Saturday, 22 October 2011

{King Prawns...}

So I managed to get my 2 year old son to eat king prawns for dinner.... I'm amazed!

When he was a baby he would eat anything (his favourite food for a while was butternut squash risotto or fish pie), but then we hit a bit of a fussy stage where his favourite food was pesto pasta (it had to be basil pesto though, the red pepper pesto wasn't good enough!) and everything else was refused.

However, we seem to be back on track (to a certain extent anyway!).

Here are my tips for dinnertime:

I now eat dinner with my son at 5pm (I used to sit with my son when he ate, but then ate my dinner with my hubby at 7.30/8pm when he got in from work and when kids were asleep).

We eat exactly the same meal.

I try not to watch my son as he eats. I chat away and eat my own food (discussing how yummy it is) and leave him to feed himself. Sometimes he needs help getting food onto his spoon or fork.

If he doesn't eat it, then I don't make a fuss. He won't starve. (When he was younger I'd have made him another meal but now I don't bother).

Sometimes he'll get a dessert (yoghurt, fruit or sometimes custard) and sometimes he doesn't. This isn't based on his behaviour or if he eats his main meal.

I've never used food as a bribe e.g. if you eat one more spoonful of peas you can have some ice cream

I've never referred to certain foods as treats or being special e.g. cake and biscuits. If he requests a biscuit, then within reason, he can have one. I don't make a big deal of it. When we go round the supermarket for our weekly shop, he's normally very excited to have a banana (I usually give him a snack as we go round in the trolley) - you would think it was the best meal he's ever had.

Vegetables are a different matter though, and the only vegetables he'll eat, at the moment, are when they're whizzed up in a soup.

I do keep presenting him with vegetables, and he will sometimes try them (he had a few spoonfuls of mashed potato the other day). I'm just hoping that if he keeps being given them, and he keeps seeing me eat them, that eventually he'll eat them too. He likes soft cheese & hummus, so I give him carrots and peppers to dip into them, in the hope that he'll get the taste for the vegetables eventually.

I think I'll start whizzing up some green veg to put into pasta with the pesto and see if he'll still eat it...

What are your tips for getting your little ones to eat dinner?


  1. King prawns! That is a good result. I am in complete agreement with you regarding not using food as a bribe. I don't do it either. Also agree about not making another meal if they don't eat it. I've stopped that too!
    My little one loves carrots and mushrooms but only in beef stew gravy (not so keen on the beef though) so I have started adding loads of these to the stew so it looks like a carrot and mushroom stew and then just shredding the beef so it's so small he can't see it. Then he'll eat it!

  2. My son did used to eat lots of casseroles - beef, chicken & sausage - but I've just been lazy and not been organised enough to make them. But with it being winter now I think I'll try and get into the habit of making big casseroles and might invest in a slow cooker. He had salmon for dinner tonight & loved it - no veg though!

  3. My eldest son has always eaten anything and everything, he was like a little bird to wean, loves all fruit and veg and still does at 7 (when he was 3 I had his brother and was v poorly, and in the supermarket he decided to throw a strop over wanting a banana as we went round, the place only did weigh your own, no pre-bagged at the time and the queues were massive. I told him he could go with his Aunty S who was with me as I wasn't realy well enough to do much alone and choose a bag of crisps and he had a full on meltdown in the fruit and veg isle over not wanting crisps, he wanted a banana! A staff member arrived and gave him the said banana free!).

    My youngest son though ate very little which came as a complete shock, he refused all veg and as for meat, at 5 this is still a hassle. He didn't even chew until he was 17 months old leading to speech dyspaxia as his muscles around his mouth and tounge didnt develop. In sheer desperation I took to liquidising veg and using it as sauce on pasta which he would eat, as he got older I used this same kind of sauce and added it to things like spag bol etc, infact it made up a kind of stock for many meals.

    I never used food as a bribe either, I was brought up knowing that if I left my tea, I would be hungry as I wouldnt get anyting else, and I have used that with the boys and always give them the choice. As you say they won't starve themselves. Mini Man has just turned 5 and he has only really started eating veg in the last 6 months, however since he was weaned he been given what we ate and slowly (very slowly) he has accepted he needs to try things and now likes carrots, peas, courgette, and cucumber. Just perserver.

    Try adding small amounts of pureed veg to sauces he does like and introduce the tastes that way, build the quantity up slowly and then start making it slightly more textured, then small lumps etc. It took time but it worked for us. Good luck


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