Cooking for children can always be a challenge and you need to be inventive to keep them interested. It’s important for them to try different foods, and I am big believer in kids being exposed to world cuisine from a young age. I’m pretty sure the first solids to pass my lips was something Indian and I’ve loved it ever since.
Whenever I travel around the world for work I often get asked about cooking Indian for kids and what I recommend they should try to cook at home so their children can fall in love with asian flavours as they have. Most people suggest cooking a korma curry as it has mild flavours and the silky creamy sauce appeals to kids. Traditionally it contains cream, either coconut cream or regular, and so not always good for children these days when health is on the lips of most parents, but you can always substitute the cream for a low fat yogurt and some water.
I suggest cooking marinaded meats and vegetables. Rubbing spices, dry or a paste, onto meat is a great way to mix up your dinnertime menu. And serve it with some vegetables (if they like them) and some potatoes. If you like wraps then why not use the leftovers in a wrap and you can easily add exotic ingredients for some texture, such as fennel and pomegranate.
Yoghurt is a wonderful ingredient and can be used to help the spices stick to the meat. You can also use some on the side as a low fat dip, providing you buy a low fat yogurt that is. Kids love colourful foods so make sure you add some fresh herbs to the dip or even some beetroot for something different. It is disguised and you have already introduced them to a flavour they may not be used to.
Instead of chips which I know all kids love, why not cook sweet potato wedges sprinkled with spices such as smoked paprika and cumin. They will taste like seasoned chips and don’t have any chilli heat at all.
Spices make it easy to change up the flavours of even the most simplest ingredient so make sure you have a well stocked pantry and just play around with ideas. Before you know it the kids will be eating dishes from around the world, and hopefully will be getting their 5 a day so you can relax and not worry about their diets. And they will be full of energy – not sure if that is a good thing?!