Thursday, July 24, 2008

Eating Endeavours

We have two very fussy eaters in our house. And Baby Born is not one of them (although her diet is somewhat limited too she never complains about what her mummy gives her).
We are tired of living with them. Well, not of them but of their fussiness regarding food. If they had their way this would be their daily menu:

Breakfast: bowl of cereal - each has their preferences of how much bran, weet-bix or nutri-grain, (or sometimes porridge in winter) These scientific mixtures with strict proportions are a mystery to me and one of the reasons that I sleep in most mornings - to let Steve serve breakfast.

Morning tea: crackers at school or 2 biscuits/slices at home

Lunch: cold tortilla with cheese would go down well but usually a sandwich, Laura might have jam and Emily will have plain bread. And an apple and maybe a treat

Yee haa what a yummy lunch - not.

Afternoon tea: 2 biscuits/slices and maybe a lolly from the never-ending supply from parties, maybe later a yoghurt or some dry oat flakes ...

Dinner: Plain pasta with grated cheese on the side and a few carrot sticks would be the preferred menu for Emily. They both like Mexican food and will eat very small amounts of other food ...

Dessert: seasonal fruit and maybe a treat (eg a marshmallow) if they have eaten "all" of their miniscule dinners.

BUT now that is all changing! This mother has had ENOUGH!!!

So we are radically changing the way we eat around here.

My aim is that my girls will ...

- happily try any new food

- not expect sugary food at every meal

- ultimately eat nearly everything on their plate at dinnertime

- love healthy foods

So the new rules are ...

1. No asking "what's for dinner?" - I've learnt that this just prolongs the complaints I get, instead of starting at dinner time they start straight after school - yikes!

2. From now on every meal is "Mystery Food" They might get "dinner" at afternoon tea time. They might get "breakfast" for lunch. Their foods might be familiar or unfamiliar, favourites or foods they have rejected in the past.

3. Variety is the key. (I know, I know this is where I have gone wrong all these years) This means lots more work for me at the moment, but I think it will pay off.

4. No snacking before dinner.

So what have they been eating???

We are up to day 2 now of the E.F.E.P. (End of Fussy Eating Plan)

Breakfasts - have been the same but with my (delicious) home made muesli on top. Which contains (shock horror) dried fruits. Maybe on the weekends we might have some eggs too.

Morning tea at school has been anything/s from their lunchbox.

Lunchbox day 1 Mexican Rice (recipe below), apple, cheese and crackers, dried apple (came home again), and I've forgotten what else.

Lunchbox day 2 = cold meatballs with tomato sauce (went down well but were filling, only ate a few)

vita weet crackers (came home)

cheese spread and crackers pre-packed snack (eaten no probs)

apricot delight squares - prepacked - (requested more - a new hit!)

apple (always eaten)

sultanas (eaten!!)

Lunchbox day 3 = chicken sausage sandwich on pumpkin seed bread

cheese snack and apricots again


apricot delight squares

Afternoon tea:

Day 1 chicken sausages, heated and sliced, with toothpicks to pick them up; English muffin pizzas (just pizza sauce and cheese) & I let them have 1 lolly from their stash.

This was the first time ever they have gone from afternoon tea till dinner without asking for more food! I didn't really expect them to remember the rule not to ask, so I was surprised when they weren't even hungry enough to ask!

Day 2 muffin pizzas again and these:

fresh pineapple and marshmallows on toothpicks.

I think toothpicks might be the answer. I could serve ANYTHING on toothpicks and it would be eaten! Emily always grumbles about pineapple, we have only just recently started buying fresh pineapple, but I persuaded her to try these and the combination was irresistable to her!

Also I have been trying to serve things nicely, on different plates from usual, and bringing it to the coffee table on a tray. The first time I did this on Day 1 one of them exclaimed "a feast!" (ah music to my ears!)


Sesame Chicken Rissoles (recipe below) - this was a brand new meal to us and they hoed right in. We had leftovers the following night and they couldn't wait to eat it. Emily even managed to eat a side serving of four beans mix, which never happened before, and the nightly "treat" system has been completely forgotten (also unheard of!)

So I am feeling quietly optimistic, we have not eaten anything exotic, but the girls have tried new foods, we have all managed a low-sugar afternoon tea and enjoyed it, the girls have tried things in their lunchboxes and on their dinner plates without complaint.

Some progress has been made.


Mexican Rice

1 1/2 tblspns oil

1 1/2 cups (300g) long-grain rice

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 tspn ground cumin

1/2 tspn ground paprika

2 large tomatoes, peeled seeded and chopped

100g sliced mild salami, cut into strips

1 small carrot, diced

2 cups hot chicken stock

1/2 cup frozen peas

2 tablespoons each of chopped fresh coriander and parlsey

1. Heat oil in saucepan and gently cook rice, onion & garlic for 10mins or until rice is soft

Add spices and cook for 30 sec

2. Add tomato, salami, carrot and stock, bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered 15mins till the rice is almost tender.

3. Stir in peas and coriander and cook covered for further 4 mins until rice tender and liquid absorbed. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

(I forgot to buy tomatoes and fresh herbs and this was still yummy without)

Sesame Chicken Rissoles

sesame seeds

400g chicken mince (I used 500g)

1/2 dry breadcrumbs

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup cheddar cheese finely grated

2 tblspns olive oil

Mix allingredients except the oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and shape into 12 rissoles (we made 14) Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook in 2 batches for 2.5mins each side or until cooked through (and whoever believes those cooking times? My rissoles always take way longer than the recipe says)

Serve with tomato sauce and salad. (but we tried satay sauce, and sweet chilli and they were both yummy, also had noodles with them).

These recipes both come from Family Circle - Fast Family Meals. Enjoy!


Hill upon hill said...

Brilliant, keep going... this is the start of the rest of their gastronomic lives.....
Lucky girls

Amy said...

I have two children who are reasonably fussy too but my youngest eats anything which helps ALOT! That rice dish sounds awesome!