If I have a philosophy, it's probably to introduce interesting foods to kids in the healthiest way I can. I also like to challenge what is traditionally seen as 'kids food'. I have a lot of sympathy with Antonio Carluccio's comments recently (even if I question his credentials as a famously fat man) that children's menus make kids fat.
The 'typical' children's menu features chips, chips and more chips. If you're lucky there's a pasta dish on there, pasta is fine but it just makes me think "yawn". Isn't there anything more interesting? The silly thing is loads of kids go to nurseries nowadays and in my experience of two local nurseries, their food is far more interesting and presumably they have no issues getting kids to eat it.
So, I urge you to be a little bit brave with your toddlers and older kids. There might be some refusals, there might be some less than positive reports but really, why don't we feed food which is closer to what we'd like to eat? After all if you don't you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of cooking two meals.
That said, I'd be spinning a yarn if I didn't tell you that all of the prawns were eaten along with a couple of pieces of pepper and a few noodles. It was a hit but my son has his favourites and prawns are probably the thing he would eat for every meal if I let him.
Singapore Noodles - serves 2 adults and 1 toddler
1 onion, peeled, halved and sliced into half moons
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
a splash of oil
1 sweet pepper (capsicum), finely sliced
150g dried noodles of your choice
1 tsp curry paste (a mild one if your child isn't into spicy foods, mine is so we used Madras)
1 tsp turmeric powder
200g small cooked prawns, defrosted if frozen (defrosted weight shown)
2 tsp soy sauce
Fresh coriander (cilantro) to serve
Boil the kettle.
Have everything ready to go as this is quick. Heat the oil in a wok and put in the onion, put the noodles on to boil and boil for 1 minute less than the pack instructions (this is because you are going to stir fry them later). My pack said 4 minutes so I cooked them for 3.
Add the garlic, curry paste and turmeric to the wok and cook for a minute or so. Add the pepper and cook for a minute, the noodles will probably be done by now. Drain them and add to the wok with the prawns and soy. Stir fry until everything is hot.
Serve up into bowls adding coriander if liked. Allow your child's portion to cool a little if they're still young.
This had a kick and a nice flavour.
Singapore is one of the most lovely places I've been too. I'd spent 5 weeks travelling around South Asia and struggled. I hadn't realised how hard it would be to constantly feel like you're being scammed. I think it's something which particularly goes against English sensibilities. Singapore though is more British than Britain in lots of ways. They'd had national politeness week just before I visited. For all that, despite visiting, I never ate Singapore noodles in Singapore so I can't vouch for their authenticity!