Beef, vegetable & noodle broth with green curry paste (page 212)

Practical Playtime / Jobs For The Kids

  • Season and brush the steaks.
  • Pull the broccoli off its stalks.
  • Take and shake the seeds out of the pepper.
  • Measure the curry paste to serve on the side. 

My Cooking With Kids Recipe Diary

Jake 4 years 11 months, James 2 years 3 months 

Another day later
I had felt daring, ambitious, excited. I also knew there were raspberries to be picked, so I was looking forward to dinner.

 

I was realistic, I didn’t put any beef on James’s plate but I did give him the peppers. James raced through the noodles and Jess helped him to slurp up the broth. I was delighted by this as I’d accidentally put in the adult amount of curry paste.

 

Admittedly it is not very hot, but 'more soup, more soup,' he said, giggling as he went. Wonderful.

 

But then followed 10 minutes of screaming because we asked him to finish his broccoli and try the red peppers. Because if he doesn’t know if he likes something, we’ll settle for him trying it. But if it is something we know he will eat, he needs to either finish it before his yoghurt or milk or leave it and not have anything else. 

 

Jake had enjoyed everything, particularly the beef; all I had to do differently was to cut up the pak-choi for him. He and I went to pick the raspberries, Jess stayed with James who cried until we put the raspberries on the table, James then ate all his broccoli, got cross. He wouldn’t at first try the red pepper slice whole, but did when it was chopped into a spoonful of the broth and he saw Jake starting to eat the raspberries.

 

Twice in a row it's worked, that James has tried something so he can have his yoghurt and milk, and James is so delighted when he does it. He is talking and understanding a lot more, could this be it? Whatever it is I can’t wait for the next meal. It’ll be mussels and leeks, but there will be broth. 

A day later
 
I am about to test this for a third and final time (or so I thought) and I will get a chance to see how James goes with the beef. I have been buying broccoli specifically for him. If it is the vegetable he will eat for now, then so be it. I’ll just have to be careful that I don’t end up with a great swathe of broccoli recipes throughout the book. 
 
 First Try
 
We have had a huge, great big breakthrough. It is now three weeks since we started being properly strict and denying James his milk if he didn’t eat all of his dinner. This period has been interrupted by a little holiday where we loaded the dice by giving him only things we knew he would eat so as not to ruin our break with fuss. So let’s say two weeks.

 

Anyway, this was leftover from the first recipe that I tested on my own and then froze. James ate the noodles, drank the broth and ate all his broccoli except for one floret. I cut it in half and said, 'you have half and I’ll have the other half'. He didn’t, so I left it in front of him and went to get the yoghurts for Jake and me. I sat back down then James picked up and ate the broccoli. I was stunned. He laughed and laughed, like he’d been playing a trick on us all this time. Can this be the start? Is this a reward for being less anxious? I was talking to Fiona, the principal of the Kids Cookery School last week and the first question she asked was 'are you anxious at the table?' So I'm doubly careful not to be too anxious. But maybe I am becoming anxious about not being anxious. I always have to wee just before we eat. 

We have changed the way we sit at the table too. I now sit further back than Jake so he is between me and James and opposite Jess. This works very well. I am not blocking Jake now, we had originally changed to this because James kept grabbing Jake and pulling off his bib. But it works much better now, folds the family together.