OFFICIAL BLOGHER '10 LIVEBLOG: Family Foodies - Creating a New Generation of Gourmands

BlogHer Original Post

Danielle -
D- People think that I am a lot more strict at home than I usually am. My husband buys lucky charms and the kids love it! My kids are very adventurous and they do like junk food, and we do allow it occasionally.

Advice for Parents who have young kids, who need to prep meals without killing themselves-
D: It’s always a struggle, and I still like to make dinner, but my kids end up wanting to help and they follow me around wherever I go, but it’s not the easiest thing to do. I struggle with it, but I try to give them a specific job that I am fine with. Anything involving the sink is very popular. Grapefruit knives are good for little kids to cut with.

St- You need to plan ahead because it’s going to drive you crazy… I plan my meals on Sunday, and have it ready to go. I aim for meals that are 30 minutes or less… Always have last minute meals that you can pull out of your pocket…

St- I think if you have a newborn, you get used to prepping for dinner at noon when you are napping…

D: My kids know that I blog about food and that is really exciting to them, and I’ll even pretend to have a cooking show, so they feel part of it.

St- Another good thing that is good for kids is washing rice…

S- During the school year, I will sit down on a Sunday, look at my schedule and decide what to make depending on time. I get inspiration from blog, cooking magazines, books; I make a list of things to go buy, and everything is set for the week.

D- We are terrible with meal planning, and we just wing it…

St- One of the topics that comes up a lot on blogs- and people ask- how do you buy organic and at farmers markets . People ask how to do that all on a budget.

S- People think that it’s expensive, but it’s only expensive when you’re buying cake, pie, and cookies instead of the produce..

D- I live in Chicago- the Green City Market is awesome. It’s enormous, so one of the things that I find in my city when visiting is to go to a smaller and neighborhood-y market so you can be strategic and not have to pay $9 for parking at The Green City Market.It’s always exciting for the kids.

S- I think that other tips for farmer’s markets is to know your markets! Explore them. And some of the vendors that aren’t certified organic and don’t spray can be cheaper than the visually appealing farmers’s stands.

D- I know you buy a log of products from Asian Markets…

S- Yes, it’s a great place to buy vegetables- they are cheap, wonderful, and worth a try.

Comment: I write a blog about farmers markets around the country and in Texas, and people think that it’s expensive, but it lasts longer and can even last a couple of weeks… It ends up saving you money because you won’t be wasting your money on something that was picked a month ago, versus something picked yesterday. Definitely involve your kids in going to the market and to farms- they’ll constantly ask to go…

D- follow chefs in your area and they’ll usually help you find local farmers that are great!

Commenter: A couple of things that I know we do in Wisconsin- we have a natural foods column where you can get many organic things like spices. And we even have preserving days where a bunch of us will be in the kitchen and it ends up being a really cool community and food preserving event. And we end up having things that are delicious all year ‘round.

Commenter: I am a food blogger, as well and it focuses on feeding everything for babies. And you don’t have to buy everything organic… I only go by the dirty dozen and buy what I can that’s organic, because it can be expensive.

Commenter: I live in southern Alberta, so fresh fruit year ‘round is hard for us, but I recently found a greenhouse near us, and they have great produce… I also found that local butcher shops are good especially when you buy in bulk- meat is freezable!

St- Tell your friends about these farmers because

Commenter: I have really amateur posts that I post every night, but do you have any pointers for writing really good food posts?

D: I find that comfort foods and make family favorites that I’ve made so many times, my readers tend to like that a lot!

S- I find that foods that are accessible, appeal to people.

St- If your enthusiastic about the recipe and if that comes through, I think it helps sell it!

D: I like to put reviews on there about what my kids thought… It helps give readers a sense of if the recipe is good or not.

Commenter: I am trying to raise a child a not picky eater and it’s been a challenge to me to teach him not to be picky. How do you insure they won’t starve if they don’t like to eat them?

S- if you approach food negatively, they might be negative about it… You should be positive when you introduce them to new foods! If you can show your kids where vegetables come from, it impresses them. In terms of lunch- I am concerned about that. My son eats everything, but I tell him that it’s okay that he eats things that other kids don’t…

D: This has been a little easier for my daughter than with my son- if I make anything fancy and exotic- she likes that they’re really special- she’s all over it! We do the same thing for lunches… I have had a hard time with her about being picky with eating school lunches, but yeah- she can be a real nag sometimes…

St- I also always say that I am not going to give you anything that isn’t delicious “‘cause I am going to give you delicious food!”

St- The other thing- Kids menus put a bomb in the “try something new” thing… At home there isn’t any kid food and adult food- they eat what everyone else eats .

D: We find sharing and the appetizers are really easy when eating out with your kids and family.

St- I am from Hawaii and I used to love the bento lunches that I used to take to school- I love that it’s a great way to break out of the Sandwich Box… generally my kids don’t care if the food is cold or hot.

S- In terms of getting kids to try things- We have a one bite rule in our house… You have to eat a bite of everything.

Commenter: I am married to an Indian. My son likes white people food, and my daughter likes curries…We have a spit out rule. So if he doesn’t like anything, he spits it out… I see that he doesn’t spit things out as much..

Commenter: has great bento tips and ideas…

Commenter: One of the things that I like to do with my daughter is- that she loves to be involved in the experience… We go to farmers markets and she loves to check things out and smell things- we are able to get her involved in the kitchen and it goes a long way, as far as eating it. It also brings back memories of her eating great food, and it helps her try to avoid kids meals!

Commenter: I am a dietician, and the whole purpose of my blog is to create healthy recipes for kids to eat healthy foods that they love. One tip I have gotten on my blog- one tip is to go to the library and check out cookbooks. Have a kid take each night of the week and come up with a recipe of the week, and they have ownership of it. If they are involved in weekly planning it makes a huge difference…

St- my kids and I like to play “yum and yuck” with cooking magazines, so it gives you ideas of things that you may want to prepare during the week…

Commenter: A thermos is really cool for kids lunches. I think that one thing to remember when feeding your kids are to not give up and to keep putting that food in front of them.

D: Sometimes I lie to my daughter, and she nows nothing..

Commenter: My husband and I have different opinions on how to prepare food, and there are little things with condiments that I didn’t want my kids to have. Are there any alternatives to combating nasty food habits?

D: I find that educating my husband has helps. Usually we don’t always agree, but I win usually!

St- so, cooking with kids… How do you make time to do it… And what are some things that your kids cook (and how old are they?)

S- My kids love baking and if you measure things out for them, it helps them out, and it makes things fun for them. Also, it helps them for the future.

D: My son loves the kitchen. He would live in the kitchen if I let him. He loves turning the blender on, he loves sprinkling things… My kids love doing everything. They seem to find everything exciting. It’s a matter of what’s appropriate for them, and what won’t make me crazy.

St- I think the best thing that my mom gave me was allowing me to cook. And my mom would let us cook things in the kitchen, even though we didn’t know what we were doing before. Thanks to that- my family loves food.

Commenter- Jaden Hair- I let my kids create their own cooking show, and unfortunately some flavor combos don’t work, but because I have that one bite rule- guess who has to take that one bit? Hehehe

Commenter: I work full time, and sometimes it’s difficult- I have relied a lot on the grandparents- they have a lot of patience with the kids, and they learn how to bake and cook from them. And now, she knows how to help me in the kitchen now. I think having people outside of your home inspires them in the kitchen also helps too!

Commenter: On a somewhat related note- I work with a lot of kids who’s parents don’t have time to cook, and it is astonishing and I find that it’s always great that the kids love to cook. In the class, I sometimes hold up a veggie and sometimes the kids don’t know what’s going on; teaches them gives them some experience!

Commenter: I have young kids.. And what age did you start doing stuff with your kids, but I am controlling about my cooking environment, so getting my kids helping me sometimes to even clean raw green beans, allows your kids to want to try ingredients, even when they are raw. When did you start cooking with your kids?

D: They have always been in the kitchen, and I have always had them sitting on the kitchen counter (don’t do that, by the way), but as soon as they asked, they started helping me out…

S- I think that my kids have been since they had the body control to do things…

Commenter: I have 2 three yr-old twins, and my kids like to help me.. My kids like to help bake things.. And measuring ingredients also is fun to them…

D: I think making them help clean, also allows them to learn how to be a clean cook when helping you in the kitchen. In my kitchen, if you help clean- you have to help cook…

Commenter:I have a book on picky eaters, and we really underestimate what kids can do in the kitchen…They can do anything. We are so afraid and put up a barrier- and it can lead onwards- we have to give them a sense of responsibility and ownership…

St- Ikea plastic knives are great for them!! What are some quick time saving tips that don’t sacrifice quality, etc.

S- I like to make extra of everything to put into another meal during the week… Fish can go from the freezer to the oven… Shrimp can be defrosted really quickly, while chopping vegetables…

D: I think that a lot of what I do to save time is in a lot of what I do in finding the recipes… I use my iPhone Apps a lot. I also save my links onto my iPhone and I can find recipes, etc. And it helps me, especially when having all of those recipe resources right there.

St- One of my best tips is to make fish in the microwave when making a quick pasta or a quick 5 minute couscous! The microwave is great for steaming fish and vegetables…

D: My rice cooker is my favorite thing in the kitchen.

Commenter: I love the steamer bags instead of boiling water instead of putting ears of corn in, I just put the corn in the steamer bags and it takes like… 2 minutes… And you can do that with all kids of veggies and with fish as well.

Commenter: I take a little bit of butter, garlic, and sautee some shallots, add some smoked salmon, add half and half, and add some wholewheat pasta and cheese and my husband loves it… It takes about 20 minutes to make…