There’s no getting around the fact that kids are picky eaters. If they can’t get a healthy dollop of creamy Skippy on a couple of crustless slices of Wonder Bread, you might as well gear up for an exercise of ‘who will break first,’ a game you most certainly can’t win.
However, moms around the world are becoming more and more adventurous and creative when it comes to making food for their young ones. We may even be reaching a tipping point where kids learn to be good eaters at a younger age, breeding a new generation of foodies, chefs, and fine dining connoisseurs.
Here are a few things moms are feeding their toddlers in hopes of keeping them happy, fed, and curious about the world of food and food culture.
Quesadillas are one of those things kids immediately understand. They are easy to eat, delicious, and can still be consumed even after they’ve been haphazardly tossed off their food tray and onto the floor (5-second rule permitting).
Adding a bit of extra flair to the cheese and tortilla by way of a bit of seasoned, shredded pork is sure to pique your toddlers interest without them throwing a fit for such an unexpected insurrection. Kids love salt, and pork has plenty of that.
You could probably substitute your child’s frozen crinkle-cut french fries for this Peruvian favorite and they would be none-the-wiser. Yuca is a root vegetable with a consistency and texture similar to that of another Peruvian staple, the potato. Yuca is a bit more starchy, but when fried it takes on a robust and filling profile that, when smothered in ketchup or aioli is just like a french fry.
Introducing your child to yuca fries is an opportunity to broaden their culinary horizons without them even realizing it. Just don’t tell them what it is until they’ve already told you they love it. Because they will.
One thing all kids will eventually agree to eat is chicken. Pollo asado is a Latin take on everyone’s favorite poultry that involves a hot grill and an assorted mix of herbs and spices. For the kids, remove any ingredients that might set their little taste buds on fire and see them devour this as if it might give them magical powers.
Pollo asado is also inexpensive and easy to prepare, so if it finds itself in a steaming pile on the floor you won’t throw a fit alongside your screaming toddler.
Toddlers won’t eat corn on the cob. They simply don’t have the jaw strength, developed teeth, or patience required to get any sort of sustenance from it.
However, if you do the kernel removing for your kids, they are likely to scarf it as if they may never see another meal again. To better your chances, choose a variety of corn known for being sweet, because, you know, kids love it when they can pretend they are eating dessert for dinner.
Listen, I know adults that still won’t eat flan. For everything flan does well in terms of taste, for many it lacks in terms of texture. The popular Mexican dessert is particularly gelatinous in nature, a realization that many just can’t seem to overcome even as they get older.
However, the ripe young mind of a toddler will likely overlook those issues with texture because of the pure, sugary joy they will be experiencing while eating something that’s consistency isn’t all that different from stewed carrots and applesauce. Get your kids hooked on flan when they’re young, and they’ll likely never go back.