Toddler Chow Mein

As I wiped down half my dining room and kitchen tonight after our toddler threw what was left of his dinner around the room in two faster-than-lightening arm swoops, I shook my head at ever thinking he would sit quietly at the table and yum down whatever my husband and I were eating for dinner. This is very much NOT the case.  Not only have I got a fussy eater but I have a very, very messy one.

I worry he doesn’t get enough iron as he dislikes meat so I have made it a personal quest to hide red meat in his food.

There are two recipes I have been able to do this with – Chicken Chow Mein (now Veal Chow Mein) and Tuna Bake (now Veal Bake – I know….gag-a-rama but he loves it).

The original Chow Mein recipe came from his day care centre. Every time they serve it for lunch, apparently he eats several bowls. So I asked the Cook for her recipe and she obliged. I set about customising it to make it more iron rich and here it is, Mamas and Papas. Of course, you can use chicken mince and in fact it is much tastier that way, but this is all about increasing my kid’s iron.

I am very fortunate to have a Thermomix to do all my chopping/grating/crushing, but this recipe makes a bucket load so is well worth all the chopping board work. I tend to make a batch (sometimes double) and freeze in containers filled with around 4 meals worth, then dish it out and microwave it.

Toddler Chow Mein

Toddler Chow Mein

2 tbsp oil (rice bran, sunflower, peanut, vege – not olive)
500g minced veal (or chicken or pork or a combo)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, finely diced
2 carrots, grated or peeled into ribbons
1/8 cabbage, shredded
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 zucchini, grated
1/8 cup soy sauce
½ teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon corn flour
2 cups water
Chinese noodles

Cook noodles to packet directions, rinse in cold tap water and set aside.

Heat oil in a large saucepan or stockpot and cook onions until soft.

Increase heat. Add curry powder and fry for 30 seconds before adding meat to brown.

In a jug, mix water with cornflower and soy sauce. Add to browned meat.  Stir, then add veges.

Pop a lid ajar onto saucepan, reduce heat to minimum setting and allow to cook until veges are tender (around 15 mins).

Taste, I sometimes add ½ teaspoon of sugar and/or salt.

Add cooked noodles, mix through and serve.

I make carrot ribbons with my grater but you might have one of those fancy twisty vege cutter things :)

 I use these Pandaroo noodles but any would be ok. 
I'd love to know what you think if you try it and if you have any tips from personal experience with your own fussy eater. 


  1. yum that sounds great! and for me!! My stepson is the pickiest eater I have ever met. The only meal he ate as a kid (that wasn't from a fast food chain or involving chicken nuggets or sausages) was tuna curry - his mum basically made it with a tin of tuna, can of tomato soup and curry powder. YUK. My wicked step-mother version was can of tuna, tomato passata and a puree of every white, yellow and orange veggie in the house. And often a big slurp of tomato paste to make it the "right" colour. He didn't have a clue. :)


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