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Ideas needed! Feeding toddlers and a picky eater.

(20 Posts)
Cocothecat Sat 17-Oct-15 00:05:27

I need some ideas! I generally quite like cooking, have a pile of recipe books, and generally enjoy spending time meal planning/in the kitchen. BUT I am just about beating my head against the wall in frustration cooking for my family at the moment....

I have two DS's - one 3, and seemingly incapable of allowing a vegetable/herb/ other non specific strangely textured thing to cross his lips. The other is 18 months, and a great eater generally, except that he has allergies (a mild egg allergy, so no quiches & scrambled eggs, and a peanut allergy.) He also gets rashes from tomato, but its not an allergy as such.

My DH is becoming more and more picky, for unknown reasons (doesn't like beef, or 'lumps of meat', doesn't like potatoes, likes spicy food, not so much things like quinoa)....

I work 3 1/2 days a week, so some days, I have to have dinner pre-made for when I get home, so a couple of times a week I try to make a casserole or soup or something that will do two meals.

I made a lovely fillet of crumbed fish and ottolenghi roast pumpkin thing last night and DH totally turned his nose up at it. Ate a minimal amount and went and had toast in the kitchen. It was the last straw. I just want to cook one meal, that everyone will EAT. Argh.

After all of that.... I was hoping there might be someone out there with a miracle some ideas. I am so sick of serving up mince! And I am so sick of the giant pile of leftover food.

KitKat1985 Sun 18-Oct-15 18:29:53

Gosh tricky.

A big macaroni cheese bake maybe, with salad for the veggie eaters?

Or a filo pastry tart (just buy some frozen pastry and add toppings - the nice thing about this is you could do it in 4 quarters so everyone can have a quarter with things that they will eat on it)?

I'm sure other posters will be along with some better ideas!

Cocothecat Mon 19-Oct-15 12:06:01

Thanks Kitkat.

I am feeling a bit more Zen about it today. That and my three year old ate a piece of aubergine last night. Only one mind, and without the skin so it was really a sort of nondescript piece of grey mush, but still, a minor miracle!!

We eat a lot of cheesy pasta. Cheesy stodge seems to be universally consumed! But filo pastry tart is one we haven't tried, so I will give it a go.

Highlove Mon 19-Oct-15 18:12:26

Homemade pizza always a winner here.

Can you work with the aubergine acceptance - pamargiana, moussaka, etc? Amd do with extra cheesy sauce!

Also - think I'd be having a conversation with my DH about what impact his food behaviour will have on your DCs. And things would be pretty frosty in my house if I'd made a delicious dinner and my DH buggered off to eat toast - it's rude and it's childish and it sets an appalling example to the kids.

Highlove Mon 19-Oct-15 18:24:00

Sorry - just clocked the tomato issue. Pizza blanco, where you do s white sauce in place of tomato?

Fish pie might be a winner if creamy sauces are popular? And other fishy things with a cheese sauce - fish mornay?

Highlove Mon 19-Oct-15 18:25:19

Fruity or gently spiced cittage pie? Sweet pot topping sneaks more veg into the 3yo too!

Cocothecat Mon 19-Oct-15 19:39:59

Yes, things were decidedly frosty over the eating of dinner or lack thereof, and the related gratitude of the meal participants to the cook. That is probably a whole different thread though! I think my DH has some sort of a control/food 'issue', because he never used to be this way....i sort of veer between trying to be a bit understanding because he is pretty tired, and feeling like throwing a plate at his head...

With pizza blanco, is it literally just normal old white sauce that you use ? I have never made it & have wondered....

Allalonenow Mon 19-Oct-15 19:59:03

If they eat macaroni cheese, would they eat cauliflower & macaroni cheese perhaps.
Or chicken risotto with the meat diced very small to accomodate your DH?
If they eat things in sauce, then chicken and leek pie might work.
Kedgeree mildly spiced might work for all of them, leave out the egg though smile so really smoked haddock with spicy rice!

Or pureed soups, butternut squash or potato and leek maybe?

I think your real problem though is that DH will be passing on all his food problems to your children, who will quickly latch on to the control elements of food.
It must be incredibly disheartening for you thanks

KP86 Mon 19-Oct-15 19:59:29

There's a fantastic Australian website called one handed cooks (Google for it, and they have a Facebook page), and they have meals that can be made three ways for baby, toddler and rest of the family.

When you have some time, go through some of the pages and make yourself a list.

If DH wants to be a fussy PITA, then he can make dinner for everyone. His behaviour is not helping teach the children to have a go at what mum makes them!

Cocothecat Mon 19-Oct-15 21:42:37

Thanks everyone for the ideas. That website looks great.

And yes, the issue is clearly DH being a super big PITA about food not what i cook. And I just realised i didnt mention half of the things he turns his nose up at... Lentils, beans, chickpeas etc, stinky cheese (eg blue cheese, goats cheese), plain meat & three veg, celeriac, shell fish. Just listing it out gives me the rage.

Highlove Mon 19-Oct-15 22:00:47

I thought pizza bianco was just white sauce but actually never made it! Just had a Google and seems that it's often cream cheese-based - there's a Jamie recipe with cream cheese, lemon and Parmesan. I reckon white sauce would be fine though - I'm sure I've had it like that. You might want to even start with a cheesy sauce, since you know that works for them.

I'm not surprised you've got the rage. Yes, it's a whole other thread...but maybe time for a serious discussion at a calm moment..

Allalonenow Mon 19-Oct-15 22:49:09

Yes, a tarte flambee might work, with pastry, fromage frais and lardons or flaked smoked fish.

The problem is though Coco that you are being drawn further and further into DH's food games.
I wonder what he would do if you just cooked ordinary meals that you were happy to eat? Would he just eat toast every day?

dontpokethebear Mon 19-Oct-15 22:56:39

This is always a winner with my lot
www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/risotto/oven-baked-smoked-pancetta-and-leek-risotto.html

Except I usually just use bacon, an oxo cube and don't bother with the stuff on top. I also add extra veggies to stretch it out.

Proustianmoments Tue 20-Oct-15 13:20:39

I agree that your DH should defo make dinner if he's going to complain about what you've made. But if that's not an option what about meal planning together? He lists a few meals he likes, you do the same (both factoring kids allergies/preferences where poss, or with an easy alternative).Then you can hopefully agree 7 meals for the week ahead. No turning his nose up on the night then...

Northumberlandlass Tue 20-Oct-15 13:23:25

When does your DH cook?

myotherusernameisbetter Tue 20-Oct-15 13:31:43

I have a non potato eater too. We have a lot of pasta/noodles/ rice. I cook pasta and rice in chicken stock and serve it plain as a side dish. Fussy DS1 likes tinned mackerel mixed through rice with pepper and hot sauce. But that would work well with fish or chicken and spices, sort of like a dry Biiryani, you could add the spice to taste as you dish it and stir through peas/ sweet corn etc

FawnDrench Tue 20-Oct-15 20:05:12

Those Delia baked risottos from your link look & sound wonderful dontpokethebear.
I'll definitely be trying the leek one followed by the carbonara one. Thank you.

TwinsPlusAnotherTwo Thu 29-Oct-15 00:46:21

One of my Ds had a tomato intolerance when he was small (thankfully now grown out of it). I used to cook vast amounts of red peppers and blitz them to use in place of tinned tomatoes in recipes. Would that be an option for you?

How about fajitas, letting people avoid the meat/veg that they don't want? I find that's less stressful than putting food on my kids' plates that they moan about.

Can you use turkey or pork mince to make bolognese or chilli (with pepper sauce)?

Mummyoftwo91 Tue 03-Nov-15 15:13:23

My nearly 4 year old is terrible at eating he will usually only take a few bites, my 10 month old actually eats way more than him and usually finishes his off, at the moment he's into build your own dinners so this is stuff like doing his own pizza toppings, building his own burgers, things like fajitas where he can pick and choose what goes in them, I probally shouldn't give in to his pickiness or encourage it but as long as he eats something then I don't care lol

Toadinthehole Sun 08-Nov-15 00:05:30

DD1 was fussy. Plunket NZ suggested I arrange the food in a smiley face. It worked well.

I work FT. I batch-cook at weekends and freeze family-size portions so when I get in from work I only need to cook some veg and rice/potato/pasta.

I suggest you ask your DH to cook a few nights. If you get him involved, he will hopefully see that he's been unhelpful. DW only works PT but I have always done all the cooking.

I also cooked quite plain stuff when the kids were young. There are few things more dispiriting than making a big effort over something that no one will eat.

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