Fussy eating in children is exasperating, boring and stressful. But one thing is for sure — you are not alone. Nine out of 10 children go through at least one long fussy stage.
Every child is different of course, but there are some picky preferences that many children share — no lumps, no green bits, no vegetables, the list goes on.
There is no magic fix. You could make “healthy junk food” like hamburgers made from lean minced beef and baked chicken nuggets made from good quality chicken. It might be that you have to resort to disguise, by blending cauliflower into a macaroni cheese, or carrot and sweet pepper into a tomato sauce. Children can be surprisingly sophisticated so ethnic style foods can also be a good bet. Blending the sauce in this Moroccan-style chicken tagine hides the fruit and veg. Serve with rice or couscous.
Makes 4 portions. Suitable for freezing. Can be cooled and refrigerated up to two days or frozen up to 1 month. Reheat until piping hot.
● 1 tbsp olive oil
● 1 small onion, chopped (60g)
● 1 small carrot, peeled and grated (30g)
● ¼ small sweet potato, peeled and grated (30g)
● Pinch cinnamon
● Pinch ground ginger
● 1 tsp mild curry paste
● 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
● 1 tbsp tomato puree
● 4 ready to eat dried apricots, quartered
● 1 tsp clear honey
● 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2cm cubes (225g)
● Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and saute the onion, carrot and sweet potato for 8-10 minutes, until soft.
● Add the cinnamon, ginger and curry paste and cook for a further 2 minutes.
● Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, apricots and honey and bring to the boil.
● Reduce the heat and simmer for around 20-25 minutes, until the apricots are soft.
● Cool the sauce slightly then blend until smooth (add a tablespoon or two of water if the sauce is very thick).
● Return the sauce to the pan and add the chicken.
● Bring to the boil again then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway, until the chicken is cooked through.
● Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with couscous or rice.