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Please help me feed my four and six year old better

(65 Posts)
Pearl2015 Mon 15-Jun-15 07:54:38

I have a four year old and six year old, the four year old is dairy intolerant and the six year old hates all dairy products so in a way that is easier as they can both eat the same. The trouble is they won't eat hardly any fruit or veg, hardly any meat, their daily diet is getting worse and I am worried about their fruit and veg intake and their calcium intake. I am going food shopping tomorrow and need to start from scratch basically. At the moment they eat toast for breakfast, ham sandwich for lunch (I also put in cherry toms and raisons etc but these get left) after school is a biscuit, dinner is something like home made chicken nuggets, oven chips and the peas etc are refused. Fruit for desert is also refused, help!

MrsNextDoor Mon 15-Jun-15 13:54:31

Try sweet potato chips...make your own by roasting chipped sweet potatoes in the oven in a little oil...try letting them help you make pizza...just buy the bases plain from the supermarket...set out bowls of tomato puree for them to spread onto the base....they each get their own pizza to make...then also bowls of various toppings for them to add. Let them help you to put them in the oven....take pics...make a big deal of their cooking efforts and then "Well since you made them, you get to eat them!"

Involve them in prep as much as possible...let them cut up mushrooms with a blunt knife...wash rice...growing cress or other easy salads can help too.

Dancingqueen17 Mon 15-Jun-15 13:58:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Potterwolfie Mon 15-Jun-15 14:09:41

Will they eat soup, with crusty bread? You could make a veggie soup, but the vegetables won't be as obvious. How about fruit smoothies? I used to use a great recipe for carrot and courgette muffins (it was from a Cbeebies cookery shone, years ago!) which my DCs loved when they were little, in fact, they still ask for them now, only I get them to make them, as they're older! They're nice for breakfast, not unhealthy either.

Will they eat eggs? How about baked potatoes, scoop out the flesh once cooked and mix with butter and cheese. Will they eat pasta with a home made tomato and veggie sauce? If you blend it up well, they won't know there are vegetables hidden in there.

I have one brilliant eater who refuses nothing, and one who could quite happily exist on cheese, but I persist in encouraging him to eat fruit and veg, and it's been a long and repetitive road, but aged 9 he's now just about getting there. He'll never just pick up an apple as a snack, unlike his sibling who loves fruit, but he will at least now eat broccoli, peas, corn, carrots, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and he loves watermelon and berries.

Pearl2015 Mon 15-Jun-15 16:17:04

Unfortunately they can't eat pizza because of the cheese, I did try making one with dairy free cheese but they did not like it. I will try the sweet potato chips, they might like that! Thanks mrsnextdoor

Pearl2015 Mon 15-Jun-15 16:22:24

dancingqueen17 I will try and think of a list of things they will eat (and one they won't eat!)

Things they like:
Cereal bars
Jacket potatoes
Chicken nuggets
Fish fingers
Spag Bol
Ice lollies

Things they will not touch:
All fruit apart from grapes
All dried fruit/tinned fruit/frozen fruit
All salad apart from cucumber and peppers
All vegetables
All meat apart from sausages or In Breadcrumbs
Mash potatoes
All dairy

Pearl2015 Mon 15-Jun-15 16:26:32

potterwolfie I will try the soups, smoothies and muffins thank you! They will only eat eggs if they are fried. I have no idea how they turned out to be such bad eaters sad

MrsNextDoor Mon 15-Jun-15 16:40:41

Pearl you don't need to add any cheese at all! My DH is a vegan...he usually has a pizza topped with only veg! Cheese on a pizza is just habit. Let them make some pizzas with only veg/ham or just veg...if they're involved, they usually eat it.

Shannaratiger Mon 15-Jun-15 16:43:44

Same problem here with Dd 11 and Ds8. Watching with interest.

whatsagoodusername Mon 15-Jun-15 17:04:59

I've got a recipe for muffins made out of porridge? I usually do cinnamon flavoured or put fruit in it. My fussy DS loves the cinnamon ones won't touch the fruit ones.

Pearl2015 Mon 15-Jun-15 17:25:23

whatsagoodusername if possible could I have the recipe please?

LosingNemo Mon 15-Jun-15 17:39:00

Was doing a load of puree-Ing of veg for my nearly weaning daughter a while ago, when I had an epiphany - chuck in a few of the frozen purée cubes when making pasta sauce or spaghetti Bol (purees all seem to be orange anyway). Fusspot toddler eats it all up. I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier. I know you are hiding the veg and perhaps it's frowned upon because they aren't being less fussy but still...

Also, on the pizza note: one tablespoon of tomato purée = one of your five a day. Good to know!

Sigma33 Mon 15-Jun-15 17:51:31

Ice lollies or jelly made from fresh fruit juice? (Juice can count for 1 of the 5 per day)

Soup is great for hiding various veg, also spag bol and pies.

Some broccoli whizzed in a blender to add to fishcakes.

If they like hummus, could you expand that into falafel (with whizzed broccoli or parsley), other beans and lentils?

Could sausages expand into rissoles, which can also have hidden veg?

Dips e.g. aubergine?

Do you know if it is a taste thing, or a sensory thing?

Pearl2015 Mon 15-Jun-15 19:30:40

loosingneno I didn't realise one tablespoon of tomato purée counted towards five a day, that's good to know!

Dancingqueen17 Mon 15-Jun-15 19:32:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pearl2015 Mon 15-Jun-15 19:32:21

sigma33 thank you for all those lovely ideas smile

It is a taste thing, they will try everything once but say they hate most things after an initial taste!

Gdydgkyk Mon 15-Jun-15 19:34:31

They have wheat for breakfast, wheat for tea, wheat as a snack after school, tea is processed protein covered in wheat

Gdydgkyk Mon 15-Jun-15 19:36:03

Maybe try and mix up the grains

Pearl2015 Mon 15-Jun-15 19:36:45

dancingqueen17 thank you for those ideas! I think they would go for the fajitas and the burgers if the chicken had breadcrumbs on! The pie they have is homemade chicken, I do sneak a bit of broccoli in it. They drink a cup of calcium enriched tropicanna a day. The pasta they eat has a shop bought tomato sauce on. Does anyone have a recipe for a hidden vegetable pasta sauce?

Dancingqueen17 Mon 15-Jun-15 19:37:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pearl2015 Mon 15-Jun-15 19:39:28

gdydgkyk I want them to eat more than bread that's why I'm asking for ideas

Mominatrix Mon 15-Jun-15 19:40:29

Your point Gdydgkyk? The OP came here looking for advice on changing her childrens' diets, Also, wheat is not evil and is part of a balanced diet for the vast majority of the population who are not gluten intolerant.

Mominatrix Mon 15-Jun-15 19:53:42

Breakfast ideas:

- Wholemeal pancakes with banana smashed into the batter - you can add chia seeds or flaxseeds to the batter
- eggy bread (French toast)
- Do they like nuts? How about toast with peanut butter or almond butter

Main meal ideas:
- chickpea pancakes with tomato sauce
- instead of breaded chicken, how about pistachio encrusted chicken served with crudités
- you can hide veg in humous
- vegan pesto pasta with spinach/kale/broccoli hidden inside
- will they eat meatballs? loads of ways to incorporate veg/nuts into meatballs
- how about using courgetti instead of spaghetti next time you serve bolognese

-ice lollies made from pureed fresh fruit
- courgette muffins sweetened with applesauce and bananas
- carrot muffins made like the courgette ones
- frozen banana "ice cream" (pulverised frozen banana - can add other fruit like frozen berries, or a scoop of peanut butter and some chocolate powder)

Pearl2015 Mon 15-Jun-15 20:04:17

mominatrix thank you so much for those ideas! They love ice lollies so fruit purée ones would be great. Does anyone know how I can save this thread so I can keep hold of all these ideas?

whatsagoodusername Mon 15-Jun-15 20:05:36

Here it is:

Leftover Porridge Muffins

1c (125g) flour (white or wheat)
1c (220g) packed brown sugar -- I usually put in about half this, turns out fine
1tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
½c (100g) melted butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1c leftover cooked oatmeal (1/2c uncooked, 45g)
1c raisins (optional - I usually substitute a spoonful of cinnamon or some other fruit)
1 tsp vanilla


1. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
2. In another bowl, mix together melted butter, eggs, oatmeal, raisins and vanilla;.
3. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.
4. The batter will seem thick, but don't worry. Any time I've added extra liquid the muffins turned out crumbly.
5. Spoon batter into 12 greased muffin cups.
6.Bake at 180 degrees (GM4) for 18 minutes, or until the muffin centers are slightly firm.

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