Roast duck, roast peach, walnut & goat's cheese salad (page 288)

Practical Playtime / Jobs For The Kids

  • Brush the croutons with oil.
  • Pick, wash and dry the salad leaves.
  • Line up the peaches on the baking tray.
  • Measure and make the dressing.

My cooking with kids recipe diary

Jake 4 years 10 months, James 2 years 2 months


Jake loved helping with and eating this meal, the croutons most of all. Anything crispy or crunchy is a hit. I didn't make a fuss of it but I think this is the first time he ate goats cheese. I had put a little less on his croutons, and he did all the brushing. The croutons are also very good with cream cheese.


Sadly, this duck chapter has been a topsy turvy feast with James. Because of other work I had to stop testing for a couple of weeks in June and before I stopped James was eating the duck gravy and the duck and asking for more. In fact he would only eat the duck when it was mixed with the gravy. Starting again with this salad, he wanted the duck and tried the duck, but I'd already mixed it with the gravy and he didn't want the gravy. He just wanted the duck and then he wouldn't touch the peaches, croutons with cheese or even some plain croutons. We just sat and eventually it was time for bed. Maybe he just isn't hungry at the moment. Unless it is milk, yogurt, berries, baked beans or dried apricots.


The peel comes away easily from the peaches when you bake them. Peel it off. It is too tricky and dry for the tiny and toothless to chew otherwise. Salad leaves can also be hard to chew. I had a big breakthrough with Jake when he was about 2 1/2 and I made a flat omelette mixed with very finely sliced leaves. He then went on to the crunchy ribs of the leaves and now eats rocket and even the more bitter leaves.


Try starting kids with crisp baby gem or romaine and putting the duck and peaches inside. Jake calls these salad ships. The croutons are mini cheese on toast so you could put a little chopped up duck and peach on top of them. I find this great fun, as Jake does, but James just gives the croutons back to me at the moment. He really loves feeding me, I think, or he just realises I am tired putty and he thinks it's a clever way to empty his plate so that he can have his yoghurt or fruit. Ho hum.