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DD is totally bored of the food I give her. Can someone help me please? :(

(52 Posts)
mumat39 Sat 08-Sep-12 12:21:29

I've posted here before for help with feeding my DD who has multiple allergies. So apologies if I sound like a stuck record sad

She'll be 5 this week and so far she has lived on the same old meals day in day out and has now got to the stage where she is just bored of them. Mealtimes have become somewhat of a battle as she really doesn't seem to enjoy what she's eating.

She (and DS) won't eat potatoes unless it's a packet of crisps. Even if I've tried cooking a casserole with potatoes in it she won't eat it. My DS is the same. I'm funnt with potatoes so don't force the issue, not that I would know how to really.

In terms of what they eat, I make a basic meat dish with mince lamb, or mince beef cooked with a homemade chicken stock, and they have that with either rice or GF/WF pasta. Occasionally they're happy with burgers made from the mince, but they end up quite dry so they're not so keen on them. Again they'll have these dry with either rice or pasta. Or Helen Brownings sausages with plain rice, which is dry but they like it. I did try these with mccain oven chips but they just didn't eat the chips so I tried them with rice and they ate them. They have a variety of fruit purees, fresh fruit, yeotubes yogurt, GF/WF bread, conrflakes, rice kripies, and some veg but that is about it. I haven't ever tried fish as I have a bad allergy to it and the smell makes me feel unwell sad

I need some help with food ideas. Please.

DD is allergic to Wheat, Eggs, Tree Nuts, Legumes (incl. Peanuts, Soya, ChickPeas, Lentils, Mung Beans, Kidney Beans, Peas so I avoid them all), Sesame, Rapeseed Oil, Kiwi,celery plus some others) It's a long list and no matter how many cookery books or blogs I look through, there is always something in the majority of recipes that she can't have. And I'm not a very good cook so simply replacing the ingredient with a safer alternative, doesn't work for me.

DD has also just started reception and the only 'safe' school meal option was jacket potatoes with cheese. She won't eat this so I'm also having to think about what to send in for her lunch. I must admit I'm worried that the school will think badly of me if I end up sending the same foods everyday but I'm more concerned that DD needs more variety. I can't really make sandwiches as the bread she eats is fine toated but really doesn't work well at all for sandwiches. It's the Ener-G Gluten Free Loaf and is the only one I've found that she can have.

It's also her birthday this week so am also starting to think about her party next weekend and haven't got a clue what to do for a cake. sad

I really am stuck so if anyone can help me again with some ideas, that would be great.

Many Thanks in advance again smile

gymboywalton Sat 08-Sep-12 12:29:51

what about chicken? what about chips made from parsnips or swede?
what about stir fry? you can get gf noodles-chicken and veg fried up with some spices.

is there a good cookery book you could get ideas from?

gymboywalton Sat 08-Sep-12 12:32:45

you can use olive could also make a fake southern fried chicken type thing-use gf flour and olive oil with chicken pieces.

roast dinner minus the potatoes[although i would keep encouraging them]

gymboywalton Sat 08-Sep-12 12:34:28

looking at the list it looks like dairy is ok so you could use cheese to add moisture and flavour to things couldn't you?

what about pork? nice roast pork is very tasty

gymboywalton Sat 08-Sep-12 12:35:53

got to say my kids don't eat anof these -Peanuts, Soya, ChickPeas, Lentils, Mung Beans, Kidney Beans, Peas !!!!!

the egg and the wheat are the really difficult things arne't they? i know gluten is in so many things

TheWonderfulFanny Sat 08-Sep-12 12:39:43

Have a look at for ideas, especially the meat dishes as these don't generally have legumes. Lots of sauces too, although these may be in the book more. Are almonds a tree nut? If safe, then lots of a almond flour recipes for treats.

And don't be afraid to try random substitutes for ingredients - it's the only way to learn!

littleducks Sat 08-Sep-12 12:41:50

It sounds a little bland. Could you not make a curry and rice? Either when veg or meat. Marinade chicken then grill?

For packed lunch how about soup in a flask?

RancerDoo Sat 08-Sep-12 12:42:02

What about stir fry (chicken, baby corn, tomatoes, peppers, veg) and rice noodles?

Or a paella type thing (rice, tomtoes, saffron, peppers, prawns, greens, stock)

I think you can buy wheat free pizza bases, so you could let her put her own toppings on (and this could go to school in her packed lunch)

Maz007 Sat 08-Sep-12 16:24:40

We do a 'Greek lamb' which is like the filling for a moussaka and serve it with rice. Might be a little different but not too much? Fry up lamb mince with onion, garlic and thyme and oregano. Then add cinnamon, allspice, stock (wine if for grown ups smile ), tinned tomatoes and simmer for 45 mins. Apologies if I've missed an ingredient that's off limits... I know how annoying and heart-sinky that can be...

mumat39 Sat 08-Sep-12 22:49:31

Thanks everyone for all your replies.

Gymboywalton (love the name) re the southerfried chicken, is it just a case of seasoning the flour and popping it into the oven? I've tried cooking chicken legs in the oven just sprinkled with oilve oil, but it often is still pink if i cook it for the time stated on the pack. If I cook it more it seems to still be pink but dries out so tastes a bit like eating bits of carpet.

Thanks for your other suggestions too. smile She'll eat cold grated cheese but isn't so keen if it's melted sad And the roast dinners haven't ever gone down so well and she won't eat sauces ( like I say my cooking is a bit bleugh). It makes the meals quite dry and so she just doesn't eat it.

You're right about the wheat and egg thing. I don't know if she is gluten intolerant but it's the only bread that doesn't have wheat or gluten in. She had her first reaction to a baby rusk at 6.5 months so almost as soon as we weaned her from baby rice. SInce then she's managed to eat the bland food ok and seems to be growing ok, but the last few days has just been such a battle. She'll eat a plate of plain boiled rice happily.

TheWonderful, she has to avoid all nuts including almonds unfortunately sad. I have looked at the intolerant gourmet site before and it's lovely but I can't remember seeing that much she could have. I'll have another look though so thanks for the reminder. smile Also thanks for the tip about just trying things. There was a time that I used to love baking and cooking but having lived in fear of food for the last 4.5 years has really knocked my confidence. DD's dietician says thing like 'just have a go, it's easy' so I do and usually it's such a waste of time and food that the majority of the stuff I've made ends up in the food bin as it's just unedible.

Littleducks, it is very bland. sad The curry is a good idea. I grew up on indian food so was really looking forward to using spices and cooking with familiar ingredients, but with seeds being an issue I'm just a bit scared to try. I've even tried to find seeds that I can grind at home myself, but all the packs I've ever found have the usual nut or wheat warnings. Also I forgot to add that DD can't have ginger. That's a new addition to her long list of allergens and I always forget it. blush The marinade chicken sounds good. I'll have to find a recipe. Thanks you.

Rancer, is it possible to do a stir fry without bean sprouts? Sorry if that's a daft question, but I've only ever cooked the pre packed stuff and it always has loads of beansprouts in it which DD can't have due to the flippin legume allergy.
I'm very allergic to shell fish although could eat prawns many years ago. I basically avoid the highly allergenic foods with DD as thats what we've been advised to do. I'll have a look for the wheat free pizza bases. Ener-g do some but I think they have guar gum in them so I'm a bit nervous about that, again due to the legume allergy. Thank you though for all your tips too smile

Maz, that sounds rather yummy. Thank you. I wonder if it's possible to get nut and wheat free spices. Ginger's a bit of a bugger to be honest as I love it. But hey ho. Thanks for your reply too. smile

Does anyone know of a good basics book about cooking? I have an old delia book, but it's SO wordy that I struggle with it. I think I can follow recipes ok, it's just the substituting that I'm rubbish at.

Thanks again though for all your help. I hope you're all having a good weekend smile

trixymalixy Sat 08-Sep-12 23:53:26

My kids love pizzas made with tortillas as the base. You could use the corn tortillas, I think they are gluten free as my SIL eats them, but better check.

The kids love making ten themselves. Spoon some passata on and let them spread it themselves, then have bowls of toppings. My kids have sweetcorn, olives, tuna, pepperoni etc and cheese/soya cheese.

They are also good cold for lunch boxes.

My kids also love pies. I make chicken pie filling with cooked chicken and sweetcorn, make a roux with butter and gluten free flour and add chicken. Stick to make a sauce. I'm sure you can get gluten free puff pastry, you put the main pie topping on and get the kids to cut out shapes with cookie cutters to put on top.

I find they are more interested in eating it if they have helped make it.

NotGeoffVader Sun 09-Sep-12 00:01:39

Sorry if I am suggesting things that may cause allergies but have you tried polenta? It comes in a pack with full cooking instructions, or you can buy it already made and just grill or fry it.

Also was wondering if potatoes are a no-go, would sweet potatoes work? Or yam? Or butternut squash? Sweet potatoes are great scrubbed/peeled, and roasted. I use butternut squash to 'bulk' things out - if you shove it in a stew or a curry it dissolves but thickens it all up.

I don't eat meat so can't offer any suggestions really but I wonder if you have tried cooking your chicken on a lower temperature for a little longer, and wrapped in foil?

I have a friend who eats gluten-free, and one who is egg-free. I have bought egg replacer and used that for her (health food shop sells it), but I don't know whether it contains any 'banned' foods. I can't find the packet at the moment, so if it sounds interesting, let me know, and I'll check it out tomorrow.

Also, not sure if Tofu would be any good? Its from a soya bean, so probably not, thinking about it sad

trixymalixy Sun 09-Sep-12 00:04:04

[[ this recipe has some good reviews. Why don't you give it a try with Dove's flour?

Have you tried risotto. My kids love chicken and butternut squash risotto.

trixymalixy Sun 09-Sep-12 00:04:45

try the link again!

trixymalixy Sun 09-Sep-12 00:13:30

And Betty Crocker icing is your friend. It comes in chocolate as well, or you can add food colouring/flavouring to the vanilla one.

TheWonderfulFanny Sun 09-Sep-12 00:20:49

egg replacer is generally potato starch iirc - but check ingredients for other baddies

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 09-Sep-12 00:34:31

Definitely NOT tofu.

littleducks Sun 09-Sep-12 00:40:12

I can see why you would avoid ground spices but maybe try a simpler fresh curry recipe. So just fry onions, garlic (add meat and brown) then green chilli and tomatoes then once you have a sauce add veg and simmer away. Then season with salt, fresh herbs if you like them.

It sounds like you are an inexperienced cook, maybe a book like Jamie's ministry of food would help you with techniques and then you could become more confident to tweak recipes. You have my sympathy though must be exhausting trying to be imaginative with such a long list to be avoided.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Sun 09-Sep-12 01:08:34

my dd is not a bread lover, and likes to have a little of lots, if that makes sence.

her Lunch box is very similar most days as are most childrens I imagine, I doubt very much anyone notices. so long as they are fed happy and have enough to fill thier littlen tummies and fuel thier brains.

dd has in her lunch box any of the following.

mini bread sticks (asda glutin free) or rice cakes, pitta and/or cheese
grapes, cucimber and tomatoes or a little satsuma or melon
meat. cooked chicken, beef, pork sandwich meat, salami, ham
little box of raisns
ceral bar, harvest or little pack of cow biscuits
crisps, hulahoops, mini cheders.
a little tub filled with humus.
sometimes she will have a wrap filled with meat and cucumber. (nont know if wraps or pitta are glutin free or if you can get free ones.

toasting the bread and allowing it to go cold before buttering may work with a sandwick in her lunch box, that way it will not go soggy

For main meals.

start the chicken you cook off on a very high heat and say 180 then reduce to a lower heat say 150, in my experience chicken can often double cooking time or need to add a good 20 degrees to heat.

pan fying untill browned before going in the oven oftyen helps.

mild chilli/spag boll, just flavour with a little garlic, turmeric and paprika to get that chilli flavour.

mince and pasta with cheese on the top. use carrots or sweet pt to enhance the sauce, cook it down untill the finly diced sweet pot has disintegrated.

lamb or chicken curry, flaovour with fenigreek, lime, garlic, turmeric and creme freche and/or a tin of tomatoes to get that curry flavour with little heat. also works with sweet pot or butternit squash and green beans or prawns prawns and mix spinache in athe end, pinnaple is lovely with chicken or prawn.

my dd hates chips or potatoes so often just has extra veg. she will eat a little mash, but she adores parmasan potatoes. my own creation, dice the potatoes up into cubes an inch or less, par boil untill tender but firm, allow to cool then toss in a fair handfull of parmasan cheese and a smiggen of marmite (optional marmite) and place on a pre heated oiled baking tray, cook at a very high heat 180 to 190 for around 15 mins, shaking half way through.

basic rissoto with a choice of veg

basic paella with a choice of veg.

any meat in the slow cooker with an oxo cube a mix of herbs and a slugg of wine, red for red meat and white for white meats. served with either a large helping of veg and crusty bread or rice, pasta or potatoes.

home made soup of any variety, use a veg or chicken stock as a base and add anything to bulk or thicken from lentills, meat, carrots, potatoes, veg, rice, pasta. experiment!!

sausages and green lentills, very simple and cheep. cook sausages under grill or in pan, cook green lentils from a tin is easier but dries is cheeper, mix in a tin of tomatoes or a dash of wosterchetire sauce, a sprinkle of sugar and some diced carrots, a little water stodgy. serve sausages over the top.

|I wpould recomend looking for a bsic five ingredient cook book and ause this a basis and experiment with what you fancy.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Sun 09-Sep-12 01:18:21

another tip, if they do not eat something new, do not thorw it away and feel deflated. eat it your self with the children at the table and if they dont eat it, that is fine do not stress. perservere with a new food untill they try it. It can often take over three or four times of introducing a new food before a child will even try eat and then a consistent number of servings before they will enjoy or apprciate it. especially if they are as apprehensive over new foods due to dietry needs.

I have made some obismal creations, we often resort to ice creme or bread and jam or something more yummy when a food creation has gone wrong. I will still attempt it again untill we all feel it is perfected.

involve your children and be excited your self sabout foods, get them to be the testers before the final creation is served up. it can be fun.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Sun 09-Sep-12 01:19:22


RancerDoo Sun 09-Sep-12 10:24:55

You can absolutely do stir fry without beansprouts (disgusting things). Chicken in a pan or wok with oil until coloured, chuck in spring onions, carrots, whatever other veg you fancy. I'd normally flavour with some soy sauce but that is out for you, so maybe a little chinese rice wine?

TheWicketKeeperIsDown Sun 09-Sep-12 11:22:46

I have 2 allergy recipe books I can recommend.

The Allergy-free cookbook by Alice Sherwood, which has a few variants of each recipe depending on which allergen you're avoiding.

How to Cook for Food Allergies is written by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, who is a mum of allergic children and was a chef. She's done a really helpful section on substitution - the function of each allergen in various types of recipes, to help you choose which substitution is right for that dish.

gymboywalton Sun 09-Sep-12 20:47:57

might also be an idea to do a simple cookery course-just to get your confidence back?

PineappleBed Sun 09-Sep-12 20:57:06

Could you do her a cool jelly instead of a cake for a birthday? My friend got a mould for her DD's birthday with her age and name on it. Could do layers of different coloured jelly.

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