by The Culinistas
Households with children are the heart and soul of what we do: Busy families should still be able to eat nutritious meals that don’t compromise on flavor without having to sacrifice time spent shopping, cooking and cleaning up. That’s our job!
But, even making decisions about what your family is going to eat can be tough when you have young ones at home. So, we asked co-founder Tiana Tenet for the tips that have helped her get her 1-year-old son Mason, who’s crazy about our Mushroom Bolognese, Lamb Meatballs, and Yellow Daal, eating like a champ.
Exposure is key
Tenet says exposing Mason to new foods right off the bat was pivotal — fruits, veggies, grains, proteins. The whole nine yards. She made an effort to incorporate all ingredients into his diet and it paid off. Plus, it’s helped her avoid having to “hide” certain foods like veggies.
Feed kids food that tastes good
This may sound obvious but Tenet says she prioritized feeding Mason foods that actually tastes good — not just mashed up ingredients. That means feeding him our Sweet Potatoes seasoned with herbs and spices. Sure, it may be too soon for spicy cayenne but it’s never too soon to learn the wonders of za’atar.
Focus on the classics
In Tenet’s kitchen, these are the dishes that everyone in the family enjoys (Chicken Parm, ftw). Plus, it saves you having to order off a kids’ menu. Identifying a few crowd-pleasing dishes makes getting meals on the table much easier when time is of the essence.
Keep texture in mind
Chances are your child will grow up to love crispy potatoes and Healthy Chicken Tenders. But, Tenet says soft foods have been the easiest for Mason to handle. Try steaming over roasting so foods are softer and easier to eat. Don’t be afraid to overcook your pasta or rice slightly. (Those days of al dente eating will return before you know it!) Ordering a sauce on a dish as opposed to on the side not only helps make a dish more moist but also more flavorful.
Consider dishes with components
When ordering dishes, Tenet thinks about the specific components she can break out for Mason — the carnitas in tacos. Your child may not be ready for a full Bulgur Nicoise salad before baby’s first birthday, but it’s a great option for introducing a variety of new foods without having to compromise what’s on the menu for dinner.