I was a foodie before I had kids. I wanted to sway my kids toward being foodies too. I wanted them to not be super picky & willing to try things. I realize they won’t try everything & I am not of the delusion that they will like everything, but there is definitely a motivating factor behind getting them to eat better & more varied foods, if you cook with them.
I heard it over & over again from cooking shows & chefs, if you let them help prepare what they will be eating, they will be more willing to try & eat what they helped cook. So far, I have found that to be true. My son is a great eater, which is good since he doesn’t really have the option to be picky- for two reasons: one I don’t allow him to be super picky, although he does get to decide if he eats something & how much. Second: because his allergies don’t allow him to picky. Another way we have established his habits is by letting him try stuff during the cooking process. I feel that allowing them to try the ingredients individually helps to develop a better flavor palate for them. I have no scientific or study proof of that, lol, just my own musings.
I started letting our son cook with me as soon as he learned to handle utensils. It was not always helpful or tidy, but I really do see it instilled a helpful spirit & he got to try things as we cooked. The day I knew it was working was one day when he asked to try a red bell pepper. I gave him a slice, fully expecting him to spit it out & give it back. BUT he ate it, then asked for another & another. What?! I don’t even do that; but he did & still does.
This past weekend I let him help me in the kitchen as I tested a recipe. He helped me bread & saute wheat-free & egg-free chicken strips. [sidebar: they are SOOOO good. That recipe will be coming to you next week, so be on the lookout for it]. I let him bread the chicken strips all by himself. I handed him the raw chicken & taught him how to bury the chicken & then press it into the chicken, afterward he laid it on the plate. Now the sauteing made me a little nervous I will admit. I was afraid he was going to get popped by oil or touch the skillet. I gave him a long pair of tongs & guided him as he laid them in the pan. After the first batch he lost interest & went to play. Whew!
I would love to see some of your adventures cooking with your kids. Just use the hashtag #hflcookingwithkids on instagram. In the meantime if you have questions, comments, or just want to say “hey” please feel free to contact me through the form or leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!