There is a biological reason children like fewer dishes than adults; they have about 3 times more taste buds than adults so they’re extremely sensitive to flavours. Their taste buds are designed to love sweet things and be highly sensitive to bitter tastes which stops them eating dangerous things like poisonous plants. Their hyper-sensitivity to bitterness is partly why some kids don’t like veggies.
I know it’s easier to cook one meal for everyone but the kids prefer to eat fewer meals on repeat and eat them early. As I love lots of different flavours and am saving the pleasure of eating dinner at 4:30pm until I’m 80, it makes for happier kids if I make them a meal that they love when they’re hungry then make something that Paul and I love later on. I have a few dishes that kids eat in the week then I mix it up with meals we all eat like Sunday Lunch and Jacket Potato Night.
kid-friendly spaghetti bolognese
simple kids burgers
kid-friendly chilli con carne
squidgy soy tuna bowls
ham and cheese egg rolls
15 minute meatballs and spaghetti
Besides these meals I also make omelettes, tinned soup (for tarting up), beans on toast, frozen fish fingers and chips and frozen pizza. I serve these with veggies sticks, fruits or beans so that they have something fresh. The kids often try foods that Paul and I eat so they’re always broadening their food horizons, if only gradually. I eat with the kids while they talk about their day or favourite Rescue Bot and they often help with food preparation. I think enjoying eating with family is more beneficial than having a battleground over making kids eat something they don’t like. I may change this opinion if Henry’s still not eating veggies when he’s 25.
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