What Molly & Alice Really Eat

I would love to tell you that Molly and Alice are super healthy. Those kids who will happily munch through a bowl of lentil dahl with a side of cabbage, but they don’t. That’s not to say I haven’t tried, nor that they didn’t once upon time. When I was weaning the girls they both had everything with no problem at all. Ok, maybe not salmon, neither of them ever liked that.

I find most days I tear my hair out. As yesterday’s post eluded, most mealtimes with kids end up being a battle. My house has been all out war on many occasion but after the debacle with Molly not eating for years, and then discovering it was due to her tonsils, I now try to take a slightly more laid back approach. Slightly. I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that so long as they eat something that is ok. I’m not going to sit and attempt to make them eat cucumber and carrot sticks as they won’t be having any of it. I am also confident that as the years go on their tastes will change and they will soon come to love that healthy vegetable concoction as much as the endless supply of party rings that they now consume.

If you are the lucky mum who’s kid eat everything you put in front of them, I salute you. And would also love to know how you do it. However, for those of you who have resigned yourself to the fact that your child is going to live off beige for the imminent future then you are not alone. So this post is about being truthful and telling you exactly what the girls eat. Not the rose tinted version where I pretend they are super healthy. Who am I kidding?

The day starts relatively well and I can normally get them both to have breakfast. I’d love to say it’s a low sugar cereal but it’s normally cheerios or rice krispie shapes for Alice. In recent months I have even managed to get her to have milk on them which has meant I find less Cheerios scattered around my lounge and more in her bowl. Yes, my children eat their breakfast in the lounge. When you are trying to get them out the house and to school/pre-school I go for whatever is easiest. Molly is pretty good at breakfast and will normally have cereal, yoghurt and fruit or she is a huge porridge fan. It does have a liberal squirt of golden syrup on it mind you!

Now Molly is at school her eating has vastly improved and it gives me hope that Alice will follow suit. This has also coincided with having her tonsils removed so I’m not sure which contributes most. She has cooked lunches which she seems to love and most days opts for Jacket Potato and Beans but she does even eat vegetables. Shock Horror. The benefit of reception year is the lunches are free which means I know she is getting a good meal to keep her going through the day. They also get to eat fruit in the morning and she will now try things she never would before. She came home the other day proclaiming she now liked ‘koowee’, I had no idea what she was on about until she exclaimed it was green with black seeds! Excellent I thought and hastily popped to Waitrose to buy some Kiwis. Did she touch them? Did she heck! Oh well, at least she is getting a good dose of vitamin c at school.

Alice’s lunches are normally a picnic or scrambled eggs on her days at home. She bloody loves scrambled eggs. I would love it if her picnics were filled with colour but the only colour on them most of the time is the bag of wotsits! Both girls love the Warburtons Thins with ham so can highly recommend for littles. She will then most likely have something like a few mini marshmallows from my baking cupboard, a petit filous and a couple of token grapes. The grapes will always be left. However, if I have refused her pudding as she didn’t eat her tea she will merrily munch a huge bowl of grapes. Go figure!

I have tried to be really good with dinners this year and also stronger in refusing them alternatives. This does mean dinnertime can be long and drawn out mind you. I tend to opt for hearty family meals. Lots of shepherds pie, Bolognese, Fish pie and so on. Basically anything with a bit of beige and some hidden veg. I try to get as much veg in to things as I can but they can spot it a mile off. To combat this I do buy things like vegetable pasta which they seem to love. Most supermarkets have some version now and I’ve also been cooking lots from Jamie’s Superfood Family Meals. You can find a few of my family favourites here. They also have fish fingers at least once a week, normally with potato waffles and beans. Oh, and a lot of pasta. The one exception to the rule is broccoli which Alice loves, most of the time and when she is in the mood! Their dinner will inevitably be followed by a petit filous or some sugar free jelly.

Then there are the snacks. Alice would snack all day if she could and though I try to offer healthy things I am not string enough to listen to ‘but I’m a little bit hungry’ for the millionth time until I give her the required Jammy Dodger or two. A fair few biscuits get consumed in my house, as well as oat bars and bear yo yo’s. Yes I know they are bad for them. I have tried to make my own versions but they just aren’t as successful. The girls have recently found a love of Aldi pressed fruit bars as well which are great value. I do offer fruit and sometimes they will merrily devour a whole bowl of strawberries and other times they are untouched. I have never figured out why and have given up trying now. When Alice is at pre-school she has fruit morning, afternoon and with lunch.

It’s mostly hit and miss and a whole heap of mind games where Alice is concerned. She’s started using distraction techniques and lots of ‘mummy I love you’. As Molly is getting older she at least tries things even if she doesn’t eat much of it. It’s a start.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that most kids won’t eat the healthy stuff you give them but in time I’m sure they will. I’ve kind of come to accept that a balance is ok. That’s how I approach my own diet. They can have chocolate at the weekend (and any day a relative visits!) and a biscuit a day is fine. They eat home cooked meals and, with the exception of the fish fingers, everything is freshly made. They are both healthy, have excellent teeth and most importantly are happy. If someone tried to feed me fruit and veg all day I would probably rebel too!

So there you have it. The typical diet of my three and five year old. What do your kids really eat and if you are lucky to have them eating anything going please do share your tips and tricks.

mm
Lottie loves teaching her girls to be cake baking and crafting supremos. It may be messy but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Follow Lottie on instagram @buttercreamanddreams

29 Comments. Leave new

I’ve come to the realisation that this is normal and that I shouldn’t keep trying to force stuff on my son! His diet at the moment is
Beans, spaghetti hoops/shapes, toast, weetabix, fish fingers, mash, peas, sweet corn, carrots, gravy, pizza, burger (only in a brioche bun!), ketchup, occasionally spag Bol but only prepared in specific ways, crackers and laughing cow cheese, strawberries, banana, pear and then a variety of ‘snacks’ his most favourite being a dog roll type thing with apple inside . He will woof down ice cream/chocolate if allowed it. He is 2.5. He will not eat any other meat than listed above. Of course nursery tells me he eats everything and if he doesn’t have a second helping they always tell me as this usually means he is feeling under the weather?!! He used to eat all sorts of stuff so it’s definitely a toddler phase!
I remember when me and my brother wouldn’t eat cooked carrots and my mum had to prepare us bowl of raw carrots with Sunday lunch. Kids are mental.

Reply

OMG I did the raw veg with Sunday lunch thing too!! 🙈

Reply

😂 I don’t even know why we did it as I’m pretty sure I did like cooked carrots too!!

Reply
Lottie Manns
12th May 2017 9:51 am

I forgot about the spaghetti hoops!! Sometimes with sausages in, shock horror. I do think they learn to eat more as they get older and if they are eating something that’s ok with me. Loving the raw veg. Honestly anything to annoy your parents. xx

Reply

Thank you!

Things started great with us. E would sit in the kitchen for a hearty breakfast and end the day happily tucking into my river cottage chick pea curry. Then it ALL CHANGED.

Now… breakfast is dry shreddies from a beaker on the sofa in front of Go Jetters while she yells “Mummy i want cake!”. Lunch is a ham sandwich, a chunk of cheese & some pom-bears (all efforts to include tomato/cucumber/carrot sticks/houmous are ignored). Sometimes i’ll throw on a picnic size sausage roll which goes down a storm.

I’m with you on the hidden veg at dinner. Pasta sauces are my friend… carrot and celery in the Bolognese, broccoli in the pesto, roast parsnips hidden in with her chips (she spots that one a mile off though).

My current battle is trying to get her to drink enough water. If anyone has any tips (apart from drinking from a small shovel in her paddling pool which was her game yesterday 🙈) I’d be very grateful! Xx

Reply

With the water thing we had the same problem. I bought a variety of fun cups/beakers etc. Generally giving him a choice makes him drink some. The best was one with a straw that curled round the outside. If he has a day of not drinking much we play a game – We tell him that this is daddies drink and not to drink it. Then I drink some, then he drinks some and daddy points at us and says ‘that’s daddies drink!’. Laughs all round.

Reply

Oh that’s such a good game! She loves being sneaky so I’ll definitely give it a go 😂xx

Reply

Just seen this on instagram…
https://www.instagram.com/p/BT9wXY4g-W3/

There isn’t a single part of this lovely scene that will EVER happen in my house

Reply
Lottie Manns
12th May 2017 10:41 am

Ha ha ha. All I can say to that. x

Reply
Lottie Manns
12th May 2017 9:54 am

What child (or adult for that matter) doesn’t want cake for breakfast? Got to love a trier! Lunch sounds pretty much like Alice’s and I’ve given up even including any form of fruit most days. As I said though Molly now loves all sorts and adores Houmous. Ok, mostly with her crisps but it’s a start. Unfortunately my girls don’t like sauce on their pasta so I can’t even hide veg in that. I reckon we should just eat cake with them?! x

Reply

If we could all live on cake the world would be a better place ❤x

Reply

Reassuringly familiar!

Reply
Lottie Manns
12th May 2017 9:55 am

:) x

Reply

Thank you!! Its so reassuring that there are others out there with similar food issues. My cheat way of getting veg in them is to use the Ellas Kitchen veg pouches as a pasta sauce, mixed with cheese – they both love it. (Ages 1 & 2.5) These are also good to pack for holidays as you can buy pasta out there and know that at least they get a little bit of veg amongst all the bread and ice creams!
I’m definitely trying to be more relxed about it but its soooo frustrating when youn cook a meal then it ends up uneaten, and dont get me started on alllllllll the Cheerios on the floor – I swear i’ll be finding them forever! Still, apparently when I was little all i ate were sausages and yoghurt. at the same time. with my fingers. Beautiful. Great post. x

Reply
Lottie Manns
12th May 2017 9:56 am

That is an excellent tip on the Ella’s pouches. I bet they would probably sit and eat the fruity ones still straight from the tube. I get so annoyed with all the wasted food. I normally end up eating it myself which is no good for my waistline!! xxx

Reply

Oh so familiar. My son is 21 months. Breakfast is usually the biggest success- rice crispies, fruit, toast (with marmite). Any other cereal makes him angry. Fruit will be eaten in large quantities on some days (berries and more tropical fruit), regular fruit (apples, bananas) less well received.

Lunch he will eat ham sandwiches (usually shouting ‘more ham’), yogurt, attempt more fruit. Any salad will be greeted with ‘no, go away’. Other lunch optio is eggs and avocado. He loves avocado and is the healthiest thing he will eat so we often get through several a day!

Dinner is the toughest. He won’t eat anything in sauce, so no hidden veg. The only sauce he likes is pesto. The only veg is peas. So there’s a lot of beige witb peas. I often try and not give a substitute, but he often looks at my offerings and just says ‘no’ and cries without even trying. He doesn’t really eat meat except for sausages/ham so it’s pretty limiting!!

Reply
Lottie Manns
12th May 2017 9:59 am

Love that any other cereal makes him angry. Who knew how much the wrong breakfast cereal could upset a whole day! Alice is having a ham phase at the moment too and just loves it on it’s own. I too can’t get them to eat sauce on pasta, not even pesto, just grated cheese and ham. Maybe I need to give avocados a try? xx

Reply

I think it’s a case of picking your battles, as there’s no point in every mealtime becoming a battle zone. Your girls diet is fairly similar to what mine get through, and like you I’m not worried. I think you also have to remember that every child is different; my eldest loves vegetables, but detests fruit, whilst my youngest is the complete opposite and launches carrots across the room while hoarding blueberries. They both eat far more bread based food, chocolate and biscuits than I’d like, but I also don’t want them growing up to think of these foods as bad (no food is “bad” in my opinion, its just some are better than others).

I grew up in the 80s on a diet of crispy pancakes and fish fingers and I turned out just fine. My little brother would only eat sausages and smash potato until he was well in his teens, and now he’s the man who bakes his own bread, grows his own veg and owns every kitchen gadget known to man!

Reply
Lottie Manns
12th May 2017 10:06 am

It is so true about not wanting them to think it is bad for them. I hadn’t really even considered that. My brother was exactly the same (Smash was amazing!!) and now he is the healthiest person I know. Maybe it’s like they had their fill of unhealthy as kids so perhaps thats the way to go?! x

Reply

I promised myself I’d not ever hide food but mneh, thank God for Jamie Oliver’s secret sauce. We use it for pasta sauce, soup with bread, as tomato-esque sauce to make homemade pizza and quesadilla (tortilla wrap, Jamie’s secret vegetable sauce, grated cheese, folded over, dry fried to melt the cheese), gnocchi. You name it, I usually try and sneak in some secret vegetable sauce!

I have never offered an alternative though and she’s not allowed down from the table until everyone has finished. Often the delay means she ends up eating what’s on the plate through sheer boredom. She gets what is on her plate and if she’s hungry later she gets it back. I’m a TERRIBLE eater and my parents were quite relaxed with me so that’s the one rule. If she doesn’t eat it because she’s not hungry then that’s fine too. But no pudding ever. And no snacks.

If anyone fancies exchanging tricks, ours are:
(1) Sweet potato ‘chips’ with fishfingers rather than waffle. I just make chip shapes, par boil and then roast in brushed oil. At least they’re a recognised vegetable and count as her 1 of 5.
(2) Ice cream and lollies as summer snacks – we’ve tried Apple and spinach and yoghurt with berries and banana.

Reply

Thank you so much for writing this post Lottie, it’s made me feel so much better! My little girl (nearly 3) has always been picky and I’ve felt so guilty about it on lots of occasions, particularly in front of other parents who seemingly all have amazing eaters for children. I dread social events that will involve eating like kids parties because she just won’t touch anything. I do sometimes wonder about her tonsils after your post about that with Molly because she often still gags on things and I can tell she’s not doing it on purpose. Her diet now mainly consists of porridge, weetabix, occasionally toast, tinned spaghetti, ravioli, beans, mash, waffles, sometimes shepherds pie, fruit pots, yogurt and that’s about it! 😬 I must admit I need to try harder to provide other things it’s just I’ve had 2.5 years of most things being refused and you get a bit worn down by it don’t you and feel it’s just easier all round to make things you know they’ll eat! She’s happy and healthy though and I give her a good vitamin supplement. I was very picky as a kid too and I snapped out of it in my teens! X

Reply
Lottie Manns
12th May 2017 10:13 am

I think we need to let go of the mum guilt Sarah. There are so many things we can feel bad about but I guess so long as they eat something that is all good. My girls LOVE tinned spaghetti. They would eat it every mealtime if they could. I have sort of given up trying and they just had pasta with grated cheese and ham most nights but I am trying a bit more now. It’s just not going down very well! x

Reply

My daughter was a brilliant eater but has got pickier and pickier over the past year, although she eats all sorts at nursery obviously! The book First Bite has some really interesting points about our relationship with food and what we can avoid passing on to our kids. Well worth a read

Reply

My boy, who’s 5, basically only eats breadsticks, crackers, rice and spag bol (although these days he doesn’t eat the pasta, just the beef and tomato) – how he gets through his day at school I just don’t know, but he’s thriving there and physically, despite being a very small kid for his age, his dietitian isn’t concerned either. It can be really hard to let go of the guilt about it, but this is just who he is – all we can do is hope that one day his tastes will develop and he’ll suddenly want to try a whole new range of foods. Everyone says teenage boys eat you out of house and home, and I’m hoping that’ll be the case for him too!

Reply

Love this Lottie (and Rachel’s post yesterday too which I’ve just got round to reading!) My little man is one and a half and already seems to want a diet of beige and bread based stuff! He is pretty good with fruit at the moment to be fair, but veggies generally have to be hidden, unless they are sweet potato chips as mentioned above! I do love the fact that 3 days a week i don’t have to think about meals while he’s at nursery! One thing that works for us at the moment (we all know how fickle they can be though…!) Is pasta with creme fraiche, a bit of cheese and spinach that has been wilted and blended – simple but at least it’s getting some greens into him! Xx

Reply

As long as they are getting a variety in their diet and eating about 80% right then you aren’t going to go too far wrong with a few treats hear and there

Eggs are a great source of protein to help them grow and so versatile (omelettes, fried, scrambled, boiled)

Also if you’re struggling with healthier cereals-honey is an excellent sweetener

Reply

Have really enjoyed reading this post and all the comments as my son (3.5) is exactly the same, as a baby he ate anything until about 13/14 months when he became extremely picky and still is. Breakfast is always a hit with him and he’ll eat pretty much anything then and usually demands seconds and sometimes thirds! Lunch is a picnic plate including some cucumber and tomatoes which he will now eat (has taken a few years to get to this point!) but dinner I find the hardest and can be a very drawn out process. I did have a moment of realisation today though, he looks the absolute spit of his dad and I got a flash forward of him being a strapping lad over 6ft and eating me out of house and home as a teenager – when I’ll probably look back at all these fussy years and hopefully think “why did I worry so much”! I read something the other day that said we should take the pressure off ourselves for always providing healthy meals and concentrate on making them happy family meals instead – that really stuck with me as we’ve had so many dinner time battles over the years! My second son is nearly 8 months and we’re going down the blw route with him in that hope that it may make a difference, so far he’s loved everything I’ve given him but I’m well aware it may all change once he hits toddlerhood so for now I’m enjoying this phase where he’ll eat everything I lovingly cook for him 😉 xxx

Reply
Lottie Manns
12th May 2017 10:48 pm

I am loving the ‘happy family meals’ and I will definitely try and adopt this attitude. On a positive note dinner was a resounding success in our house today. Small wins xx

Reply
Claire Pimley
13th May 2017 8:40 am

Love this. I Just think you need to look at your child/ren and be aware, are they happy and healthy?
Regardless of what the do and don’t eat. That’s what’s important.
My boy was a prem baby, at 30 weeks, so from the start of weaning EVERYTHING was fresh fruit and veg with proteins added. Little or no sugar and salt and only ever water. (This lead to a few complaints with children meal deals. Can you believe water never used to be an option in most packed lunches at Parks? 😨)
Unfortunately he was always too small or “skinny” with little energy when growing up so i had to encourage more fatty, high energy (which often means sugary) foods. As a 10 year old now I’m still reminding him the need for balance of all food groups including sugars (biscuits 🍪) but I know how lucky I am that he eats most foods even if he’s still tiny.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *