KLB Petite Couleur jpgWelcome!

I’m so happy you’re here, because it means you care about healthy food. On this blog you’ll find discussions of a range of parenting issues (like picky eating and snacking, food marketing and politics), as well as delicious recipes and menus. Enjoy!

I’d love to hear your comments! I’d also love a photo or drawing on the Getting To Yum Photo Wall – where you’ll find kids eating everything from spinach and sushi to olives and octopus. Yum!

ps My new book Getting to Yum is now available for purchase in the US, UK and Canada!

Green Machine Puree

Green Machine Soup with mouseHere’s a peek at one of the recipes in my book Getting to Yum!

This dish has a melt-in-your-mouth flavor that kids tend to accept easily. I serve it warm in little cups as a starter (following our “veggies first” rule that we usually apply at dinner).

The purees in the book are designed to double as delicious blended soups for adults – saving time for busy parents. They freeze easily–so they’re our family’s “go to” fast food — just reheat straight from the freezer.

Bon appétit!

Yummy Yellow Cauliflower Puree

Some of the recipes in Getting to Yum use spices. For example, this cauliflower puree has some turmeric in it! Turmeric is an ingredient in curry, but isn’t spicy on its own. It has a mild, nutty taste which offsets the cauliflower really nicely.

Before babies reach the age of about 18 months (later for some, earlier for others), they’ll try just about anything. ‘Open mouth, open mind!’ It’s the perfect time to introduce them to interesting colors and flavors. So that’s one good reason to try spices like turmeric now. In fact, Dr Jatinder Bhatia (a member of the nutrition committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics) actually recommends feeding mild curry to babies, to develop their palates.

Plus, there’s another reason (as Dr Bhatia points out): curry spice are packed full of vitamins and minerals! Some medical research also suggests that turmeric (an important part of traditional India Ayurvedic medicine) has numerous other health benefits.

ps I’ve never seen anything stain like turmeric. I recommend having a ‘rainbow bib’ (for food that stains) for baby, for all foods that stain…this one included!

Summer treat with my girls

My daughters made a lovely raspberry swirl pavlova today, with whipped cream and berries on top.

It tasted even better than it looks!

(As it was their first time making a pavlova, it turned out slightly soggy, but I am proud of them nonetheless!)

The raspberries are from our garden and the blueberries are local too (we’ve had a hot summer here in Vancouver).


Five top tips for picky eaters

Picky eater at home? You’re not alone! Try these tips to help your child conquer picky eating.

1. Ask children to taste everything you’ve prepared, even if they don’t eat it. Research shows that children need to taste a new food, on average, 7 to 12 times before they will accept it. Looking isn’t enough — they have to taste! Positive peer pressure (particularly from other children) works wonders when it’s time for “taste testing” new foods.

2. Don’t label your child a ‘picky eater.’ Instead, tell your child they’re a ‘learning eater’ (just like ‘learning readers). Try telling your children: “You’ll like that when you’re a bit more grown up.” Expect kids to develop a wider palate and — eventually — they will!

3. Introduce your child to new foods before you serve them. Sounds silly, but often works wonders. For example, show your child a raw beet: let them touch it, and smell it. Cut it open, and let them look at the intense colour. Then try a variety of ways of introducing beets to your family. Beet popsicles are a family favourite, as is beet salad!

4. Stick with a schedule (and limit snacks to one–or at most two–per day). Once they know snacks are limited, kids will automatically adjust and eat more at mealtimes. If kids know that they can fill up on snacks, they’ll tend to be fussier at meals. Once you set your new routine, stick to it!

5. Talk less about health, and more about good tastes. Say: “Taste this, it’s really yummy”, rather than “Eat this: it’s good for you.” Believe (and tell your kids), that good-for-you foods taste good. Healthy eating habits are a happy byproduct. Broccoli? Yum!

Making food a daily ritual….with a French touch!

Food is everywhere in France, as you might expect. It’s a favorite topic of conversation, and even the subject of hit TV shows; the French version of ‘American Idol’ features would-be chefs in high-drama cooking show-downs. This is prime-time TV! And many people in France are glued to their screens as the final episodes unfold.

But food — and the joy of savoring good food — also pops up in lots of little, unexpected ways in everyday life. For example, look at this piece of paper towel. I bought it at our local supermarket (not at a fancy speciality shop). Each piece on the roll has a different recipe (this one is for a wonderful summer dessert called Granité aux Fraises). The recipes rotate seasonally (we bought this roll earlier in the summer). Even the most mundane object can be transformed by a little lighthearted nod to the pleasures of life. Savoir-vivre, as they say.

ps In case you were wondering, yes, it is only coquettish women shown on the paper towel rolls. Gender equity in the kitchen is not a strong point for the French–at least not yet. However, that’s an entirely different debate–about which I will be blogging next week!