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Top Five Kids' Meals


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We seem to feed our 2 and 6 year-old a constant stream of pasta, and my wife is forever complaining about spending all day either cooking them food or trying to stuff it into their mouths.

Maybe we could get a bit of inspiration from the egullet community.

Often they get what us adults eat, but due to the nature of my work, and a daily commute, I am often not home in time for dinner. Also I prefer to eat later so during the week the kids eat at around 5 p.m. and me and my wife at more like 8 p.m. When this happens the kids get one thing and we eat something different.

What are the top 5 meals you prepare for your kids most often? How much consideration do you give to what your kids like to eat, or do you give them what you think they should eat?

For us it would be something like this:

1. A pasta/sauce combination - usually a form of carbonara or a tomato-based sauce.

2. Fishcakes, often accompanied by salad vegetables.

3. Jacket potato, sausages and baked beans.

4. Wraps/toasties with salad vegetables.

5. Rice/quinoa - often fried rice with vegetables.

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1) pasta/sauce

2) porridge with fruit

3) yogurt with hemp hearts and fruit

4) sandwich with soup

5) wraps/quesadilla

These are mostly lunch/snack foods because for dinner we usually make her try what we are having. We really try to get her to try everything so she develops our love for good food. If dinner is taking too long we provide snacks.

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#1-At least 3 nights a week, scrambled eggs and toast, with cold cooked green beans and "floppy" (canned) peaches

#2-Lunchmeat, wheat bread, and cheese (all separate, of course) with misc fruit and veg, usually cold

#3-Pasta with Pesto (they won't eat tomato sauce, go figure!) with fruit and veg, sometimes with chicken or shrimp if there's some in the fridge

#4-Noodles with butter and parmesan, fruit, veg,

#5-Hot dogs without buns, cut into coins and eaten with toothpicks, either dipped in ketchup (the four year old) or not (the three year old) veg, fruit, crackers

They like things that are novel, ie "it's a no fork meal! You get to eat everything with your hands!"

Also kind of random: My four year old loves mushrooms sauteed with garlic and butter...no one else in the house will touch them. And my three year old will eat a pound of feta if I let her. And I have to hide my pine nuts, or they'll eat about $50 worth of them in about 10 minutes!

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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She eats what we eat, so these are from weekend lunches, which she eats and we dont:

Toasted cheese sandwich w tomato soup (or Trader Joe's tomato/red pepper soup)

some form of pasta or macaroni&cheese with cooked spinach or cooked carrots (glazed)

baked potatoes (jacketed potatoes) w cheese, broccoli

hamburgers w sweet potatoes (roast or fries), and some other veg.

hmm, I dont think we have a top 5.

There used to be quesadillas but she's off those now.

Loves the garlic mushrooms sauteed.

Likes brussel sprouts dipped in ponzu sauce.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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1)Pasta. Any kind of pasta. With virtually any kind of sauce. She ate a whole bowl of Puttanesca just the other day.

2)Tofu. Stir-fried, baked, and even cold straight out of the package.

3)Chicken: cooked anyway, as long as it is not breaded. Her new thing is “chicken on the bone” (ie, a drumstick)

4)Sausages: Bratwurst, knackwurst, Italian, TJ’s apple-chicken, and a particular brand of mango-chicken sausage I get from WholeFoods.

5)Veggies and Rice: preferably broccoli, carrots, or peas, but she will eat green beans, spinach and squash when she is in the mood.

The girl loves cheese, too, and not the kind of cheese you would expect a 3yr old to eat, either. I would have never expected her to be fond of something like Pleasant Ridge Reserve or a 10yr cheddar, but to her, they’re all just cheese.

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I don't have kids, but reading this thread reminded me of my God son, who is now nearly 30 years old. He was always a fan of all things sour and/or spicy (go figure). One day, when he was under 2 and not yet talking, he was driving his mother crazy whining and reaching for the fridge door. She offered him all sorts of things and nothing satisfied. She finally picked him up and shoved his little head into the fridge asking "What do you want?" He immediatedly reached for the jar of full sour dill pickles. She cut up a bunch of slices and put them in a bowl. He toddled off to the TV with them, happy as a little clam! :wub: A few weeks later, we picked up a big selection of dishes from the local Chinese place, most of it very spicy. He slammed both fists into a box of extra spicy double-cooked pork and stuffed it in his mouth before anybody could grab him. He LOVED it and wanted more! 28 years later, he continues to be a very adventuresome young man (and handsome to boot)! :wub:

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Pam -- I have a single 29-year-old daughter....maybe we can get something working here?

Your story reminds me of when my girls were small and loved "Grandpa pickles," sour/dill/hot pickles my mother made and canned every summer because my father loved them. For a couple of years after he died, I doled out jars of "Grandpa pickles" on birthdays, and it was a sad day when they were all gone.

I raised my kids on tuna-noodle casserole, chicken pot pie, and BLTs, all things that could be cooked and served in that interim between work and ballgames, or ballgames and bed. And pot roast. They love Mama's pot roast to this day.

Don't ask. Eat it.


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My 10 year old son's top 5 list:

Zuppa Toscana w/homemade bread

Taco soup w/tortilla chips

Fettucine Alfredo w/grilled chicken

Lentil Soup w/homemade bread

Cajun Chicken Pasta

My 8 year old daughter's list:

Stir Fry (esp. garlic chicken or beef & brocolli)with rice

Happy Family Ramen (my jazzed up ramen noodle bowl w/meat, vegetables and sauces added)

Cajun Chicken Pasta


Lentil Soup w/homemade bread

They also like hamburgers w/baked beans, Pork chops w/apple/cranberry chutney, Red Hot potatoes, Red Beans and Rice, Black beans and rice, and succotash. They had a hard time just choosing 5.

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My 4-year old daughter's list:

1) eggs in any shape or form (soft boiled, hard boiled, poached, scrambled, sunny side up, omelette - she loves them and could eat them everyday). I buy eggs at the farmers market for her so they are super fresh. She even tried duck eggs with me (which she loved).

2) anything served in a tortilla that she can assemble herself (tacos, quesadillas)

3) quiche lorraine (she loves bacon)

4) mac & cheese

5) hamburgers

She also loves tempura shrimp with rice, kalbi ribs, fish and chips. As most kids, she is not a big fan of veggies (she prefers carrots and corn). She loves cheese and is willing to try any kind of hard cheese.

Overall she is not super adventurous but is more likely to try anything that she helped prepare. She refused to eat pasta for a long time until we made fresh tagliatelle together.

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