50 things I’ve told Sara to persuade her to eat her food.

Whenever I meet other members of my family,friends or readers who follow my blog most begin by saying, “Oh, so that is your little chefling!” “Yes she is”, grins her mother. This is followed by, “We read your blog. You are such a lucky mum. Your girl eats everything and our children…sigh!”

“No! I am NOT”, I want to shout out loud.

Hmm…I understand that this little blog gives you an impression that my little girl ALWAYS wipes her plate clean. Each and every time. From the steamed broccoli to the stir fried mushrooms (Okay, broccoli she does but hey she doesn’t even touch those mushrooms). 

It is time to show you that a child who eats everything is work of fiction. Mine definitely doesn’t. I always try my best to practice my three commandments and a lot of times I fail. I pick myself up and restart.

  • Convince her to at least try. She may or may not like it but that is not important. What is important is that she is open to tasting.
  • Try and not offer desserts/TV/ playtime as a reward for finishing the meal. Ahem. I am lying. Guilty as hell. I am a mum after all.
  • In this house we don’t waste food. If we don’t finish our food. We get leftovers. May be sometimes dressed up as bestovers but we eat them. Period.

The times I fail are often. These are just some of the lines that I have “used” in the past to persuade her to eat and to finish her meals on time. Don’t you judge me? 🙂 I am a mum, okay? Mums are allowed these kinds of things.

  1. If you eat this walnut you will become really smart. Do you see the shape of this walnut? It resembles our brain. Walnuts are good for your brain.
  2. If you eat this carrot your eyes will sparkle. Do you know it has this thing called vitamin A, something like a magic potion for eyes?
  3. If you eat this tomato, your cheeks will become all red. You will look so cute and mamma will get red and juicy cheeks to kiss.
  4. If you don’t eat carrots then you will have to wear specs like mamma. Then how will you read more books? If you don’t read more books, then how will you become smarter? But I am already eating walnuts to become smart, mamma? Gulp.
  5. But this morning you didn’t eat your walnut. If you don’t eat that walnut then you will become silly. Do you want to be silly? Yes, I want to be silly. Silly is fun.
  6. Fish is so good for the brain. Look at papa he quizzes. He quizzes because his mum fed him fish. Don’t you want to quiz? No, I want to do ballet and become a fairy.
  7. Then you must finish your fish. Children who finish their fish can fly. Really, if I finish this fish I will be able to fly? No, not now. When you eat a thousand fishes that will make your magical wings stronger and then you can fly. At the age of 18, okay? Okay mamma.
  8. Dinner? What dinner? I never gave you dinner. That was snack. This is dinner. Sometimes when she has had a really early dinner and I know she is getting going to get hungry come midnight or she has had inadequate dinner according to her mother, her mother fools her into thinking she never ate dinner. The poor little thing believes her mum. Totally mean. But that is okay. She can do the same to her kids. I swear I won’t stop her.
  9. You can watch another episode of Charlie and Lola ONLY if you finish this entire bowl of dal.
  10. You need to taste this and then decide if you like it or not? All chefs need to. They must. Else they are fake chefs.
  11. Almonds help you remember things. Do you want to forget that Sofia song or what? Here, eat these.
  12. Come on finish your food quickly. We also need to eat those brownies, right?
  13. I want EVERYTHING on that plate finished. Do you hear me?
  14. If you don’t finish your food then God will get very upset. So many kids don’t have food to eat and look at your plate, it is full. We are so lucky and we must appreciate that.
  15. If you eat this cabbage your hair will grow longer than even Rapunzel’s.
  16. Alright, this is the last bite. Okay, one last bite. This time I really really promise last bite.
  17. If you want to go down and play, you have to finish that glass of milk.
  18. Oh my goodness look how tall you’ve become after drinking all that Horlicks (Read: 5 ml)
  19. If you don’t eat then that kitty who is hiding somewhere in our house, she will. Here, my eyes are shut now. Kitty Kitty come and finish off Sara’s food. Oh kitty ate? Surprise!
  20. Can you roar like a lion? She opens her mouth. Quicky shove food inside. Can you roar like a tiger now? Cheetah?
  21. Oh for God’s sake put on that obnoxious Barbie song on your phone so that I can force feed her while she is busy watching that mindless video.
  22. We have all finished our food.
  23. Don’t you want to go for that party or not?
  24. What do you mean you don’t like eating a banana? You have always loved bananas.  Now I don’t. What do you mean by now you don’t? Mamma, people change.
  25. But you loved it when masi made it.
  26. But you loved it when nani made it.
  27. Because I said so.
  28. Because my mamma told me it is good for health and mammas are always correct.
  29. God told me. How can God tell you mamma? God doesn’t talk to people. Sssh…he does, only to mammas. I don’t believe you. Then I don’t believe that you can talk to fairies. Mouth shut. Food in.
  30. Oooooh but you can’t call any food “bad”. God gets very upset. Ok, mamma I dislike this. Now ok?
  31. You are not getting up from your chair till you finish that porridge.
  32. This is khicdhi. It is yum. It is good for your tummy and will make your fever go away. But it is yukh. No problem, don’t eat.  We can get a suppository from Dr.Menon instead.
  33. Should I put Nutella on it?
  34. More Nutella?
  35. Should I sprinkle some chaat masala on it? With lemon.
  36. Don’t keep that food in your mouth. You are supposed to chew it.
  37. Chew faster.
  38. Faster Sara. Faster.
  39. No, you give me THAT spoon. I don’t have all day to watch you sit and eat.
  40. Fine you are still on your first bite let me call your friend’s mum and tell her we won’t be able to come for the playdate because Sara is still eating.
  41. Come let’s see who comes first? Papa, you or me? Mamma, this is not a competition. Please let me enjoy my food.
  42. Zucchini is good for you. Pumpkin is good for you. Brussels sprouts are good for you. Asparagus is good for you. If they are all so good for me then how come none of them taste good?
  43. How is it possible that you like to eat coconut pieces but don’t like coconut milk in a curry? I don’t.
  44. Do you want to faint while doing PE at school? Finish your breakfast now.
  45. You will miss your school bus if you don’t eat quickly. Don’t you want to meet your friends?
  46. Okay let me call your teacher.
  47. Fine. You don’t want to be a real princess. That is fine by me. Real princesses eat everything.
  48. I am counting till ten.
  49. Now I am going to take away that plate from you and won’t give you food even if you are hungry.
  50. Sara last warning and I mean it.

Mussels and Orzo One Pot Meal.

She tried. Made a horrible face and then ate her “plain” orzo stir fried in some olive oil with sun dried tomatoes, olives and oregano.

Serves 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • ½ tsp garlic paste
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • About a litre of any homemade stock (store bought is also fine)
  • 150 grams of orzo or any tiny pasta you like
  • 200 gms of mussels
  • Fresh herbs like parsley, basil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Take the olive oil and stir fry the onions till they are soft and pink.
  2. Add the garlic paste and sauté the onion-garlic for 2-3 minutes on low heat.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cook till they leave oil.
  4. Allow the contents of the pan to cool down and then blitz to make it into a smooth paste.
  5. Put the smooth mixture back into the pan.
  6. Add the homemade/store bought stock and salt and bring it to a boil.
  7. Add the orzo and cook till it is almost done. About 10-12 minutes.
  8. In the last five minutes add the cleaned mussels and leave it to simmer.
  9. Add the herbs. Check for salt and add some pepper.

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6 Responses to 50 things I’ve told Sara to persuade her to eat her food.

  1. orangekitchens February 24, 2015 at 6:39 am #

    Neelu Ha ha ya..such battles to fight and that too subject to their conditions 🙂

  2. Neelu February 23, 2015 at 8:26 am #

    This made me laugh. The things you say to feed your kids, sigh!

  3. orangekitchens September 30, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    Tasneem: Yes they are, aren't they? My mum laughed the loudest..says like daughter like grand daughter 🙂

  4. orangekitchens September 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    Saswan: Ha ha yes kids.Sigh! They make you do all kinds of horrible things..may be i can apologize to her when she is 18:)

  5. Tasneem Rajkotwala September 30, 2014 at 6:18 am #

    Some of the points are really hilarious, more so because I am sure many moms will almost relate to all of them including me 🙂

  6. Sawsan@chef indisguise September 30, 2014 at 4:20 am #

    I feel your pain!
    I have a 5 year old and I think I have tried all 50 and then some!
    It is good to know I am not the only one!

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