Do you have a child that is a fussy eater or are you concerned about your child not eating enough fruit, vegetables or protein? Our children are big eaters! One of them will eat everything and try new foods (my husband has nicknamed him the human peddle bin), the other is a bit more complicated! Fruit and vegetables aren’t a problem. It’s the “phases” he goes through that can cause concern and frustration – having to take the skins off sausages before cooking them, picking out pieces of onion in a sauce, won’t eat tinned tomatoes but will eat passata, won’t eat sliced meat but will eat a chicken drumstick. These are just a few examples! The fact he is a slow eater doesn’t help either. Boredom sets in and food can be left. It is amazing how two children brought up the same way can be completely different.
Over the years I have cleverly designed several recipes to hide fruit, vegetables and protein. I still believe it is important to offer visible pieces of vegetables at meal or snack times. Sometimes getting children into the kitchen to help make a meal can result in them trying new things or a food they would usually turn their nose up at. Most of these recipes can be prepared ahead or frozen.
- A simple pasta sauce – saute chopped, onion, garlic, red pepper and carrot. Add herbs, a tin of tomatoes or passata and season. For added protein, add red lentils. Cook until the vegetables are soft and blitz with a hand blender, blender or food processor. Serve with pasta of your choice and top with grated cheese or mix the sauce with the pasta top with sliced mozzarella and pop under the grill until the cheese bubbles.
- A favourite in our house is pasta with cheese sauce. Be inventive. Turn it into cauliflower cheese pasta bake or add peas, sweetcorn or any small chopped veg of your choice before it goes in the oven.
- Meatballs or burgers – blitz carrot, courgette, spinach, any veg of your choice and add it to the meat mixture. Check out our meatball and impossible burger recipes.
- Smoothies – blend banana and and your chosen fruit with milk. For a healthy start to the day add a few spoonfuls of oatmeal or oats.
- Fruit – even a simple plate of chopped fruit drizzled with honey or a little maple syrup can help or get the kids into the kitchen to make fruit kebabs.
What are your fussy eater stories?