I'm trying to cook one family meal a day but 6 year old is so fussy! Any advice pls?

(18 Posts)
Jemster Mon 20-Jan-14 14:38:52

I wanted to start the new year with better intentions towards my family's meals. I want to start meal planning and trying to cook more from scratch, although I am not the best cook so I don't find this easy!

I'm finding it hard already as ds who is 6 has got really fussy and would happily eat pasta & sauce every day! He doesn't like much veg, and it's worrying me he's not getting a balanced diet. I also have dd who is nearly 2 and she is not fussy but I'm worried if I limit what I make to suit ds she is going to miss out.

I'm trying to figure out how to make just one meal per day to suit all 4 of us. Can anything be reheated if me & dh don't want to eat it until later after dc in bed? I worry about reheating certain things eg chicken & rice.

I really want to get into a good routine and try my best to make my family eat healthily but so far it's just hard work trying to please everyone.

Please tell me what you do? I'm struggling.

antimatter Mon 20-Jan-14 14:45:08

I believe if your food is properly cooked to start with, cooled down on the, stored in air tight container in the fridge and then reheated once you have nothing to worry about
Make sure that temperature of your fridge is 4 C.
If you know you won't eat your food next day - freeze it.
Issues with contaminated rice comes I believe from when people keep rice in the warm kitchen for extended period of time.

You could whizz some veg into your ds sauce.

I used to have one rule with my kids from a very early age: Try something once. If you don't like it, I won't force you.

If they argued I would remind them - imagine you've never tried ice cream/chocolate/cake for the first time... grin

Doesn't he like no fruit at all?
Grapes, melon, watermelon?

youbethemummylion Mon 20-Jan-14 14:48:19

Family meals we have are lasagne, shepherds pie, mild chili and rice, sausage casserole, beef stew, toad in the hole etc. I never put veg in the shepherds pie etc just add them seperate to solve the fussy eater problem but they do have to at least try the veggies on the side. All can be reheated also I have some little individual casserole dishes so for shepherds pie etc I make 2 little individual ones for the kids and a big one to pop in the oven later for me an DH

liveinazoo Mon 20-Jan-14 14:50:53

I cant help on the meat front as veggie,but I would be very careful reheating rice as biggest cause food poisoning when not done properly!

could you blend a few veggies into the pasta sauce?chickpeas blitzed in add protein but go undetected..

if you have time to take him to a shop and pick a new food to try each week that's one way to give him a sense he has some control over what eating still<but try this 1 or that1 so he doesn't feel over whelmed>

I often make stew type meal and when the kids eat theirs pop a jacket potato into the oven and add my stew to warm through a bit later

raw veg with a dip sometimes go down better than cooked-its still add extra nutrients and variety

is there any particular reason he doesn't like some things?is it a taste or texture issue?

antimatter Mon 20-Jan-14 14:51:15

I just remembered - mine loved fruit kebabs, slices of banana, half of a grapa, small chunk of apple. They were more likely to eat that that separate fruit.
Do you have time to cook with your ds?
This helped my ds to educate him about food.

nicename Mon 20-Jan-14 14:52:49

Cook the 'main' bit separately (so fish, chicken, chops etc) and pop it on the table in a separate serving dishes with salad, rice, noodles, veggies, plate of bread, etc and get everyone to serve themselves. New food must be tried at least once!

Find some nice recipes for veggies - maybe creamed spinach, broccoli/cauli cheese, orange glazed carrots...

Or do what my mum did - everything was chicken (no mum, we KNOW it's actually liver and onions!)

antimatter Mon 20-Jan-14 14:53:32
frugalfuzzpig Mon 20-Jan-14 14:54:12

Have you tried getting him involved with cooking? It can be more effort especially at first but it's working well with my DS. He's trying stuff he wouldn't even touch before, because he made it and he's proud of himself! smile

frugalfuzzpig Mon 20-Jan-14 14:55:21

I'd never thought of blending chickpeas. What kind of things can they go in?

frugalfuzzpig Mon 20-Jan-14 14:55:43

What *other things

nicename Mon 20-Jan-14 14:56:53

Hummous, falafels... that's all I know to make with zizzed chickpeas. Whole, I make chickpea curry with them - yummy.

NigellasDealer Mon 20-Jan-14 14:57:47

i just wouldnt let my kid be 'fussy' if he doesnt like the family meal you have cooked then tough, he can go hungry. that will soon stop any 'fussiness'

Your DS sounds a bit like my DD2 (7 years old)

At every dinner time we have a bowl of cut up raw veg (crudites) on the table - carrots, red and yellow pepper (but not green, oh no), cucumber, celery etc, it varies, and here comes the cunning part - I get everyone to the table and then wait for a good 5 minutes before the hot food comes out. In that time DD2 eats enough of the nice crunchy stuff to give her several of her 5 a day.

I'm lucky though in that she is getting better - she will now eat cooked broccoli, green beans, peas, corn and carrots and sometimes asparagus.

nicename Mon 20-Jan-14 15:01:56

I find they go through phases - one day broccoli is the best thing on the face of the earth, next its raw carrot.

When serving, I put out the 'minimum' that I want eaten, and don't allow filling up with bread before the main is started.

It's better to predict and swerve dramas. I will put out the meat, some veggies, bowl of salad and slip in a little of something that may not be popular (something like kale or raddish). Its a 'clean plate' system here, so we don't have many problems (unless I forget and pile up the plates).

Phases - ain't that the truth nicename!

NigellasDealer Mon 20-Jan-14 15:04:40

that is a good idea hearts

liveinazoo Wed 22-Jan-14 13:48:23

maashed potato can have canelini or chickpeas added,esp if your little ones eat a little garlic in their mash along with the butterwink

I lob white beans in a lot of things blitzed,esp when they are poorly and aren't very hungry for extra nutrients-soups,veg mashes<one of mine will actually eat just mashed beans with a little garlic and butter convinced it is mash!grin>and pasta sauces being the most common but anything that needs a saucy texture could take them-might not work with stronger flavoured beans though so keep to the white coloured ones!
we also do beany balls-add blitzed can any bean to 12ozroot veg mash<carrot/sweet potato have never failed here>add little garlic and herbs if they accept them<we likepinch dry thyme>.add a spoonful flour to make a manageable mixture and using wet hands roll into balls size walnut.spray with oil and oven bake or in a fry pan til browned all sides

I like adding ground nuts or seeds/nut butter-just a spoonful for extra benefit<similar to falafel>

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 22-Jan-14 21:50:55

I have a fussy 6 yo too. Could you try new foods with a little of what you know he will eat?

One thing we do is I've asked my DC to choose their 2 most hated foods and promised that they will never be served but their part of the deal is that everything else has to be tried. So it seems to take out the worry for them, dd really can't stand baked beans so they were first on her list.

If they refuse to try anything we calmly remind them of their deal. We only had to for a while though, once they start to try things they seem to break the habit.

We also don't offer alternatives, so if a meal is refused, we assume they are not hungry and clear away when everyone else has finished eating.

I'd just do your meal plan, maybe include 2 meals you know he will definitely eat and one meal that is easy for you like jacket potatoes or takeaway.

Could you eat with the DC too? Seeing you enjoying your food really seems to help.

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