Today, we are discussing how to get creative with food! Sometimes, children can be fussy eaters and being creative is also a great way to help them understand food in a different way and maybe become more explorative about what they try. You never know, you might just be able to turn their thinking without a battle (and don't we love it when we don't need to have a fight!)
When we talk about being creative with food, it certainly doesn’t mean that you as a parent needs to be a chef or even have any culinary skill. In fact, you may not enjoy being in the kitchen yourself! So, actually, if that is the case, why not make this something that you can do together – explore food through creativity!
We know from past posts that creativity is built from being explorative, making mistakes and problem-solving. We do it without thinking with things we are good at! But so often we put ourselves in the “I’m rubbish at that” bracket with things we struggle with instead of having a go.
With food and cooking, it’s no different.
I always think of chefs and bakers as having creative minds – they certainly know food and what makes a good plate of food! Think about the competitions you see and the beautiful creations they develop. It all takes an understanding of taste. And where do they get that? From exploring. Often it starts at a young age and develops. Sometimes it can come later in life, or through watching other adults in a family or friendship circle.
As parents, it’s a great idea to encourage this development early on and if that means you need to do that to, then why not do it together?! Starting with easy makes and exploring tastes is the perfect way to get going. The easiest make in my opinion is pizza - it's hands-on to make and then you can go mad on different toppings! I can’t remember a time when I last bought a pizza – they are so easy! With toppings, I go with whatever leftovers I have, or I choose something different in the supermarket that I can try. You also don’t need much of anything – even one sausage goes a long way on a family size pizza!
I add herbs from the garden (which we will discuss more of next week) and then as long as you have a block of cheese and some passata (or even a good quality ketchup – I have one on standby and although it is more expensive, I keep it for pizza and it lasts for ages!), you are good to go!
I have a quick reference booklet with an easy pizza recipe to get you started and some other ideas for you to try. You can download that here. This booklet forms part of a full masterclass on Getting Creative with food that I did for The Happy Healthy Eaters Club. You can access the Masterclass through their membership. I also have modules coming soon on using food to get creative on our own VIP membership, with parental support for encouraging creativity in our every day lives. More details here>>>
Next week, we will delve into the garden and discuss the benefits of exploring your child’s immediate world – outside your back door!
Until then, have a good week