Lately my 2-year-old has been throwing us a new curveball in the eating department – she will only eat food she can hold. Speaking to friends, it seems like a normal toddler stage where they hate sitting still at the dining table and eating “proper meals” with dinnerware and cutlery. Before having kids, I’ve would’ve thought I’d crack the whip and make my kids learn to sit at the dinner table but now I have just learned to pick my battles and “roll with it”.
One successful finger food meal has been chicken, mushroom and leek parcels eaten under a tent made out of chairs and a bedsheet while we all pretend to be cartoon characters. I don’t think Miss A would have eaten these ingredients when she was under 2 but now she is much better at eating as long as, well, she can hold it and tell herself it doesn’t constitute “food” because she’s not sitting at the table. It’s a really tasty finger food the whole family can eat and is quite simple to prepare, save the filo pastry which can be a bit fiddly as it requires brushing the sheets with melted butter and layering them. Maybe if you’re short on time you could use a different pastry.
The filling is very easy. I just finely chopped a leek and some mushrooms and sautéed that in all butter, Then I added half a shredded roast chicken and a small bottle of thickened cream and seasoned to taste. I layered four sheets of filo pastry with melted butter, cut them up, spooned some mixture on, tucked the sides in and rolled it up. My folding/rolling skills are absolutely shocking but hey it’s the end result that matters right? If the toddler eats it – that’s a win no matter how ugly it looks.
Before popping the parcels into the oven, I brushed the tops with the leftover melted butter and then baked them until they crisped up. Stand out to cool before serving. If like my child, yours is allergic to the words “food”, “lunch” or “dinner”, you can give them some cutesy name. “What? Food? We’re not eating food! These are magical elf rolls”.