5 not entirely unhealthy things to cook for fussy eaters

chicken pitIn fairness my children are probably not THAT fussy so this list might not be based on terribly useful data and may not be truly representative of the really fussy children group but it is a list of favourites in our house.

1. Bacon Zucchini Pasta; this is like bolognaise sauce but without the mince and with loads of vegetables.

2. Meatballs on sticks; often the size of the food seems to cause my children an issue. If they can’t imagine getting the food to fit into their mouths whilst ensuring its structural integrity they won’t even try putting it to their lips, even though it’s totally delicious and I know they would love it. Serving hamburger patties in smaller balls and serving them with toothpicks makes it easy finger food and more fun too. Tomato, cheese, and assorted other vegetables can be cubed and toothpicked too. I am always amazed that by simply changing how a food is “meant” to be eaten makes it a whole world of fun.

3. Grilled chicken and pasta; I use breast meat that has been thinly sliced, season it with some all purpose seasoning and then fry it in a small amount of butter. The boys love it, it’s very simple flavours but tasty. I serve it with “plain” pasta which they love, you can put some olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, parmesan or other things through it if those are tolerated in your house. I serve this with our standard of frozen peas and fresh sliced carrots.

4. Fish fingers and homemade chips; I use shop bought fish fingers and peel and slice potatoes into what would be called farm style or rough cut chips, but all it means is quite big bits. I precook them in some water in the microwave for about 10-15 minutes depending on how many potatoes I’ve used. Then toss them onto the baking tray, drizzle some olive oil over them and either mixed herbs or just salt and pepper and cook for 45-60 mins, until they are nice and crispy really. Again served with peas and carrots.

5. Chicken pie (with leek and bacon); I use one pack of chicken thighs, usually about 500g cut into chunks. I lightly brown them. I add some oil to a pan with about 3 crushed garlic cloves, to which I add  two large finely sliced leeks and fry them until they start to change colour. I then add a few rashes of chopped bacon and brown that while softening the leeks further. I re-add the chicken with half a cup of white wine and cook that off. I then add 2 cups of chicken stock and leave it all to simmer for about 10 minutes. Finally I add 2 TBSPs of cornflour to thicken it up (mix in a little cold water before adding to the pan), unless you like a thinner sauce. Pour it all into a casserole dish, pop a sheet of puff pastry across the top and cook in the oven at about 190 Celsius for about 30 minutes or until the pastry has crisped and is a nice brown colour.

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