Cooking for children
Wednesday 25 July 2012
If you have children, then you know how difficult cooking can be. Children can be very fussy even at the best of times, so you need simple recipes that they will like.
Breaking the norm: exotic cuisine
Just because you are cooking for children it doesn't mean you can't be adventurous. Certain national cuisine lends itself well to this cause, with simple flavours and cooking techniques that make the dishes suitable for both children and adults alike. A prime example of this would be Greek cuisine. There are plenty of Greek recipes for kids, all using the traditional Greek focus on simple meat and fresh fruits.
Even something simple, such as coronation chicken or a chicken tikka kebab, can appeal to children. Chicken is a taste that most children enjoy, so by using this as a primary flavour you can slowly encourage new tastes. A chicken tikka kebab, for instance, can have a light flavour. The small pieces also make it a more manageable sized meal for children to eat.
If you have more adventurous or older children, you can compliment this with more daring or stronger food. Beef, pork and lamb can all be experimented with. Additional fresh fruits and vegetables can be added to compliment this, as well as encouraging healthy eating.
Of course, even the youngest children quickly develop a sweet tooth. A dessert can also be used as a reward for eating the main course, with its vegetables and other foods that children might not enjoy. To this end there are plenty of ideal dessert recipes for kids available, which include simple items such as brulee or cake. Easy to prepare, these desserts indulge any sweet tooth and are a perfect reward for well-behaved children.
These not only give you something that's sweet enough for children to enjoy, but flexible enough that you can quickly change a few ingredients to make something new. Cake, for example, can often be changed by swapping the main flavourful ingredients. Changing cinnamon and apple for carrot, for instance, will give you carrot cake. This way you quickly and simply change the deserts to cater for your children's individual tastes.
Get them involved
If you're still struggling with getting the children to eat, you should consider getting them actively involved in the process of making the food. This should primarily be at the beginning of any meal; never let children use an oven or hot element.
By letting children help mix various desert mixtures or help add herbs and flavour to a Greek dish from Schwartz, for example, you are getting them actively involved in the food. By doing this, they might respond better to the end result.
There are plenty of dishes and meals you can cook for children. As they get older, they'll grow a wider palette, but that doesn't always mean you have to wait. By keeping dishes and flavours simple, you still have plenty of choice in terms of options and experimentation.
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