We all know how fussy kids can be where food is involved, especially small children. Children often refuse food that is spicy or well-seasoned and avoid anything new or different. Why do children have picky eating habits? There are a few factors we can consider:
Children don’t like the texture of the food
They don’t like the way the food looks, it looks unappetizing
Unlike adults, they are quick to reject foods with bitter and sour flavors
They can’t process spicy or ‘hot’ food
They avoid food high in fiber
They may be ‘pre-wired’ to seek out only ‘energy-rich’ foods for their active and growing bodies
Whatever the reason, this pickiness causes a family dilemma. You have to either let them miss out while you and your partner tuck into the tasty meal, or prepare two complete menus each mealtime, one for the adults and something blander, for the kids.
Yet, opting for the different menus adds a lot of extra work to planning and preparing a family meal. This is especially true if you get home from work at the end of the day and then have to start cooking. You don’t have the time or the patience for messing around.
On the other hand, couples who don’t have children have the luxury of eating whatever adventurous foods they like.
Adults have a more mature palate than kids and so childless couples can indulge in interesting meals like spicy foods and interesting curries. They can try new cuisines from culturally diverse regions and if the food agrees with them, then their experimenting has paid off and they have widened their food horizons.
Foods for couples without children can include the full spectrum of seafood. Try getting an oyster into a small kid! Adults also have the teeth and the palate to enjoy steaks and other red meats which need a bit of chewing and are quite textured. Adults can also enjoy meals that contain vegetables like cabbages, brussels sprouts and root vegetables.
Other foods that adults can regularly enjoy and experiment with are pickled vegetables, relishes and chutneys which a child is certainly likely to spurn. Food suitable for adults can range from delicate offal like chicken liver, smoked foods like smoked fish or eel, and then there is the spicy cuisine of Caribbean countries like Jamaica and of course Asia and India. Even the southern states of America have their distinctive Cajun food.
One extremely popular Korean food is Kimchi, which is certainly an acquired taste. It is smelly and fermented, with its own strange texture, it is low in fat and high in fiber but full of flavor and very nutritious. It is basically a spicy, aromatic Korean type of sauerkraut. The longer it is left to ferment the stronger the flavor and the nutrient levels become. This is an exciting food for adults to experiment with, but needless to say, kids probably won’t touch it.
An Easy, fast Mak Kimchi Recipe
Equipment: a knife and cutting board and a big bowl.
Ingredients: One or two Napa cabbages, some carrots and any other vegetables you want
Method: Chop the cabbages into bite-sized squares and add to the bowl
Add the julienned carrots to the bowl, mix and sprinkle with salt. Toss the contents then pour cold water in to just cover the vegetables. Stir and leave to rest at room temperature for maybe a couple of hours. Then pour off the salty water.
Blend garlic and ginger, fish sauce, unsweetened apple or pear juice, scallions, miso paste and Korean Red Pepper powder in the food processor until it is a paste. Add this mixture to the bowl and mix with the vegetables.
Ladle the Kimchi into glass jars or plastic containers and pack it in tightly. Gently place the lid on the jar and don’t screw it down tight because the recipe ferments. Let the jars stand in a baking tray or similar at room temperature for a couple of days. Stick in a knife each day to release any air bubbles and top up with brine water if it gets low. After a few days, it is ready to eat so store it in the refrigerator. Kimchi is a brilliant food to add to all your meals to add spice, aroma, and flavor, or even eat it on its own.