My daughter, Sylvia is almost 3 years old. She is a vegetarian, who has a peanut allergy and likes plain food with lashings of tomato sauce from the shop. Here is some of the food that she likes eating.
- Boiled egg with toast
- Toast with promite and cheese
- Leftover vegie sausages
- Smoothies (banana, fruit, oats, chia seeds, soy milk)
- Hummus with crackers and vegies
- Baked beans and toast
- Cheeseymite scrolls from Bakers Delight or home made cheeseymite scones or cheeseymite puffs
- Chips (would have these every day if I let her)
- Fruit balls
Often her dinner is as basic as
- protein (beans from a tin, plain tofu cubes and/or cheese slices)
- carbs (pasta, rice, crackers, mashed potato or bread) and
- vegies (carrot sticks, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, capsicum slices, corn on the cob, peas, broccoil, brussels sprouts, asparagus, beetroot, cauliflower)
- fruit (apple, pear, banana, apricot, peach, nectarine, grapes, plum, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, any berries, mandarin, orange, watermelon, cherries)
- Fast track pizza with sweet potato sauce and cheese - great quick pizza recipe
- Geegaw cups - these are fun because she loves putting stuff in them
- Kiddie bolognaise - actually I think she has crossed this off her list but she did eat it when she had just turned 2.
- Kiddie nachos - corn chips with cheese melted on them
- Nut roasts - a favourite dish of mine - she will sometimes try a bit
- Matthews delicious tofu - she sometimes eats the "spicy tofu" but I usually give her some plain tofu and put aside vegies for her as I prepare them for this dish.
- Mee Goreng - she will eat the noodles with the sauce if I pick the vegies out of this but I can put aside raw veg for her as I prepare this dish.
- Mini quiches - she loved them the first time but not the second time
- Nutty sausage patties - loved these one night and refused them the next
- Potato scones - great way to use up leftover mashed potato (I sometimes add quinoa to the mixture)
- Roast potatoes - these are great for a little girl who loves chips
- Spinach pancakes - for kids who love colours!
- Tofu bacon - sylvia loves this fried in small pieces
- Tofu nuggets - she loves to help make these as much as eat them but it is a battle to stop her eating all the tofu raw
- Vegetarian sausage rolls - mostly loves the pastry
- Vegie sausages and mashed potato
Something sweet for everyday:
- Apricot delight
- Banana oat pancakes
- Fruit balls
- Orange and strawberry icy poles
- Oatmeal cutout cookies
- Pumpkin scones
- Rustic muesli squares
- Cherry ripe cake pops
- Chocolate crackles
- Cookie wands
- Grubs (pictured above)
- Novelty birthday cakes
- Teddy racers
EATING OUT WITH CHILDREN
It is not always easy to find a family-friendly cafe that has space for a stroller or a run; food that kids will eat; and friendly staff who will be flexible when faced with a fussy eater. A few times I have consulted Hey Bambini, a great website to check out child-friendly cafes in Melbourne. I have also recently discovered this page of restaurants/cafes with playgrounds. Here are a few favourite places.
- Birdie Num Num, North Carlton - big yard with sandpit and toys out the back and nice kids menu.
- CERES Café, East Brunswick - this cafe is in the midst of an environmental centre - tables are outdoors with shade and near to play areas - kids can watch hens, play in the sandpit or check out the gardens.
- Half Moon Cafe, Coburg- great falafels for a quick lunchtime stop in an outdoor mall, and they do chips and dips too, both of which Sylvia loves.
- Tea Time and Tales, Carlton - cute interior and plenty of toys and books, plus a kids menu.
- Kenzan @ the GPO, Melbourne city - not much room but they do takeaway - Sylvia loves the unwrapped sushi and the endamame.
- Happy River Cafe, Footscray Arts Centre - I haven't been there yet - my family has recommended this to me - lots of space for kids.
- Crafternoon, 531 Nicholson Street, Carlton North, 9077 6998 - they have a craft menu and fun food. I haven't been there but it sounds like fun. I saw it on this article on 5 family friendly cafes.
PLACES TO PLAY IN MELBOURNE
One great site with lots of information about big and little playgrounds is Melbourne Playgrounds. Here are some places I love to visit for some fun:
- Fitzroy Gardens - on the eastern edge of the city, this park is full of wonder with Captain Cook's Cottage (entrance fee), the fairy tree, the miniature tudor village, a playground and a conservatory.
- Scienceworks, Spotwood - great museum with lots of interactive activities to amaze and amuse kids, plus an historic pumping station and a large outdoors with play equipment.
- The Zoo - lots to see and lots of space - among the highlights are the trail of the elephants, butterfly house, giraffes, Australian animals, seals and the carousel.
- Indoor play centres such as Dizzy's Castle in Maribyrnong and Kidzone in Coburg
- Melbourne Botanic Gardens - the children's garden is great, there is a cafe by the lake and lots of space to run about.
- South Melbourne Beach playground - fun play equipment by the beach with a shade cloth over it.
- Melbourne Museum, Carlton - the kids section has lots of interactive activities and what kids don't like to see the stuffed animals.
- Coburg Lake - a few different playgrounds here and ducks and geese to watch on the lake.
- Latrobe Wildlife Sanctuary and Blackburn Lake Sanctuary - places recommended by a friend that I intend to check out.
- Chesterfield Farm, Scoresby - lots of animals to feed, pat and learn about.
FARMERS MARKETS IN MELBOURNE
Farmers markets are a great way to get out of the house, get the shopping done and let the kids stretch their legs, all in a pleasant environment. Listing are available at http://vicmarkets.blogspot.com. These are some of my favourites for kids.
- Collingwood -heaps of space for kids to run about, plus the entry fee ($2) also gets you entry to see the children's farm. (Second Saturday of the month)
- Gasworks - lots of interesting spaces, with some kids music for entertainment and the South Melbourne beach playground nearby. (Third Saturday of the month)
- St Andrews - out of town farmers market that is a chance to feel like you are in the bush - they had pony rides and kookaburras in the bush when we visited. (Every Saturday)
FUN KIDS FOOD IDEAS
- ABC pancakes - A Food Lovers Journey
- Advice on kids food - Fabulicious Food
- Animal cupcakes - Hold the Beef
- Banana mermaid - Vegan and So Forth
- Fish shaped bread - CityHippyFarmGirl
- Harry Potter potions - Affairs of Living
- House sandwiches - Please Do Not Feed the Animals
- Natural dyes for Easter eggs - Book of Yum
- Rainbow of fruit - Gluesticks
- Sparkling bracelet cookies - Not Quite Nigella
- Turtle shaped bread rolls - Breadworld
- my Pinterest novelty food board
- my Pinterest craft board
- my novelty cakes section of the recipe index