Everyone can participate.
Finding ourselves in the bustling Greens’ kitchen, we talked with Annie Somerville about the influx of families with children dining at the restaurant during the holiday season and how children who otherwise will not touch vegetables embrace the all vegetarian menu.
Annie’s Holiday Gift to help Tame a Picky Eater:
- Take children to Farmer’s Markets at an early age to introduce them to the social environment of food. Not only do children come to appreciate the foray to buy food in a bustling atmosphere, but the outing provides an opportunity to meet the grower and connect where food comes from.
- If a parent loves food, exposing children to new food will be easier. For parents less adventuresome, make a family commitment to try something new every few weeks.
- Try a fresh vegetable like kale. Wash, cut out the interior woody stem, cut in “potato chip-size pieces,” and dry thoroughly. Spread them in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with Olive oil and salt and bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. Result = kale chips!
- Find a vegetable that a child likes and then prepare it in different ways. The small-size potatoes are perfect for culinary exploration. Introduce them in combination with other root vegetables such as parsnips and carrots. Cut them up in “French Fry” size slices, lay on a baking sheet, dribble with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes until crisp. Easy to make, inexpensive and easy to eat.
- Introduce vegetables that are easy to eat. For instance, stay away from strong flavored foods like brussel sprouts until the child has developed a palate that is willing to try new foods. It makes no sense to force adult preferences on children who are not ready strong flavors.
- Follow the taste of the seasons. Winter offers a wide variety of squash in every climate and region. Explore the different shapes and mild flavors. Butternut, acorn, Kabocha, Spaghetti Squash (yes, with threads like spaghetti and great with marinara sauce with a little Parmesan cheese) are easy to eat, easy to prepare, and high in nutritional values.
- Make sure the vegetable tastes good so the family will want to eat what you are serving. A little Olive oil, salt and pepper brings out the flavor in everything.
- Make sure the vegetables are cooked but not overcooked.
- As far as the Little Potatoes grilled on Rosemary Skewers, gather the family together in the kitchen and join together for a fast and fabulous treat. Looks great; tastes best when everyone has a hand in the project!