Who doesn’t like fishcakes? My daughter apparently.
Naomi is 21 months and an extremely picky eater. She eats all sorts at nursery, but for family she refuses to eat most things. I know porridge, babybel cheese, beans, fruit pouches and eggs she will always eat. Other than that, it depends on her mood and what time of day it is.
A friend of mine suggested having her cook with me to encourage her to eat the food. It makes sense in theory, but my concern was that she was too young to make the connection that she made it. I was right, she had no idea when I put it on the plate. She poked it a few times with a fork and decided she wouldn’t eat it. Porridge for dinner then, you win kid.
I decided to try the Magic Mini Fishcakes recipe from Cbeebies I Can Cook. Naomi will sometimes eat fish pie when I cook it, so I thought this would be a hit with her. I had everything prepped and ready so all she had to do was hop on the chair and dig her hands in. What kid doesn’t like to get messy right?
First thing we needed to do was tip the salmon into a bowl. Would she help? Nope. She threw the fork. Okay, I’ll put the salmon in the bowl. I started breaking up the chunks and she wanted the fork. I thought, “Yes, she’s going to get involved!” I shouldn’t put my expectations so high. She threw the fork again.
Next, we needed to use our scissors to cut up a small bunch of fresh parsley into the bowl. Surely Naomi would want to use the scissors. Every kid wants to use scissors and scare the living daylights out of us. Not even interested, she was too busy slapping the slice of bread with a Mickey Mouse measuring spoon. I cut the parsley into the bowl while chanting snip snip snip. She participated in this bit and in time with each snip I may add. Next we need to repeat this process with a spring onion. She repeated slapping the bread with the measuring spoon.
Time to make breadcrumbs. I didn’t agree with this part of the recipe. It said to grate a slice of bread. How on earth are you expected to grate a slice of bread without also slicing your fingers and knuckles? When you figure it out please let me know. Next time, I’m bringing out the food processor. Of course she wanted to help at this part. Sorry Naomi, we can’t have two of us in the house with grated fingers.
Now that we had “breadcrumbs” made, it was time to add a tablespoon of it to the salmon mixture. This didn’t go down well with Naomi. Not only did I destroy her slice of bread but now I was wanting to take the measuring spoon off of her. I tried to make peace with her by asking if she wanted to do it, but she just grunted
at me. In went some of the breadcrumbs and next to be followed by the same amount of ketchup. She found the noise of the ketchup squirting out utterly hilarious. I mixed this all together as now she was too busy using the pastry brush doing heavens knows what.
Naomi finally gained interest when I started forming the fishcakes. She would grab some of the breadcrumbs and pat them on the fishcake followed by clapping and cheering herself on. You go girl, you coat those fishcakes. We repeated this process until we had two lovely looking fishcakes on the baking tray. In the oven they went for 15 minutes. I was feeling like mom-of-the-year over here while I was cleaning up. Well, until she started crying because I threw away the excess breadcrumbs. I’m sorry, I know you are a picky eater but you are not eating breadcrumbs.
Once they were done, I set them on the side to cool before bringing Naomi in for her dinner. I also had to make sure that Zelda didn’t try to sneak off with them like the food ninja that she is. We learned our lesson with the beef roast
from last Sunday. This was it, moment of truth. I put the fishcake on the plate with a cup of milk and sat Naomi down. I could tell from the look on her face she wouldn’t eat it. She poked it with her finger then picked up the plate which caused the fishcake to slide into her lap. Nice try kid, you’re still going to have to try it. I tried taking a bite to show her it was good, which sometimes works. Not this time, I just got shoved away. Rude child, we both just slaved over the worktop for 10 minutes making these and you push me away. Ian came in and tried to get
her to feed him, that didn’t work either. She just screamed and flapped her arms. This is when we caved in and gave her porridge. At least she ate, not only ate but shoveled it in her mouth in-between her saying, “Mmmmm!” I know
she’ll grow out of this picky eating soon, but seriously though the sooner the better.
In regards to the Magic Mini Fishcakes, they were delicious. Ian and I both said we would have to make these again for us one night. It was very simple to make and I had no qualms about Naomi using the scissors to help me. I still don’t like the idea of the grater and wouldn’t use it again. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed making these with Naomi. However, was she a bit too young to do it? Perhaps. It really depends on the confidence and maturity of your child when it comes to this. I would highly suggest this recipe for you parents out there to make with your kids. It yields two good sized fishcakes and is very simple and quick to make.
You can find more kid-friendly recipes on the Cbeebies website or buy the I Can Cook cookbooks! I’ll be investing in some when Naomi is older and actually decides to eat normal food.