For this week’s In my kitchen guest post I am joined by Kristie from Mamaprada. I love Italian food and her children are a similar age to mine. I love her tips for fussy eaters. Thanks for taking part Kristie.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
I’m Kristie, an English Wife to an Italian Husband. I have two children, my daughter is 2 and my son is 5 years old. We’re raising our children bilingually and I blog about our journey and Italian Culture on my site Mammaprada.com
Who does most of the cooking in your house? Do you enjoy cooking?
It’s mainly me but Hubby is great at a few things like pasta! Obviously! And cooking steak which keeps me happy!
Do you meal plan?
I try to. More so in the last few months as my daughter was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and so I have to really watch her carb intake as it affects her more.
What are mealtimes like in your house? Do you eat together as a family?
We do eat together as a family. I used to just feed the children at 5 pm and we ate later but a year ago my son whilst having dinner together confided that he was being bullied at school (In reception year!). That moment made me realise that dinner times even when they’re small is a perfect moment for them to open up.
What are your favourite family meals to cook?
I love making Lasagne, it’s such a hearty meal at this time of year. But I also really enjoy cooking Coq au Riesling by Nigel Slater. You can omit the wine as well and then the children love it too.
Do you cook the same meals frequently or are you always trying new recipes?
I have a few staples that I cook every week. Pasta bake with tuna, tomato and rosemary for example. It’s really cheap and easy to make. I tend to try and cook a few different things on a Sunday and then we’re set up for the week. I recently made some little sausage meat cups where you put the meat into all the holes in a cupcake tin and fill with anything you like. Mushrooms, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, a bit of beaten egg on top and a sprinkle of grated cheese. They take about 15/20mins for the egg to cook and then you have these delicious very different breakfast or snack options.
Do you have any tips for dealing with fussy eaters?
I think don’t push the things they hate but find an alternative. And always call them something else. I can get my children to eat kale if I call them crisps and make kale crisps! I’m also surprised how many different things my children will actually eat if I give them a chance. My daughter now loves olives and those artichokes you can get in olive oil. I only gave them to her as I was looking for carb free snacks for her but now they’re her favourite thing.
Do you have a favourite cookbook?
I love The Chiappas book ‘Baby at the Table’ The Chiappa Sisters consider that Mums don’t have time to make separate meals for everyone and how to make one meal which can be blended for a baby and eaten normally for everyone else to save you time.
Do you enjoy baking?
I do but I tend to only do it for special occasions. In early February it’s Venice Carnival and they make these gorgeous crispy sweet treats called Chiacchiere. Meaning chatty biscuits due to the noise they make when you eat them. They are amazing and I make them every year and we have a bit of a carnival party making masks and turning the coffee table into a gondola!
Do you have any tips for making feeding the family easier?
I find my children react better to a picnic style dinner. They are happiest having a selection of fingers foods and maybe a few that just need a fork. It helps you as they can feed themselves but also they feel more in control of their choices I think and seem to eat more. Sometimes I actually put a blanket down in the playroom and say we’re having an indoor picnic lunch, they love it!
Do you get your kids involved in the kitchen?
Yes, they do, on Saturdays my Husband always cooks a risotto. This is a real Northern Italian dish and he’s from Milan so he loves it. My Son stands next to him on a chair and he gets involved – or just eats a lot of parmesan!
Where can we find you?
Mammaprada BLOG: https://www.mammaprada.com
I’m also on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebooks as @Mammaprada