As I mentioned yesterday, I am a big believer in children eating real food. In my new kid’s cookbook, We Can Cook, there is a variety of recipes including kid favorites like grilled cheese and fish sticks and more grown-up dishes such as roasted root vegetables and veggie quinoa salad. One of my favorite recipes in the book is caprese sticks.
What I love about this recipe is that it’s interactive for kids and introduces them to an advanced taste profile that they have likely never before tasted – tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, aged balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. While this recipe may be too advanced for some children, exposing them to these foods early on will make them aware of the flavors and as they get older they will hopefully learn to love it!
How do I know this works? My 7 year old nephew loves caprese salads! (This is the same kid who was eating edamame when he was almost 6.) Last week I was on vacation with my husband’s family, and at almost every dinner my nephew started his meal with a tomato and mozzarella salad. At one particular meal the salad consisted of different colored heirloom tomatoes, which he had never seen. At first he was skeptical and did not want to eat the salad, but I let him know that the yellow and purple tomatoes were just as delicious (if not more!) as the red ones and I encouraged him to at least try them. He was a great sport and tasted the yellow ones. I can’t say he loved them right away, but at least he gave it a shot. I predict that in just a couple of years he will be devouring heirloom tomatoes just like he currently does with red ones!
What is the most adventurous food your child or a child you knows eats?