Whilst we are a Nigerian-British household, it’s important to me that my children can experience food from a range of cultures and this is reflected in what I cook at home. It’s not unusual for me to prepare Mexican fajitas on Monday, Nigerian eba and egusi on Tuesday and a Thai green chicken curry on Wednesday. Variety is the spice of life after all!
A friend once told about when he went to an Italian restaurant in Austria and ordered the only rice dish he saw on the menu because he wanted to pick a “safe”option. When a creamy, cheesy risotto was placed in front of him, he was truly astonished by what he saw! Where I can, I want my children to be confident and have a decent level understanding of world cuisines — if for nothing else, to avoid embarrassment! I’ve found that my son is far more likely to try new foods when he has somehow been involved in the preparation. Sometimes this even starts from the supermarket; we’ll be standing in the fruit and veg aisle and I’ll ask him to pick something new that he’d like to try. I mean, sometimes it’s a success and sometimes it’s not, but it’s a win in my book as long as he gives it a try.
Cooking with children definitely slows you down and can be messy. However, I believe the pros outweigh the cons. Here’s why: