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Looking for new inspiration for DC's dinners. Ideas and recipes welcome!

(25 Posts)
CoffeeChocolateWine Fri 03-May-13 18:23:34

My DS (4) has recently started at pre-school from nursery. So lunches are now packed lunches rather than the proper cooked meals that he used to get at nursery and I'm doing all his hot meals at home.

I'm a decent cook and enjoy cooking, but DS is a bit fussy and I'm lacking inspiration for good, healthy but quickish (no more than 30-40mins) dinners for him. He'd live off fish fingers and pizza if he could. I keep recycling the same old dinners that I know he'll eat but I really want to try him on something new.

Please tell me what are your DC's favourite meals (sausages/fish fingers/pizza/spag bol aside!)?

nextphase Fri 03-May-13 19:46:54

wraps, stir fry, egg fried rice, macaroni cheese, lasagne if you want a spag bol variation, pasta with 101 toppings - tomatoes and prawns, salmon and pesto, chicken and roast veg (in a sauce), Jacket potatoes with cheese / beans / tuna. Omelettes.

What won't he eat? And what are your other dinners?

MyLifeIsStillChaotic Fri 03-May-13 19:51:05

Is it possible for you to eat together? Just serve him what you eat?

JohnnyDeppsfuturewife Fri 03-May-13 19:58:41

As well as the suggestions above my dds love mini toad in the holes. I batch cook them and freeze them. They also like savoury muffins cheese and ham, cheese and tomato etc. again you can batch cook them. They love finger foods so chicken satay. I make satay sauce with a mixture of peanut butter, mayonnaise, low salt soya sauce and water.

Dd1 helps me cook all of these (she's 4 too).

Cantdothisagain Fri 03-May-13 22:04:10

Fussy children here, too...

Fishcakes work well; also white fish fillets baked in a sauce made of crème fraiche and mature cheddar.

CoffeeChocolateWine Fri 03-May-13 22:49:45

Thanks for the suggestions, WIll definitely try the mini toad in the hole...I reckon he'd like that. And the savoury muffins...what do you serve them with?

He's really rubbish with veg so as much as I would love to serve him up a stir-fr, I just know the face he'll pull. He eats peas and sweetcorn, raw carrot and cucumber. That's it. I'm not that worried about it as he eats fruit by the bucketload.

Yes, we do pasta with 101 toppings too but I get so bored of serving him up pasta no matter how many variations. Yes he eats them but I feel that at the age of 4 he should be eating a bigger variety of food other than just pasta in various forms.

Other meals I do for him regularly are various risottos (but it's usually met with a big sigh and a not very happy face!). Butternut squash risotto he'll eat with a bit of persuasion. He does like lamb koftas but other mince-based meals like meatballs or mini burgers he's not keen. I do a kind of salmon en croute-type thing for him which he'll eat (salmon, topped with pesto and mozarella and wrapped in pastry). I also do curries ocassionally but he doesn't really like it. Omlette he turns his nose up at, same with quiche, even though he loves scrambled egg (???).

So these thing are our norm but in honesty, unless it's pasta or pizza or fishfingers I know I'm in for a challenging dinner time. Fishcakes is a good alternative to fishfingers though so I'll give that a try too.

cakebake Fri 03-May-13 23:05:42

Fish pie, my youngest dd has sulked for 2 days because she hasnt had her fish pie. we started with the annabell carmel one and adapted it from there, so ours now has fish with peas and corn in a cheese or hollandaise sauce topped with carrot and potato mash, she also does a good recipe for tuna fishcakes that my two love. I also do salmon topped with a tomato sauce (usually a pasta sauce) bread crumbs and a bit of cheese with potatoes etc. As for the eating a wider variety I found that mine would try loads of stuff, then would only eat 3 or 4 things and now at 5 and 6 will eat pretty much everything again. And if all else fails i find that the "thats daddy's favorite tea" or "that is daddy's tea you're eating" usually gets cleared plates

sashh Sat 04-May-13 04:48:40

batch cook shepheards pie with sweet corn and peas in the base and freeze, take about 30 mins from frozen to edible and you don't need to add anything.

I'm not a toddler but this is a stand by for me.

Mondrian Sat 04-May-13 05:18:05

My DDs love chicken fajitas. I'd like to think its my recipe but I suspect making up the wrap is a huge part of the attraction for them. It's pretty quick to make but it's best if you marinate the chicken before grilling (orange juice, lemon juice, chopped onion, optional parsley and/or coriander, seasoning). For topping I fry green, red, yellow capsicums and onions - girls normally don't like peppers but they love it like this. Let me know if you want the full recipe.

CoffeeChocolateWine Sat 04-May-13 10:26:30

Thank you all for these great suggestions! The chicken satay and chicken fajitas sound brilliant as he does tend to like eating things off sticks or wrapping things...makes mealtimes more fun, doesn't it!

And why oh why had I not thought of stocking up the freezer with fish pie and shepherds pie...duh! Good excuse to make it for me and DH too.

Mylifeisstillchaotic...we have tried this many times at weekends when we do eat together, but he never eats very well like this. Like if we do a roast, he'll eat the stuffing and roast potatoes and that's about it, he doesn't like spicy food ("Mummy, it's hurting my tongue!") so curries, chilli etc never work with him. He does tend to like quite bland food to be honest and we don't! We do do it but we know it's never going to be a good meal for him.

Cakebake, it's good to know that your DCs have got better at eating as they got a bit older. You're not the first person who's told me that things improve at 5 or 6 so I live in hope that he'll improve soon smile. I still have faith that he will be a good eater in the end as he was the most wonderul baby to wean...he would eat everything and be sat in his highchair panting for each mouthful. Don't know where the fussiness has come from but I'm determined to get him loving his food again (two-and-a-half years later...!)

ELR Sat 04-May-13 19:38:27

If he like pizza, then to make it healthier make pitta bread pizza. Get a pitta spread with tom puree then get a bowl add grated cheese, bits of ham, spring onion, red pepper and sweetcorn mix all together and put a handful on top then grill. The reason I say to mix it all together is its easier to disguise and all the bits don't fall off.

ELR Sat 04-May-13 19:42:01

Also what about chicken noodle soup? Chicken stock with cooked noodles then add some cooked chicken and some sweetcorn and a little something green or grate in a courgette and a carrot. Start introducing flavours like a splash of fish sauce or soy sauce. A little bit of shredded coriander. A few tbs coconut milk. Ect et

pregnantpause Mon 06-May-13 09:53:08

I second chicken noodle soup. When dh and I have chilli I do a mild one, well a spag bol really, alongside, then we all eat it with nachos. Dds love eating with hands and always love this.

I second chicken noodle soup. All children seem to love it.

I also make butterbean and cheese 'burgers' for them which they love. Recipe is on BBC good food any burger type finger food is good though, fishcakes, pork patties etc. I sneak veg into to recipe as it would be ignored alongside .

Not really a recipe, but mine like mini pasties, I use ready roll pastry, and put a teaspoon of tuna and sweetcorn on little circles and wrap. This would be best with mayo I suppose, but I mix the tuna with tinned tomatoes, again for the veg content. Disgusting I know, but my DDS eat them like they're bites of heaven.

JohnnyDeppsfuturewife Mon 06-May-13 15:24:57

Sorry I haven't been back, some good suggestions here, I think I need some new ideas too.

If i serve the savoury muffins fresh from the oven then I'll serve them with other hot vegetables - perhaps two from carrots, brocolli, sweet corn, peas. If I serve them cold then I'll serve them with vegetable sticks like carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes. I think I once put sweet corn in the muffins too.

Both dds also like corn on the cob. In my experience I think kids just prefer not to eat with cutlery so finger foods are always a treat.

MERLYPUSS Tue 07-May-13 12:15:53

Does he eat rice? I did a really nice savoury rice in the rice cooker last night.
Fried onion, grated carrot, celry and red pepper chopped really small.
Put rice in rice cooker (could be a pan) with a stock cube, a tin of chopped toms and a squirt of puree. Plopped in 2 frozen salmon portions. When rice pinged mixed the rice and veg together and broke the slamon into spoon sized pieces.
Yummy - clean plates. I am gonna put peas in it next time and poss prawns in the veg bit.

Mrdarcyswife Tue 07-May-13 20:19:43

Some yummy recipes and ideas.
Can you post the muffin recipes please?
I make "chicken nuggets" with turkey (it's cheaper). Also turkey balls (turkey mince, apple, softened onion, breadcrumbs). Both freeze really well and are good emergency out of the freezer dinners.
Another pizza option is to make a scone based one, the recipe is on the bbc good food site.
Have you tried frittata, my 4yo won't eat omelettes, but loves them

JohnnyDeppsfuturewife Tue 07-May-13 20:44:12

corn and bacon muffins

6 lean rashers back bacon
1 medium onion diced
200g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
55g grated cheddar
350g tinned sweet corn,drained
150 ml milk
5tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven 200c, 400f, gas mark 6
Line muffin tray with paper muffin cases
Trim off fat from bacon and cut into squares
Gently fry bacon and onion for 5 to 10 mins until well cooked ie soft
Place flour and baking powder in a bowl and mix. Stir in cheese and sweet corn
In another bowl whisk milk, eggs and oil together
Add the wet ingredients to flour mixture. Then add onion and bacon
Stir to combine but do not over mix
Spoon into muffin cases and bake for 15 mins until firm to touch.

Can be eaten warm, cold and can be frozen.

I got this original recipe from a cookbook but if you google savoury muffins you'll find loads.

I'm not a patient woman but I quite like doing both sweet and savoury muffins with dds because many recipes have oil in them rather than butter and are much easier for a small one to mix.

Mrdarcyswife Tue 07-May-13 21:25:27

Fab! Thanks

CoffeeChocolateWine Tue 07-May-13 23:02:02

Thanks for the recipe too. Definitely going to do them. I went on the BBC Good Food website earlier and did a search on savoury mufifns. Brought up a cheesy sausage one which looks really tasty. Going to try that too.

Love the idea of the mini pasties too. In fact I feel like that I have some really good new ideas to try so thanks very much all.

Fritatta - now what is the difference between this and omlette and Spanish omlette? I'm not sure but I did an omlette thing last night, with red onion, potato, peas, tomato and cheese and it was yummy. DS was his usual unimpressed-but-ate-it-under-duress self but my DD (9 months) couldn't get enough of it! Glad one child appreciates my cooking! Ho hum...

DewDr0p Wed 08-May-13 22:24:38

this curry is designed for under 5s and you can make it really mild if you like. we usually spice it up for the grown ups!

My dcs also love stir fry with noodles - dc3 can be v v fussy with veg but I always make sure he likes at least some of it - so everything we eat has carrots in pretty much grin Egg fried rice is also popular.

I think you have to persevere with fussy dcs. Dc2 went through a super fussy stage but now eats nearly everything, dc3 is still a work in progress but I refuse to give up...

ScienceRocks Wed 08-May-13 22:33:06

Teriyaki chicken or salmon with sticky rice is always a winner here.

Also, egg fried rice (cold rice fried with defrosted veg, an egg and some ham with some soy and mirin thrown in at the end).

Flowery eggs are good too. Preheat a muffin tin, then roll out a slice of bread, press it into the tin and crack in an egg. It's like boiled egg and soldiers all in one.

Hummus and pitta and crudités?


ScienceRocks Wed 08-May-13 22:34:22

Oh, and pie is surprisingly successful. I make a basic white sauce and chuck in some boiled leeks and ham then top with shortcrust (half fat to flour, rub in then add splashes of cold water to make it come together) and bake.

ScienceRocks Wed 08-May-13 22:34:45

Ooh, daal and rice is also good!

I'll go now...

halestone Wed 08-May-13 22:47:19

Cauliflower cheese with bacon is loved in my house. Although your DS may hate that. Could you make stews or casseroles make enough so that the next day you could put pastry over the top and have a pie out of it?

CoffeeChocolateWine Wed 08-May-13 23:16:27

That curry looks great. Usually the curries I give him and he turns his nose up at are our leftovers. It's not spicy but he just sits there pointing and picking out all the veg he doesn't like. I reckon this one might be a winner as he does like sweet potato.

I'm definitely not giving up on him...I really feel like he has it in him to love his food and he's such an active little boy and full of energy. Part of me always thinks that's part of the problem...there are so many things he would rather be doing than sitting down and eating!

Teriyaki is definitely on the list of meals to try, thanks ScienceRocks. The flowery eggs sound like a genius idea too!

Thanks for your suggestions too halestone. He does love casseroles and stews. He does hate cauliflower though...and bacon in fact, so can't see that one going down too well! He actually cries if cauliflower enters his mouth!

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