Jump to content

Never fail dinners


  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#1 The Falcon

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:03 AM

My 3 yr old is driving me crazy at dinner time.  I am a keen cook, so I would happily spend hours slaving away in the kitchen if the end result was something healthy (or at least had some nutritional value) that she would actually eat!

She hates zuccini slice, doesn't like sauce on her pasta and is usually not interested in plain meat or veg.

After she happily ate chicken nuggets and fish fingers when we were at restaurants I made my own healthy versions at home and she wouldn't eat them.  I got her the frozen ones at home and she wouldn't eat it.  

So what are your never fail dinners that your 3 year old loves?  I need some inspiration!

#2 Bluenomi

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:07 AM

Plain pasta. That's about it!

#3 tickly_rain

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:14 AM

The things my children eat the most are the things they've helped prepare and cook.  It's still hit and miss (mostly with DS3, who is 5), but they'll at least have a go when they're partly responsible for it!  DS1 (9), never has sauce on his pasta.  DS2 (7) floods everything with tomato sauce!  I've given up worrying about it!

Another tactic I use is getting them to look through the recipe books and find something they like the look of.  We do this mainly during school holidays when we have more preparation and shopping time.

Recent favourites - San Choy Bow, Chicken skewers (honey soy) and home made gnocchi.

#4 Chelara

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:17 AM

My 3.5 yo is very in to curries, rice, corn on the cob, veggies.  There are lots of veges she'll enjoy more raw rather than cooked so I often get her to help prep the veg with her kids cutlery knife and she eats while she's going- mushrooms, capsicum, snow peas etc.

When she went through her worst fussy stage coating everything in BBQ sauce worked.

#5 Therese

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:22 AM

I am past this stage now but back when my girls were this age, plain pasta and frozen peas and corn (never cooked) were the favourite.

#6 credence

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:30 AM

I don't think there is such a thing. One week my cild will love chicken, the next he won't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

It's a tough stage, but it passes....eventually.

#7 adnama

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:38 AM

my 4yr old is the better eater of the two

-my kids love pasta, with a tin of diced tomatoes as their sauce and some cheese on top.
-mini pizza they can add the toppings they want
-my son loves a pick plate some cold meat, cucumber (a must for him), cheese, tomato, lettuce, grapes, strawberries any thing he can pick at with his fingers
-scrambled eggs are also another fave

#8 RedBob

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:38 AM

Mashed potato, plain pasta with nothing but salt, sausages, hamburgers that consist of a meat patty, tomato sauce and  a slice of cheese on bread.

She would eat mash with peas and corn through it, and she's always adored plain oven baked salmon.

#9 No-pants Agnodice

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:41 AM

I simply refuse to cater to a 3 year olds whims. Never have, never will. I will serve up what I think to be a healthy tasty meal, and a potion which represents the minimum I think constitutes an acceptable meal. And it doesn't matter how much they carry on and tantrum, they eat it. It's always been the rules, and we consequently rarely get more than a token attempt at 'I don't want it'. I don't send them to bed without dinner, I don't bribe with dessert. The only concession I'll make is I'll help them eat it.

That are, of course, allowed to not like certain things - my elder simply could not bear tomato until be was 2.5 (and to be fair it gave him a rash around his mouth). I also don't make things really strongly flavoured (like sour, or chilli hot). But apart from those concession, they have both eaten the same food a us from about eight months.

So personally, I think you're asking the wrong question. It's not about what a 3 year olds likes (because at that age it has little to do with what they like, and a lot to do with simply being stubborn) - its about how you get your child to eat the meal you have prepared. And for me, the answer is simple. I am not my child's friend, chef, personal assistant or anything else. I am their parent, and they will eat the delicious healthy food we make for the family.

#10 *lightning

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:46 AM

My DD prefers raw carrot. My DS1 doesn't like carrots, I hide them. My DS2 doesn't eat large chunks of food.

Both DD and DS1 will eat almost anything if I tell them in advance they will be eating it.

DS2 I just mash it up because he is such a good little boy at meal times and eats anything.


#11 Exhaustedbuthappy

Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:37 AM

QUOTE (AvadaKedavra @ 29/01/2013, 08:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So personally, I think you're asking the wrong question. It's not about what a 3 year olds likes (because at that age it has little to do with what they like, and a lot to do with simply being stubborn) - its about how you get your child to eat the meal you have prepared. And for me, the answer is simple. I am not my child's friend, chef, personal assistant or anything else. I am their parent, and they will eat the delicious healthy food we make for the family.



I like this, very much.

#12 Natttmumm

Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:49 PM

Plain pastaSoft boiled eggsScrambled eggsPizza - home madeChicken schnitzelFish and chipsStir fryLamb skewersTiny meatballs - no sauceTacos - they like to add the toppings themselvesHoney soy chicken drumsticks - the little onesChicken noodle soupAny meat they can dip in sour cream sauce

For my kids its all about how it looks. So if I use little toothpicks they will eat anything. If I  make the plate look like a persons face they eat everything. I also explain which foods help you grow and give energy and they eat more of it.
They don't eat big meals so I try to give 5 small meals over the day. Some meals are hit and miss. The next snack is not too far away so it doesn't matter.



#13 librablonde

Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:08 PM

QUOTE (AvadaKedavra @ 29/01/2013, 09:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I simply refuse to cater to a 3 year olds whims. Never have, never will. I will serve up what I think to be a healthy tasty meal, and a potion which represents the minimum I think constitutes an acceptable meal. And it doesn't matter how much they carry on and tantrum, they eat it. It's always been the rules, and we consequently rarely get more than a token attempt at 'I don't want it'. I don't send them to bed without dinner, I don't bribe with dessert. The only concession I'll make is I'll help them eat it.

That are, of course, allowed to not like certain things - my elder simply could not bear tomato until be was 2.5 (and to be fair it gave him a rash around his mouth). I also don't make things really strongly flavoured (like sour, or chilli hot). But apart from those concession, they have both eaten the same food a us from about eight months.

So personally, I think you're asking the wrong question. It's not about what a 3 year olds likes (because at that age it has little to do with what they like, and a lot to do with simply being stubborn) - its about how you get your child to eat the meal you have prepared. And for me, the answer is simple. I am not my child's friend, chef, personal assistant or anything else. I am their parent, and they will eat the delicious healthy food we make for the family.


This is exactly how we run our household, too. As a result, we have 5 kids who will eat anything I serve up to them, whether they actually like it or not. If they don't eat it they go hungry until the next meal. I find it bizarre that I see so many parents pander to their kids in regards to food. Can you imagine how much extra work it would be for me if I had to cater for each child's acquired "fussiness" with certain foods. Barring issues like ASD, I just don't think I need to make a rod for my own back that way. I just feel that food doesn't need to be such a drama. Once a child knows that arguing and whining and going on a food-strike will yield no results for them, they stop behaving like that and just tuck into their food without hassle.

Edited by librablonde, 29 January 2013 - 05:10 PM.


#14 EssentialBludger

Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:12 PM

I made butter chicken and rice the other night and both kids scoffed it down with second helpings!! these are the kids that never eat their dinner...

#15 SlinkyMalinki

Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:12 PM

My 4 year old turns up her nose at plain meat and veg, but will eat a curry (provided they can't see any 'green bits', not saying that there's not any there).

Omlettes are another winner, as are veggie fritters (again, hiding the green bits).

Mine will also eat veggies raw - snow peas, carrots sticks, etc, but won't eat them cooked.





#16 Ice Queen

Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:21 PM

QUOTE (librablonde @ 29/01/2013, 04:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is exactly how we run our household, too. As a result, we have 5 kids who will eat anything I serve up to them, whether they actually like it or not. If they don't eat it they go hungry until the next meal. I find it bizarre that I see so many parents pander to their kids in regards to food. Can you imagine how much extra work it would be for me if I had to cater for each child's acquired "fussiness" with certain foods. Barring issues like ASD, I just don't think I need to make a rod for my own back that way. I just feel that food doesn't need to be such a drama. Once a child knows that arguing and whining and going on a food-strike will yield no results for them, they stop behaving like that and just tuck into their food without hassle.


Yep, us too.  Tonight is pork snitzels (all home prepared), roast potatoes and salad.  They can eat how much they like but no substitutes, no pandering, no bribing.  Just sit at the table and enjoy our dinner.  If the 3 yo decides to be a PITA (which she can be) we talk over top of her and ignore her until she is nice!

#17 The Falcon

Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:22 PM

Some great suggestions thanks!

I have also got a parenting crush on AvadaKedavra and librablonde as that is exactly what I feel I should do, and always said I would do before I actually had any children....

I tried it tonight with the pasta with corn & tuna sauce I made tonight, low and behold DD decided after some initial complaints and refusals that it was delicious.

DS (18 mnths) on the other hand refused, poured it over the floor and then screamed the house down until I let him out of his high chair, but I suppose that problem belongs in the 12-24 month group!

#18 Lazycow

Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:30 PM

QUOTE (AvadaKedavra @ 29/01/2013, 06:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I simply refuse to cater to a 3 year olds whims. Never have, never will. I will serve up what I think to be a healthy tasty meal, and a potion which represents the minimum I think constitutes an acceptable meal. And it doesn't matter how much they carry on and tantrum, they eat it. It's always been the rules, and we consequently rarely get more than a token attempt at 'I don't want it'. I don't send them to bed without dinner, I don't bribe with dessert. The only concession I'll make is I'll help them eat it.

That are, of course, allowed to not like certain things - my elder simply could not bear tomato until be was 2.5 (and to be fair it gave him a rash around his mouth). I also don't make things really strongly flavoured (like sour, or chilli hot). But apart from those concession, they have both eaten the same food a us from about eight months.

So personally, I think you're asking the wrong question. It's not about what a 3 year olds likes (because at that age it has little to do with what they like, and a lot to do with simply being stubborn) - its about how you get your child to eat the meal you have prepared. And for me, the answer is simple. I am not my child's friend, chef, personal assistant or anything else. I am their parent, and they will eat the delicious healthy food we make for the family.


I do have to agree with this ^ ^.

The only thing I do differently is, each child gets to pick their favourite meal and it is incorporated into the weeks menu. The child also gets to help prepare their meal.

DS1 usually asks for Chow mein or fried rice

DD1 usually asks for Spag bol or jacket potatoes

DS2 who is by far the pickiest will choose macaroni cheese/Carbonara,basically any pasta dish with a white sauce.

For the rest of the week they eat what I make them and so far they all eat pretty well especially on the night they have helped to cook to their chosen meal.

My current battle is trying to get DS1 to eat different veges (he will only eat carrots and broccoli stalks)

#19 spando

Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:30 PM

I do veggie frittas basically corn and what ever veggies we have in the fridge in basic pancake batter sometimes with added cheese. The trick is I get a bit fancy with the fry pan and make different shapes or we make eyes mouths noses and make faces on the plates.
It's painfully but it's our failsafe.

#20 Swarley

Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:32 PM

Wow, I agree with AK for once Tounge1.gif

I have 4 kids and with the exception of DS not liking tomato, they eat whatever they're given.
I raise them the way I was raised. We were never forced to eat anything, but were never given the option to pick and choose what was cooked for us.

If I let them lead the way we'd be living off Tuna pasta bake and Tacos biggrin.gif

#21 Swarley

Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:34 PM

QUOTE (spando @ 29/01/2013, 06:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do veggie frittas basically corn and what ever veggies we have in the fridge in basic pancake batter sometimes with added cheese. The trick is I get a bit fancy with the fry pan and make different shapes or we make eyes mouths noses and make faces on the plates.
It's painfully but it's our failsafe.

I love this biggrin.gif

Might do it tonight because I'm in a lazy mood and the kids had a late lunch.

#22 josh2003

Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:39 PM

Our kids eat what we eat too. I can't keep up with what that like/dislike at any given moment anyway. So instead, I try and cook meals with a few elements e.g. chicken with mash, brocolini, carrots etc. and some days he will eat all the chicken, but pick at the veggies, but the next time he will eat all the veggies but leave the chicken.

One thing my kids love to eat is green veggies like chinese broccoli, bok choy and broccolini in oyster sauce (like you get in asian restaurants). I often cook up a huge plateful to go with whatever else we're having, and they always hoe into that.

But I refuse to cook something separate for them, as I don't want to set myself or my kids up for a life time of them being picky or spoiled when it comes to food. I'm not asking them to eat chopped liver or prawn heads.

I find the hardest part is getting them (mainly my 3 year old) to try things. Just about every night he will sit at the table and say he doesn't want what we're having, but once he tries it, he will usually say it's yummy!

My 9 year old has quite an exotic taste... he loves things like tom yum soup, dumplings, or anything thai/asian, but has to be pushed to eat a roast potato! One thing they both like to eat is mexican, so if I make tacos/burritos for dinner, it's always a nice a peaceful dinner!

#23 RunDMC

Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:53 PM

Mine is a bit younger at 2.5 yrs and we also do the eat what we are eating.

If he objects or says he does not want it DH says good more for me and goes to take it off DS plate, which usually gets DS to giggle and eat it.

Our best meals however are ones where he gets a small amount of (perceived) control over what is on his plate, like tacos/wraps or when we place things in serving bowls and plate up at the table - Asian/Indian dishes. He likes the involvement especially as DH and I always use small servings and are constantly refilling our plates

Our best just get food into him is penne with a spoonful of pre made pesto and cream cheese.

#24 Feral Cancerian

Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:56 PM

I had a rare success with a glazed meatloaf. It had finely grated carrots, celery and mushrooms hidden in it and both kids ate it all, plus seconds. The only other time my three-year-old eats vegetables is when she picks snow peas straight off the vine.

#25 Funnington

Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:02 PM

QUOTE
I like this, very much.


Me too.

I cook a meal I know the whole family will enjoy (nothing outlandish like stupidly constructed meals with sweet breads decorated with foam randomly sprinkled with capers biggrin.gif ) - but, I WILL NOT run a cafe.  My MIL did this for her children and they are the fussiest (it used to be embarrassing in restaurants) eaters imaginable.

I like the 'try 10 times' ideaology.  Sure, there are things we genuinely don't like even as adults, but, if you've made your own chicken nuggets and fish fingers - I suspect she is playing you big time.  There is surely nothing unlikeable about those foods.  

At that age I wouldn't be making a big issue about food.  Simply serve your family meal, if she doesn't like it just say 'okay, but that's all there is and if you're hungry later, there's fruit'.  

This is how I've operated and my children are really good eaters.  I'm not posting to brag but to simply offer how I've viewed food in the house.  I despised the days when I was made sit at the table eating lambs fry & bacon - not allowed to leave until it was eaten.  That creates a very unhealthy attitude towards meal times (in my opinion) as does catering at every whim.  

I hope you find your happy medium.  Good luck biggrin.gif




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Teaching our son to say no to violence against women

Today, on White Ribbon Day - and every other day - we're teaching our son to say no to violence against women.

Mothers told to breastfeed in 'spacious' toilet

If there is one thing the owners of Tillings Cafe can be certain of, it is that the eatery won't win the award for Britain's best baby-friendly coffee shop any time soon.

Mother gives name to son dumped down drain

A woman who admitted to dumping her newborn baby down a Sydney drain has reportedly been allowed to give him a name.

Taking small steps to reduce stress

Are you feeling used up by life's stress, family problems and a demanding job you can't turn off? Many people are way beyond work-life exhaustion. They are functioning as robots.

Bad news: we're running out of chocolate

The world's biggest chocolate-maker says we're running out of chocolate.

Born at 23 weeks, 'Chopstick Baby' survives first week

A baby who was born at 23 weeks has survived her first week of life outside the womb.

Manic stations: the nesting instinct in pregnancy

It might sound like temporary insanity, but almost obsessive nesting as you near your due date isn’t uncommon – even if you’re not usually a particularly clean person.

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

Love has nothing to do with mental illness. But love may drive a mother to do something about it.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong'

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

Twin brothers have become dads on the same day ? with their partners giving birth in the same hospital, and even the same birthing pool.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.