Saturday, 26 July 2008


I'm struggling to find inspiration for cooking at the moment. There's so many things to think of - obviously the nutritional value of the food, the variety of dishes cooked, what the children will and won't eat, what suits the weather (been too hot for anything heavy this week) and trying to stick to a budget. And that's before you consider the organic, fair-trade, local, seasonal and wholesomeness aspect of it all. I find that trying new recipes often results in waste when the children reject part of it and also adds to the cost of the weekly shop due to having to buy specific new items. I have been trying to cut our costs and increase our nutritional benefit by finding recipes for things we often buy ready-made such as tortilla wraps and making them instead. This sometimes works out well and sometimes doesn't - the wraps went down very well and they're quick and easy to make but home-made hummus has never really worked out and I'm not sure why. Even I can taste that it doesn't taste like shop-bought hummus and while home-made things are usually better, somehow my hummus, no matter whch recipe I use, just isn't as nice and the children won't eat it.

I need some new ideas or else some children who aren't quite so picky. It's not fair, they used to eat anything when they were tiny. In fact, up to the age of about 2 and half, both of them would eat exactly what we had but gradually both of them got pickier about certain aspects of food - having things separate and not mixed, no sauces are the main things, but they mean no stews, soups, hotpots, lasagnes etc which makes things tricky. They do eat healthy food just not a very big variety of it and no mixed dishes. Well-meaning people say I should just serve what we're having and if they don't it then they go hungry, but I think this is rather draconian and probably counter-productive. I remember people trying to force me to eat things I didn't like as a child and it never actually made me eat them, it just created tension around meal-times and food issues in general which I'm not going to do for my children. Meal-times should be a relaxed, social occasion. Also, knowing my children, they'll just not eat, be hungry and then throw massive tantrums because they're hungry until I have to get them some food. That strikes me as a situation in which everyone loses. And tryign to starve a child into submission is pretty much tantamount to child abuse I think and certainly the opposite of respectful. I'm hoping this is one of those phases that they'll gradually grow out of.

Another thing people say to me is that if you breastfeed and then do child-led weaning, the child will grow up eating anything and be a great eater. Well, I'm here to tell you that 'it ain't necessarily so'! We did all that with both of them and both of them are picky, in their own different ways, of course, so don't try to tell me it's something I did to them!


bethnoir said...

mine are exactly the same, as tiny people they ate anything, but now it has to be all separated out on the plate, so like yours, no sauces, but tomatoes, cheese and vegetables in distinct piles around pasta get eaten- frustrating isn't it?

I've gone with the feeding them stuff they'll eat as I hate to waste food, but occasionally make a game out of getting them to try new things. I do end up cooking 4 different meals most days though, so if anyone has a better answer, I'd love to hear it!

Liz said...

Glad it's not just me then!

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.