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Dd "disappointed" with her lunch!

(17 Posts)
Tissy Thu 07-Apr-05 14:25:05

Dd(3) has always been a picky eater. She doesn't eat a great variety of things and we struggle to get her interested in anything new.

She eats:

pasta (preferably with grated cheese on, just recently persuaded her to try bolognese sauce)
bread
ham
sausages
fish fingers
M+S Chicken flowers
carrot
sweetcorn
cucumber
apple
pear
banana
strawberries
potato farls(won't try boiled, mashed, chips,baked)
yoghurt
cornflakes
anything sweet or chocolately

Ok, so that looks like a lot written down, but we have to give her a packed lunch for nursery and have very little time for food preparation between getting home and going to bed.

This week nursery commented that she seems "disappointed" with her lunch. She gets either a cheese sandwich or a ham sandwich,a vegetable, yoghurt and fruit. They get "snacks" provided morning and afternoon, which are allegedly "healthy" (pancakes spread with jam??, but unless they have something sweet, she won't touch it.)

When she gets home, she has pasta, with cheese, or bolognese sauce, or, if I have time to razz up the oven she will get chicken, fish fingers, sausages with a different sort of vegetable from lunchtime, either bread or potato farls and another sort of fruit.

She would eat "cheesy pasta" at every meal given half a chance!

How can I make her lunches more interesting, when she won't try anything new?

I've seen the other kids' lunchboxes- they might get mince and tatties, or spag bol, or tins of soup, tins of beans, and save for the spag bol, which is very recent, dd wouldn't DREAM of trying them- I've even bought Barney pasta shapes in tomato sauce, and Bob the Builder beans, but no chance! The nursery will microwave pre-cooked food, but can't cook from frozen (e.g. fish fingers).

I'm at a loss,if I send her in with pasta and bolognese sauce, or sausages and potato farls, then there'll be nothing left for me to feed her at home but sandwiches, and I really need to see her eating! She is such a skinny little thing, and it breaks my heart to see good food going into the bin.

Any ideas?

OldieMum Thu 07-Apr-05 14:30:56

We send DD to the nursery with leftovers from the previous night's dinner, which they then heat up. This is what they suggested doing when she first started there. We add a piece of fruit and some yoghurt. She usually eats it and it makes food-prep very easy. If the previous night's meal isn't suitable for re-heating, I make a something like pasta salad with tuna, peas and sweetcorn, which she likes very much.

LIZS Thu 07-Apr-05 14:32:33

Does he go every day or just a few times a week ?

Now it is getting into spring/summer how about doing a pot of salad for her - it could still be pasta based but mix in some cut ham and chopped salad veg/corn and dollop of natural yoghurt since she seems to eat a variety. If she'll accept that you could try a little tuna in the yoghurt or cottage cheese. Would she eat pitta bread and/or dip her cut veg in something like hummous.

PrettyCandles Thu 07-Apr-05 14:44:16

My ds is almost as picky as your dd, and I could have written your last sentence word-for-word! I send him to nursery with a lunch that embarasses me as it seems totally inadequate, but he eats it better than any fancier food that I might send. Once he asked for a change and we agreed on cold fishfingers (! ), which he had with great delight for a few days and then asked for a return to his regular peanut-butter sandwich. Since then, we have had a great change - he now takes a cheese and cucumber sandwich.

Perhaps your dd getting 'disappointed' might trigger her to ask for or try something new? Perhaps you ought to continue with her 'disappointing' lunches for another week and see what happens?

Tissy Thu 07-Apr-05 14:54:59

Thanks for your suggestions so far. LOL at the cold fish fingers, PrettyCandles, that makes my cheese sandwich seem less meagre . I will try a cold pasta salad once the weather warms up a bit, and was toying with the idea of trying tuna this wekend, though usually end up in my bedroom in tears when my latest creation gets rejected. Have dug out the Annabel Karmel and the Baby Organix recipe books from the back of the kitchen cupboard where they were festering, and will have another shot at variety!

Thought of cutting the sandwiches into interesting shapes a la Annabel Karmel, but dh would hate the waste lol!

Tissy Thu 07-Apr-05 14:56:48

Ooh, sorry Lizs, meant to reply to you, too- she goes every day, has done since the age of 4 months, poor little thing. I thought the sight of other children eating different things would encourage her, but no...

crunchie Thu 07-Apr-05 14:59:35

Looking at that list I can see pasta salad could work well, pasta with sweetcorn, cucumber and carrots. I wouldn't bother with mayonaise, she could just pick at it.

A tub of grated cheese alongside it, or cheese chunks or even chopped ham in the salad.

She could eat the same again at another meal, it won't hurt her and you would still see her eating. Could you try some of the MN recipes for nuggets and fishcakes and try them?

Have you tried cooking with her? I found this helped 'a little' with my picky eater.

crunchie Thu 07-Apr-05 15:05:09

Missed your most recent message, that you get upset when she won't try a new creation. Please don't get upset, it isn't worth it and she is using food to control you. I bet she KNOWS exactly what she is doing and won't eat other stuff because it gets a reaction and you worry because she is a 'skinny little thing'

Seriously try a kids cookbbok and try new things WITH her. This might help and at least you will have had fun and some quality time even if she won't actually eat what she made. You don't HAVE to make cakes - personally I don't with my kids. Granny makes cakes with my kids, I make a roast dinner, or a cheesy sauce or eggy bread. They will help with loads of things (making a mess being one) but I see it as a double whammy - quality time and dinner made at the end of it, playing princesses is not as productive

saadia Thu 07-Apr-05 15:33:36

My ds is also a very picky eater, but he does manage to finish houmous and grated carrot sandwiches.

Tissy Thu 07-Apr-05 19:54:42

haven't tried houmous yet...worth a try, I suppose.

Crunchie, thanks for your kind words, I know you're right, and mostly I don't make an issue of it, but occasionally when I've put a lot of effort in, and got her to help me with mixing, etc, then it gets rejected, or worse thrown on the floor, it gets me down. It's really difficult to continue trying out new things when the response is so consistently negative.

hatsoff Thu 07-Apr-05 20:07:42

Hi Tissy - another thing to bear in mind is that it is worth trying new creations several times - even if they are at first rejected. The first time they see something they are always suspicious, the whole idea of it seems alien, the second time it's not so strange, - its definitely worth it to keep trying. Also it helps enormously if you eat the same things with them - obviously not relevant for nursery but in general to get them to try stuff)

SenoraPostrophe Thu 07-Apr-05 20:14:43

Tissy - when you say she rejects new foods, do you always try a new food at home before sending it to nursery? Dd goes through phases of pickiness, but she always seems to eat better at nursery even if the leftovers I send are exactly what she has refused the night before.

Also for teatime - egg and soldiers?

WigWamBam Thu 07-Apr-05 20:36:34

Would she eat pasta with tomato sauce and chopped sausages in it, or perhaps something like pitta bread stuffed with cold sausages, cucumber, sweetcorn and sliced raw carrot?

Or maybe a rice salad (will she eat rice?) with cucumber, sweetcorn, grated carrot and chopped up pieces of pear?

Would she eat something like a mimi-quiche? Fry some vegetables (anything she'll eat, put them into small pasty cases then whisk up some egg and milk with a bit of cheese, put it over the top and bung them in the oven for 15 mins. She could even help you with those.

Tissy Thu 07-Apr-05 20:57:36

Yes, always try new food at home first, would hate her to not eat something at nursery and go hungry...maybe I should harden my heart!

Soldiers, yes egg, NO!!!!!!!

Tomato sauce is "gusting", as is rice, might have a go at mini quiches, she has been known to eat sausage rolls, so might go for pastry! Hope I can find some ready made cases, as my pastry making skills aren't great.

SenoraPostrophe Thu 07-Apr-05 20:59:08

Yes, harden your heart!

(I'm really hard, me).

I always just think well, she's got the fruit and the yog.

Tissy Thu 07-Apr-05 21:04:06

True, she always gets fruit and yoghurt too, and I suppose if she were hungry, she might be more enthusiastic about the "snacks" that I pay extra for!

Elf1981 Thu 07-Apr-05 21:20:35

Had a quick gander through one of my cookbooks based purely for pasta. Not sure if these will help, if you think so, CAT me and I'll send you the recepies.
Also they're not big on the prep side / dont take too long to do, and can be warmed up.

Italian Cream of Tomato Soup - basically tomato soup, with fusilli pasta and veggie bits.
Lemon & Chicken Soup - carrots, celery, chicken, lemon & spaghetti
Pasta with Bacon and Tomatoes - erm, pasta with bacon (taking a gamble because you say she likes ham) with little tomatoes.
Italian Fish Stew - pasta, cod, little tomatoes & courgettes
Pasta stuffed tomatoes - scoop out the middle of a bit tomato, stuff with cooked pasta and salad. She might pick at the tomato but eat the rest.
Sausage salad - pasta, salad and sausage.

They may be useless, but if you think they might be okay, CAT me.

I wouldnt worry too much though, the list she seems to enjoy may be small but all healthy. I was pretty much like that as a child, my mum and dad used to worry. Their plan of action was to enfore the "whats on the plate will be eaten" but I got around that by hiding food in my pockets, chucking it behind the fridge (got grounded when they moved the fridge for the first time in years, ooops. Now I eat a lot of variety of food.

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