a peek inside the fishbowl

02 Oct, 2010

Will they eat it? The Stew Edition

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

I must be a glutton for punishment. For the next while I’m going to try a bunch of “new to our family” recipes and write about it here on the blog. What can I say, I’m in a cooking rut and am desperate for ideas.

To kick things off I’m going to start with stew. First thing I like about stew is that it’s always better the next day and makes great leftovers. The flavour settles and the meat is more tender. Second, it’s one of the nicest things you can eat when it gets chilly outside.

Sadly, my kids don’t eat stew. I knew this going in. They’ve never been keen on foods that are, as they put it, “mixed up.” Gah. I am hoping that will change someday.

I am happy to report that they ate the meat out of the stew, and some broth too, but nary a cooked vegetable. (Perhaps, however, they received some veggie-nutrients from the broth? Lor’ I hope so.)

Oh well. It’s a start, I suppose.

This was my stew:


It’s fab. The recipe is from Canadian Living. It’s ideal if you’re thinking about dinner at 2:00 p.m. and you’ve forgotten you own a slow-cooker.

Note to self:

  • Chop veggies smaller next time
  • Use less parsnip
  • It needs an extra splash of beef broth and
  • … maybe an extra 1/2 hour on low to get that meat extra tender.

I used fresh thyme (washed carefully to get rid of snail trails and spiderwebs) because I have bushes and bushes of it growing right outside my doorstep. I omitted the peas altogether. (Mark suffered serious pea-related trauma in his childhood and the very thought of cooked peas make him retch. We can’t have THAT, can we?)

I served it with homemade pretzels, half of which were pizza-style à la Scattered Mom. OF COURSE everyone liked those.

What’s your fave stew? Recipes please! If you decide to make this and your kids eat it (or not), please report back!

Up next: fettucine carbonara, with added greens!

10 Responses to "Will they eat it? The Stew Edition"

1 | Finola

October 2nd, 2010 at 1:31 pm


That looks gooood. I may even cook it myself, but guaranted my girls will eat only the meat and broth too. Are all kids like this??

2 | Nora

October 2nd, 2010 at 3:49 pm


I think all kids feel this way about stew! I have a great stew recipe from my friend Julie. She brought it over the cold January day I arrived home from the hospital with baby #3. My kids tolerate it but we love it. I have moved to omitting the potatoes, doubling the “sauce” and serving it over mashed potatoes. I also serve raw carrots on the side for the kids. It all works as the adults love it, and there are leftovers.

3 | bushidoka

October 2nd, 2010 at 4:02 pm


A good thick stew usually doubles as a good meat pie filling (and vice-versa). Pie of course has a lot of fat because of the crust, but if you use a good whole wheat bread or pizza dough and make it into meat pie pockets, it is fun for the kids and pretty healthy too! Of course, this does not resolve the basic issue that the kids will see what is in there, and balk. I’ve taken to pureeing meat pie filling because of this. Yeah, I guess it is giving in, but they gobble it right up no questions asked, and at least they are getting the same nutrition out of it!

In fact, I just went to the basement to grab a jar of home-canned pureed meat pie filling – gonna make pocket lunches for them this week :-)

4 | Miss Vicky

October 2nd, 2010 at 8:22 pm


Love stew. I always add a couple of handfuls of barley. I like to use sweet potato as well as regular potato as well, esp if I’m using something like bison or lamb. So tasty.

5 | karen

October 3rd, 2010 at 10:35 am


I remember my mother making me sit at the table until I finished my stew. I won that battle and she never tried to this tactic again. TTo this day I won’t eat stew. I do think I would like the dumplings my mother used to put on the top of the stew.

6 | Megan

October 3rd, 2010 at 5:18 pm


I find kids eat things more readily when they make it themselves/ help make it. I work at a day camp where they prepare their own snacks (with help), and we have parents who come in and comment that their kids would never eat the food we feed them at home!

7 | Laura

October 3rd, 2010 at 6:52 pm


Yum – stew is comfort food. Unfortunately, the only stew my family likes (and requests!) is chicken stew with dumplings. I try to replicate my Mum’s recipe, and I cannot, but my family says mine is almost as good. :)

8 | bushidoka

October 3rd, 2010 at 7:25 pm


Another trick with kids is to have them try it first at a friend’s house – so you may be able to make evil plans with parents of friends :-)

9 | Jen

October 3rd, 2010 at 8:22 pm


oh, love beef stew! it was a staple growing up in our house.

we tried a new recipe at our house tonight – it was spectacular!! while not a stew, it is a super tasty, ( and easy clean up!) meal! http://www.kayotic.nl/blog/rustic-roasted-chicken

10 | Javamom

October 4th, 2010 at 1:33 pm


You know what I found out this weekend? I made something similar to stew (mixed up food as your kids say), chili, from scratch, and both kids got tiny bowls of it with corn bread muffins I made to go along with it. Tiny because neither ate it before (they’re 5 and 2). Either the chili con carne or the corn bread.

We don’t like that, they said.

HA! They ate it! Both of them ate both of it!

Parenting Lesson 356 – just because they say they don’t like it doesn’t make it so.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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