I was recently interviewed for this piece about picky eating on the Huffington Post. (For those of you who don’t know, I’m Regan.) I’m lucky in that my kids aren’t all that picky. I mean, they’re still little kids–they don’t always eat whatever I put in front of them, and they often drive me nuts at dinnertime, but I’m proud to say that I very, very rarely make something extra for them to eat. (My husband and I always say that we don’t win every battle, but we’re winning the war!)
There’s a lot of information and tips on the Web about how to get your kids to eat better. For us, it’s just cooking from scratch, serving a reasonable variety of foods, eating at the table (even snacks), and not making a big deal about the kids’ refusal to eat something (but they do need to try it!). I, in turn, try to make the food taste good, and sometimes that includes the use of a little (gasp!) butter, white flour, or sugar. In my opinion, if your kids are gobbling down bowls of kale chowder, who really cares if there’s a tiny bit of heavy cream or bacon in there? Not me! It’s better than a diet of vanilla milk and Goldfish! (Yes, I know a family whose kids ate that way!).
We’re also lucky that I enjoy cooking and have a decent amount of time to prepare and plan meals, but I can tell you that even when I was working full time at Martha Stewart and commuting over an hour each way to New York City, I still made homemade meals and baby food about every day. How, you ask? Well, a little planning helps (though as my husband will assure you, I am NOT a great planner or scheduler!) But if you take a few minutes at the end of each day to think about dinner the next—maybe even marinate a piece of meat for tomorrow–you’ll be in a good place when you get home. Another big help–learn to cook some dishes from memory! Following recipes–all that measuring and timing–can make cooking tedious. When you’re making savory dinner foods, once you know the basic method and ratios, you won’t need to follow a recipe. (But stick to recipes for desserts, always!).
How about you? Are you winning the dinner wars?