Friday, April 10, 2009

Le Petit à table, part III

I have a dilemma worthy of a three-star Michelin chef: a very demanding client whose tastes change without warning and who is not afraid to make sure we note his displeasure with a meal.

OK, I'm exaggerating: le Petit is a better eater than 80% of the toddler planet and I know I'm lucky. But still, I'm currently hating mealtimes. I feel like I keep giving le Petit the same things over and over again, so when he rejects them, can I really blame him?

My goal is to try to make things that the whole family can share: soup, rice dishes (le Petit adores risotto and rice pilaf), roasted chicken, or steamed vegetables (which le Petit can take or leave most days). I rely a lot more than I'd like on avocado, cheese cubes, and slices of ham. Until recently I could count on serving frozen peas when nothing else worked -- I admit I even gave them to him still frozen when he was reeeeeaaaaally hungry -- but lately he just dumps them on the floor. He's also suddenly, strangely no longer interested in pasta.

Meanwhile my husband is on a diet, so vegetables and salads are standard fare at our dinner table. What can I make to keep everyone happy? And what can I keep on hand for le Petit when he decides he's not willing to try my homemade roasted tomato soup that took me an hour to prepare? (Not that I'm bitter about my meal falling through last night or anything.)

Le Petit likes small, soft pieces he can pick up or stab with a fork, but won't eat anything that has the consistency of mashed potatoes. He is usually pretty happy with soup.

Readers, if there is there anyone out there with toddler feeding tips or quick, tasty recipes (especially rice-based or vegetarian) we can all eat together, I'm all ears.


Isabelle said...

Bonjour Parisienne,
My daughter has been a big fan of omelettes lately.
Add some crème fraiche to your beaten eggs before cooking them, and some pieces of cheese when your omelette is almost cooked... Delicious!

OK, I know my daughter isn't a toddler anymore, and this isn't exactly a vegetarian dish, but at least it's very quick and easy to make ;)

caramama said...

My girl goes through similar phases, and maybe le petit is just going through a phase. We discovered that the Pumpkin likes pork and ham almost always, so we make a lot of that. We are working on varying things, too.

We always keep frozen chicken tenders on hand and fruit. If all else fails, we just give her some of those. Not my ideal, but sometimes you just have to get through the phase/stage/age. Good luck!

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

@Isabelle, I'm always forgetting about eggs, and omelettes are so easy to make. I think that's a great idea for Wednesday lunch.

@Caramama, I'm glad I'm not the only one who has a emergency ham backup plan. :)

As of today, le Petit seems to be having some gastric issues and refused to eat anything other than applesauce at dinner. So that may explain a lot. Poor guy, he just got over being sick... I hope it doesn't get much worse.

beyond said...

i was going to suggest breakfast for dinner too.
do you ever make tofu? you could cube it and stir fry in a bit of oil and salt and spices (or soy sauce) for a few minutes. le petit might like that consistency and it would go well with the salads you and your husband enjoy.