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Whining and Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and the Families Who Love Them Paperback – April 17, 2007

4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Emma Waverman is part of a food dynasty that started in the culinary mecca of Glasgow, Scotland. She is a food and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Toronto Life and Food & Drink, among others. She feeds her two boys, baby girl and husband in Toronto.

Eshun Mott began cooking up her own rubbery omelettes at the age of eight. She trained as a chef and worked in upscale restaurants and at Toronto’s famed Cookbook Store before becoming a professional recipe developer, tester and food stylist. She is also the full-time mother of two young sons.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Garlic-Roasted Carrots

Simple, quick and delicious, these were a big hit with our testers. You just have to get the kids to try these once and it will be a side dish for life. And if not, more for you.

1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut on an angle into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add carrots and garlic; cover pot and turn down heat to ­medium-­low. Cook, shaking pot occasionally, for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender and both carrots and garlic are slightly caramelized. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 servings.


Meat Loaf

Maybe you think of meat loaf as an unhealthy meal from the ’50s. We think of it as an opportunity to hide nutritious food in a ­kid-­friendly ­hamburger-­type substance. There are oatmeal, carrots, parsnips and spinach in there, or you can choose to leave all the veggies out, or put one or two more in. If your kids are hamburger fans but the words meat loaf scare them, then you know what to do.

1 lb lean ground beef
1⁄2 lb ground pork
1 cup chopped onion
1⁄2 cup grated carrot or parsnip
1⁄2 cup chopped spinach
1⁄2 cup large-flake oatmeal (not instant)
3 tbsp milk
1⁄2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 egg
1⁄4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1⁄4 tsp hot pepper sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Combine beef, pork, onions, carrot or parsnip, spinach, oatmeal, milk, thyme and egg in a large bowl.

Mix together ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and hot pepper sauce in a small bowl. Reserve half the sauce. Pour the other half over the meat mixture and stir gently to combine ingredients. Season meat mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

Add brown sugar to reserved sauce. Pack meat into 5- x 9-inch loaf pan and smooth top.

Bake for 30 minutes then remove meat loaf from oven. Using a knife, make 3 slits in top. Pour remaining sauce over top so that it runs into slits.

Bake for another 30 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 5 minutes. Pour off any fat, then carefully remove meat loaf from pan and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Canada (April 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679314547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679314547
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,354,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We couldn't find anything in this book that our kids were willing to eat. Oh well. Other people may have better luck than we do. If a reviewer finds a book that has (a) healthy (b) easy and (c) picky eater acceptable recipes, then please do tell.
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The book really didn't have any new ideas for getting a really picky toddler to eat more healthy foods. Everything in it was pretty obvious.
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This is a collection of family friendly recipes that are guaranteed to work for even the fussiest members of the family. It's full of terrific everyday recipes for every meal as well as snacks and party suggestions. I am not a confident cook but I find the instructions simple and idiot-proof. Best of all, they get my kids happily eating all the right foods without complaining. I've bought and tried several other family recipe books over the years, from Jessica Seinfeld to Annabel Karmel, but they all seem to boil down to "hiding the vegetable" or "prettifying the vegetable" (usually in a truly labor-intensive way), rather than just cooking it in a way that children will enjoy eating.

Whining and Dining is also a tremendously readable cookbook, littered with helpful hints and amusing anecdotes about the writers' own children (who also feature in the appealing photographs). The instructions are encouraging and straightforward. I also like the inclusion of suggested menus at the back for events like mothers' groups and having friends round for dinner.

I've probably made about a quarter of the recipes in this book and I can honestly say we've never had a dud. The first meal I cooked was teriyaki salmon with garlic-roasted carrots. It was on the table within 30 minutes and my two fussy eaters devoured it and asked for more. The pasta and vegetable recipes are consistently good and my sons often rqeuest the fajitas or the meatloaf. And the buttermilk pancakes are SO GOOD that they alone justify the purchase of this book! My only (minor) criticism is that I would have liked more photos of how the food will eventually look.
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I don't know about my four year old daughter but my husband and I love the recipes. I made the caesar salad with bacon last night and my husband said it was as good as a salad from a restaurant. We love oatmeal apricot bars, chili, refried beans, fish cakes, guacamole, turkey A+Burgers, Mac and cheese, Martian soup.....still cooking our way through the book. This is my go to book every evening. I have read many child friendly cookbooks, like a lot but this maybe the best.
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