Anyone who has ever cooked for young kids, (their own or someone else’s), knows it can be a tricky task.
Kids are fickle creatures, and nowhere is this more obvious than when it comes to food.
So for your sanity, here are some home truths of cooking for kids.
- Never assume they will eat anything. And if feeding more than one kid, never assume that they will all eat the same thing.
- Never assume that just because they ate it yesterday, they will eat it today. This especially applies if you have just stocked up on the food they ate yesterday.
- Food will be refused because it is the wrong colour. Orange and green are common offenders, although not always. Don’t ask me why, I don’t make the rules.
- Food will be refused because it is the wrong shape. Until you’ve cut sandwiches for a small person, you’ve never known just how many ways there is to get it wrong. A quick fix is cookie cutters, those little saviours can turn anything into a star shape. It’s worth trying, though I’m not giving any guarantees.
- Food will be refused because it smells funny/looks funny. Some kids apparently hate stars.
- Food will be refused for no reason at all. If in doubt, see 1.
- You can serve something on the wrong plate/bowl/cup. This is a particularly tricky one that often catches newcomers. The food itself can be fine, but if incorrectly served becomes inedible. Blue, pink and character crockery are often popular choices, but not always.
- Nutritional value is of no value to kids. Being good for you is not a good enough reason to eat anything. There are many more important criteria, see above.
- The longer it took/harder it was to cook, the less chance you have of the kids wanting to eat it. Don’t bother getting all gourmet, you have an unappreciative audience.
- Finally, know that when it comes to cooking for kids, teatime often ends in tears. And sometimes the kids will cry too.