Back dreaming of polishing my winning trophy with this lunchbox. Cheesy pies - ooh yeah!!
Aside from banging out a bit of rustic home-made pastry this is simple to make and I always do in bulk so I can freeze a batch or two for lunches.
Alternating between what the boys love to eat and food that is great for them but not their favourite makes for a happy compromise.
You don't have to LOVE everything you eat. But having the occasional slam dunk winner makes the less-favoured more readily accepted.
What's your child's favourite food in the lunchbox?
As you may know I run a cooking school where I work with children who have a real fear of eating new foods.
Most of these kids haven't been able to eat more than 10 - 15 foods for years.
This makes life really tough for them and very stressful for their parents.
Watching them gradually gain confidence and happily munch on new foods is a beautiful secular "miracle".
Today I am going to share Ben's story. I have changed his name but his mother is very happy for me to talk about him as she too can't believe how far he's come and knows that his story can bring hope to other parents.
Ben is 9, caring and gentle and wasn't comfortable with any vegetables at all. The only fruit he would eat were apples. He was one of the kids that just doesn't seem to take to food like others and even as a baby would know if his formula changed.
He had issues with texture and anything soft/wet etc. was too unpleasant to contemplate.
He was the poor kid who couldn't join in "pizza day" at school or have a "treat" at McDonald's.
After spending a term cooking with us he has become more and more confident. So confident that on Monday he happily tried an Indian pumpkin soup I had on the stove (full of all those scary things like onions!) He also tasted and rated - mashed potatoes, jacket potatoes, wedges, peas, brown rice, beetroot and green beans. Then for "dessert" a strawberry and cream.
Ben is now choosing a vegetable of the week and eating that every day.
He has come so, so far from the hyper sensitive boy that he was that would only eat one type of pasta, white bread, Marmite, cheese, crackers, apples and corn chips ....
He's also becoming a wicked cook. Sauce from scratch anyone?
Max and I ran a fun Introductory Workshop last night.
"Getting the Kids Eating"
It was for a smaller group than we're used to but I think that was a positive. We got to chat to the parents and that's always a luxury.
We were delighted to have a principal from one of the local preschools join us too. It's fabulous to have our caregivers looking for ways to support our children.
Next week we're in Elsdon and have 2 preschool cooks coming as well as parents from the area.
If you'd like to get your kids eating new food, green food & family food contact us to find out how we can help - Judith@theconfidenteater.com
Chicken & wedges - what's not to like?
There are certain lunches that I know are going to get slammed and that's a good thing.
One of my mantras is "set them up for success".
If your kids love chicken then send it. Not every day but include it in the menu rotations. Similarly if pasta is their thing then invest in a thermos and send some.
Having your child open the lunchbox and gasp with delight is priceless.
What are your winners?
Ooh, have to share a lovely story with you. Even better I think it has a good message for all of us!
I recently worked with a mother who has a 12 year old daughter. She was struggling to eat variety and had her favourite foods that she always wanted.
Working with older children can be challenging as they have years of habits to overcome plus a lot of personality! On the plus side they are also quick to understand concepts. So in this case we have changed the food dynamic and got this very athletic young lady eating less processed food and more fresh food.
Her mother remarked that she has noticed a definite change in her daughter's moods. She is less cranky and irritable and more chilled.
And what parent of a tween does not want that?!
This is of course self-replicating. Calmer kids are more open to eating sensibly.
If you'd like this to be your family ... email@example.com
I had some left-over tuna yesterday and so decided to make some sushi for the boys lunches.
Super simple to do and aside from cooking the rice very quick too. The best thing is it's so versatile. You can put anything you'd like inside (just rice to start if that works better for your hesitant eater).
Although nori sheets are not the first thing you'd think of for a non-confident eater they are something that the kids often see and so are worth a try. They are salty and chock-full of nutrients so a win for parents if you can get them on the menu.
Will your kids try sushi?
When the kids want to get involved with Valentine's Day you can get them in the kitchen with you.
I'm such a huge fan of kids cooking. Having that interest in food, the pride that comes with creating something and the investment in what has been produced all makes it much more likely to get eaten.
I know this from cooking with a lovely bunch of kids who really struggle to eat. They go from fear to pride to confidence via the kitchen ...
Check out our article at the Healthy Food Guide for inspiration:
Peer pressure can be such a negative thing when we're trying to feed our kids the best food possible.
But then again sometimes it works in our favour!
Joe has been asking for extra carrot sticks in his lunchbox. Why? Because his friend loves them. They now have a deal where Joe hands off carrot sticks for some undisclosed future favour ....
Hey I'm happy we get to share the fresh food love!
Have you had a situation where peer pressure has been good for getting your hesitant eater trying something?
Joe back to school today so I packed the first lunchbox for 2017.
Joe was delighted as Mexican mince/beans and melted mozzarella are a favourite for the thermos. ESPECIALLY with spelt wraps (a treat for my boys).
He's also got chopped veg, a plum and a peach.
Have you tried home-made wraps. So simple and lots of fun to do?