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How to raise a foodie

Signing your child up for a cooking class -- either with you or with her friends -- literally puts new foods at her fingertips. © iStockphoto.com/Thomas Perkins Signing your child up for a cooking class -- either with you or with her friends -- literally puts new foods at her fingertips. © iStockphoto.com/Thomas Perkins
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  • Watermelon salad with goat cheese, 7/31/14

    Watermelon salad with goat cheese, 7/31/14

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:44 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:44:18 GMT
    Peter BraveBrave New RestaurantIngredients· 1 cup cubed watermelon· 3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese· 1 tsp julienned mint· 2 tbsp micro greens· 1 tbsp minted vinaigrette· 1 tsp toasted pine nuts· Salt pepper to tasteVinaigrette ingredients· 1 tbsp Dijon mustard· 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar· 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil· 1 tbsp Crème de Menthe liqueur· 1 tbsp honey· Salt pepper to tasteVinaigrette Preparation1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil2. Whisk in the olive oil slowly3. Adjust...More >>
    Peter BraveBrave New RestaurantIngredients· 1 cup cubed watermelon· 3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese· 1 tsp julienned mint· 2 tbsp micro greens· 1 tbsp minted vinaigrette· 1 tsp toasted pine nuts· Salt pepper to tasteVinaigrette ingredients· 1 tbsp Dijon mustard· 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar· 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil· 1 tbsp Crème de Menthe liqueur· 1 tbsp honey· Salt pepper to tasteVinaigrette Preparation1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil2. Whisk in the olive oil slowly3. Adjust...More >>
  • Edamame-Chicken Stir-Fry over Brown Rice, 7/29/14

    Edamame-Chicken Stir-Fry over Brown Rice, 7/29/14

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-07-29 12:00:36 GMT
    Keith Cleek Leigh Bullington2014 Arkansas Rice ExpoIngredients8 ounces of skinless, boneless chicken breast3 tablespoons of bottled hoisin sauce1 tablespoon of rice vinegar1 tablespoon of reduced-sodium soy sauce1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper3 teaspoons of olive oil or canola oil2 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger1 cup of bias-sliced carrots (2 medium)2 cups of broccoli florets1 cup of ready-to-eat fresh or frozen, thawed, shelled sweet soybeans (edamame)2 cups of cooked whole grain brown...More >>
    Keith Cleek Leigh Bullington2014 Arkansas Rice ExpoIngredients8 ounces of skinless, boneless chicken breast3 tablespoons of bottled hoisin sauce1 tablespoon of rice vinegar1 tablespoon of reduced-sodium soy sauce1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper3 teaspoons of olive oil or canola oil2 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger1 cup of bias-sliced carrots (2 medium)2 cups of broccoli florets1 cup of ready-to-eat fresh or frozen, thawed, shelled sweet soybeans (edamame)2 cups of cooked whole grain brown...More >>
  • Gluten Free, Reduced Carbohydrate Chocolate Cobbler, 7/24/14

    Gluten Free, Reduced Carbohydrate Chocolate Cobbler, 7/24/14

    Monday, July 28 2014 3:41 PM EDT2014-07-28 19:41:01 GMT
    Brandon Douglas: Gluten Free, Reduced Carbohydrate Chocolate CobblerMore >>
    Brandon Douglas: Gluten Free, Reduced Carbohydrate Chocolate Cobbler
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What’s the best way to get your child to eat something other than pasta and chicken fingers, you ask? Don’t try.

Most parents wish their kids were more adventurous with the foods they eat at home, restaurants or other people’s homes. But the harder you push, the more resistant they’ll be. “The sticking point is usually that you want them to eat this vegetable or eat everything on the table. In order to have a power struggle, everyone has to play,” says Matthew Amster-Burton, author of Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater.

The trick to getting children to try new foods is to create situations where they can discover that pleasure on their own. Here, three ways to lead your child to the table without making him eat:

1. Encourage your child to cook.

Signing your child up for a cooking class -- either with you or with her friends -- literally puts new foods at her fingertips. It also puts her in charge, which can be a big motivator. “When my daughter gets to do the prep work and the cooking, she actually wants to eat the food,” says Betsy Gibson of Weston, Mass. “We also take the recipes home and make them again later. Sometimes we’ll even invite a friend over for a cooking playdate.” Many supermarkets offer inexpensive classes aimed at various age groups, from young children to teens. Or form your own class with other parents and take turns hosting in your home.

2. Try new foods together.

Instead of forcing your child to eat something that you know and love but that he won’t go near, make a dish that none of you has eaten before. Choose a night to sit down as a family, take out the cookbooks and pick a recipe together. Agree that anyone who doesn’t like it can have a sandwich afterward. Have your child help with the cooking, and he’ll have even more incentive to give it a try.

3. Tweak “adult food.”

If you view things in terms of “kid food” and “adult food,” you’re not giving your child a chance to meet you halfway. If you’re making something you think is a stretch for her, don’t run to the freezer for a hot dog. Try preparing a variation on your meal that’s less “risky.” For example, if you’re sauteing tilapia with escarole, garlic and peppery lemon oil for you, take a piece or two of the fish and bake it with salt, butter and a little lemon juice for her. Then put some of your escarole in a dish for her to try if she wants to. “There’s a continuum between kid food and adult food,” says Amster-Burton. “There’s plenty of room for compromise.”

 

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