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Feeling like a rubbish mum for always making DD the same meals. Any ideas for quick, cheap, and easy veggie meals for a 15mo?

(30 Posts)
RamblingRosa Sun 25-Jan-09 14:51:21

She's a really fussy eater so I often give in and just give her what I know she wants (baked beans and/or cheese). Her usual meals are as follows or variations of;
beans on toast
cheese on toast
macaroni cheese
scrambled egg with spinach
falafel with houmous and baked beans

and, er, that's about it blush. I'm having a bad day today and really beating myself up about it. I don't have loads of time or money to make her more interesting food but I feel like I should be able to do better than this!

Please, any ideas??!!!

mufti Sun 25-Jan-09 14:53:50

ds loves pasta with pesto and veg
veggie sausages
mild veg chilli

MamaG Sun 25-Jan-09 14:55:42

would she eat houmous with chopped up carrots/cucumber to dip in?

eggy bread

cheese and tomato on crackers

pasta with tomato sauce - if you make it yourself you can whizz loads of green veg into it and she wouldn't know

bigTillyMint Sun 25-Jan-09 14:58:35

Would she eat lentil / veg type casseroles? - you can make and freeze in batches.

soapbox Sun 25-Jan-09 15:02:37

The things you have listed have almost no vegetables in them, which should be a much bigger part of her diet.

How about making a good tomato, carrot, courgette etc veg sauce. You can use this on pasta or as a base for making veggie chilli or for soup. IIRC Jamie Oliver did a good one for that schools program her did.

Pitta bread with grated cucumber, carrots and humous is lovely.

Cauliflower cheese would be better than mac and cheese for her. And you can do this with lots of different veggies - I like it with brocolli and peas.

You can make a vegetable pie, in a cheese sauce and top it with mashed pots as well, which is lovely.

Sweet potato mash is great - you can use it to top any kind of pies or serve it alongside oven roasted veggies.

Couscous is good too - I serve this with a pile of finely diced oven roasted veg.

Rice salad - brown rice with lots of chopped carrot, cucumber, peppers, peas etc with a goos squeeze of lime juice and some coriander stirred through just before serving (add a dash of tabasco if she likes a little bit of spice - mine did at that age)!

NorbertDentressangle Sun 25-Jan-09 15:02:44

I used to make lentil soups/stews (depended on thick it turned out as to which you'd call it wink). Just cooked up whatever veg I had, add stock and lentils and hey presto!

DCs used to love it with bread/toast/rice/potato/pasta etc -anything really. Very nutritious too

RamblingRosa Sun 25-Jan-09 15:03:05

thanks. She's very hit and miss with her food. On the few occasions I've found the time to make a lovely meal, I've lovingly made a delicious chickpea and lentil and veg casserole type thing and she's totally rejected it. Then on other occasions she's eaten it.
She does sometimes eat carrot with houmous.
Eggy bread's a good idea.
I think things are worse at the moment because a) she's teething and I think it's putting her off her food and
b) we're moving house next week so we don't have loads of food in the house and everything's a bit hectic
(and c. I'm having a bad case of PMS and rainy Sunday blues and feeling a bit down about everything!)
All good ideas. Thank you. Do you know of any good veggie kid's recipe books for inspiration?

NorbertDentressangle Sun 25-Jan-09 15:05:02

Just thought of another favourite which I think was from Annabel Karmel's book.

Beany-mash pie (basically its a layer of baked beans, a layer of spinach, a layer of cheese sauce and topped with mashed potato and grated cheese -bake in the oven like a cottage pie)

RamblingRosa Sun 25-Jan-09 15:05:42

Thanks Norbert and Soapbox. You're right. I don't give her enough veg which is why I'm feeling really guilty and bad about her diet. Part of the problem is that she doesn't really like a lot of veg and will just pick out the things that she does like (cheese or beans! - she's quite obsessed) and leave the veg. I know I should persevere though. She doesn't eat the veg they give her at nursery either.
Actually, that's not true, she likes peas and she eats spinach if it's mixed in with something else like egg.

NorbertDentressangle Sun 25-Jan-09 15:06:21

Omelette? You can chop up and hide all sorts of veg in there.

RamblingRosa Sun 25-Jan-09 15:06:50

Oh Norbert, that pie sounds great. Actually it sounds disgusting to me but I think she'd love it I might give that a go.

nappyaddict Sun 25-Jan-09 15:09:18


porridge pancakes
eggy bread
shredded wheat bitesize
no added salt/sugar muesli
greek yoghurt
boiled egg with soldiers
scrambled egg
poached egg


hash browns
potato waffles
sausage (use quorn sausages)
sausage and egg mayo sarnies


egg on toast
pre cooked and cooled potato wedges
omelette (cooled and cut into squares)
use tortilla wraps or pitta bread instead of bread to make a wrap instead of a sandwich.
rice cakes
rice with peas and sweetcorn
baked potato
pasta with sauce
savoury pancakes
cauliflower, broccoli and leek in white sauce
mashed potato with onion and tomato
carrot, swede and parsnip mash

Dinner: takes a bit more time than the other meals but generally we rotate this sort of list.

If you eat fish:

fish cakes
fish fingers
fish pie

courgette fritters
chickpea burgers
mini pizzas
leek and broccoli muffins
pepper and courgette muffins
pumpkin wedges
potato cakes
curried eggs with rice
hash browns
vegetable curry

Use quorn mince to make:

spag bol
sheperds pie
pasta and meatballs
chilli con carne

RamblingRosa Mon 26-Jan-09 08:24:48

Blimey, there are a lot of good ideas there. I managed to make a veg pasta bake for dinner last night with peas and sweetcorn and she refused to eat any of it I guess I'll just have to persevere.

Cies Mon 26-Jan-09 09:25:47

What sort of stuff do you like to eat? You might feel less sad about her rejecting the food if you had made it for yourself aswell, not especially for her (apologies if that's what you do already, it wasn't really clear from OP).

After Nappyaddict's list this will seem rather paltry, but I've found my 3yo niece loves all sorts of frittatas - you can do them with a combination of carrot, onion, potato, spinach, peppers etc. And, to help her get to like it you can melt a little grated cheese on top.

LittleMissNorty Mon 26-Jan-09 09:31:32

My DD (19m) eats whatever we do.

Breakfast is cereal then either toast or banana

Lunch is sandwich (ham, cheese, whatever), fruit, yogurt and a piece of cake

Dinner is usually what we have had the night before - today is lasagne, salad and garlic bread. Yesterday was roast dinner & veg.

RamblingRosa Mon 26-Jan-09 09:37:46

I tend to eat pretty much the same as her. I usually polish her food off when she rejects it! Frittata is a good idea as she does like egg in general.

dandycandyjellybean Mon 26-Jan-09 13:19:54

I found that my ds still has a bit of a thing about food all mixed up, i.e. will eat pasta with cheese sauce and then broc, carrot, veg on the side, but not a pasta bake with it all mixed in. Apparently this is quite common, and fairly easy to accommodate, did stirfry noodles last night, and just picked out the noodles mainly for him with a bit of the veg on the side.

Don't beat yourself up, kids and life goes through phases; sometimes they eat well and sometimes circs dictate that they eat less well, generally it balances out. Moving house is a MAD time; I remember we ate chippy and crap for about 2 weeks either side!!! I felt horrible for ages!!!! Chill out, when you're all moved in you can start making some of the lovely stuff suggested on here.

RamblingRosa Mon 26-Jan-09 13:52:05

Thanks sexbomb. I needed to hear that. I have been really beating myself up about it. DD seems picky regardless of whether food's mixed up or not.

She refuses pretty much all food at nursery apart from cheese rolls blush.

I suppose the main thing is that she seems to be growing well and developing normally. I think I was a really fussy eater and didn't really start enjoying food until I was a teenager. Maybe she'll just be like me. I turned out alright I think!

cheekychicos Mon 26-Jan-09 16:53:54

Luckily I am blessed with a 2 yr old that will eat almost anything and loves the food we eat rather than 'baby food'. She never really liked processed baby foods, especially jarred stuff so she'd have whatever we're eating, just mashed up to different degrees depending on age. I have a really good book called 'Mother, Baby and Toddler book' by Rose Elliot. All about bringing up a veggie baby and has good advice about nutrition. One of our family favourites is risotto, just cook up rice and add whatever veg or pulses you want (roasted butternut squash is very good)and it freezes well so you can make up a few pots for quick lunches/dinners when you're pushed for time. Don't feel bad about things if she's happy and healthy. Once you've moved and things have settled you may find she develops new eating habits and you'll wonder what you were beating yourself up for! They all go through phases and come out the other end. I have the house move to look forward to in a few months so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

earlyriser Tue 27-Jan-09 08:35:50

I finely grate carrot and add it to beans, they don't notice it.

RamblingRosa Tue 27-Jan-09 09:01:28

I hadn't thought of grating carrot. I don't really like grated carrot myself but that's no reason not to give it to DD. She might like the texture.

Thanks for the cookbook suggestion. I've got a Rose Elliot grown up recipe book but i'll have a look for her kid's one.

neolara Tue 27-Jan-09 12:18:32

Its worth getting the veggie equivalent of the Annabel Karmel cookbook - Baby and Child Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Timperley. Both my kids are veggie and at various stages I have got into a rut about what they eat. Generally when I have used recipes from this book, both have responded enthusiastically. They seem particularly baby / toddler / pre-school friendly. There are also recipes from this book that I cook for us adults e.g. lovely one in the 9 to 12 month range for aubergine and lentil mousaka.

RamblingRosa Tue 27-Jan-09 13:53:22

Mmm, aubergine and lentil moussaka sounds lovely I'll look out for that book. Thanks

Wispabarsareback Tue 27-Jan-09 20:26:41

My nightmare-to-feed DD2 (17 months) will reliably eat lentil soup (I always add plenty of celery and carrot to it, plus potato, and a pinch of cumin for flavour, and I stir in lots of grated cheese at the end) and yellow-split-pea soup (again, with celery, carrot and cumin). I don't bother to blend them, so they are pretty easy to do - if I make a decent amount, it re-heats nicely to cover several meals over a week or so. She also likes leek and potato soup. (I promise I don't feed her entirely on soup!)

And both my DDs LOVE tomato pasta, which as other posters have said you can cunningly add finely-sliced veg to - mine are keen on courgette and/or red pepper. For instant meals, my DDs are both fans of pesto - I mix it with rice sometimes as a change from pasta. (NB I don't cook rice specially for such a thing - but if we have leftover rice, rice 'n' pesto is one of my fallbacks on days when I need to feed them instantly. With plenty of grated parmesan.)

Another good use for leftover rice is egg-fried rice and vegetables (especially as your DD likes egg - as mine does). I just heat some oil and butter, stir-fry some chopped veg (again I often do courgette or red pepper, and often broccoli or peas), add a beaten egg and bash it around til it's cooked, then mix in the cooked rice with a little water, stock or soy-sauce. (I know the latter is salty, but I think a little is OK, and my DDs like it very much - and good point!)

On the theme of veg and eggs, how about veggie-scramble - chop a selection of veg, saute in butter, then add the eggs and proceed as normal for scrambled egg. I always stir in plenty of grated cheese at the end. (My DDs seem to share my view that there are few things that can't be improved with the addition of grated cheese.)

LadyG Tue 27-Jan-09 20:36:41

roast veg 'chips' parsnip/carrot /sweet potato? lentil 'bolognese'. Risotto-sweetcorn cheese and lots of other veggies chopped small. Left over risotto balls dipped in egg and breadcrumbs/crushed cornflakes and fried. Yoghurt dips (savoury) with grated cucumber or carrot? Mashed potato and pea 'cakes' (made from leftovers) egg breadcrumbs and fried. Savoury pancakes? gnocchi or pasta and pesto (I hide broccoli in it when I can be bothered) or tomato sauce with hidden veggies-make up a batch and freeze in small portions. Boiled egg and marmite toast soldiers?
Can you hide carrots/sweet potatoes etc in muffins/carrot cake? When my DS was going through an extreme anti veggie phase i used to juice carrots and mix them with his apple juice

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