Kids Eating the Main Meal

Sometimes people freak out at how ‘healthy’ my plates for the kids look. So I wanted to give you an indication of what they eat and what the plate looks like post dinner. Not as pretty really!!

The girls will always get the same meal as us. It might be presented slightly differently. Some of the ingredients might be separated or the heat of spice not as strong. But I swear by the notion of one family, one meal.

One family, one meal is not only about nutrition and health but more importantly sense. Which family really wants to cook two separate meals each night? Not this one.

How do I get my children to eat the meal, the same meal as us? Well it is dinner and if they do not want to eat it, that is fine, but there is nothing else on offer. And if they get hungry later in the night, their meal is re-presented.

Sometimes people find this incredibly harsh but it comes with a huge astericks. Of course if they are ill or if it is an incredibly strange new food, the rules are bent.

But the reason why we do this is if we allowed them to eat something else, like nuggets or pasta with butter, how are we developing their palate? How are we offering them nutritious food to help them grow? How are we teaching them eating habits for the future? We are not.

If a child receives the second option, even once, they will ask for it again. You need to be strong, yes, and it can be tough when you are tierd, but I promise you it is worth it in the long run.

So anyway, here are the little piccies of what the kids ate the other night. Nothing special, nothing styled. Just polenta and Bolognese (with some extra veg), a boiled egg with some side veggies (broccolini, corn and cherry tomatoes).



(Excuse the blurry photo). And this is what they actually ate. As you can see they didn’t really eat much of the polenta concoction, but they did try it, which is another rule of mine.

You do not have to like it, but you do have to try it.

As they ate the majority of their meal, all is good. They are allowed to have a little fruit or yoghurt later in the evening if they ask for it, but to be honest this rarely happens as they eat their dinner.

I sound like a drill sergeant and I promise it is not as militant as I write. I am a mum after all. I just wanted to let you in on how I have subconsciously taught the girls to eat the same main meal as us, the parents.


This post was contributed by Little People Nutrition.  Visit for more nutrition information for your family.

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5 Responses to Kids Eating the Main Meal

  1. Nika May 15, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

    We have a 1yo who is pretty laid back when eating unless he is tired. At what age did you start implementing your rules.

  2. Mandy May 18, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Hi Nika, I probably started talking this ‘language’ from about 18 months and only loosely enforcing it…never when they were over tired though. From about 2 and a half I think they really know what is going on so I would have been a bit more pedanitc but always with a grain of salt as life is always occurring around you as well. Cheers Mandy

  3. Vicki June 10, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

    we take exactly the same stance. Unfortunately my son doesn’t always understand (he is 2.5), yet if we give in to his tantrums then he will get used to getting whatever he wants if he doesn’t eat what is presented. This is also not fair on his older sister.
    Meal times are a constant battle and I’m forever throwing food away.

  4. Marie July 20, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    My daughter (now 3) was never a fussy eater until now. She would try anything – with few exceptions. We have found that she genuinely doesn’t like eggs and she thinks soup is baby food but apart from that anything at all – even mildly spicy food (that she asked to try from our plates when we were eating out). We were delighted. Now she won’t try anything new – even from our plates and things she previously ate she says she doesn’t like. Her nursery session doesn’t finish til 4pm so I get that she’s tired and have tried to make dinner earlier but it doesn’t always help. If she asks for a different dinner I tell her “this is your dinner tonight, you can have (insert what she’s requested) tomorrow night or at the weekend. Any tips?

    • Amanda July 28, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

      Hi Marie, I found with both my boys they became quite fussy at 3. I just persisted with serving the same dinner but including their favourite cooked pasta with the meal. I would separate parts from our meal to make there meal so it looked more child friendly -eg. separated the meat from the casserole. Also with the soup, add cooked pasta to it so it is more like a sauce, works everytime here.

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