As you know I have a 10 year old son, he isn’t the fussiest of eaters but equally he can sometimes be challenging and difficult to encourage to try something new. I find that involving him in cooking usually helps. He enjoys mixing things up and making decisions about how much of each ingredient to add. When Ben feels like his food is made especially for him to his design he cant wait to eat it! For this post I thought I would share some recipes and ideas I have found work for Ben and are Slimming World friendly so you can make the whole families meals at the same time! Obviously given that the idea of lots of them is encouraging the children to help and chose ingredients and quantities this wont be full of recipes but I hope it can give you some ideas.
Ben loves helping me make cannelloni and stuff the pasta tubes with filling as he is very tactile and loves anything messy! We have made a few different mixtures and essentially I combine cooked mince with some tomato puree and herbs with finely chopped vegetables of his choice. we mix it all well with our hands and then stuff the tubes! The way we cook it is that I layer the tubes on top of some passata and then use the following mix to pour over the top and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes until cooked. The topping I make uses quark, vegetable stock and eggs. The quantity you make will depend on how much cannelloni you’re making but I suggest the following for a family of 4 depending how much you make and which dish you use. Mix up 250ml of vegetable stock and allow to cool, beat in a 250g tub of quark and mix well until smooth, add two beaten eggs and mix well until thoroughly combined. This mixture can then be poured over the top of the layered cannelloni and topped with grated cheese if you wish.
|Ben with his Cannelloni.|
Ben loves to make his own custom made stir fry and give it a unique name. Again with this kind of dish you can have a lot of control in how much of each ingredient is used and encourage the child to cut them how they like. Ben likes to cut all his different colour peppers differently and cut the mushrooms at strange angles, whilst it sounds very simple this alone makes him feel so excited to eat his stir fry as he really feels it is made just how he likes it! It is a fantastic way of getting more vegetables into children too I find as it is quite easy to encourage Ben that it needs to be colourful and have all the rainbow colours in it!
An alternative to this is fruit pasta salad. This may not be something you have tried before and you may be reading this thinking that I am crazy but don’t knock it until you have tried it! It is lovely and a real change for something different to eat. The best way I have found of making it is defrosting a pack of frozen mixed berries. If you are following Slimming World endure this isn’t a smoothie mix and they are whole berries and that no sugar or anything is added. Using dried pasta cook as normal however instead of cooking in water mix up a pan or diluted sugar free squash to cook the pasta in, orange squash works well diluted 1/4 or 1/5 so similar to how you would drink it. Cook in the squash mix and then drain and allow to cool. Mix the cooled pasta with the defrosted fruits and you have your fruit pasta salad.
|Ben’s Sausage casserole|
This is a very quick simple meal to prepare and put in the slow cooker but equally can be cooked more quickly on the hob if required. I use the following, 6 Sausages, 3 peppers deseeded and cut into bite size chunks, 2 cartons of passata, 1 can baked beans, 500g mushrooms quartered, 2 large red onions, 4 tsp Ground Cumin, 2 tsp Paprika, 1 tsp Garlic salt. It is very much a meal you can change around to however you like. I cook it for around 4 hours on low in the slow cooker.
A Barbeque doesn’t have to be fattening and can very easily be made Slimming World friendly using meat with all visible fat removed, homemade burgers using 5% fat or less mince, or the Slimming World brand sausages and burgers for meat eaters or for vegetarians there is Quorn fillets, Quorn Low fat sausages and Linda McCartney Rosemary and red onion sausages which are all currently syn free and there are other Quorn products such as the Gammon steaks which are currently 1 Syn each. It is easy to add mushrooms, chunks of peppers, corn on the cob or other chunky vegetables to the barbeque for some tasty vegetables and salad is easy to put together to accompany it. A healthy barbeque is just as easy really to make as any other barbeque and I think if kids have helped cook their vegetables on the barbeque they are more likely to eat it. We did a quick Barbeque the other day with disposable ones, they are quick and don’t need much space as you can see we did it on a little bit of wall outside our door rather than get everything out!
|Our Slimming World BBQ|
Most children love finger food and if you make dips to go with sticks of carrots, peppers and cucumber you stand a bit of a better chance of them eating them I find. Whilst a lot of children like tomato ketchup or mayonnaise these can be high in syns, pre-packed dips again are often also high in fat and if you are following Slimming World but want a family snack such as this it makes it difficult. Making Slimming World friendly healthy dips doesn’t have to be difficult and with just a few ingredients you can make some yummy ways for all the family to enjoy some healthy snacks. I have posted some of my dip ideas on a previous blog post which can be found here.
|Ben enjoying his pulled pork|
Ben loves bacon and ham, like a lot of children, he also loves mushrooms so I often make him carbonara as this simple meal involves some of his favourite foods quite easily. I fry his bacon (fat removed) or ham with some sliced onions and mushrooms. Whilst these are frying I cook some dried pasta as per packet instructions. When both are cooked I mix the two together and add some grated cheese which melts as I stir it through, this could be weighed out for your healthy extra a allowance if following Slimming World, for ben I just pop a small handful in! A very quick meal in around 15 minutes or as long as the pasta takes to cook and Ben always finishes it and doesn’t seem to notice that I use lots of mushrooms and onions to increase the amount of vegetables he eats.