family we eat none of it (DTs have meat sometimes and we eat it once a year on Xmas day). It's quite easy to cook and we don't have a microwave and our freezer only has frozen peas in it.

Whatever he fancies that day grin

FastWindow Sun 06-Oct-13 19:30:02

My friend the dietician says baked beans on wholemeal toast is a complete meal and good for you. I suppose you'd have to go for the low sugar and salt option to really feel saintly, but they taste of nothing.

hettienne Sun 06-Oct-13 19:32:07

I put pre-grated cheese on our beans on toast too grin

LordElpuss Sun 06-Oct-13 19:42:47

arhivetsh - don't go getting smug on us with your DC's diet!

Thurlow Sun 06-Oct-13 19:43:59

I didn't even think of bread and cereal as processed blush

Glad other people feed kids about the same amount - don't get me wrong, DC eats plenty of fruit and veg but I just don't get where people have the time to cook from scratch EVERY single meal...

Thurlow Sun 06-Oct-13 19:44:59

Oh, and I'm sure everyone else's kids are bright and healthy on some junk food too

arhivetsh Sun 06-Oct-13 19:49:16

I wasn't being smug, it's just the way it is. If we eat crap then I could have a relapse so we don't.

missorinoco Sun 06-Oct-13 19:50:01

OP, I have used all on your list except microwave baby food, and I wouldn't have bought that because I am to tight to spend money on something he may not eat.

LittleRobots Sun 06-Oct-13 19:50:14

Arhivetsh - ooh want to share a meal plan or some recipes/ideas? We're trying to eat less processed food.

Its funny - we don't eat classic "processed food" like ready meals, but when you look at it we do eat baked beans, sometimes ham, bread, cheese, etc.

missorinoco Sun 06-Oct-13 19:50:48

Sorry, or quiche or ham. No chance it would be eaten so it stayed in th shop.

HearMyRoar Sun 06-Oct-13 19:53:29

We get meat and veg delivered in a veg box or from the farmers market. I cook from scratch most days and dd eats anything apart from dairy and eggs, but we still also eat crap on a reasonably regular basis. This includes:

Baked beans
Pasta sauces
Veggie burgers
M&S microwave meals
M&S salady bits
Bread sticks
Fish fingers

We also eat out about once a week and who knows what they put in stuff.

Oh and dd is bright and healthy so a moderate amount of junk is clearly working for her.

MomentForLife Sun 06-Oct-13 19:53:43

My DD eats a lot of processed I guess,but I go by the ingredients. As long as there's not loads of salt or additives don't see the problem.

I make pizza etc myself but the cheese and pasata are processed so do it more for taste really as we like home made.

Thurlow Sun 06-Oct-13 19:59:19

It's really interesting what one person sees as processed and another sees as pretty good food. For example pasta sauces and pesto - I included it in my list but really, especially as I chose the lowest salt etc versions available, I don't particularly count them as processed.

Similarly fish fingers and baked beans (again low salt which I agree, they taste awful!) I'd consider a relatively good meal, plenty of protein and fibre.

hettienne Sun 06-Oct-13 20:02:33

Processed vs. unprocessed isn't very high up my list of things to care about tbh! Even when I cook "from scratch(ish)" I use lots of cheats - bolognese sauce for lasagne, frozen mash for fish pie, tinned ratatouille etc.

Obviously a diet exclusively made up of findus crispy pancakes and beans isn't ideal, but sausages and fishfingers and pasta pesto a few times a week, cereal for breakfast and lots of fruit and veg = not a problem imo.

arhivetsh Sun 06-Oct-13 20:03:18

LittleRobots pm me and I can email you a great recipe book in pdf format. Lots of great ideas for starters, snacks, mains, soups and desserts.

Crowler Sun 06-Oct-13 20:03:53

The advice about not feeding under-5's whole grains was not around when my kids were under 5 (they're only almost 8 and 11 now!) I made 2 big batches every week of brown rice for both of mine as toddlers and mixed it with adult vegetables & chicken/fish - (adding Marigold bouillon and olive oil in increasing doses as they grew older).

I have no earthly idea how whole grains could be considered bad in the context of a healthy diet. Brown rice must have comprised 30% of my kids' pre-5 diet.

hettienne Sun 06-Oct-13 20:04:58

Whole grains are hard for small children to digest and make it difficult for them to get enough nutrients.

Crowler Sun 06-Oct-13 20:07:26

I feed my kids Pizza Express pizzas every now and again. They also like Waitrose currys. I cook a proper dinner most every night.

Their snack diet is appalling, though. My dad just brought an enormous (2 kilo?!!!!!) bag of American candy along when he visited - they're making steady inroads - and they love Pepperami & walkers crisps. And peppridge farms cookies.

hettienne Sun 06-Oct-13 20:08:34

But if you tend to eat high fibre foods, remember that young children's stomachs can't cope with foods such as wholemeal pasta and brown rice. Also, too much fibre can sometimes reduce the amount of minerals they can absorb, such as calcium and iron.

From here

FixItUpChappie Sun 06-Oct-13 20:09:26

Off the top of my head my two have jar....

Spaghetti sauce
Instant rice (the ones with no preservatives...but I'm sure the salt content is not the best)
Sandwich meat
The occasional hot dog

They eat whatever really...all in moderation I say. My 7 month old just ate a rusk (shock and horror!!) but he also had some tuna and veggies - no big deal.

LordElpuss Sun 06-Oct-13 20:19:02

Crowler - it's in the book called 'Yummy - Every Parent's Nutrition Bible' by Jane Clarke (recently did a MN webchat) published 2006.

I found the book completely overwhelming - and DD would only eat what she wanted from the age of 2 despite the angst I went through.

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Sun 06-Oct-13 20:27:39

Dd is 19 months and eats a lot of processed stuff. Tinned ready meals like spag Bol and mince etc. Served with veggies though. I get quite upset about it sometimes (like earlier today actually) but the reality is atm that my MH prevents me from handling raw meat and that combined with low income means processed stuff it is right now. I just look at it like at least she's eating somewhat balanced because she will try anything and I watch the salt etc.

ringaringarosy Sun 06-Oct-13 20:33:09

fish wingers waffles and baked beans or veg are served here about once every fortnight,when me and dh are eating something either very hot or very fussy which i know they wouldnt even try,they are pretty good with meals but some things even they wont eat.

they eat crisps most days in their packed lunch,those lttle crappy yogurts in tubes,squash.

dont do ready made pasta sauces,homemade tastes miles better and is piss easy to make so dont see the point really.

raisah Sun 06-Oct-13 20:40:23

Fish fingers
tinned tuna/mackeral / sardines
plain pasta with melted philadelphia & whatever greenery i have in the fridge
beans & spaghetti hoops
quorn chicken slices
chicken curry made in the slow cooker without chillies & salt
jacket potatoes
roast dinners
cucumber & carrot sticks
dairy lea
ritz crackers
tortilla wrap pizzas - they love adding their own toppings
tomato sauce - home made Delia recipe
quorn sausages
lamb sausages
pim bears crisps
any type of cheese
mini malted milk cookies
mini cake bars

NightLark Sun 06-Oct-13 20:42:54

When I had just the one DS he lived on a diet of home made everything, organic / free range wherever available (with the exception of bread and cheese! ). Now I have 3 DC and work, they delight in instant rice, tinned custard, jarred pasta sauce, fish fingers, beans and sausages, even tinned Heinz mini meals for nursery tea. Meh. I can't remember the last time I cooked for pleasure, I have about 30 minutes a day free time now.

Safmellow Sun 06-Oct-13 20:50:03

I try to give DD the healthiest diet possible when I am not working to make up for the 2 days a week grandma feed her chocolate and crisps for breakfast sad

ceeveebee Sun 06-Oct-13 20:50:58

My 23 mo twins have home cooked food most days but we do have:
- fish fingers, chips and tomato ketchup
- occasionally "little dish" filled pasta with homemade sauce
- beans or tinned spaghetti
- houmous
- tinned custard with mashed banana

Also they have corncakes or organix crisps/crackers sometimes, and the usual cereal/bread etc

dashoflime Sun 06-Oct-13 20:56:26

DS (14ms) has:

toddler ready meals (at childminders)
spaghetti hoops
tinned ravioli
pizza (loves pizza)
pastries- inc Greggs

And he was weaned on baby tins. He prefered the texture and was getting most of his nourishment from breastmilk so I was "Meh" about the supposed health risks

Safmellow Sun 06-Oct-13 21:01:49

Ha also just remembered, I had nicotine tainted breastmilk, formula and tins for the first year of my life (no fresh solids at all!) and still alive with all my teeth and faculties grin

GangstersLoveToDance Sun 06-Oct-13 21:02:10

Ready flavoured cous cous
Spinach tortellini
Packet ham in sarnies
Fish fingers or boil in the bag fish/parsley s
Tinned tuna/salmon/sardines

I suppose bread/cheese/cereal (although I don't think of them as 'as' processed)

They do have treats which are obv processed - sweets/crisps/choc etc.
I think that's it really

Elarmarama Sun 06-Oct-13 21:04:05

DS 18mnths eats whatever we eat except for alcohol, hotter spicy food and caffeine though is partial to the odd sip of black coffee once in a while

We almost always cook from scratch in the evening with more processed stuff at lunchtime and eat a very varied diet. He's allergic to pistachios and cashews but otherwise nothing is off limits. If we have a piece of cake, crisps, sausage roll or (on rare occasions) fizzy drink, E number filled ice lolly or fast food meal he has some too. I'd say he has something like that most days but also loves veg and would probably pick fruit over chocolate.

You called?

Thurlow Sun 06-Oct-13 21:11:16

I feel your pain, safmellow. I've finally, finally got my dad onside in understanding what is and isn't the kind of food I'd like DC to eat.

So far she's not really had much chocolate and has yet to work out how amazing it is. I'd like it to stay like this for as long as possible before the inevitable happens.

So no, mum, can you please stop handing her an entire Tunnocks Caramel Wafer...

TattyDevine Sun 06-Oct-13 21:14:26

Smoked salmon (erring on the edge of not processed but at the end of the day it is - but packed full of nutrition)
Bread (the original fast food, lets face it!)
Fish fingers, the occasional nuggets, chicken dippers
Oven chips, occasionally
McDonalds, after swimming about once a fortnight

You could go really hardcore if you look up the Paleolithic diet and say anything that isn't in its totally natural form is processed, including milled grains etc - (sorry haven't read all replies so sorry if someone has already covered this).

So orange juice...porridge with milk...anything with polyunsaturated fats...legumes, grains....

Yes, that's taking it pretty far.

You can't really argue that pasteurised homogenised milk isnt' processed either. But once again, taking it to the extreme of the argument.

So in the spirit of the thread, my first list sums up most. I don't like "frankenfats" (I cant' believe its not butter and its ilk) - whereas canned tomatoes, the odd jar of this or that (even though they probably contain some of said frankenfats!) and whatnot get through. I'm not a food police. I don't do frubes, but have a secret midnight penchant for green mini babybells (the processed goat ones!) mmmmmgoaty goaty goaty....

TattyDevine Sun 06-Oct-13 21:15:42

Oh, they have biscuits and sweets too sometimes, though not crisps (I dont' eat them so forget to buy them) but they love fruit and my daughter is a salad freak (tomatoes and cucumbers particularly) so things kind of even out a bit I find

BloodshotDays Sun 06-Oct-13 21:16:47

Fish fingers are one of DD's favourite foods!

otherwise, baked beans, the occasional oven pizza on lazy/poorly days... I don't think anyone can be expected to make amazing 'from scratch' meals every day of the week. I doubt it does harm!!

TattyDevine Sun 06-Oct-13 21:17:03

Oh hell I had a pot noodle the other morning and it was devine. Filthy dirty devine. But the children have not partaken of. Yet.

My name came about when my HV was reassuring me during PNanxiety. Fishfingers are OK. Fresh fish, packed in boxes and frozen. Then they are perfect rectangles to cut up and coat.

I used to feel I was failing as "ubermum" to not cook from scratch. DCs ate what we ate. Trouble is we were on quite a low-fat, low carbs diet. My DCs started eating like horses for weeks - HV laughed and said "Fish, then need cake, and crumble and apple pie and custard. They need bread and potatoes. They need fat in their diet".

Sure enough, added in the custard (tinned) crumbles, more fat and carbs and their eating "calmed down".

They are now 5 & 7. I am less anxious. They have eaten all manner of take-aways Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, curry. They have had <secretly shudders> candy floss and toffee apples. Pasta 'n' Sauce and supernoodles (whilst camping). Ready meal Mac n Cheese (Waitrose though, naturally grin). Haribo. Blue bubblegum flavoured ice lollies<boak>, vimto double boak>. There have been teas served of chocolate spread on toast. I cannot give you my DS's favourite sandwich combination as it is so grim and individual it would out me.

Most things are cooked from scratch. But nor when we are on holiday. Or the odd occasions when opening a tin of Heinz ravioli and serving with some brocolli and toast is all I have time for (they love that),

They are fit, healthy and wonderful. Fishfingers Are OK. grin

DeathMetalMum Sun 06-Oct-13 21:18:23

Fish fingers
Tinned beans/spaghetti
Tinned soup
Jar curry sauce
Chicken dippers/nuggets/etc
Fish cakes
Oh and Ham dd asks for a ham sandwhich every bloody day for lunch doesn't get it though.

Dd has probably at one time had most proccessed food but we generally have one easy meal a week which could be any combination of the above. If we have take away so does dd, and she only drinks water at home.

TattyDevine Sun 06-Oct-13 21:20:58

btw mine are older (6 and 4). My not quite 2 year old niece has never had a biscuit, chocolate, etc. Her treat is soda water with a squeeze of orange instead of normal water. She has avocado on homemade sourdough made from my brothers 7 year old sourdough starter (they grow up so fast!!!) but you could argue that's STILL processed, for perspective!!!

Can't wait to slip her a twix when her parents aren't looking at Xmas

Only kidding wink a bit

TattyDevine Sun 06-Oct-13 21:23:31

Just to bang on a bit further, how hard is it to get grass fed beef?! Hard! You could even take the argument to the extent that any non wild fish or any grain fed (or formula fed, in essence) meat packed with hormones and antibotics is processed, in a sense. God knows where that line should be drawn!

SeaSickSal Sun 06-Oct-13 21:27:41

19 months.

He has:

Scotch eggs
Mini pork pies
Alphabeti spaghetti
Baked beans
And he has froot shoots once a week as a treat (shame)
Haddock goujons

He has a lot of home made food. But I don't beat myself up if not everything is cooked from scratch. Convenience food has its place.

LegoCaltrops Sun 06-Oct-13 21:32:51

In terms of processed food, my DD, who is 17m, eats:
Bread (wholemeal or white)
Ham (naice or cheap)
Sausages - we do try & get good ones without lots of nasty stuff in.
Baked beans (we let her have about a spoonful, without too much sauce)
Own-brand 'ready-brek' type fortified instant porridge.
Occasionally, a tiny smear of decent marmalade or peanut butter.
Margarine if we have run out of butter.

she will eat almost any veg & is obsessed with cherry tomatoes & cucumbers, & fruit generally. So I salve my conscience by serving some of those with every meal. She doesn't get sweets, chocolate, squash etc & I'm fairly strict about foods with unnecessary added sugar in. If I wouldn't eat it, she doesn't (I don't have a sweet tooth).

But, we do make the majority of our, and her food from scratch as much as possible. We are also careful about counting her salt intake on days when she has anything processed.

LordElpuss Sun 06-Oct-13 22:15:59

if one more person uses the phrase "cook from scratch" I swear I will combust.

JerseySpud Sun 06-Oct-13 22:21:33

DD1 : what ever the fuck she will actually eat

DD2: Whatever i'm eating.

ChipAndSpud Sun 06-Oct-13 22:31:41

Lots of homemade meals, but convenience foods/processed foods would be

Peanut butter
Baked beans

Generally breakfast is cereal with milk, a banana as a mid morning snack, a home cooked meal such as chilli con carne for dinner, biscuits or rice cakes as a mid afternoon snack and a sandwich or toast for tea with more fruit and some yoghurt.

Loopylala7 Sun 06-Oct-13 23:59:10

Just wanted to say that I'm loving this thread, makes me feel normal! Fish fingers and beans on toast are a staple in our home

Retroformica Mon 07-Oct-13 04:33:37

Sorry I think most of your food listed is crap op and too wheat based. Even your pasta filled shapes is probably rubbish white flour. Why not change to wholemeal?

I think you need to take this as an opportunity to learn to cook basic wholesome stuff. It's a great skill to have and in the long term will make a huge difference to their general eating habits.

Never really bothered with fish fingers, quiche, filled pasta, sausages and other processed stuff with our little ones. We just served them what we ate - so homemade curry, lumpy homemade soups, chilli etc. quick meals tended to be omelette with veg, jacket potato with mackerel/salmon/cod and salad etc. My boys are amazing eaters and the opposite of fussy.

Sirzy Mon 07-Oct-13 05:59:01

My son is an amazing eater and the "opposite of fussy" even with the odd bit of processed food in his diet.

As part of a balanced diet then there is no problem with some processed food.

finncotta Mon 07-Oct-13 06:06:37

The only processed food we eat is baked beans occasionally. Unless you count things like the odd kitkat?

Processed food is full of salt and tastes horrible! I wouldn't eat it myself or feed it to my dcs.

It's very easy to make a homemade pizza with fresh tomato sauce, for example, and it tastes so, so much better than a ready-made one.

We don't eat meat or fish so I guess that immediately cuts down the amount of processed food consumed.

Thurlow Mon 07-Oct-13 07:25:35

Thanks, retroformica, but ironically all the 'crap' listed above is what I eat myself. In fact, if I fed DC just what I ate, that would be one very badly fed baby who never saw a piece of fruit from one day to the next grin

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 07-Oct-13 07:29:59

This thread was going so well, and was so non-judgmental.... In fact, I was wondering if I'd stepped out of mumsnet and into another site....

SoupDragon Mon 07-Oct-13 07:33:54

My boys are amazing eaters and the opposite of fussy

Which is mostly down to luck.

Chunderella Mon 07-Oct-13 08:27:38

DD is 14 months and tbh doesn't really get given anything processed. Previously bread, although she can't manage a great deal of it, but we have a bread maker now. DH and I both like cooking and I have time to do it, so it makes sense. We're also lucky that we have family who grow loads of stuff (we have a few bits but not much) so DD has been able to spend the summer troughing on that. Saying that, she's helped herself to a few processed things that DH and I have been eating. Including most of a croissant the other day, to my chagrin!

Oh, and I agree that fishfingers are ok. but she doesn't! I tried her with some- breading my own fish is where I draw the line- but she wouldn't have them. I had to eat them instead, sadly.

Chunderella Mon 07-Oct-13 08:48:54

Actually are naice sausages considered processed? I got a job lot from the butcher on the cheap the other week, and DD had some. We also did baby rice for a few days at the start of weaning.

gordyslovesheep Mon 07-Oct-13 08:54:18

If I ignore one or two posts this thread is a refreshingly unjudgy treat

bigkidsdidit Mon 07-Oct-13 08:55:51

Mine doesn't have that much, I have a bread maker and I have to cook for DH and I as we are low carbing, which doesn't lend itself to ready meals. I like cooking too and don't buy pasta sauce etc because they're so expensive and Easy to make. But DS does have those pre filled tortellini from sainsburys once or twice a week, squash, and a mini chocolate bar a couple of times a week. Also petit filous at the childminders and fish fingers at his granny's.

SamHamwidge Mon 07-Oct-13 09:01:43

I can't honestly see what is wrong with most of these foods! Esp things like fishcakes. Chips are just potatoes and oil (I know you have to watch salt)

I think if I let her DD 23 months would happily drink coffee too, she always wants a bit if I am having one same with red wine but I have only literally let her have 1drop off my finger

It's a myth they only like bland foods

ringaringarosy Mon 07-Oct-13 09:20:08

i actually find with mine the more strong the flavours are the more they like it,we dont really eat anything bland.

I disagree that having good eaters is down to luck,nothing is down to luck.

ringaringarosy Mon 07-Oct-13 09:23:33

i find with first children you are more fussy about what they eat,dc1 didnt have any chocolate or crisps or anything like that til he was 3,the others were 2 and 1 by then and they were the same,but dc4 is 1 on wednesday and ha salready had ice cream,pombears and chocolate buttons!His older siblings give them t him and tbh i dont really mind,he eats really well the rest of the time.

BrightSunshineyDay Mon 07-Oct-13 09:44:19

I think a lot of it is down to luck. I have 3 DC. All are given the same meals, snacks etc. One DC is incredibly picky and would survive on toast if it was down to him, one DC will eat the perfect diet, the other DC changes his tastes on a say to day basis.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 07-Oct-13 11:17:53

It is very much down to luck and personality type!

Sirzy Mon 07-Oct-13 11:20:51

I can't honestly see what is wrong with most of these foods

me either, and I think most parents feel the same.

Its all about balance and overall diet.

Thurlow Mon 07-Oct-13 12:06:17

I think it's mostly luck too.

Obviously it helps if you a) introduce a wide variety of foods, tastes and textures, b) if you limit the amount of high sugar, fat or salt foods (because most people are going to prefer them!) and c) if you're able to vaguely win any battle of wills over whether your child will eat what's in front of them.

But much of it is going to be simply down to your child's personal tastes and preferences.

I will admit DD doesn't have the best diet. She is amazingly fussy but I keep offering her things. She point blank refuses fresh fruit and I have to hide vegetables. She's also gone right off meat (DH jokingly says I've been secretly influencing her - I'm vegetarian) She is nearly 3 and ate a bit of cooked carrot yesterday...I'm so pleased!!

Just goes to show though that parenting isn't the only influence on diet as me and DH are both really good cooks and we eat a really good diet. DD just won't try things. My tactic is to not make a big deal and keep offering her stuff...I can't force her to eat things, and I don't want to make meal-times a battle.

She even bit a strawberry the other week...she spat it straight out, but just getting her to TRY something is a revelation.

She loves things like fish-fingers and chips, so I try and make that as healthy as I can and just keep offering her healthier things as well.

ringaringarosy Mon 07-Oct-13 12:52:41

theres no such thing as luck!!!!!!!

ringaringarosy Mon 07-Oct-13 12:55:37

obviously you can do the same thing with 2 children and have two different outcomes,but not in extremes.

And i say this as someone who has 4 and does give processed foods,daily,i dont see how you can avoid it,espescially when you are counting things like bread as processed,i mean i know bread is a processed food as it doesnt grow on trees does it smile but when someone says processed to me i think fish fingers,crisps etc.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 07-Oct-13 12:58:20

No. You're absolutely right.

The fact that my DS has food issues is totally down to me. Please excuse me whilst I self-flagellate.

(There's always a couple who feel the need to rock up on this kind of thread isn't there)

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 07-Oct-13 13:00:59

obviously you can do the same thing with 2 children and have two different outcomes,but not in extremes.

Really? Gosh, you'd better start getting that message out to the masses because it seems like an awful lot of people don't realise that and have forced their children to have different personalities.

Rowanred Mon 07-Oct-13 13:07:08

Dd has cooked meats ( I do roast a ham myself but buy chorizo and pre-sliced turkey).
An occasional m&s baby ready meal.
And bread- all sorts

I don't think she has anything else processed. I won't let her have anything breaded ( like fish fingers or chicken nuggets) as I think it puts them off the taste of real food.

I make pasta sauce myself. Although actually thinking , she does have pesto from a jar occasionally too!

And she does have cake/ chocolate sometimes if we're meeting friends. And if we are at a restaurant or someone else's house I dont care what she has. I just don't buy stuff at home I don't want her to eat.

Thurlow Mon 07-Oct-13 13:12:06

Rowanred, yes, very much I just don't buy stuff at home I don't want her to eat. That's what we do. Obviously I'm in the great conglomerate of people giving their kids 'crap' to eat (wink) some mealtimes, but I just don't have cake, crisps, any bicuits bar malted milk (and those only for an emergency, really) in the house as it's easier. So you weigh off one 'bad' thing with another.

You can kind of see from this thread that people are doing that. Some posters seem to have healthier meals than I might make, but allow more snacks. Both seem perfectly normal to me.

Rowanred Mon 07-Oct-13 13:30:11

Yes I think it balances out. I think baked beans are actually quite healthy are they not? I don't buy them because I don't like them!

Shop bought sauces are normally really high in salt- pasta ones are easily replicated in 20 mins with a can of chopped tomatoes and curry based ones you just need a tin of coconut milk with a little curry paste. I make really spicy curry but just put 2 spoons of yogurt in dd's to make it milder!

LordElpuss Mon 07-Oct-13 14:00:49

Ignore 'em, Randall. I have the nicest natured daughter on earth thanks to my superior parenting and she refuses to eat anything other than a very basic, processed diet. I'm not happy about it but doctor has told me not to worry. She is very sporty and I think it will all sort itself out at some point.

JRmumma Mon 07-Oct-13 14:37:25

Just wondering how you define a processed food? You could include almost everything you buy in a supermarket. Someone will come along in a minute and say they wouldn't dream of buying food from a ghastly supermarket though.

Some people's definition of cooking from scratch is a packet of mince plus a jar of pasta sauce is a home made spag bol (and one of my friends even classes a pizza from the chiller rather than the freezer as fresh food!).

Honestly people, lets chill out. Obviously we should be trying to limit salt and sugar intake, and get plenty of fruit and veg into our kids. But other than that, if we do our best and have a relatively good diet ourselves then they will survive!

Chunderella Mon 07-Oct-13 14:46:26

Baked beans have many positives but they do also contain a lot of salt. You can get low salt, but as well as being less tasty I'm not very keen on low salt, low sugar, low fat stuff. Too often the manufacturers just put worse crap in to replace what they take out! But ultimately, children need minimal salt not zero salt, so there's room for baked beans in a healthy diet.

Interested to read the posts from people who have taken the big leap and banned crap from the house entirely. DH and I have been toying with this but we don't think we have the willpower! It's going to become an issue soon though.

LordElpuss Mon 07-Oct-13 14:56:31

Would a life without chocolate, Eve's pudding etc be rather ... meh (for want of a better word)?

SoupDragon Mon 07-Oct-13 15:30:31

obviously you can do the same thing with 2 children and have two different outcomes

And it is "luck" as to what sort of eater you get. Obviously "luck" doesn't exist as an actual thing but as a concept.

MummyPig24 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:13:35

I'm not going to worry about a few processed foods in what is an essentially Healthy diet. It's about balance and being sensible, not being militant and banning all sorts of things.

lifeinthefastlane1 Mon 07-Oct-13 17:41:34

these threads make me lol, I feed my DD food of the devil all the time, yes thats right all the time, I cant cook and shes a faddy eater, if she didnt eat FF, beans, scrambled egg and other convenience food she wouldnt eat at all, BTW I have two grown up children who happily survived my terrible kitchen and convenience foods with no adverse reactions at all! give yourselves a break as long as they are alive, not overweight and functioning fairly well, you're doing ok, its not worth the bloody hassle and stress if its not something you normally do, guess what ? we are having hotdogs for tea grin) (must admit glad DD is now staying school dinners makes me feel less terrible mother re-food lol)

IShallCallYouSquishy Mon 07-Oct-13 17:47:38

DD didn't have beans on toast for dinner. Oh no. Not at all wink

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 07-Oct-13 21:26:03

Lastnight after reading this, mine had spaghetti hoops on toast! grin they were over the moon. They also had cubes of cheese, slices of cucumber and lots of cherry tomatoes, oh and strawberries for pudding. Bad balanced out by good! wink

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 07-Oct-13 21:26:33

Ahem, wholemeal toast of course.

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