Saturday, February 11, 2012

Picky Eaters? Take Action: It's Never Too Soon!

More on the subject of cooking with children.

I am presently working on some "Mommy and Me" cooking classes.
I have always been a strong believer that when you allow your child to participate to the cooking process for the family meals, chances are you lower your risk of raising a picky eater, with great benefits for everybody involved. It does require a little investment in patience and paper towels, but it pays back big time in so many ways!

Among the many basic concepts that I think my son got out of spending a lot of time in the kitchen with me, is that single ingredients might not be so appealing on their own but they become yummy when combined with something else. So you get a lot less of those "...but I dont' like (this or that)", or "is there any (this or that) in here?" when a plate is presented in front of them.
Like, for instance, onions are not exactly candies, right? But you love the tomato sauce on your spaghetti, which would not be as sweet and tasty without them. Look what we did with spinach, chicken, cheese and eggs the other day! Turned them into this lovely savory pie that we made from scratch, crust included!

I have to say that being able to "create" something with their own hands plays a big role too. My son in particular has always been the "builder". He loves seeing the result of his hours spent with Legos and similar. So give him some labor and let him see the outcome and he'll be as happy as he could be.

At this point pride comes on the scene too: could they ever admit that their creation taste anything less than amazing? There you go..."I made it, I'm eating it, it's the best ever!".
Now change ingredients and recipes as often as possible, and you have a child that has been exposed to a variety of foods and that is not afraid to try new things. Priceless, trust me!