Discussing Questions And Answers About Homemade Sauce For Dog Food

Helen asks…

How do I get my boyfriend’s 4 year old son to eat? He is so ridiculously picky!?

My boyfriend’s son is driving me nuts. He goes to his mother’s house during the week and spends a couple days each week between grandparents, as well. They all feed him crap: Velveeta mac n’ cheese, fruit snacks, sugar cereals, pop tarts/toaster strudels, chips, cookies, pops, Chef Boyardee. You get the idea.. YUCK.

I always cook everything from scratch and he usually eats what I cook. I’ll make him spaghetti and meatballs (the real kind), enchiladas, goulash, Swedish meatballs, mini pizzas (on whole wheat English muffins w/ homemade sauce). Usually, if we tell him it’s some kind of meatball and sauce w/ noodles he’ll try it. After much arguing, he’ll eat baked beans with a hot dog and even attempts a bun. He ALWAYS eats a good breakfast: eggs, pancakes (pumpkin, usually), and sometimes we let him have Special K fruit n’ yogurt or Cheerios. He likes most fruits, but is picky — apples need to be peeled and he only likes Granny smith. He won’t eat kiwi, mango, or ripe bananas. Raisins are ok, but not craisins. He loves all berries. He likes yogurt and applesauce, but is INSANELY picky about types (he usually wants the super sugary crappy ones I refuse to buy — Dad is not so firm about this).

So. I can’t seem to win with getting him to eat more foods. He likes the berry applesauce from Trader Joe’s, so I buy more. Now he refuses to eat them and they’re going in the trash, likely. Yogurt? He loves the fruit and yogurt parfait from McD’s (don’t get me started), so I buy ones EXACTLY like them from the store (only less sugary/fatty). He claims they’re “yucky.” He was eating enchiladas and now he says, “I don’t think I like that!” I stopped buying Nutragrain bars since they’re too sugary, and he won’t eat the ones from Trader Joe’s that are not only better tasting but are healthier, too.

HE IS DRIVING ME NUTS AND/OR BROKE!!!! Any tips are appreciated before I hold this kid down and force-feed him the expensive yogurts he won’t touch. ;)

Jimmy answers:

There’s no reasoning with a 4-year-old. Meal times are meant to be pleasant for the whole family, and they won’t be if you kick up a fuss every time the child refuses to eat something. He might love the attention, but negative attention is counter-productive. Force-feeding will only bring trouble. Kids that age tend to like food in small bits with a singular taste that you can pick up and eat with your fingers. Berries are perfect for that reason. Offer him the option of eating the berries as is, with milk, cream or natural unflavoured yoghurt (only one option at the time, of course). If he takes to the berry-yoghurt mixture, you’ll be able to serve home-made fruit yoghurt! :-)

If money is an issue, buy as little as possible of stuff that you refuse to eat yourself, that way it won’t have to go to waste.

My daugher was almost as hopeless at that age, and we had to live on fish fingers, meatballs or bolognese sauce served with either pasta, mashed potatoes or rice. She did eat green peas (frozen fresh, not the tinned ones), they were sort of fun. She liked making patterns in the mash, lining up the peas around the plate before eating them one by one etc. She didn’t like sauces and stews as a rule. Sure, it was boring and tedious, but at least she ate happily, and meal times were reasonably pleasant.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until the child is old enough to understand valid arguments about healthy eating, which is sadly not until 7 or 8 years, but by that time you can also involve children in the preparation of meals also.

David asks…

No time to cook… Are there any “shortcut” meats I can microwave for lunch at work?

Ok, I’ve been in and around this issue for weeks and months now and I keep coming back disappointed with my results. I’m a picky eater (some foods will make me puke like ketchup for example) and I’m trying to tone my body up. I have no problem cooking, but I do have a problem finding time to cook consistently, I mean especially when you have to go to work. Sure I could cook on my day off and save up some leftovers for work, but what if I’m so busy on my day off I don’t have time for that?

I’m trying to avoid fast food, pizza, etc. cuz that’s all there is around my job, junk food. So if I don’t pack something healthy from home, I’m stuck eating that crap. It’s either eat that or starve to death for 8 hours. Even homemade turkey and cheese sandwiches aren’t enough to fill you up. Sure, I’ll take some microwavable frozen veggies, some fruit, maybe some baked chips, but I need some turkey in there or something.

Healthy choice and Lean cuisine has a few good pre-made dishes that I can use from time to time but they don’t really fill you up completely and buying them can get expensive. I tried Perdue Shortcut chicken (premade chopped chicken for microwave) and man does that STINK! Ugh. It would be nice to find something like that which doesn’t stink.

Again, I love cooking but I can’t do it all the time, a guy has to relax. Even if its something simple like pasta. So let’s say I was too tired to cook on my day off, are there any shortcut meals or something I can buy for work? Something I can microwave?

Jimmy answers:

You could cook anything in the microwave. 5 mins of microwave time is pretty much 30mins in stove time.

My friend (his dad is this awesome steak chef) Sent him to his dorm with marinated steak in a big tupperware (can’t remember if they were frozen). He put in what he wanted in the microwave for 7 mins and it was perfectly cooked. Medium-rare. (it was a thick piece of steak) I thought it’d be gross but it tasted amazing better than any home cooked steak or even restaurant steak i’ve ever had.

You could also cook bacon in the microwave.

Hot dogs- roll up in paper towel and microwave 1 min on high.

Baked potato (covered in a bowl & a plate on top) will take 5 mins to fully cook, then I add chili & cheese. (if it takes longer your bowl is too thick)

Takes 8 mins for corn on the cob. You can steam vegetables in a bag.

I make steamed egg in the microwave. I beat the eggs put in salt, pepper, milk or water, minced garlic & chopped onions. Every 30 secs I stir & flip the egg over for 1st 90 secs. It jus takes 3 mins of microwave time for 2 eggs to be perfectly steamed.

My friends have made yummy soup & entire meals out of the microwave.

You could make cake in the microwave. (I use asian directions. They don’t typically have ovens in korean homes so youtube vids from asians master baking cookies & cakes out of the microwave)

For Pasta I boil the whole package drain and put whatever’s left over inside tupperware full of cold water. So i can drain, pour sauce on top & microwave anytime.

You’ll have to do some planning and preparing first but you could really cook a meal straight out of the microwave.

So you can marinade thick pieces of steak (5-8mins), have pre-cooked noodles & sauce (1 min), steamed veggies (2-3mins)

You’ll have a big hearty feast in 10 mins.

Sandra asks…

Best healthy recipie substitutions?

I already know about plain yogurt or applesauce in place of oil in cakes and brownies, and chicken broth instead of milk and butter in mashed potatoes, none of the above take away from the flavor of the foods, does anyone else know any other good ones that DON’T negatively affect the flavor?

Jimmy answers:

Here is a really good list, I hope it helps


Butter: Butter Buds (mix to make liquid)
Oil: Butter Buds (mix to make liquid)

Eggs: Egg Beaters or egg whites.

Cheese: Poly-O Free, Healthy Choice, Kraft, Borden or Alpine Lace non-fat cheeses.

Hot Dogs: Hormel or Healthy Choice 97% fat free franks (only 1 fat gram a frank).

Chocolate: Braum’s Light Fudge topping, cocoa or Hershey’s syrup

Commercial Baked Items: Entenmanns (fat-free), Health Valley or homemade baked items.

Commercial Muffins or Biscuits: Fat-free mixes or homemade.

Mayonnaise: Mustard or Kraft Fat-Free Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip.

Avocados: Water chestnuts.

Luncheon Meats: Water packed tuna or low-fat turkey slices.

Nuts: Grape Nuts cereal.

Red Meat: Chicken, turkey or fish.

Sour Cream: Non-fat cottage cheese, lemon juice and non-fat yogurt blended or Land O Lakes fat-free sour cream.

Cream Cheese: Philadelphia fat-free cream cheese, Healthy Choice or Alpine Lace Fat Free Cream Cheese (all new).

Chips: Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla Chips, pretzels, or plain popcorn.

Salad Dressing: Non-fat dressings.

Cream Sauces: Marinara sauces.

Granola or Granola Bars: Any non-fat cereal, non-fat granola or non-fat granola bars.

Ice Cream: Frozen yogurt or fat-free ice cream.

Cream: Evaporated skim milk.

Whole Milk: Skim milk.

Sausage: Healthy Choice low-fat sausages (new).

Hamburger: Ground chicken, turkey or Healthy Choice ground beef (16 fat grams a pound) (new).

Anything Fried: Baked or broiled.

Bacon: Low-fat Canadian bacon.

Snack Crackers: Nabisco fat-free saltines, Snackwells fat-free crackers or Mr. Phipps low-fat crackers.

French Fries: Baked potato, or oven baked French fries.

Olives: Pickles

Lamb: Fish

Veal: Turkey cutlets

Pork: Lean pork tenderloin

Oil: Applesauce, liquid Butter Buds or Karo syrup.

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