I am living the EUREKA moment to have found the way to my child’s stomach …and that is through the eyes and ears. Yes! You got me right. The secret, decoded. It’s been an ordeal dealing with weird facial expressions and tonal vibratos asking me, “What is this? Oh! Chapattis, not again. I am not hungry”, “I don’t like this!” …and other exclamatory remarks and question marks.
Food should invite (read tempt) a child to the table. A simple way to bring interest in food is to change the way it looks and sounds. The appearance of a meal determines hunger, plan of action, and table manners. So “A MAKEOVER” is worth the efforts.
Set the scene
Food should be the focal point on the dining table. No gadgets or television or a toy. Please! Make at least one food item the STAR of the dining table, the “Main attraction”. It should be nourishing (no compromises), delicious (your precious recipe), and beautiful (Go explore your right brain creative corner).
What’s in a name?
Ha! Ha! It is miraculous.
What’s cooking? Wheat Rosettes, Tacos, Crispy bowls, Rice boats, Moana’s boat and see the change– “Necessity is the Mother of Inventions”. Those are new names for humble chapattis and are simply enterprising.
One plate, wholesome diet. A Smiley, a heart, or maybe a cartoon character works wonders. This helps increase the diversity of food that children start eating out of curiosity and fun. This actually starts setting the taste buds for healthier eating habits.
Food should evoke emotions. Emotions impacts eating. Food molded into interesting shapes looks amazing and helps food pop. This sets the mood. Go beyond the vessels to serve food. Edible bowls or boats can be molded in a fraction of minutes and surely serve as a useful bait for picky eaters.
Food is an integral part of festivities. Plating with love and passion, thoughts centering on the festivals evoke an emotional connection, spreads happiness. If you aim for refinement just try to express with your food. Food speaks… I mean it.
Rakshabandhan: Celebrating with Deepak Shrikhand, Chirag Pulav, and Badshah Gobhi
If there is one grounding philosophy or secret code to tame picky eaters, it is delighting the children through variety, colors, flavors and shapes, and names that make them HAPPY EASTERS…I mean HAPPY EATERS! I strongly recommend multisensory plating for them. Believe me! Food is not just a delight for the tongue but is relished by eyes, the nose that absorbs the aroma, the names that implant curiosity in ears, and the texture that the skin feels. While taste buds provide the ultimate arbiters' food palatability, visuals and nose, and touch develop the due urges, the natural desire to go get it…in fact eat it.