Monday, June 02, 2008

Try something new this summer!

Now that the kids are out of school in the next couple of weeks, the routine at my house will shift from a structured day to days of swimming, entertainment and just trying to stay sane.
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Oh yeah... And cooking!
That changes too!
For the last nine months, I have been making lunches the night before and struggling to keep quick healthy snacks around for the baggies and such.
NOW... there will have to be more cooking involved, because, let's face it,
kids cannot live by sandwiches alone.
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I like using the summer to experiment with new food choices for them, especially my younger one. William has an excellent pallate and is a real foodie. Alex is a total food snob, and has a better pallate than most adults I know. He never hesitates to let me know if the meals I cook are up to snuff and what I might want to do the next time I make said meal.
Yeah, he's tons of fun.
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Johnny loves Pasta, and could eat it 3 times a day. He loves pasta with olive oil and Pecorino Romano cheese. He is actually really easy to introduce new foods to.
He will try just about anything.
So here are the new foods we will be trying this summer
I will be introducing them to
Raita
Different Curries
Soul Food
and making pita and Naan bread at home.
It is important to introduce children to a variety of foods from a very early age.
It is much more than just eating as they get older.
It is more about being social and able to maintain composure and to seem more well rounded and well educated if a wide variety of foods are explored.
I'm thinking long term, for instance, when they may be having dinner with a prospective client or their In Laws. I find it so annoying when grown adults turn their noses up at certain foods in public or noisily balk at a food they may have never tried before. Such babies!
If kids are encouraged to try foods early, they may not like it now, but their pallates change over the years and their brains will remember.
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Bill is a tryer. He will eat anything once. He is a joy to feed. My coming from a very ethnic background required my spouse to be an adventurous eater.
We eat squid, urchin, Octopus,and a host of other things on Christmas Eve and other holidays that just aren't done in other cultures.
My parents would have been mortified if Bill had turned his nose up or exclaimed that he thought it was gross. Many people take offense to such childish behaviour and I don't want my kids doing that... ever. Bill, of course, dug in with both hands and just smiled. He loved it all.
Even if he didn't, he sure played it off like he did.
Italians put a lot of love and time into making their food, it is an expression of love to cook, for people in my family, and an ugly "eewwww" face is an ultimate slap in the face.
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So I challenge you to step out this summer.
Maybe try some new fruits like an Asian Pear, or Nopales!
Or try a new meat like Lamb or Venison.
Or buy some really great lettuces and greens that you never have before!
If you don't make a face, the kids won't either!
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Please comment on some new foods you have or want to try...
I want to add them to my list as well!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fresh Artichoke!! Who Knew?! Way better than jar stuff, and great sale prices of late! Just steam it with a lemon slice, a bay leaf and a clove or two of garlic till tender. Now you can use the hearts to make the best dip around for crackers, pitas or breads. Or stir some garlic pesto & freshly cracked pepper into mayo to your taste and dip your leaves and heart into that... ya baby, killer!
Nola

Saundra said...

I agree! We love them!
We stuff ghem with seasoned and cheesed bread crumbs while steaming them upright, then drizzle extra virgin olive oil over them just before serving.

They are GORGEOUS the store right now!