No2 child has not yet grown out of his fussy eating stage. His older brother started his at about 2 and a half when he realised that he could say 'No' (and often did), but by the time he got to 6 he'd gotten over it.
Now, aged almost 10, he's just asked for Thai food for his birthday dinner - how far he has come!
No2 son will be turning 7 in 2 weeks and still is extraordinarily fussy. He can pick out a 3mm transparent square of onion from his dinner and then will refuse to eat the lot. If it's beige, he will eat it (think chips, any form of potatoes, fish fingers, chicken nuggets). Pork is his Voldemort, unless in sausage form when he will chomp it down. Any sort of mince is also a no-go, which wipes out an amazing array of normally family friendly meals.
We've just had our busiest 8 weeks of the year at Cheeky Wipes (Easter Holidays, Bluewater Baby Show, Real Nappy Week, then NEC Baby show....topped off by half term. So I'll be honest, Captain Birds Eye has been providing many of the kids meals during the week.
Judge not, lest ye be judged.
As a little bit of desperation kicked in I asked our lovely facebook fans to recommend their favourite family friendly dinners. Amongst the many spag bol recommendations <weeping silently at mince avoidance>, Deborah kindly recommended Macaroni Peas from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg book, which I happened to have at home. This is a great book with lots of different ideas for getting veggies into your kids, including a beetroot hummous recipe which is fab.
This recipe is great. Not only is it cheap, it's good for them and happens to be meat-free too. Bonus.
I served Macaroni Peas up on Wednesday to my 4 kids, plus 2 visiting on playdates. My 4 wolfed it down, but the play dates were less keen. Oh, well, you can't please all of the people, all of the time. This is my version which didn't keep any whole peas as I knew we had a pea hater as one of the play dates and was trying to fool him. FAIL.
- 500g frozen peas
- 300g pasta (macaroni or smaller shapes are best)
- 50g butter
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 50g parmesan, grated.
- 25g strong cheddar
- Put a pan of salted water on and cook pasta until your liking.
- At the same time, put the peas in a saucepan, cover with water and cook until tender (3 or 4 mins).
- When the peas are cooked, strain, reserving about 6 tablespoons of cooking liquid.
- Add the butter and garlic to a pan and sweat for a few minutes, without colouring. Remove from heat.
- Add the cooked peas and cooking liquid to the butter, garlic, two thirds of the parmesan, and all of the cheddar. Blitz in a food processor or using a hand blender. You should have a loose puree, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain the pasta when ready and stir through the pea puree. Serve immediately with remaining parmesan on top.