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Old 06-15-2011, 09:46 AM   #1
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Kid-friendly Dinner Menu?

My husband and I asked our nice new neighbors over for dinner tomorrow night. He's American, she's American-born Japanese. They have an adorable 3-year old son and a baby.

The menu I'm planning for us (4 adults + 1 kid, discounting the baby) is this:

SALAD: Crispy-fried soft shell crab on a bed of arugula and tomatoes with two sauces: aioli and balsamic vinaigrette

MAIN: Paella with chicken, seafood, chorizo

DESSERT: Panna Cotta


My concern is that the food may not be kid-friendly. Because of this, I'm thinking of adding a home-made cream of mushroom soup. QUESTION 1: But should this just be for the kid? I think giving the soup to the adults may be too heavy already.

QUESTION 2: Would the kid eat the paella? I'm thinking of preparing a stand-by dish of home-made spaghetti (I always have my classic Bolognese Sauce in the freezer for emergencies.)

What do you think?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 06-15-2011, 09:52 AM   #2
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My kids probably wouldn't have eaten mushroom soup at that age. He might like plain rice, with some of the seafood and chicken on the side. Kids always like cheese and crackers, I think, so you might have that for an option.

Just my opinion, but I wouldn't go to the trouble of making a whole other dish for him.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
My kids probably wouldn't have eaten mushroom soup at that age. He might like plain rice, with some of the seafood and chicken on the side. Kids always like cheese and crackers, I think, so you might have that for an option.

Just my opinion, but I wouldn't go to the trouble of making a whole other dish for him.
Ask your neighbor. Not only to find out what to feed the child, but it's also a good idea to be sure none of them are allergic to seafood.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:58 AM   #4
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I'd ask the parents what he would eat. Some little kids are pickier than others. We also have a rule in our house that you eat what you are served, so I wouldn't cook an extra meal. My 3 year old would eat the paella, but wouldn't eat the mushroom soup. If you have extra chicken, you can make chicken nuggetts. The pasta is always a good idea. Finger veggies like carrot sticks go over well, too.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:25 AM   #5
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Thanks for your responses folks. Yes, first thing I asked right after inviting them over was food allergies. And she so considerately mentioned that they train their son to eat what is served.

I guess then I don't need to make the mushroom soup. And the best thing is to have some plain rice at the ready. Good idea.

Great! Less work for me too! :-)
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:24 PM   #6
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Also if you did want to make soup you can serve him a bowl of it and then this could be your appetizer for the adaults maybe serve it in a shot glass with a small bite next to it that would pair well say with mushroom soup maybe a crostini with sauteed mushrooms maybe mini bella shitake or something with either melted cheese on top or a cheese crisp. would be a little work but i love doin that kinda stuff so some of my ideas may not be practical hehe
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:45 PM   #7
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Thanks Kronlyn. I love your ideas. I eventually decided that if I added any thing to the menu, it would be kid food. So my last minute brainchild was a quesadilla. So simple to do. I just spread a little of my home-made Bolognese sauce and some grated Dutch edam on one thin flour tortilla from the freezer. Folded it in half and dry-toasted it on a hot pan. Voila. I sliced it into four wedges. The kid loved it. It was all he ate -- three wedges. His mom later asked me for the recipe! On hindsight, I don't think the kid would have eaten mushroom soup or any of my adult food so the quesadilla was a lifesaver.
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:58 PM   #8
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Chopstix,

I've been learning to take care of my nephew and help with care of him.

As long as you tell the kid it has candy and sugar and it has Chicken in it, It would get ate up fast.

Tried to tell my nephew that Lima beans were packed of sugar, And he had 2 and he didn't like them.

So it kind of worked.

Here's what works in my house for a kid friendly menu.

Protein.
Brisket & burger meat only ( no other beef product )
Pork ribs. ( as long as you call it chicken. )
Fish.
Chicken in any form.

Starches.
Mac & Cheese "Alton browns stove top recipe modded"
Some corn.
Cream corn ( due to it's sweetness )

And some times orzo pasta done with meat in it.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:21 PM   #9
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Outdoor Chef, interesting tips. I didn't know much about this 3-yr old kid and his parents. It was a getting-to-know-the-new-neighbors event. The kid had just turned 3 in fact so he's really just coming off being a toddler. In hindsight, the quesadilla was perfect as it was a no-mess affair. No need for spoons and forks even. I deliberately did not brush butter on the tortilla to avoid messy fingers being wiped on the table or chair. :-)
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:30 PM   #10
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A funny thing happened at dessert which I thought would be a slam dunk with the kid. I mean, who doesn't love panna cotta? Well... first he wanted a fork to cut it with. He thought it was a piece of cake. (I found out later that he loves cakes.) Then when he spooned some panna cotta into his mouth, he retched involuntarily and the panna cotta fell out of his mouth. And the kid slipped off the dining chair and wandered off... (He's a pretty well-behaved kid all things considered.)

I guess the texture of the panna cotta was just so unexpected and new to him. Just goes to show, one can't take for granted what kids would and would not like.

Anyway, I hastily served him a piece of my homemade butter cake which he loved. And I promised his mom I'll send some over the next time I make it. :-)
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