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Need a good children's cook book - feel terrible about my kid's eating and setting myself a challenge...

(22 Posts)
atthewelles Mon 11-Feb-13 13:41:35

Fay's Family Rood and Rachel Allens Easy Meals are both excellent. Very easy tasty recipes (particulary Fay Ripley's). My copy is much thumbed and splashed.

tt7488 Mon 11-Feb-13 09:52:57

Also word of encouragement - my sister who is 8 has always been the most horrendous eater. So fussy won't even try something she likes with something she likes (like a sauce on potato rather than pasta) but has recently made a big change. She is still quite fussy but really making an effort to try things and not hating everything. Although you obviously want to keep trying I keep the hope that kids eventually largely grow out of intense fussiness!

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sat 09-Feb-13 18:08:18

I have a couple of tana Ramsey books which are pretty good and lots of things childre. Could easily help make.

plipplops Sat 09-Feb-13 18:05:09

Hello again. Yes DH is fairly fussy, not crazily so but I'll eat anything. Will have a look at the River Cottage book.

Risotto: They both had one look and proclaimed it "disgusting". DD1 eventually tried a bit and after 5 mins thinking claimed it was a horizontal thumb (ie so-so) but that she didn't want any more. DD2 tried some and said she didn't like it.

With both that and the carbonara I'm going to keep serving them up once a week or so until they get used to it. Have also introduced a sticker reward system for general good behaviour so they're going to get rewarded through that for trying new things etc..

tt7488 Fri 08-Feb-13 10:43:28

PS how did risotto go?

tt7488 Fri 08-Feb-13 10:43:21

Nikki Duffy The River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook! I love it and my son who is only 1 even does bits and pieces of cooking with me.

I realise your DDs aren't toddlers but some of the recipes are really lovely and we eat them as a family.

PS poor poor you. I'm sure everyone else has said it but you mustn't feel like a failure! Eating is an absolute nightmare. I don't know anyone who hasn't at some point had a drama about it.

Don't give up! Also just by caring and wanting to take action you are doing a brilliant brilliant job!

Is DH fussy? My DH is so fussy and sometimes I think that can really transfer onto the kids. It is an obvious thing to say but don't let them ever see him turn his nose up at anything.

Also second the whole thing about making meals fun. And never losing temper around meal times etc so as to make your DDs think meal times are nice and exiciting, jolly chatting etc and not focusing so much on the food.

i'd also suggest never saying 'do you like this?' etc and not giving them lots of opportunities to say no. Just like you did with the mushroom carbonara, if they don't like something they don't have to have it but you aren't going to just abandon it from meals completely.

I have heard the book 'My Child Won't Eat' by Carlos Gonzalez is really good for advice.

plipplops Tue 05-Feb-13 17:06:13

Well that went rather well - nobody except me liked the mushrooms (and I had to pick them and the ham out of DD1s bowl before she would eat it) but I can handle that. They both said it was delicious, DD2 likes ham so was v happy eating that as well. They both have very mousy appetites so only ate a tiny bit but that's always the case, I'm really rather pleased thoughsmile Also got DD2 to help me cook which was nice although she did burn herself but lets not go into that.

Risotto on Thursday I think, let's see what they make of that...

plipplops Tue 05-Feb-13 16:07:19

OK so tonight I'm going to do pasta carbonara from the Netmums book - I figure they can pick out the mushrooms but they're going in as I like them! We're all eating early tea together and then going to parent's evening - will report back at how unenthusiastic they are!

StripeyBear Mon 04-Feb-13 13:59:21

oh dear - poor you - it's easy to get into bad habits and they can seem impossible to break.

I really recommend this book for you: You can buy it on Amazon secondhand for £2.79. It has healthy versions of food often served to children, like sausages and tomato ketchup.

I think you need to get back to basics- start with your diet - if you don't eat the sort of food you want your children to eat, there is no hope on earth that they will. Can't you start eating with your children - and get your husband to join in at weekends? Children copy, so they need a role model and if you do it often enough, they will join in (eventually).

It sounds like meal times have become a battle - that's bad news - you need to turn it into a pleasurable social experience that everyone looks forward to. as a short term measure I would be prepared to make 2 meals so that you don't end up with one screaming child. In the longer term you need to find more things you can agree on. Can you turn it into a game - let each of them choose something to make for dinner, and help shop for the ingreedients and make it. Everyone in the family can judge the end product and say whether they like it or not - that way they have to taste it smile

Have you thought about getting them interested in cooking by baking? I know it isn't what immediatley comes to mind when you think of healthy eating... but that recipe book I mentioned has a great chocolate brownie recipe - including nuts and high quality chocolate (not bad for you in appropriate quantities!), and a recipe for apple, oat muffins - which are far better than any crap you could buy in the shop ready made. But above all - I thnk you need to show them that food can be fun - so get them to make things for a picnic, for example, and take them to the Science Museum or wherever... or make brownies as a present to visit a friend with...

I think the most important thing is to make it fun and focus on getting happy diners, rather than worrying exactly how healthy the food is in the beginning.

Good luck smile

plipplops Mon 04-Feb-13 13:08:37

Thanks for all your thoughts - I've borrowed the JO Ministry of Food and the Netmums books off a friend. Going to try something new tonight I think - although maybe just a homemade pizza to get them in the mood of actually eating something made from ingredients as opposed to from a packet.

One question though - they don't eat any vegetables (occasionally they'll try a pea, and DD2 will have a few bites of lettuce). They pretty much always have something green on their plate that they ignore as I like to put it in front of them in case one day they feel like eating it. The thing is if I'm cooking from scratch and they see veg going in (even onion and garlic in tomato sauce base for pizza), I'm worried that will put them off even trying it as they think they won't like it. My usual plan would be to smuggle veg in but how do I do that whilst also trying to engage them in food and cooking?confused

wrenster Mon 04-Feb-13 06:55:24

I agree, My Daddy Cooks is great. Fay Ripley is also good and Good Food never fails to come up with a good meal!

Don't feel alone though, my kids are v fussy and even more so as they have got older. I reward them for trying something new and then slowly introduce it every week from then on until it's 'normal'. It requires lots of planning but I am determined to get the kids out of this fussy way of eating!

Good luck

gallicgirl Sun 03-Feb-13 22:07:35

My Daddy Cooks is brilliant.

Lovely meals for the whole family, easy to cook and easy for kids to join in.

You can even watch videos online to see how to do things if needed.

poachedeggs Sun 03-Feb-13 22:04:43

Jamie's Ministry of Food - I always recommend this book, much as the author irks me. Loads of pictures, not too much fannying around with weights and measures, nothing too exotic in there and it all actually works.

Good luck. Just make small changes and try not to stress, they won't die if they don't get their 5 a day tomorrow. Play the long game! smile

Chewbecca Sun 03-Feb-13 22:01:42

I like The River Cottage Family Cookbook.
The recipes are proper tasty recipes but are written so older children could follow and do by themselves. There are also lots of articles on meat, veg, where things come from etc. there's also making your own bacon and making your own butter which I found very interesting.
The pear and almond pudding cake is my favourite recipe from the book.

SilasGreenback Sun 03-Feb-13 21:56:04

I second the dinner lady books. Also the Tana Ramsey books are surprisingly good, as is Fay Ripleys book. I would try and get them from a library as you may find only a few will appeal to your dc.

Or look at the BBC Good Food website - has recipes and videos.

sharond101 Sun 03-Feb-13 21:23:04

This has lots of recipes for the whole family. We like the meatballs, enchiladas, sticky chicken sticky toffee pudding, pastas...

Charmingbaker Sun 03-Feb-13 15:40:11

How about Delia Smith? How to Cook is pretty comprehensive, nothing to complicated and full of dishes for all the family

oddslippers Sun 03-Feb-13 15:39:36

The dinner lady book is very good but probably not to encourage your children to cook. It does have lots of simple recipes though and shows you how to make things like chicken nuggets from scratch.

CaseyShraeger Sun 03-Feb-13 15:36:41

My Daddy Cooks is good.

Januarymadness Sun 03-Feb-13 15:36:16

Both of the cebeebies "I can cook" cookbooks are great and easy to follow.

I do sympathise, my two have very few meals they both like (pasta, pasta and more pasta). The Netmums cookbook is very good, according to Amazon it's out of print now but they have plenty of secondhand copies from other sellers. The only problem is that it is full of irritating quotes from the contributors. I think I must have got rid of mine in a fit of decluttering as it is not on the shelf, but I did get good use out of it for a few years.


plipplops Sun 03-Feb-13 15:25:42

DDs (4 & 5) are really fussy eaters. The only cooked things they'll both eat are fish fingers/chicken nuggets and potato smiles or pizza. Things one of them will eat (while the other cries and has nothing) are sausages, macaroni cheese, spag bol and egg on toast. I feel like a total failure and like I've really let them down.

SO, I want to try and push myself out of my comfort zone, get them involved and try something new. I was thinking of getting an appropriate cookbook and cooking something new out of it maybe 4 times a week, and hopefully getting some support from you guys not to mention some peer pressure to keep going when they're crying at the prospect of something new.

Can anyone recommend a good book please? I'm thinking good photo's to get them engaged, easyish recipes and nothing too out there for my v unadventurous children? I've really got to try and address this and would be really grateful for some support, thanks x

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