Cooking for Kids

Here are a few thoughts on what approach has worked for our family with regard to the often difficult task of nourishing our little ones.

I remember when I only had my first child and she was still a baby. I was watching “Lydia’s Italy” and Lydia was saying that one of the best ways to give children an appreciation of many foods is simply to cook wonderful food at home. She said that simply exposing them to the aromas of a wide variety of foods would prepare them to love those foods. That really inspired me to want to learn to cook wonderful food. Living in Italy for seven years certainly helped with that endeavor!

My two daughters’ favorite food is, brace yourself, octopus salad. Since we moved back to the US, I cannot tell you how many restaurants they’ve walked into and immediately asked the hostess or waitress, “Do you have polpo??” That’s octopus in Italian. NO? “Do you have anchovies??” They love them fresh and marinated. Thank God we can get those at Costco! When we expose our kids to many types of foods at a very young age, they learn to love them! We lived for five years on the Mediterranean Sea, so they learned to love the best it had to offer. Their latest favorite are Brussels sprouts!

After reading my “Eating Well” page, you know that it’s ok to eat carbs. So, if we serve our kids beautiful pastas with beautiful sauces that highlight ingredients they might normally shy away from, they will learn to appreciate them and will be more willing to try them on their own. Suddenly, they might be willing to try a side of broccoli, eggplant, spinach, zucchini, leeks etc. And I’ll make sure you have wonderful ways of preparing these vegetables…you might even be surprised how much more you love them!

(Btw, if one of our kids really doesn’t care for something, we don’t force feed them an entire portion, but we do ask that they have about three bites. Oftentimes, they do end up finding that they like it after all.)



  1. Cecilia Tinajero says:

    I am dying of laughter reading this because having had the privilege of living with you for 6 months in Italy, I know that this is so true. I was shocked that they loved polpo so much but they devoured it every chance they got! And anchovies and olives and all these other foods that shocked me! Those kids…they crack me up! Btw, we must figure out a way to post that video of Andrew eating pasta…that’s my all time fav! Love you and love the website!

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