One of my goals for 2019 is to attempt more meal planning. It saves time and the constant ‘what shall we have for dinner today’ questions that really starts to get on my nerves after a couple of days. It also means that I get to cook more for Cameo. To be honest, I think I’m pretty good at cooking his dinners. We rarely have takeaways now we’ve moved to Nottingham and the quickest thing I cook is nuggets and pasta. At least it’s still cooked food!
The other things I know he loves and safe options consist of spaghetti bolognese, a roast dinner of any kind with mash potato, sausages, cottage pie and chicken of any kind. Other than that he is a fusspot and usually throws his dinner on the floor! I guess that’s what makes me apprehensive about trying new things. The time of cooking more food. The worry that’s he’ll just be eating ham sandwichs for dinner and that generally he just won’t get the vitamins and minerals that he needs!
I’m so glad I’m not the only one though. Young’s Seafood carried out some research and it seems like my most parents think and feel the same. Fear of picky eater kids going hungry prevents parents experimenting in the kitchen and two-thirds of the parents they asked have no more than eight recipes in their repertoire. Definitely sounds like me!
So it’s quite interesting that Young’s Seafood has tried to do something to counteract this. They created The Petite Panel of mini chefs and food critics. They got kids on board to create healthy chip shop style meals for kids. Hopefully, giving parents clean plates all around! The dream team worked with nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker, who specialises in cooking for young children and tackling fussy eaters, to develop the range of recipes.
Dr Schenker continued: “We were surprised to see that Fish & Chips is not in the nation’s top 10 recipes at home, despite it being such a simple way to get Omega 3 – an essential source of fatty acid found in fish – into children’s diets. The Youngsters Chip Shop recipes are packed full of vitamins that boost immunity, benefit bone health and keep eyes healthy.”
So I decided to try out one of the recipes for myself! I love fish and chips, so why wouldn’t Cameo? We tried Reuben’s Cod with Vegetable Chips recipe from the website and gave it to the whole family to try (minus Marlo who doesn’t have teeth yet!).
I had a feeling that Cameo would be happy with the Young’s cod fillet. I didn’t give him a whole one because he is only two. But half of one was perfect. He was more than happy to dig his fork into the dinner and get going. That’s when I felt relief. No ham sandwiches needed tonight! Next up were the vegetable chips. Cameo likes chips. OK, he loves chips. We tent to do homemade chips 90% of the time because they’re a little healthier. But I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about the veggie versions.
He tried them.
He looked at me and laughed.
I waited for him to chuck them on the floor.
He ate them!
It took him a minute to adjust to the taste. Especially the parsnip. But he was pretty content. We did however have to swap the peas for carrots. Cameo currently hates peas. We’ve tried them in every kind of form. But he currently has a love of carrots! We’ve yet to get him to eat more than a few spoonfuls of veg unless he is hand feeding himself carrots off of my plate!
All in all, it was definitely a winner all around. I’m still not sure WHY we haven’t given Cameo Young’s fish fillets before. We eat them as a family but I guess the research is right. You just get scared to introduce new things. Well, the cod fillets are now on the recipe cards as well as the vegetable chips.
We’ll be trying Toby’s fish fingers with stuffed peppers next! You can find out more about ‘The Youngsters’ and all their menus over on the Young’s Seafood website.