Introducing myself

Welcome to our Coffee Break forum! Here you can chat to other members, not just about cooking, food, ingredients and recipes, but anything that takes your fancy. Share your stories, culinary or otherwise. So. What’s on your mind today?


Page :  1  2  3  | Next 

Introducing myself

I'd like to introduce myself . . . I have three little children (five year old twins and a seven year old) and I enjoy cooking but find it a bit of a struggle . . . finding things that they'll all eat (super fussy twinnies, gourmand in the making seven year old) and mealtimes happening at different times (my husband gets in late from work).
My husband is allergic to gluten and one of my twins is sensitive to lactose.
I'm hoping to pick your brains for some fabulous delia recipes that have worked for your families, and I'd love to get some words of wisdom about the logistics of family cooking!


Hello Feathered

Welcome to the site... I'm sure there will be some people who can help you with the gluten free recipes.

I don't know whether you have tried searching the site for recipes but recently there was a thread about sugar free cakes and gluten free ones were covered too. But I think that, with a few exceptions, most of the recipes in Delia's latest cake book has been tested using gluten free ingredients with great success using gluten free white flour, plain and self-raising, baking powder, cornflour, cereals, porridge oats [ground in a mini-chopper to replace oatmeal] and polenta).

Also there are a few on this link. Then refine your search by selecting Community and you will get more recipes there.

I well remember the fussy stage of feeding my children and it's not easy I know. I was also a fussy eater, however, I now eat absolutely everything and so I really think you just have to ride the wave if you can. But if you can give us some idea of what they like and dislike, we may be able to come up with similar recipes that might please them.

I think I'd be inclined to try and do a meal that you can serve up for the children and it will reheat when your husband gets home. Winter is probably the easiest as easy casseroles do reheat so well and there are hundreds of those on here. You could do a different one for weeks.

As I've said, if you can give us their likes and dislikes, it might ring a few bells and we can suggest things.

Oh and I should just say... if you click on our names (in blue) that takes you to our profile and many of us have recipes there that you can use. If you see Saffy's name, she has a lot... I can recommend her Cacciatore.

H x


For Feathered

There are a couple of gluten free cake recipes on here.

H x


Thank you honey!

That's such a warm reply - thank you!
Casseroles are definitely a good idea.
My twins are awful, awful eaters. It has reduced me to tears! I was very confident with my first son who would gobble up the food I cooked with joy. I was so proud of myself and couldn't understand the whole fussy eating thing at all. Then along came my twins and it all changed!
I tend to cook one meal for my eldest son, my husband and me and another for the twins.

Here's an idea of what they will eat -

Fish fingers
Baked beans
Spaghetti carbonara
Tomato ketchup
Mashed potato
Smoothies (NO fresh fruit) My daughter will eat apples and an occasional banana.
They will just about tolerate spaghetti bolognese where I hide vegetables. They are becoming more fussy about this.
NO individual vegetables.

What do you think???
Please can you send me a magic wand to sort them out? I'm sure there must be a way! Do you think Delia herself could pop around?



No advice on food but just to say a huge welcome.


The Twins

Well, looking at their list, they're getting their protein and carbohydrates and as you say, it's the vegetables that seem to be causing a problem at the moment. They do say that the more fuss you make about them not eating properly the more they will dig in their heels. It's hard (believe me I know) but you're best to just pretend it doesn't matter to you and certainly not talk about their fussiness in front of them. No harm is coming to them on the list you've given. If they were living on chocolate biscuits, then I would say you had a problem.

Will they eat burgers? You could buy minced chicken or turkey and make your own chicken burgers (with ketchup). Lots of recipes for those online. Perhaps you could get them to help you make them... that often works... they want to try what they've made.

One of my favourite websites (after this one of course!!) for simple meals is the BBC Good Food website (I'd better not give the link). Very good for busy Mums who don't have time to make recipes with a fridge full of ingredients. There is usually about half a dozen max.

Have you tried cooking potato and carrots and mashing those together? That certainly worked with mine. I also managed to mash in some swede. If you could get them to eat peas and sweetcorn, I'd start thre and then progress to a mild cabbage from there. You can also disguise cauliflower in mash (but it has to be well cooked). Sometimes they have an aversion to any thing green. Have you tried white cabbage?

If they like cheese... Do you ever do Three Cheese Spaghetti? If you put that in Google you will find loads of recipes.

By the way... Delia's Ragu recipe is excellent. But you need to start doing it after breakfast... long slow cooking. There's no bits in it and should go down well with the children.

You might get away with Delia's Shepherd's Pie with Cheese-crusted Leeks or her Cheese and herb-crusted Cottage Pie. Put those in the search box and they will come up. Delia's Braised sausages and onions are my favourite (she has three very good recipes if you put in braised sausages in the box. You can substitute the red wine with stock if you would rather they didn't have it. But all the alcohol is cooked off and you're just left with the flavour.

If they like chips, do you do your own... I've found if you microwave some jacket potatoes, cut them into 8 wedges and then do them in the oven until crisp, they are a healthy way of doing chips (smeared with a little oil before cooking if you want). By the way, ketchup is very good for you... I buy the organic one.

Delia has a recipe for Boston Baked Beans. You can always substitute the pork belly for pancetta or something easy.

I promise you they will grow out of it. I used to heave over brussel sprouts every Sunday (I had to eat the 3 sprouts before I could go out to play). But now I absolutely love them. My friend used to call for me and she would eat them for me (I'm sure my parents knew what was going on).

There are hundreds of super recipes on here both those of Delia's and those on this community and I'm sure you will find which ones will suit your girls.

I'd better stop there.

H x


The Twins

"They do say that the more fuss you make about them not eating properly the more they will dig in their heels. It's hard (believe me I know) but you're best to just pretend it doesn't matter to you and certainly not talk about their fussiness in front of them. No harm is coming to them on the list you've given. If they were living on chocolate biscuits, then I would say you had a problem."

Well, I can't add much to Honey's lengthy post - never had much of a problem with my son. But thoroughly agree with the bit I quoted - sometimes it's an attention/power thing going on.
Children know you can't force them to eat, so they can use that to get their own way - if you cook them different meals then they know they can get their own way if they make enough of a fuss!! Especially if you end up in tears:) Must be very hard for you.
Maybe let them go hungry if they won't eat anything - skipping one meal won't hurt them and if they are hungry they should be more willing to try things the rest of the family is eating.

Welcome to the board and good luck with the twins!!


Foods they might like....

This might help...


Lots of ideas for naughty twins!

Thank you!!!!!!!!
Lots of reassurance and ideas. That link to the good food article is great. I'm going to try a couple of things there. I think sweet potato as a topping could be a winner (cross fingers)
I'm interested in making the Ragu. I've never cooked with liver before though (shudder) but I'm willing to have a go. I'm sure it's very good for you!
I will keep you posted with how I get on with 'Operation Naughty Twinnies'. I will be strong!
Have a lovely bank holiday (I just ordered myself a mini chopper to celebrate)


Introducing myself

Have you thought of cutting up raw veg and letting them help themselves ? My Granddaughters love finger food . Even if they make pictures and things out of the food does it really matter if they eventually eat it ? They also love really tiny tomatoes and raw mushrooms .

Another tip if they don't eat the meal DONT give in and give them biccys in a little while just re-present lunch/dinner it worked for my granddaughters and now they eat almost anything.



Yes, please keep us posted Feathered. It's always good to hear how people get on with new recipes.

I have the Kenwood mini chopper that Delia recommends and it's been worth it's weight in gold. Particularly good for chopping herbs, onions and nuts, to name but a few.

H x


Finger foods

Hi SusanM -
Yes . . . I have tried that. I've tried cooking with them too, which is also often recommended for fussy eaters. I've also tried reward charts and stickers.
They are determined! I'm going to give it all another go though.
Ironically, before I had my own children I worked on a food programme with inner city children trying to get them to eat fruit and vegetables. Lots of them had never seen a red pepper or corn on the cob before - and some of the mums hadn't ever tasted them.


A little success!

So last night we had some success. I made burgers and then did a large wooden board full of chopped salads in different piles. They all ate the burgers. My little girl twin ate raw carrot, apple and cucumber and my little boy twin licked an apple! Doesn't sound much, but believe me it's progress!
Thank you everyone! Tonight I'm going to make a shepherds pie. Watch this space!!!

Honey - I looked in your profile and I saw that you are a gardener. We are moving in November and I will have a proper garden for the first time. I am so excited and it is BEAUTIFUL but very overgrown. It's full of all sorts of fruit trees (it's had a lot of love in the past!) Figs, apples, plums, medlars, quince, walnuts, cob to name a few. Heaven!



Great news that you're going to have a garden - an idea for next year would be to get your children involved in growing their own vegetables - something quick like radishes and/or lettuce (maybe start with cress on the windowsill?). There's all sorts of easy veg for children to grow, and it might make them more interested in eating them!


Gardening with the children

Gardening with the children is a really good idea... but make sure you grow the things you know they will like. I was always given radish for my little plot, good because they grow quickly, but I could never eat them as they were too strong. But if you till the earth well (and deeply) you could try growing carrots and parsnips (parsnips in honey are good) but not so good because they do take ages to grow). Don't put too much compost in the ground otherwise you get some very distorted shapes. Sandy soil is the best. They could grow them in a big tub. But salad crops are really good for children to grow. Nothing better than growing our own strawberries and raspberries though.

I'm very envious of what you already have in the garden though! Sounds like a lovely garden. Sounds like you will be reading up about how to prune those trees.

Oh and great to hear that they enjoyed their burgers and vegetable sticks.

Naughty thought... have you thought about making toffee apples for the children? They might go for those! I find that some apples I love and others are disgusting. I don't like them if they're pithy/wooly. But if they're hard, crisp and juicy, then I love them. Sometimes the skins are also not so good. So don't give up with the apples... try different ones. Pink Lady is one of my favourites. But like all apples, they vary throughout the year.

H x

Page :  1  2  3  | Next 

Return to Homepage
Visit the Delia Online Cookery School



CMS solutions by