Raising an Adventurous Eater

For Moms
November 25, 2011

A food critic and first-time father says if you want to raise adventurous eaters, feed your kids something new at every meal.

Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn

When stay-at-home dad and former food critic Matthew Amster-Burton found out his wife was pregnant, he vowed his kid would know the difference between store-brand bacon and Nueske’s and share his obsession with bibimbap.

And though his daughter Iris loves pizza as much as the average kid, Amster-Burton is now raising a budding gourmand.

“I try and incorporate something I know Iris likes at every meal. But at the same time I want her to have opportunity to push her own boundaries when she is ready. So while Iris doesn’t like vegetables right now, I love them and vegetables are part of our meals every day. Sometimes Iris will take a bite of them and sometimes she won’t.”

Eventually, he believes, Iris will come around; until then, he’s discovered the best way to lighten the mood at mealtime is to adopt a hands-off approach. But if Iris wants to try Roasted Trout with Fennel, Onion and Cilantro or Chicken and Spinach Meatballs, her dad will be ready to serve her.

Read about Amster-Burton’s efforts in Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009).

—By Ashley Gartland


Roasted Trout with Fennel, Onion and Cilantro

A stuffing of fennel, onion and bacon fills this fresh fish.

chicken spinach meatballs

Chicken and Spinach Meatballs

A Mediterranean-style meatball with big flavor.



The classic Korean dish is basically rice topped with meat and vegetables and a fried egg. Toss together and eat with a large spoon or a pair of chopsticks.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 279 other followers