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How would you solve this particular food conundrum?

(17 Posts)
FranklinTheCat Wed 03-Apr-19 16:58:25

Because I am out of ideas that don't involve making three separate meals and I can't really get a preschooler to cook for themselves...

So we are a household of 3. DP is stealth fussy - claims he eats anything but in reality has a long list of foods he doesn't like (mostly veg). His cooking repertoire is limited and carb heavy.

DS is a typically fussy preschooler. He is an ok eater for his age but won't touch anything with sauce, red meat, loads of veg, etc.

I will eat most things (exceptions are random things like okra). I really want to try to lose weight through eating a more veg based Mediterranean diet which relies less heavily on pasta.

Week nights, we eat separately from DS. At weekends, I would like us to eat together.

Is there an obvious solution to this? Or do I just have to juggle meals? My perfect meal would be something like grilled chicken and ratatouille, but I would have to do a carb (no problem) plus separate veg for DS and DP (more faff). They will eat stuff like sausages and mash but that's not really great for weight loss. I can't see a solution that doesn't involve cooking multiple elements of the same meal or different meals, and I'm finding it increasingly difficult to think of family meals at weekends. Any bright ideas?

(PS I go in for a degree of "take it or leave it", but have to make sure there is something on DS's plate that he will eat...)

OP’s posts: |
Dontforgetyourbrolly Wed 03-Apr-19 17:01:05

I would cook your dinner and a variation for ds. I'd offer to make enough for dh but if he declines he makes his own.
But I am a bit mean i suppose

Drizzlehair Wed 03-Apr-19 17:07:46

I agree with dolly, though I don't think this is mean. I guess to solve extent it depends if DH is the only one working outside the house, but even so you're hardly insisting he eats vegan or do fried intestines, so he really should either cope with delicious healthy food, supplemented with oven chips / jacket potato etc if he needs, or else cook his own food

In general if you do want to pander to everyone I'd probably batch cook eg ratatouille and have portions for yourself, blend it up and add pasta / gnocchi and sausages for DC, and a handful of mixed veg for DH with chicken or saus plus the pasta. But really he's being U if he expects you to cook a menu to his liking solely for him

FranklinTheCat Wed 03-Apr-19 17:21:17

We both work, although I am part-time, and not from home, so although there are some evenings where one of us is clearly responsible for sorting dinner, it's not that I should do it, iyswim - it's more that if I want to eat a varied/healthy diet, it is going to be on me because nobody else is going to cook it for me!

The batch cooking for me idea is a good one. I just wish DS would eat sauces - but he won't so I can't blend up sauces to hide veg in. He just won't touch them. It's all plain pasta, chicken goujons, etc. Although he is venturing into pizza. And he's stubborn - he would rather not eat dinner and catch up at supper (cereal/toast) than eat something he doesn't like. I'm aiming for more variety but its difficult.

OP’s posts: |
AtleastitsnotMonday Wed 03-Apr-19 19:09:51

What are the meals you will all eat? If you made all in one dishes would either be prepared to pick out the bits they don’t like?
How about fish and eggs are they in or out?

Ricekrispie22 Wed 03-Apr-19 19:54:04

Homemade burgers are good because you can make different sized burgers depending on who’s eating them... small one for your Ds, larger one for your DH! And your DH could have his in a burger bun. Homemade burgers can be really lean. These tuna burgers are really easy and healthy www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5863/tuna-sweetcorn-burgers
Turkey burgers www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4833/spiced-turkey-burgers
Pork and apple pinchofnom.com/recipes/low-syn-pork-apple-burgers/

FranklinTheCat Wed 03-Apr-19 22:49:14

Thanks all. Some good ideas here.

We can't do "pick out what you don't like" from an all-in-one because DS won't eat anything vaguely sauced. Dishes we agree on are:

- sausages and mash
- grilled/roast chicken/pork, mini roasties (cubed), steamed veg
- pizza if plain margherita (but can obviously be adapted
- pasta (no sauce for DS, just butter/Parmesan.

DP eats eggs and fish if not very fishy (by which I mean no whole fish, no smoked fish). DS only eats eggs at nursery and will eat fish fingers. Is very suspicious of anything unfamiliar. Which is part of the problem because I have lost all enthusiasm for cooking as I have no inclination to make an effort when I know DS will fuss and/or DH will pout.

Burgers and, by extension, fish cakes are a good idea.

OP’s posts: |
prisscalledwanda Wed 03-Apr-19 22:54:50

No DS here but I have a similar situation with my DH and my diet. I tend to do lots of veg + protein + sometimes tiny carb for me then slightly smaller amount of veg + bigger protein + lots of carb for him.

I find sweet potato really useful as it can act like potato (and is delicious) but it's actually much better for you. Presumably DS would like it, it's so sweet and yummy? And replacing carbs with veg alternatives also good (sweet potato fries, shredded veg instead of pasta etc etc)

Ideas for dinner where you can shrink or grow the veg/ carb split:
Grilled chicken/ salmon/ lamb + dark green veg + mash or baked sweet potato

Tray baked chicken + roasted peppers + sweet potatoes

Steak + dark green veg + sweet potato fries

Bolognese + Spiralised (urgh) courgette for me / pasta for him

Idea for weekend:
Bacon/ smoked salmon + grilled mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, spinach + toast and butter for the lucky carb eater

Lwmommy Wed 03-Apr-19 23:00:03

Would they eat roasted mixed veg, herby new potatoes, roasted green beans and broccoli, stir fry with ribbons of carrot, baby corn, bamboo shoots?

Just trying to think of veg sides without sauce.

Then you could combine with marinated chicken/turkey/fish

I buy trays of chicken breasts or turkey strips from the butcher, 3 trays for £10. Separate into meal sized portions and bag them up with pesto/lemon & coriander/honey & mustard etc then freeze. Pull a bag out in the morning and stick it in the fridge then bang in the oven for dinner. Broccoli and green beans with a little olive oil & salt goes in at the same time and 25-30 mins later its done.

FranklinTheCat Thu 04-Apr-19 08:07:35

Thank you - more good ideas! Green bits are treated with suspicion by DS and neither will touch sweet potatoes.....

OP’s posts: |
RooKangaroo Thu 04-Apr-19 08:13:43

Great thread @FranklinTheCat!

@Lwmommy, do you cut the chicken up, or just serve them as whole breasts with the veg? I'm loving your idea!

UnaOfStormhold Thu 04-Apr-19 08:22:26

Cauldron do some delicious tofu sausages that you could have when they're having Sausage and mash. I agree with the batch cooking too. I used to do quite a few meals where you add the sauce at the end - take out a plain portion before you add the sauce ingredients (added bonus of time to cool!) James Wong's book How to eat better has some interesting ideas - pasta actually isn't as carb heavy as it seems and choosing thick types, chilling cooked pasta overnight and reheating all reduce GI and calorie content. Bean pasta is worth trying too.

Lwmommy Thu 04-Apr-19 13:04:11

@rookangaroo just leave them whole. I'm a really lazy cook so wherever possible I just put stuff on baking trays and cook everything together for the same time and then tip onto a plate smile

DontPanic42 Thu 04-Apr-19 13:09:41

Probably not helpful, but as DP is an adult, I would say he has to suck it up sometimes and eat stuff he doesn't like to compromise.

AtleastitsnotMonday Thu 04-Apr-19 13:10:07

Try Jack Monroe’s carrot and kidney bean burgers
How about making some baked butternut squash falafel, serve in wholemeal pita with salad.
Fajhitas? Could take out chicken for ds (andDH if necessary) before adding your veg. People can add cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream as they choose.

FuckingWaffleDoggy Sun 07-Apr-19 21:55:19

I'd stop offering supper for a while if he's using it to fill up on and avoid his actual dinner. Once he realises nothing else is coming except a glass of milk or equivalent he may be more likely to eat at dinner time.

kateandme Sun 07-Apr-19 23:03:00

what about chicken and veggie pies.in the dish you can easily put in a section with just the chicken then mix in your veggies and put into the other bit of the dish
a better version of pizza is puff pastry slice.buy those ready rolled jus-roll ones.and then you can put soooo many things on top.from your margarita topping.chicken and pesto.chicken and veg.tuna and sweetcorn.etc etc anything then just bake and slice.
what about turkey or pork mince(not red meat)
pork crumble bake

we do adaptions of this with other veggies,leeks or chicken
greensideup.ie/pork-crumble-with-asparagus-recipe
pork or chicken traybakes.
stir fry
quesadilla

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