William’s Kid Friendly Peas and Paneer
William, like many children, ate anything when he was a toddler and baby. We’re pretty adventurous eaters, and I remember him age one, in an Indian restaurant, loving it, eating everything and having a great time. A couple of years later however, like many children, he became much fussier. We discovered a technique called division of responsability. This means we make sure there are a couple of things he will eat on the table, but don’t cook round him.
This recipe came out of the way we did this for curries. We’d make a curry that we wanted, and serve it with rice, peas, and perhaps grated cheese for William. Over time, we added in paneer cheese. Being really plain tasting and without a challenging texture, my son took to this. Instead of following an Indian recipe, I cooked it in some water with the peas. Then over time, we added spices and swapped the water for stock. This dish is really flexible for children – you can leave the spices out or vary them according to what your child will eat. We have it as a side dish, and for William it’s the main course.
Get your litte ones involved!
Today, William made this himself, with some help, and he selected the spices. I love getting William involved in choosing spices, and if we’re having a dish he won’t eat, I give him a plate with the spices in so he can put his finger in each of them and trying. I don’t use cooking with William as a way to try and ‘get him to eat more foods’, as we don’t use that sort of pressure, but as a way of learning a life skill and teaching him more about the food he enjoys.
More Ideas for Fussy Eaters
I wrote an article about meals that work well using this method – so the whole family can enjoy them – click here to read it. If you’ve been inspired and want to try out some meals like this with your own family check out Ellyn Satter’s division of responsibility method and read some of the research that has inspired it. The gentle eating book by Sarah Ockwell Smith has helped me understand my eating habits as well as my child’s!
And finally I’d like to thank the members of the Mealtime Hostages facebook group for all their ideas that have contributed to this article.
If you’ve enjoyed this and want to keep up with my quick globally inspired meals that everyone can enjoy, you can follow me by email here or follow me on facebook here. If there’s any recipes you’d like to see or anything you struggle to eat with your picky eater drop me a line in the contact form or in the comments below! You can find the companion recipe for William’s curried lentils here.
A flexible, simplified peas and paneer dish
- 225 g paneer chees
- 3 teacups frozen peas
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 3 tsp garam masala
Chop the paneer cheese into cubes and place it in a frying pan or skillet.
Add the spices, peas and stock and mix together.
Bring up to the boil.
Turn down the heat to medium and simmer until the peas and paneer are hot all the way through. Keep an eye on it – you may need to top up the water.
Serve, and enjoy!