When you’ve got a picky eater, you basically have 3 choices.
The first is to feed them whatever the heck they want. Kids faced with food on demand will choose junk and food that isn’t so great for them almost everytime. Not an option here.
The next is to persist with feeding them the varied diet that you wish they did. You will have fights, tantrums, and point blank refusals to eat. I tried that, for weeks, the result was nasty. No need for me to go into graphic detail here. I’ve said it before, if you think your child eats everything then fantastic that’s wonderful, you lucky duck! If your child is a picky eater then you’ll know all about it.
The third and preferred option in our house is to hide vegetables or die trying. Now it does have a certain attraction. Your child still eats a nutritious and varied diet and there is a certain amount of extra work to be done. Eventually your child will get a taste for the good food that you are still feeding them. The 4 year old is just coming out from the picky stage and now will eat most food with a little cajoling, that is miles away from where we were 2 years ago.
My good friend at Ouch My Fanny Hurts, lamented the other day on how she wished that she could get her wee man to eat more than waffles when he’s being picky. These are “waffles” but really baked puddles of mixed vegetable mash that I batchcook on a Sunday. Then I divide it up into 3 or 4 sandwich bags and freeze the mash, taking out 1 portion the evening before I need it. Once mixed with a little melted butter, I spoon the mash onto a piece of baking parchment on a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes at 200 degrees Celcius, until crispy on the outside.
The secret to good mash is really warm milk and elbow grease. This week’s batch of mash included a whole turnip, 7 medium potatoes and 6 medium carrots which I simmered until cooked through – using a fork to test how soft they were. Then I cheated a little and strained the vegetables off before tipping them all into my stand mixer, added 100ml of hot milk then beat the bejaysus out of them with the beating arm.
Truth be told, the mash itself is delicious for adults, once spooned into a baking ring and baked at the same time as the puddles, just 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, tip an egg into the top of the ring and continue to bake. Serve with lashings of freshly cracked black pepper. Because of the lashings of milk and butter in the mixture they will rise in the ring and become doubly light and fluffy. Talk about ultimate winter warming comfort food!