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How to fill out meals for picky kids?

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  • How to fill out meals for picky kids?

    My husband and I have figured out how to fill out our primal meals with one meat and one vegetable. Problem is, our kids have issues with vegetables and I'm not experienced enough yet to know which recipes will satisfy their palate.

    Trying to imitate foods that they are used to does not work (e.g. gluten-free bread) so it needs to be something a little different. It's been frustrating having recipe after recipe fail so hopefully more experienced folks can help out?

    Are there recipes that you've tried that works with kids or uses vegetables that aren't too green?

    For example: my husband and I have our hot dogs with spinach salad, and occasionally potato fries. The kids eat their hot dogs with wheat buns. What can I make that will give the hot dogs a yummy vehicle? Other meats we've had are coconut chicken fingers and steak, as examples.

  • #2
    If your kids don't like veggies, offer them fruit instead. Don't force it. Do not put them on a low-carb regimen; growing children need and can use the carbs. Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white rice (and rice pasta), fruit, milk, and anything else they typically like. There is no reason for most children to be on a strict meat and vegetable diet.
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    • #3
      Most kids like carrots, you can do them several ways, eg raw grated, steamed then drizzled with butter, mashed together with potato.

      I think they can also learn to like roast veges such as pumpkin or kumara (sweet potato). You can cut them into wedges, chips or even small cubes for a change.

      I always persevere with green veges, a tiny serve of broccoli or silverbeet that they must eat along with the other things they do prefer to eat.

      Or I disquise them in other things such as a hash brown, quiche, soup, or casserole.
      Last edited by Annieh; 06-07-2013, 01:17 AM.
      Annie Ups the Ante


      • #4
        When you make anything with mince such as meatballs, meatloaf, chilli or lasagne is a good time to hide some finely diced or grated veges - everything that kids won't usually eat including onion, leeks, mushroom, silverbeet, zucchini, capsicum, swede, tomato.

        In fact, if you cook up these veges and then puree them you could add a spoonful to any dish they're eating and know they are getting their veges.
        Last edited by Annieh; 06-07-2013, 01:15 AM.
        Annie Ups the Ante


        • #5
          I suggest oven baked "French fries" from potatoes:
          - peel potatoes (can be sweet potatoes)
          - cut potatoes into French fries wedges (make them thin for quick baking)
          - let them soak at least 1h in cold water
          - preheat oven at 200 C
          - dry the wedges carefully, transfer them to a salad bowl
          - prepare a bit of oil (maybe 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil) + 1 tsp of onion powder and 1 tsp paprika powder and mix them together
          - pour the oil mix to the bowl of potato wedges, close the bowl with a plate large enough to cover the top of the bowl and shake the wedges for 1 minute so that the oil spreads uniformly on the wedges
          - place the wedges on baking sheets covered with parchment paper and make sure wedges don't overlap
          - bake for a good 20mn, and check whether the fries have some color. If that's the case, turn them around and bake them for another 5 to 10mn. You can increase the temp for the last 5mn if you want but since you are using olive oil, I would avoid that.
          - take them out of the oven, gather in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.

          My kids LOVE those fries!

          Or white rice :
          - melt some good fat in a saucepan (duck fat / butter or coconut oil if you prefer the CO flavor) to medium - high temp
          - in a water boiler, boil 600ml of water
          - add 300g of white rice (jasmin or basmati) in the saucepan and stir-fry it for a good 2mn until all the rice has been "roasted" (keep stirring during all the frying time)
          - now, drop the cooking temp to very low (on a scale ranging from 1 to 10, set it to 2), add the boiling water into the saucepan (be careful, the steam will be really hot and you don't to have you hand above it) and add flavors (onion powder, rosemary, paprika, whatever you feel like, and salt)
          - put a lid on top of the saucepan so that the steam does not escape
          - let it simmer for 15mn

          After 15mn, when you uncover the saucepan, you will be surprised at how nice the rice has become

          Don't thank me

          OK, my little opinion: I don't force veggies on my kids. They do like some: broccoli (aren't my kids little weirdoes!), cauliflower (yet again) and the usual fruits pretending to be veggies (cucumber, tomatoes, etc) but I really don't want to force anything on them as long as they have their pastured eggs, meats and fish. I also cook some banana-egg pancakes which they really enjoy and once in a while, some muffins based on ground hemp seeds and raw cacao + xylitol. All in all, my kids get a lot of nutrition (I also make liver paté, etc, so they really get some good stuff). Veggies tend to make their crap soft and at times runny so I don't force-feed them veggies. Too many fibers I guess ...


          • #6
            I wasn't a big veggie eater as a kid. My mom had a couple of tricks that worked. For green beans, she browned up some bread crumbs in oil, then put the beans in. Something about that crunch made green beans interesting. Also, when all else failed, pouring or melting cheese on top on top of veggies seemed to work.

            Mashing veggies also worked, and I still puree some veggies now. Things like cauliflower and various types of squash pureed with a little cream and some butter are fantastic.

            Hiding cooked greens in tomato sauce is easy and you can barely taste the difference. Also dicing up a bunch of veggies in meatloaf is something I do.
            "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


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            • #7
              Like J3nn said, growing kids can use the carbohydrates, so if your kiddos like sweet potatoes or squash (roasted, as baked fries, with butter) or rice (if they don't have preexisting health issues, white rice should be fine). Try starches, especially because kids tend to like relatively bland or sweet foods.

              As far as the hot dogs, I've had a dish with sliced hot dogs and browned potatoes, like a hot dog-potato hash done in the pan. Also, you can wrap them in bacon with a sprinkle of brown sugar and broil until the bacon is done. There are recipes for hot dogs wrapped in flour tortillas, but I've never tried them. I also liked sliced up hotdogs with baked beans when I was a kid--I know, baked beans have sugar and lecithin, but it's probably better than a hot dog bun.

              Hope that this helps!


              • #8
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                • #9
                  All those ideas are yummy! Thank you so much!