I”m working with my branding coach, Wendy Newman and my publicist, Jill Daniel, to organize a gathering of Los Angeles Moms who want to learn some new recipes and ideas for feeding their kids.
Now, giving a cooking lesson to a group of 10 or a group of 1000 isn’t my problem. As you all know, I’d talk with a packed house at Madison Square Garden if I could! The thing is…I don’t have kids. I know what I ate as a kid and what my brothers ate, but that’s about it.
I enlisted the help of my friends across the country and asked them about their experiences with THEIR kids. I’m targeting the ages of 2 thru 10, the “difficult” years. At least, that’s what some Mom told me.
You know what? Each kid is different! There are kids who love to eat raw broccoli and those who wouldn’t touch anything green with a 10 foot pole. There are those who’ll chomp on anything Mom puts in front of them and those who refuse to eat anything but plain chicken and buttered noodles.
There were commonalities, however. All kids love carbs. Some don’t like potatoes, but love pasta. Others won’t touch rice, but love whole wheat bread. They all need to have some form of it at every meal. Jerry Seinfeld’s wife had that book about hiding veggies in food. Most of that is carrots and sweet potatoes, with some cauliflower thrown in. I think it’s a brilliant idea, but how do I get take that idea and re-engineer foods that have spinach, kale, asparagus and other green foods in them?
Another thing I learned is that kids like simple foods. Their palate is full of taste buds, so their sense of taste is very strong. Too much spice and flavor overwhelms them. As they say in writing-KISS-Keep It Simple, Stupid! (not that I’ll be calling these moms ‘stupid’ or anything…)
With kids, it’s trial and error. The biggest thing to watch for is portion control. A second helping should be 1/2 the size of the first. No thirds. Kids need nutrients and energy, especially if they actually go out and PLAY instead of sitting around playing video games. It’s calories in, calories out for these pee-wees.
I have a few recipes I’ve worked on that seem to work. One is a chicken pot pie with no fat cream and only a bit of crust on the top. I”m working on a lower fat mac and cheese, using whole grain pasta.
Kids eat what they know. Start off feeding them this kind of food and they won’t know any different. It’s when you start taking them to McDonalds and feeding them greasy french fries that they realize how addicting fried foods can be!
If you’d like, when I get the recipe for the mac and cheese down, I’ll share it with you. Meanwhile, if you’ve had success with any food, recipe or technique, I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks and talk to you soon!