‘Cook for kids’ menus
Meals that kids enjoy: This is what every parent dreams of. No more arguments, tears, pulling faces or vegetables shoved to the edge of the plate.
“Impossible, unless we give in to junk food or monotony” did you say? And yet, we can combine good food with pleasure and comfort, even among young children.
It is true that children prefer to eat what they are familiar with and so we tend to give them the same foods again and again. But we should break this vicious circle because if we don’t expose kids to variety, it will never be part of their lives.
The development of taste
Taste cells develop from the 7th week of gestation and are functional from the 13th week onwards. So it’s obvious that taste develops even before birth and will continue to develop through breast milk.
Until about 2 years, babies are generally very open to trying new flavours, but they eventually enter the ‘no’ phase and food is one of the areas in which they discover that they have a hold over their parents.
“Food neophobia” (i.e. fear of new things) reaches its peak around 4 years and then gradually declines after 8 years.
Tips to increase a child’s appetite and the variety on the plate
1. Pay attention to the presentation:
It’s utterly pointless to extol the healthy and nutritional virtues of a dish, in order to convince children to enjoy it. It makes much more sense to focus on the visual aspect (and taste), because they eat first with the eyes (like adults). Add a variety of colors and avoid mixing everything on the plate.
2. Don’t give up the first time they refuse:
Be patient and firm. Apparently a new food has to be proposed 10 times before a child appreciates it. You should ask her to try it at least, while respecting her tastes.
3. Eat together as a family:
Children who eat alone can feel excluded. Meals are a time for shared fun, during which the child can see how much adults enjoy themselves while trying out new food.
4. Avoid punishments/rewards:
Don’t promise a dessert if she finishes her vegetables, as this will only give her a negative impression about vegetables.
5. Cook with your child:
If she is involved in the preparation, she’ll be curious to taste it.
“Cook For Kids” menus
To help you prepare kid-friendly meals, you can follow any of our meal plans, provided that the “Recipes that kids won’t like” case is checked in your profile. This means that your menu will be consisting mainly of recipes that are hugely popular with kids. There will be no recipes with either alcohol, or too many exotic ingredients or just too spicy. Often you will be proposed healthy versions of great classics that children love. Such is the case for example, with the famous breaded fish cake, reinterpreted here in Fish Fingers and Sweet Potato Oven-Fries, or our numerous versions of burgers or of course .
To ensure that the little ones appreciate these SOSCuisine recipes, we enlisted families with young children to evaluate hundreds of recipes that we sent them. We then used the feedback on recipes that our parent members sent us as well as their choice of favourite recipes.
This is how we came across some rather surprising findings: The most loved SOSCuisine recipe is neither a dessert nor a pasta dish, but rather a fish, i.e. Sole Fillets Florentine-Style (which are among the favourite recipes of more than 17,500 members!).
The Vegetarian Chili with Tofu recipe earned the (Kid-friendly) symbol following feedback from 200 members who praised its success rate with their children.