New Series: Food for the Fam and the Fussies (And a Call for Help!)

Christmas breakfast of ‘Cherry Poppyseed Waffles’, the first recipe I cooked from ‘A Modern Way to Eat’. This is a special occasion/weekend breakfast to replace the sugary pancakes I used to make – they ate it and loved it (but without the berries and yogurt of course!)

And so to my second ‘thought’ for 2015: to feed my children with more variety, freshness and thought. To explain, this is two-fold, because my youngest child is the world’s worst eater. He’s a sugar-addicted, crumpet-loading, non-adventurer who will NOT EAT a vegetable in any form. So in his case, it’s about encouraging him to eat, period.

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Please don’t call it toddler fussiness, it’s always been this way and I find the mealtime battles super hard because he’s as stubborn as I am. I’ve tried a lot of things, but not everything, it turns out. When I vented my frustration on Twitter the other day with the above tweet, I received a few helpful suggestions – some of which I’ve started implementing. This lead me to posing to you, the first of my two questions below.

One of two already-food-splattered books I bought to achieve my goal. This is a vegetarian book and I love it already – two of the three others in my family do too…

Let me be clear though, I know that kids are fussy and I know it doesn’t all have to be avocado and pumpkin seeds. I was raised on a diet of Pop Tarts and Root Beer (in the Far East, where we ate/drank this Americanised version of what you guys were ingesting, i.e. Findus Crispy Pancakes and Lilt). I know that we all turned out OK, and I know it’s fine for him to eat baked beans, etc. However, he won’t even eat baked beans. The other day he asked for a pizza with no cheese and no tomato. He asked, dear readers, for a PIZZA BASE to chew on.

I wasn’t exaggerating about the kids eating a lot of supermarket pizza – these were on special and are going in the freezer. I’m not prepared to TOTALLY give up on their convenience…

So here’s where you come in. I need help and I need inspiration. There are two ways you could give me a lift:

1) Will you share you tips for encouraging fussy eaters to… eat? I’d like to write a post with all the tips that people send in, all bunched in together so it’s something I – and others who share my predicament – can turn to when we’re feeling frustrated.

2) Will you share with me the recipes you make for your family? Because another thing we’re doing more is eating together at tea time. I need easy, wholesome stuff that can be adapted to be interesting for the adults, but plain and salt-free enough for the kids. Stuff that the little one may eat is helpful, but I’m not expecting you to break him, don’t worry!

I’ll publish the recipes as a guest post series, so if you don’t mind sending some pictures, how you make it, and why you and your family love it (we all love an anecdote, eh?), I’ll do the rest. Ease is key and we also prefer (if possible) gluten-free.

Another breakfast – one of ‘Ten Ways With Avocado on Toast’ from ‘A Modern Way to Eat’. Little would of course not touch this – I’m not silly enough to even try (I mean, for one thing it’s green!), plus really, does anyone expect their kids to eat this?! I’ll proudly say though that Big was willing to try (and liked it)

I’ll share some that I’ve come across too – for example, the easiest recipe in the world for the below muffins that include SWEET POTATO of all things, and ZERO SUGAR. My two are chugging them back daily for a quick breakfast, a mid-walk filler, or as Keere-Street-conquering post-school snacks. And my secret recipe for ‘healthy’ popcorn for movie nights is killer too.


So hit me up with your best recipes, tips, secrets and wisdom, because I’m desperate and am relying on you to get my youngest pounding back kale – or baked beans, Pop Tarts or Crispy Pancakes.

Please get in touch through the Contact page with your recipes and tips if you’re willing to help.

Thank you! x

P.S. My own first tip is for the love of goodness get yourself a NutriBullet. I begged for one for Christmas and *boom-tish* the little one necked a “chocolate smoothie” of banana, coconut water, strawberries (STRAWBERRIES!!!), kiwi (KIWI!!!), avocado (AVOCADO!!!) and – the ‘chocolate bit’ – a teaspoon of cacao powder. (After which I sauntered back to the kitchen childishly singing: ‘heh, heh, nanny-nanny-poo-poo, tricked you!’ under my breath. You see what this battle of wills has reduced me to? Then I paid for that self-congratulatory pat on the back as OF COURSE the next day he totally rejected the exact same smoothie. So now I’ve had to strip it back and make it beige – milk and banana only – and rebrand it a ‘milkshake’. I tell you…).

Disclosure: This post contains two affiliate links to products that I own and am using towards the conquering of my son in this here battle of wills. It has not been created around these products. No compensation, financial or otherwise, has been offered or accepted for the writing of this post. 

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I’m Kate, a copywriter, brand consultant and editor who creates messages that are clear and clean. I create these for brands and agencies both big and boutique, in areas including design, homes and interiors, travel, fashion, lifestyle, beauty, food, and kids and families. I believe clear, clean messages bolster brands and businesses. They evoke emotion and ignite inspiration, and when written well, they’re easier to absorb – and respond to. I live in Copenhagen and am half-English, half-Danish. I write as comfortably in American English as in British, and behind the scenes I'm also studying Danish. Need help getting your message out? Contact me.

4 thoughts on “New Series: Food for the Fam and the Fussies (And a Call for Help!)

  1. My first son ate everything and I was able to be utterly utterly smug. I put it down to my excellent parenting skills. I perfected my sympathetic smile for parents who were obviously getting it wrong. Then my twins arrived and when it came to weaning them they gagged at every little organic morsel that I offered them. For the next year or so my twin boy only consumed custard creams, calpol and milk. I learnt my lesson – it’s not about all those things that everyone sodding well says . . . “All eat together at the table” “Let them cook with you” “make them eat it – they won’t starve” – It’s just down to LUCK. Whether you have a child who enjoys food or, quite simply, not. My twins still eat a very limited diet and I try not to get too stressed out by it. My older son continues to enjoy every culinary experience we offer him – apart from the very worst of my cooking disasters. I hope you find some perfect recipes that solve the problem. I’m crossing my fingers that there is an answer out there somewhere!

    1. I love this Robyn. I’ve tried to be accepting and not get stressed about it too, but in truth my eye has just been right off the ball with this one – I think I’ve been quite crap at providing variety from the weaning stage, and also he takes after me and is stubborn as f**k so it’s really about the battle and the power games. You’re so right, it IS about luck, but equally I do want to try to be a bit more consistent with him, to lead a bit by example (as in, eating together a bit more) and give a bit more variety. We started a chart at the weekend for him to ‘try’ things. Just one bite. Five stickers and he gets a Ninja Turtle. I offered him a pear (fruit, so unheard of that he would eat it). He said yes, he’d try. He sat down with it, ate the lot, I made a big fuss, put a sticker on his chart. Then he looked me in the eyes and said: I eat that every day at nursery. He’s a canny wee thing that one!

      P.S. I think your son has excellent taste. Custard creams are the king of the British biscuit and the taste of Calpol is only incrementally eclipsed by that of a full-bodied Rioja. x

  2. Ahh Kate! – I kind of slightly breathe a sigh of relief when I read of another’s pain in this field but I also totally feel the pain! My oldest was the fussy one but strangely he does seem to be coming out the other side. He doesn’t seem to like a lot of the things other kids like – ham, chicken, sausages – meat in general, but then that is no big deal really is it? I put a lot of that down to him having no teeth until he was at least 14/15 months old. My youngest seems to be happy to try anything as long as he can stuff it in his own face and decorate himself, the kitchen and me (if I’m close enough) with said foodstuff at the same time. Baked beans are a success but it results in him looking like an oompa loompa for an hour or so and the mess on the floor has made me consider getting a dog, just for cleaning up purposes.
    Anyhoo, successful, semi healthy food for my kids has been in no particular order, egg muffins (muffin tray filled with whisked eggs and cheese, ham, sweetcorn etc – whatever you have to hand), fried rice – again quick and useful for chucking in random fridge bits and tiny veg, baked sweet potatoes with various toppings and oddly aubergine parmigianna (maybe cos it doesn’t look too much like veg?). Tuna, dips and fish fingers are all regular standbys in our house.
    Good luck – I look forward to seeing what other people suggest.

    1. Fellow Kult and Band of Brothers leader! SO nice to see your name pop up here KP! DO you know, I always thought that my youngest’s difficulties with food was down to the fact he didn’t get any teeth until he was 15 months, so perhaps we’re on to something here!? Thank you for all your top tips, I used to give M those egg muffins and completely forgot about them (although the little one won’t touch egg unless it’s a dippy and then he’ll dip toast in the runny yoke and once that’s finished rejects the rest of the egg. GRRRRRRRRR). Bizarrely he ate a pear and an apple at the weekend. I literally almost had a celebratory drink at 10am. If they like sweet potatoes they might like the muffins I did as a follow-up recipe here… If you’re ever making your egg muffins again would you take some ‘process’ snaps for me and let me put them together as a recipe suggestion post please? Would love to have it… Aubergine parmigianna too! Will reply to your DM now my dear. xxxx

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