When I was in Australia recently, one of the things I enjoyed most was cooking with - and for - my niece and nephews. They really enjoyed choosing the dishes and became quite adventurous (they are 9, 8 & 4) although they are currently going through a vegetable hatred phase (except for tomatoes, potatoes & raw carrots with the odd avocado thrown in!)
This was an adapted verson of the Surprise Tatin from Yotam Ottolenghi's wonderful book, Plenty. It had a puff pastry base with layered sliced potato, tomato & feta cheese....
Absolutely gorgeous! Another favourite, of course, is pizza. There's something magical to children, I think, in having an individually created dish to themselves and it's so easy. In the Queensland summer heat, the dough for the base rose like a beautiful balloon!
Of course, they got to choose their own toppings. My oldest nephew loves mushrooms, mozzarella & black olives....his sister preferred her fresh, homegrown basil instead of the mushrooms...and the little one just wanted 'cheese & tomato please'!
that I made into ice-cream sandwiches when it was very hot & they'd been very good! I wrapped them in greaseproof paper parcels to store in the freezer....irresistible!
And on the last Sunday we spent together, I set up a 'cupcake competition' for the 2 oldest children. I was scrupulously fair about it! They each had two vanilla cakes, one in a yellow case & one in a green...and they were set on identical plates. I made up some plain buttercream icing and left them with food colours & various sprinkle & sparkles. The brief was to make either the most beautiful or the craziest cupcake...
The one in the top of the picture was judged the most beautiful...a pale pink glittery butterfly on a pastel green background...
Happily for all of us (!) each child won a different category...and picked up a little prize as well as eating their own creations!
It can be so frustrating when children won't eat something that's been lovingly prepared for them. But it helps a lot when they choose and help create the meal themselves. And I know from experience that most of the faddishness disappears in time...my sisters and I were terrible when we were young. Nowadays we will eat just about anything!
Hoping you have a wonderful weekend xo