Friday, 25 January 2013

Feeding children - Shepherds/cottage pie

Now my boys are older (5&3) I feel we have come through the struggle of fussy eating, I am going to be sharing with you some of my fail safe recipes which are healthy (having some veg sneaked in) but delicious.

There a few rules I stick to when feeding my boys, I have always been consistent with this and I think it has really helped. Number one, if they don't want what I have made them they don't have anything else, no pudding, no alternative. I will only give them fruit. Number two, keep things simple, children don't want their food to be a Heston style taste adventure, my boys enjoy their food when it is satisfying and tasty. Number three, have a proper table set, get them involved setting the table, sorting out their own cutlery, drinks and napkins, this builds confidence around food and meal times Number four, only make one meal, for you and your children, who wants to make two meals everyday? Number five, don't overfill their plates, better for them to ask for seconds than feel overwhelmed by what is on their plates 

If I have experimented and have given my boys a new recipe I try not to make a big deal of it, I will give them their food and then busy myself cleaning up, I find if I don't watch them they tend not to look for me to say they don't like it, they will basically give it a good try and after a few mouthfuls their taste buds have gotten used to the new taste/texture. This worked like a dream recently when I made them Chinese food with big strong flavours like soy, sesame and ginger.

This is a fantastic recipe which I have been cooking for years, slightly tweaked though with a suggestion from a friend, parsnip in the mash, yummy!

This recipe will make enough for 4, read on to find out what to do with the left overs!

2 onions, red or white whatever you prefer - finely diced
2 large carrots - finely diced
3 sticks of celery - finely diced
500g lean beef mince or 500g lamb mince
2 rashers of bacon
1 small courgette - finely diced
A handful of frozen peas
1 organic stock cube (who wants to make delicious food then chuck in an oxo cube full of MSG
2 tbsp tomato puree
2/3 tbsp Worcester sauce
1 tin plum tomatoes
4/5 medium potatoes
3 parsnips

1. Peel the potatoes and parsnips, boil the potatoes for 5 minutes then add the parsnips. Once cooked fully mash them together with a knob of butter and a little milk
2. Soften the onions, carrots and celery in an oven proof dish on your hob. Add the beef or lamb and brown. With a pair of scissors snip in the bacon
3. Scatter in the courgette and peas, crumble in the stock cube, pour in the tomato puree, Worcester sauce and plum tomatoes. Simmer gently for a 5 minutes.
4. Spoon on the potato parsnip mash, fork over the meat mixture and bake your oven at 180c for 25 minutes or until golden.
5. I always serve this with broccoli

I always cook some penne dried pasta the day after I have made this and mix the meat mixture with it, topped with a little grated cheese it is so good

Take care, Natalie xx

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