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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kitchen superstar Wolfgang Puck shares his secrets

I’ve been posting a lot about kids and food lately, getting your kids in the kitchen, how-to for cooking or baking with your kids, cooking gifts for kids, etc etc.

It’s time to start posting recipes again. I know this is really what you are looking for, right?! I see on the polls’ results so far that most replies are from readers who like to cook and cook often. Please vote your voice on the right side column. There ->>

I saw this article “Kitchen superstar Wolfgang Puck shares his secrets for introducing new tastes to your kids” on Parent & Child magazine, and Wolfgang Puck is one of my favorite chefs, so if you're interested, click here to read more.

A summary:

Encourage your kids to imitate you.
... Trying to force your children to eat a food typically results in bad feelings, making mealtime a chore and a battle. Instead, allow your kids to become curious about foods and develop their own interests. Let them wonder why you like something and then taste it to find out.

Make one dinner for everyone.
“One of the most important things you can do is avoid making separate meals for children and adults,” Puck advises. If you raise a child to think that there are special foods for kids (like macaroni and cheese or chicken fingers), they’ll believe that, and chances are they won’t be as willing to try anything else.

Offer variety, the spice of life.
From the very beginning, expose your little ones to as many flavors as you can, a little bit at a time.

Share the excitement of food.
Invite your children to help you cook—it’s an honor and a great learning experience. Eating out every once in a while, when your budget allows, can also be a wonderful way to get kids excited about new foods, if you do it right. Go on the early side before kids get tired and the restaurants get busy. Choose a family-friendly (I love that he uses this term and not “kid friendly” – N.) place … “It’s also important to eat together at home regularly before taking children out to restaurants,” Puck advises. “You can’t expect them to know how to behave at a table if they’ve never done it before.”

Teach children about what’s on their plate.
Take your kids to a grocery store, farm, cheese shop, bakery, or farmers’ market, so they can see where their food comes from and what it looks like before it lands on the table... Kids will love exploring the enchanting collection of shapes and colors. Teach them how to tell when a fruit is ripe or which bumps and bruises to avoid. When they feel like little experts, they’ll be more willing to eat what they helped you choose.

Previous posts from me about this topic:
Kids menu – Is it good for them? Is it good for you?
Stuffed peppers – a picky eater's nightmare?
Encourage good eating
U-pick farms
NY Times: Picky Eaters? They Get It From You
Kid-friendly tips
Backyard Vegetable Garden

New recipes coming soon!


1 comment:

James said...

That all sounds so good - that's how I was brought up. Anything my parents ate was put in the liquidiser when I was a baby, and later we learned where food came from because we planted, nurtured, picked it and learnt how to cook it. It's a vital thing many parents seem to miss out....