My daughter, Sylvia is almost 3 years old (at the time of writing this post - I try and update it occasionally). She is a vegetarian, who has a peanut allergy and likes plain food with lashings of tomato sauce from the shop. (See more links to posts about her eating.) 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
- Sushi (we make our own with a sushi rice filling but no veg)
- Cheeseymite scrolls from Bakers Delight or home made cheeseymite scones or cheeseymite puffs
- Chips (would have these every day if I let her)
- Pancakes or pikelets
- 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, mushrooms, 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)
- Limeade or Lemonade
- Novelty birthday cakes
- Teddy racers
Healthy food for celebrations:
- Carrot and cucumber tulips
- Polenta Pizza People
- Popcorn (beware choking hazard)
- Sushi rolls or onigiri
Baby puree ideas (some that Sylvia liked):
- banana and avocado
- pumpkin, apple and peach
- potato and broccoli
- onion, pumpkin, lentil and carrot puree
- rice, pumpkin, silverbeet, onion, zucchini
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 diy sushi and the edamame.
- 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