According to The Gastrokid Cookbook, you don’t have to cook down to your kids or cook special meals. Authors Hugh Garvey and Matthew Yeomans offer tips for raising adventurous eaters and creating a little peace and quiet for yourself.
Reclaiming the Family Dinner Table:
1. Find your inner gastrokid. Get in touch with the wonder of food. Get curious about where food comes from: who grows it, where it’s from, what its best season is.
2. Never call a kid a picky eater. If you do, you’re only giving them an excuse to refuse everything you offer them.
3. Don’t cook down to your kids. Offer them a taste of everything. And if they refuse to taste, that’s fine, too.
4. Don’t take it personally that your kids despise your cooking. Taste changes on a dime and has nothing to do with your food. Don’t give up.
5. There’s no such thing as kids’ food. Do you want butternut squash risotto with sage and pancetta for dinner? Then make it for everyone.
6. When in doubt, add salt, fat and acid. A tiny pinch of salt turns on the flavors of food. A tiny bit of butter adds sweetness and richness. The slightest spritz of lemon juice balances food and gives it another bit of contrast.
7. Love leftovers. Make a habit of making a quick vegetable stock out of the week’s sad produce.
8. Get your kids cooking. One little task can satisfy their urge to help and invest them in the final dish.
9. Eat seasonally and locally. Find a farmers’ market near you and shop there.