New Delhi | Excessive fussing over food in childhood can lead to health and temperament related issues as adults, according to celebrity chef and culinary expert Rakhee Vaswani who addresses this challenge in a new book. Do you want your children to grow up and become an adult with a job and spouse but still fuss about food like a 10-year old?, asks the author who is also a TV food show host in her book Picky Eaters and Other Meal Time Battles (Random House India).
Vaswani, who attained her Cordon Bleu certificate in London, says that with a little thought and some smart moves in the kitchen, healthy eating habits and tastes can be instilled in children. My kids sampled a sea urchin and octopus pizza at an early age while on a cruise. They’ve also tasted frog legs, escargot and many other seemingly weird dishes because my adventurous husband, believes that it’s always better to try something new for the sake of the experience than to never know what it tastes like, says Vaswani.
The chef who has set up an international cooking school in Mumbai says that her children, who are now 18 and 16 years old, have an amazing palate and know their food from right to wrong, from flavours to appeal. I have made it a mission to create restaurant food at home for fussy eaters. The key to making your children try new things, I realised, is to let them eat at their own pace, she says.
She advocates against frequently eating out pointing out that the practice could deprive one of essential nutrients and could lead to an unhealthy lifestyles. When we were younger, we didn’t have the system of home delivery. You either ate what was there or went to sleep hungry. However, in those days mothers did not have to compete with a hundred different restaurants and fast food centres that have expanded our horizon for food, says Vaswani.
The author says most children are picky eaters since they have been forced to eat fruits and vegetables by their parents. The remedy she suggests is to ensure children eat healthy without the use of force. It is absolutely possible to make healthy food at home that is still restaurant-like in taste and appearance. Here, I have constructed recipes that not only provide adequate nutrition but are also quick and easy to learn, says Vaswani.
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