It’s a common difficulty for families to prepare meals that everyone will love and that will give each member of the family as much nutrition as they need. I find that the real problem is preparing meals that both children and adults can enjoy. But is this all just meaningless stereotyping? Is there an actual barrier for kids that means they don’t like the same foods my husband and I adore?
Unfortunately, the classic conclusion is to blame hardworking moms, who don’t have the time to cook up delicious meals every night, and may have allowed kids to slip into not-so-great eating habits. But, moms, you aren’t the villains here! In a study published in the American Sociological Association publication “Contexts”, three sociologists admit that “the emphasis on home cooking ignores the time pressures, financial constraints, and feeding challenges that shape the family meal.” There’s so much more to a family meal than just eating it – moms have to go to the supermarket and prepare the food too! But above all, moms want the best for themselves and their family, so making it work despite these challenges is definitely an important step for families everywhere.
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So, let’s try and make it work! An article on parentingscience.com suggests a whole host of reasons why it’s so hard to get picky little eaters to keep munching happily along with the rest of the family. Alongside intolerance to bitter or sour flavors, and “social cues, parental feeding tactics, and the ways that new foods are presented,” there’s one thing that really sticks out to me – “young children may be ‘prewired’ to select the most energy-rich foods available.” Although all of these are speculative and depend on each family, one thing that I am always preoccupied with is my children’s nutrition and how to keep them at healthy energy levels, whilst also pleasing their palates without too much stress.
The first thing to fall back on for moms everywhere is definitely takeaways – they’re quick and easy and usually unhealthy enough to please everyone. But I don’t want to feed my family junk just because I don’t have the time or energy to cook! I decided to look deeper into the world of takeaways to find us a new staple to order when time is short and energy levels are dropping fast. Now, pizza would never be my go-to-choice for a varied takeaway, but services like Deliveroo have recently teamed up with Italian restaurants all over the country, so there are more options than just the unhealthy American takeaway pizza.
I took a look at the health benefits of Italian cuisine, and found that this popular and sophisticated cuisine has so much more to offer than just being a delicious meal. With a thin carbohydrate base, veg and a protein of cheese and maybe some meat, a real Italian style pizza doesn’t make me feel so bad about getting a takeaway – and doesn’t make me feel so guilty for taking the day off cooking! I may have finally found an energy-rich food for kids, that they actually like the taste of, without having to take a family trip to one of our nearby Italian restaurants or get too messy in the kitchen.
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Dishes like pizza are actually extremely easy to make, but I want to know what the real deal tastes like first – for comparison, obviously! But now I feel inspired to try out that crazy spinning technique the pros do and make pizza with the kids on the weekend. Excitingly, not only do I have more time in the evening to spend with my family when I haven’t been slaving away in the kitchen, but I also have the energy to consider some fun things for us to do as a family, which will hopefully broaden my kids’ picky palates and make cooking and eating fun and communal – a real family treat!
Pizza in Singapore hasn’t ever been a buzzword, but there’s a lot working in its favour. And, once we’ve started, what’s next? Spaghetti carbonara? The world? Italian food has the beautiful quality of being everyone’s favourite meal, and a great gateway into healthy, varied eating for children.
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