Food should be fun and tasty as well as nutritious. Teaching our kids how to eat can actually be a really rewarding process and sets them up for a lifetime of great choices in terms of their health (plus helps overcome some fussy eating habits). Yes life is super busy these days, but mealtime is a time for family to come together, a chance to chat about our days and discover new flavours.
From the moment we started solids for Miss now 4, we have aimed to create a positive food experience - learning to try new things, encouraging an adventurous palette, never forcing food past her 'full point' and allowing her to make good food choices. Most meals have a range of food on the plate so she can try something new and I know she is getting her dietary requirements. (and yes we do also have days where a simple and much-loved pasta is on the menu).
This year, as miss 4’s tastebuds develop I’m going to be introducing completely new flavours and textures. We're exploring mild spices, different textures and different food combinations. A couple of pointers to help encourage new foods:
Miss 4 and I often talk about trying new things, not giving up if she doesn’t like it first go and giving it at least 4 try’s before she makes up her mind.
I involve her in the preparation process so she sees the dummy foods going into the meal
We use a range of coloured vegetables to make it more fun
If I know she loves something specifically (eg she loves rice) I will introduce the new food with rice so she has a fallback with the new flavours
She's not an overly fussy eater but can be picky about some vegetables so involving her will help her taste, touch and see these veggies
With these points in mind, tonight I’m introducing her to vegetarian slow cooked curry. I've always loved a curry, my mum is the BEST at making great mild curries, so its a tradition I would like to introduce my children too. I have great memories of family meals around the table, talking about our days and enjoying every bite of the delicious curry mum had prepared.
Here is today's recipe, a truly delicious and easy slow cooked vegetable curry, sourced from taste.com.au . With little people to chase after I love the slow cooked recipes as I can prep during nap time and serve at dinner. Win-win for mummy!
And because the name is ‘everything ‘ at this age, we’re not calling it vege curry we’re calling it ‘Rainbow Shapes Combo Yuminess’
And it was a hit! Definitely a winner for the whole family plus Mr 10 months got an early intro to some new flavours in his puree'd version.