Mini Week in Dinners

The lovely Sinéad at Bumbles of Rice runs a really interesting feature on her blog where she shares her dinners with you for the past week. It’s not about showing off or trying to shame anyone, it’s a warts and all look at the reality of family dinners. She’s now expanded that and is inviting bloggers to share their week in dinners with everyone. I wasn’t going to take part as my warts seem to be wartier than others. A lot wartier. In theory, our family should eat like royalty every week with an award winning French chef in situ but of course he works a lot, which leaves most of the cooking to me and I’m not so skilled in the cooking department. Add to the mix an incredible fussy eater and it’s a recipe for disaster (pun intended!).

It all started off so well in our house. We started Mini on solids at around 5 and 1/2 months and straight away she was receptive to new tastes. As soon as she mastered the tricky skills of chewing and swallowing, she was away on a hack. We moved from puree carrot, sweet potato, courgette, pear, apple to lumpy meals. She would have finger foods-crackers, cheese, sweetcorn. Once she even ate a sprig of broccoli, although never again. She wasn’t a huge fan of meat but liked fish and basic omelette so we were satisfied she was getting her protein fill.
She didn’t cut her first tooth until 17 months old. This is when the wheels started to come off the food truck. When she was teething, she would go off her grub to the extent where she would spend days not really eating anything. It was around here that I introduced what would become the downfall of healthy eating in Mini HQ-the potato waffle. It was nice and soft for her much maligned gums and it was so bland. I hadn’t eaten a waffle since childhood, where I remember scoffing them down as though they were the most delicious thing to be put on a dinner plate. Have you tried one lately? They taste of cardboard. Fluffy cardboard, but cardboard nonetheless. The only other “meal” she will even entertain is Cow & Gate Spaghetti Bolognaise. I don’t know why it has to be this particular brand. It just does. Homemade spag bol is also not acceptable even if it’s put into the same packaging the shop bought slop stuff comes in.
Bread or “pain” as Mini calls it-the French word is easier to pronounce than the English one- is also a staple of her diet. But it has to be a particular type of bread, namely baguette and plain. No butter, jam, not even a smudge of Nutella.
This week we continue to introduce solids to Mini Mini. She’s not hugely interested and I’m thinking of going down the baby led weaning route. I have dreams of us all eating the same thing at the same time but that seems like fantasy right now. Getting food into me and my family is an exhausting, time consuming affair.
That’s where we’re at,grub wise-all the wondrous stages of family food evolution so -deep breath-here goes-(I’m starting on Sunday as I’m a bit late to this linky)
Tried to give Mini some “exciting” pasta shapes that I picked up in the bargain bin at TK Maxx. No dice.She screamed at the offending pasta in her Peppa Pig bowl.
The offending pasta shapes

“Pain!!!” She bellowed at me so I caved and gave her bread and Spag Bol for dinner.Mini Mini had courgette.This garnered mixed reviews.I had some reheated lamb curry from the freezer and brown rice.

Monday was an absolutely gorgeous day so we joined the rest of Galway for a walk on the prom and a detour onto the beach to look for “pinch pinch crabs”.  We called into a friend who lives in Salthill afterwards so I had a load of snacks for Mini to keep her occupied as this friend has no TV-something I would love to replicate in our house!Mini happily munched away on satsumas, apple compote, biscuits and a trusty demi baguette.
“God, she’s a great grubber, isn’t she?” my friend enquired. If only!!
We didn’t get home til nearly 7. Mini normally eats around half 6 and she was tired after all the going, so I decided to avoid the inevitable fight and just offer her evening bottle. I know some of you must be recoiling at the idea of a 3 year old still taking her “bobble” but evening is the only time she gets it and at all other times she will either drink from a normal cup or through a straw so we’re making sure she’s using all the muscles in her mouth correctly. The bottle is a comfort thing and I’m loath to take it from her. If she’s still looking for it at 4, we will review the situation!
Both girls were cranky after the day-Mini Mini refused any baby rice and it took me ages to settle them down for the night, so I didn’t bother with food for myself-just turned in early at 9.30.
Another gorgeous day weather wise and mercifully we only had to spend 2 hours at Mini’s ENT appointment at the hospital. Last time we were there for nearly 4 hours! I had some concerns about her hearing but even though she scored lower on this hearing test than the previous one, no flags were raised. The grommets are still in place and we’ll be back for another check up in 6 months. So it was off out again to enjoy the lovely sunshine. Mini was all go all around the garden-I even snuck in a bit of sneaky potty training unbeknownst to her by removing her nappy and letting her roam free.
She was hungry so she had 3 waffles for dinner. Mini Mini had carrot. As you can see, she was less than impressed with this.
The Frenchman did an early shift that day but didn’t feel like cooking so we ordered take away sushi-lovely but ridiculously expensive-€40 for not that much of it!Still it was delish and so much healthier than our other normal takeaway choices-Dominos or Chinese.
Hallelujah!The Frenchman is off so he gets to cook for me instead of all those other feckers customers. He chose to finally use the sausage making attachments he had received as a Christmas present back in 2012 and have a bash at homemade sausages. We got the meat and cases from the Polish supermarket-enough to make all these and have some left over for €12. He added smoked paprika, mustard seeds, cumin, salt and pepper to make a kind of spicy merguez but made with pork. I couldn’t wait to try them but unfortunately you have to leave them for a minimum of 24 hours in the fridge before cooking, otherwise they’ll burst. Grrrr.
But he made lovely meatloaf with the leftover meat adding onion, grated carrot and cheese to make a tasty dinner accompanied by baby boiled potatoes and green beans. Hurrah!


Mini had spag bol. Mini Mini had some rice cereal made with breast milk, which she normally likes but wasn’t eating any of it so I tried some and to my horror, it tasted like vomit!I thought breast milk was good for up to 5 days in the fridge but maybe we opened and closed the fridge too much withing that time, or I didn’t have the milk close enough to the back of the fridge. whatever it was it;s lead to parenting fail #6327-giving rancid milk to an infant. Cue enormous helping of mammy guilt.
Still no fecking sausages for me either so I made Quick and Tasty Carbonara from Bumbles of Rice. Easy but still full of flavour and I even snuck in a sneaky glass of wine to accompany it. Yum!



Sausages are ready! Mini cocked her snout up at them of course(Seriously what toddler doesn’t like sausages?) Once again it was her loss as they were fab, served up with the left over baby boileds fried up in the same pan.
Mini Mini had sweet potato which was more successful than the carrot. Her sister was quite interested in this meal so I gave her some and she ate it so I fed her some more-result!She has eaten something that isn’t waffle shaped or Cow & Gate spag bol flavoured. But it’s baby food and I had to literally feed her, like a baby and that’s not the kind of carry on I want to encourage, thank you very much.
Today was the closest we came to eating together as a family.Mini Mini had broccoli soup-an easy peasy recipe from Wholesome Ireland’s gorgeous new book, Wholesome.This was the big hit of the week for her. Mini was in foul form and threw a massive tantrum when I asked her what she would like to eat.She kept asking for Peppa Pig so for a finish I put the cartoon on the tablet in front of her on the table and mixed sweet potato,carrot and the broccoli soup together and let her eat while watching Peppa. It’s not ideal but she got a lot of veg into her unbeknownst to herself. I had a toasted tuna sandwich and broccoli soup.
So that’s a week in dinners at Mini HQ. Are we the worst family for food?I’m guessing we must be one of the most fractured. Please share your week in meals in the comments below to make me feel better!

8 thoughts on “Mini Week in Dinners

  1. Those potatoes in Fridays dinner are making my mouth-water! Haha I love how you say “cocked her snout up at them”, never hear that saying before, I might have to start using it! 🙂

  2. Aedín, I think you’re waaaaay harder on yourself than you should be! Everyone has reliables – here it’s pasta, round yours it’s waffles. Those kiddos of ours spot a stressed mama at fifty paces and play it so avoid the battleground and keep plugging away with a little bit of variety and plenty of Pain!!! And btw …. I also cocked up with the manky milk
    served up with ready brek! He’s nearly 5 and seems to have survived. Susssshhhhh!! Xx

    1. Thanks Helen.I think I needed to hear that from someone!I just hate the way she eats waffles every day-we alternate them between lunch and dinner!And don’t worry,your rancid ready brek story is safe with me! 😉

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