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Culinary Emergency

Quick, people! I need to know every food you can think of that can be smothered in Parmesan cheese and remain remotely palatable. And I don't mean good Parmesan, either,. but the stuff in the green can that I buy by the gallon at Costco. Mia loves it. She loves it so much that yesterday she ate two entire bites of princess-shaped Spaghettios that she fished out of an entire bowlful of Parmesan cheese. Major achievement for the kid with four acceptable foods.

(And don't tell me "She'll eat it when she gets hungry enough," because she won't. Mia would be blissfully happy if we agreed that she never had to consume another bite of food in her entire life.)

Comments (36)

Pasta - with various different sauces, risotto (can vary the veg you add), soup (can't really smother it though), ratatouille (varying veg again).

Good luck!

turkey meatballs
green beans
veggie lasagna (cheat and use ravioli instead of layering noodles and ricotta)


It might be too fancy but you could bake it into a crust around chicken or carrot sticks. Good luck.

Chicken parmesean,
Veal parmesean
Eggplant parmesean...

Veggies, either roasted or steamed.
Brown rice
Morningstar/Gardenburger brand veggie burgers. They come in lots of varieties and taste very good with Parmesan.

Put less-appealing foods on toast. Cover liberally with cheese. Stick under the broiler for a few seconds to melt the cheese.

Buttered toast
Mac & Cheese
French Bread with pizza sauce
Eggplant Parmesan
Fried Zucchini
Bagel, garlic cream cheese
Steamed brocoli, cauliflower and carrots
Mashed potatoes
Potatoes w/cream sauce
Buttered noodles [mix in a veggie she might eat?]
Sweet potato fries

Uh.. I know you're a vegetarian household, but if you're desperate enough, I've never met a child that would turn down a chicken nugget! Chicken nuggets smothered in Parmesan and marinara sauce... that kinda makes me hungry.

Pretty much anything other than cereal.

My son eats parmesan cheese on everything. He calls it "dip". Even tacos. It is nasty, but he loves it. We go through about a can a week.


Baked potoates! I tried the same trick last night with AJ. Didn't work for him but he's not as solidly on the Parm cheese bandwagon. Our friends call it "cheese salt." I love that.

Saute zucchini in some olive oil and sprinkle that with parm. Delicious!

Foie gras? Tres leches cake? ruttabaga?

Noodles with butter and Parmesan cheese is my daughters favorite.

Anything that you can add butter to to make the cheese stick is also a good try.

You have plenty of parmesan suggestions. May I suggest a feeding resource from someone who totally gets toddlers (the source, that is...)? Read Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter. Makes such good sense and makes feeding easy-it's so nice NOT to worry about it-much less a hassle.

Big fan, btw....

My 6 year old made pizza the other night with sauce and parmesan cheese only. It was too much for me, but she loved it. Also bread toasted with cheese on it. Yummm... And I love to make beer bread with parmesan in it - but it's probably not obvious enough that she'd know.

My mom will take zucchini and slice them thin sprinkle them with Parmesan cheese and bake them til the zucchinis are soft. Its a favorite of mine.

My boys ADORE "white cheese", as they call it. A big hit in our house is "fancy noodles"--that would be pasta with butter, Parmesan cheese, and oregano. Yum. They'll also put it by the ton on Lasagna, Spaghetti, Pizza, and have been known to eat it right out of the green container with a spoon :-)

pasta is probably your safest bet, i'd say...funny, almost all the really picky eaters i know love that powder Parmesan stuff!!

My Owen is EXACTLY the same way. We have gotten him to eat many veggies this way. I think all of the suggestions are good and I plan to use them. You could make "fries" out of butternut squash, too, and use the parm to make them crispier. Maybe soy tenders? Whole wheat pasta? Spaghetti squash?

My youngest will eat almost anything if you put parmesan and butter on it first, including steamed broccoli, sauteed carrots, pasta, chicken nuggets (will Mia try the Morning Star "chicken" nuggets?) the list goes on and on . . .

Funny... just last night, I doused (sp?) some broccoli in the stuff, and Shepherd ate an entire bowl of it. He does not willingly consume vegetables unless they are fried. Which means, one time I tricked him into eating Okra... fried Okra... which he seemed to semi-enjoy.

Good luck with that, and trust me, you're not the only one whose kid won't eat....

BTW, miss you guys.....

I read above that you are a vegetarian family, so these are all meatless...
Roasted asparagus covered in Parmesan would be delicious. You could call them "cheesy green fries" and serve marinara on the side for "ketchup." 400 degree oven, some olive oil, get some nice brown bits. Seriously good.
An open faced "pizza sandwich," marinara and Parmesan on toast (or bagel or pita). Maybe some other cheese she might consume? If she (or you) are feeling adventurous, you could try putting some sort of soy/vegetarian crumble under the cheese or spinach or something.
My mom made "broccoli forests" for us when we were little, with broccoli trees and carrot fallen logs and white mushrooms as... mushrooms, and a river of ranch down the middle. You could make it a "snowy forest" by sprinkling some Parmesan on there.
What kid doesn't love Parmesan? My sister and I called it "sprinkle cheese" and put it on a lot of stuff. :]
Good luck!


Will she eat tortellini? How about casseroles? You can hide the veggies in there.

Over 16,000 plus recipes, try

I'm thinking anything you could make a gratin out of, like artichoke hearts or root vegetables would be yummy with parmasean from the green can. Also it would be good on canellini beans or french lentils cooked in chicken stock. Hmmm, what else... maybe on butternut squash halves - my mom always did that.

Mine likes three cheese tortellini (deli section) with butter and parmesan cheese. Will eat all of it and ask for more.

Just about any roasted vegetable tastes good with Parmesean cheese sprinkled on it. I put a little olive oil on the vegetables and salt and pepper and roast at 350.

Also high on my list are:
Butttered toasted bread or tortilla (toast, butter, sprinkle with cheese
Meatballs (or the vegetarian equivalent)
Pasta with vegetables with either a vinegrette or cream sauce.

I will put cheese on almost anything.

I just thought of a few more.

Mac & cheese and veggie dogs.
Hamburger helper and Morningstar Frams crumblers.
I can't remember if you eat eggs. If you do, scrambled eggs.

I am all too familiar with your problem. I don't have any answers - just empathy.

Amazing how toddlers can survive on such little food!

I am all too familiar with your problem. I don't have any answers - just empathy.

Amazing how toddlers can survive on such little food!

Broccoli in parmesan cheese does rock! Actually, brussel sprouts too. Tomatoes, chili, chicken, ground beef could take it too. Green peppers.

I am hoping that I remember at least some of the tons of great Mom tips I read in Bloggyville if/when we have kids. That is part of why I read so many mom blogs. The other part is just liking the writing and personalities of the writers that come through. But I guess there is some vicarious living in there, too :-)

I'm just ultra happy to see how many other mamas depend on that can of Parmesan! I've never liked it myself but Thomas adores it on his pasta (plain, whole wheat or omega-3). So far, though, he doesn't fall for it on vegetables.

I have a friend and the only food her 4 year old has eaten since she was 2 is grilled cheese. Like, Kraft on white. That's IT. You think I kid, but I don't. They have her being watched by the very best dietitians and pediatricians and no one can make the child eat anything else. Well, except on very rare occasions where she'll eat a McDonald's hamburger, plain. Other than that, not one other food passes her lips.

There's no reason I tell you this, I just thought you'd like to know someone else lives in your cave. :)

Okay, I have no suggestions, but yeah, the whole "they will eat if they get hungry enough." I want to slap everyone that tells me that. My 3 year-old would rather starve (he does frequently at daycare) than eat something he doesn't like. My mother-in-law keeps telling us, "you need to feed that kid!" She doesn't seem to understand that you cannot force feed a child.

No ideas as to what can be slathered in cheese, but my gosh I wish I would be blissfully happy not to consume another bite of food. And so would my ass.

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