A lot of parents always lament and complaint that their children refused to eat. I have personally seen parents force feeding their kids or get their maids to chase after the little ones all over the housing estate just to finish a meal. This is a very bad habit and should never be practised. A kid will eat when he or she is hungry. Otherwise, leave them alone. If not, you will end up with a little monster who uses the mealtimes to be his/her negotiation battlefield. Once you let the kid has the upper hands, you are going to be their slaves.
So, where I am concerned, I have accepted the fact that every kids have their own tastebuds and they like different types of foods. They also do not tune their eat times to us and hence, they may not feel hungry when we are and they will demand for foods when they are hungry.
For us Chinese parents, we may or may not get a kid who likes to eat rice. I have one who has a Caucasian tastebuds, one who sees rice like a plate of gold and two who are partial and hence, much easier to handle. Since most of our meals at home are mostly rice, the least headache for me is to boil them a big pot of soup with meats that are tender and a dish that has lots of gravy.
Above is a dish of ikan tenggiri or mackerel. Normally I can get them in huge slabs from Tesco. Just slice them thinly, rub a bit of salt and cornflour and pan fry them. To make the gravy, I use a little bit of ginger, slice into thick slices so that I can pick them and throw away before serving, chopped garlic and fermented soya bean paste (taucheo). In separate wok, just stir fry these three ingredients till fragrant, add water to make the gravy and put a little bit of sugar for taste. Add the fish and simmer. The reason you need to pan fry the fish is to avoid it turning flakey and it gives better taste that way.
After so many years of parenting, I know that it is futile to set down the green rule. I.e. they must eat green vegetables in their meals because they would rather starve than eat. So, as long as my children eat some carbo, some protein and some fibres for their main meals, I am happy already. I substitute with lots of fruits for them.
Therefore, if you have problem getting your little kids to eat, make sure you have lots of nice dishes with gravy. It works all the time.