Monday, January 31, 2011


"Food and kids" is one of those cliche topics that parents go on and on about and when you are not a parent, or when your kids eat olives and calamari from 12 months of age, it's a topic that gets very annoying. But it is on parents' minds for a reason. And it's on my mind daily: morning, afternoon and night. It feels like the food that I feed my kids/family is always an issue and often even a stress. It’s so important. And it is my responsibility. It’s important to me for the following reasons:
1.     Their health
2.     My parenting abilities
3.     My own enjoyment of food
4.     The family budget
5.     Happiness at the dinner table
6.     The environment

I’ve had a few attempts at healthifying the girls' diet. I’m having another at the moment. Mostly, I must admit, because I am so bored of sausages, fish fingers, and the rest of the limited repertoire that is not scorned by my personal food critics nightly at 6pm.

Last week I saw the “CSIRO Wellbeing Plan for Kids” on sale at a bookstore. I hadn’t actually heard of it but I know the CSIRO Wellbeing Plan for Adults. So I showed it to W, my 4 year old, and said, with animation, “This looks great! We should have a look at it at home together and do some healthy cooking”. She responded with a measureable level of enthusiasm. However by 6:15pm three days later she was screaming, “We should throw that healthy kids food book in the bin!!”

But unperturbed I have tried a few recipes from a little booklet that I got at a local council run workshop regarding food for fussy eaters.  They have both been quite successful, so I thought I’d share them. If my kids will eat them, then chances are, so will yours!


250g frozen peas
½ cup milk
2 eggs
30g cornflour
2/3 cup plain flour
½ tsp baking powder (I added more)
250g haloumi cheese cut into 1cm cubes
1 tbsp chopped mint
olive oil to shallow fry

1.     Boil the peas in salted water for 2 minutes, then drain.
2.     Refresh under col water, then drain again.
3.     Puree half the peas in a food processor until smooth.
4.     Whisk the milk, eggs, flours, baking powder and pureed peas in a bowl, then fold in the remaining peas, haloumi, mint, salt and pepper.
5.     Heat the olive oil in a lrge non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.
6.     Add a tablespoon of the mixture to the pan, in batches, pressing down to flatten slightly and fry for 2-3 mins or until golden on both sides.
7.     Drain on paper towels.

These are VERY VERY yummy!!! I’m eating a left-over one as I type.

Fresh out of the oven are some Pumpkin Muffins. Now I know some people object to vegetables in sweet things, but take my word for it, you cannot taste anything pumpkinie in these muffins. I think… I’ll just have to go and have another one to check. Yep. They are good.


1 cup cooked pumpkin (about half a small butternut)
¼ cup canola oil
¼ apple sauce
½ cup honey
1/3 cup water
¾ cup sultanas
2 eggs lightly beaten

1 ¾ cups wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb soda
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg

1.     Oven at 180
2.     Mix all the wet ingredients together.
3.     Mix all the dry ingredients together.
4.     Mix both lots together. Don’t over mix.
5.     Bake for 20 mins.
6.     Freeze as required.