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Fussy Eaters Round Your Table?

Fussy Eaters Round Your Table?

Tuesday 7th February 2017

Fussy Eaters Round Your Table?

I hear so many stories of how cooking a meal from scratch is such an unwelcome, and thankless task for some family members that it really isn't work the effort. You slave over the planning, chopping, cooking and dishing up and you're rewarded with a room of glum faces, moaning and refusal to eat. So, it's back to the usual repertoire and usually, not the most nutritious meals that end up back on the menu.

So, what's going wrong? How can you move forward and start to introduce changes? How about investing some time in a bit of food marketing?

My lot are crazy for American based food, you know the sort, loaded up burgers, sticky ribs, super sized fries, super sized pies and anything smothered in peanut butter, cookie dough and maple syrup. How can a plate of something fresh, light or nutritiously balanced ever compete?

I must admit, I play it dirty in the kitchen and advise you to do the same if you want to make some small changes. Take that new recipe - you know the one, probably found on Facebook or Instagram (great places to be nutritionally inspired). However, you know deep down, your lot aren't going to eat that in a million years! Embarking on a bit of food marketing at this point may just convince them to try it, at least.

I found a great recipe for black bean burgers many moons ago. It had many of my favourite flavours and it was a great Meat Free Monday recipe (that I had introduced recently at the time). My eldest, Josh, who has particular issues with texture, meatfree meals and anything "different" was going to be a challenge. Equipped with gherkins, homemade buttermilk baked onion rings, a homemade tomato relish and a low fat cream cheese dressing with steamed corn on the cob, I produced an "American" Monday evening. Mini burger buns and the burgers shaped to fit seemed to appeal to the younger ones and the whole lot was consumed, with only a few questions, replied to with things like "Yeah, recipe was from an American Website, it's all the rage there".

So, the black bean recipe? Well, it has now become a recipe for lunches- bean ball wraps, with mayonnaise for packed lunches; I use the recipe as snack finger food, shaped as sausages and rolled in sesame seeds before baking and I have used this as the "meatballs" in a spicy tomato sauce with rice. Filled with lime, nuts, beans and spices, these little gems are beautifully nutritious and a change from the usual repertoire!

Other examples of food marketing? Hate vegetables? Spiralize some courgette and squash; cover with a meaty or meat free tomato sauce and you have a nutritious Italian Night for the pasta lovers? Love a Chinese takeaway but can't get "your lot" to change the usual pork chops and roasties on a Sunday? Egg Fried Quinoa for a change in the protein and carbohydrate? Honey and Soy Shredded chicken "pancakes" with mini wholemeal pittas and cucumber sticks? Sweet and Sour Prawns, homemade and some baked Kale for a proper Chinese Takeaway? All homemade: proudly and with barely a flicker of sugar.

The main thing to remember here is that the more diverse your range of food you consume (from many different protein, carbohydrate, fruit and vegetable sources) the more chance you will get all the nutrients your body needs. Your family or yourself, will need to try new foods many time, before a taste can develop for it - don't give up, keep trying the food marketing and keep your secrets to yourself (yes, Josh, those pancakes you LOVE are full of cottage cheese, you know, the stuff you never eat with making you gag, ha!). You will be rewarded with a whole new file of recipes to spice up your life.