Matching the needs of kids with the needs of the parents is always a very tricky thing, especially because kids are, well, kids, and they are prone to changing their minds. Do you make half-a-dozen different dishes for your family in a night? Or do you make everyone eat the same thing? Growing up, I didn't have any choice, and I turned out fine (though my therapist might think otherwise, he shouldn't complain; he's made enough off of me to buy a new BMW, so far). I deal with this ever-vexing question by making meals that I can take apart for the kids, and put together for myself and Santa Maria. Here are two examples:
- Salmon, broccoli, and rice—The kids like it plain and separate. We like it in a stir-fry or a warm rice salad.
- Chicken, red pepper, and arugula salad—We eat it together, and the kids will eat the chicken and the salad (Romaine, for them) and, if I make them, roast potatoes.
This isn't much work, and it makes life around the table a lot easier. But things are always in flux. The other day I was looking through my notes on my iPod, and I came across an entry from about a year ago. Nina had tasted the potatoes from that arugula salad, and was delighted by them. I told her they had thyme on them. "Time," she said. “You mean you put clocks on the potatoes?”
Thing is, Nina hasn’t eaten those potatoes in a year, and when I told her the story, she couldn’t believe it. “I was younger then,” she said. How do you manage your the changing tastes of your kids?