Chef dad cooks gourmet meals for 2-year-old son

Originally published at: Chef dad cooks gourmet meals for 2-year-old son | Boing Boing


It’s astounding how the idea that kids will eat only “nuggets” and fries and such crap has taken hold of much of America. The chicken nugget was created in 1968! Before that, kids managed to eat just fine. At my house there were two choices about the food-eat it or go hungry.
Most of the world just gives kids whatever the adults are eating. This is a neat way to encourage curiosity and enjoyment of food. It’s also a testament to the dad’s stamina that he has the energy to do this after working as chef full time.


Seconded, for sure!

With a small caveat that, sometimes, kids really do have palettes that make eating some foods or flavors very difficult for them, and forcing them can be traumatic and paradoxically lead to being a lifelong picky eater. Encourage your kids to keep trying foods, even ones they didn’t like before. But if they really can’t bring themselves to eat certain things, don’t make it an ultimatum, and don’t force them. Doesn’t mean the alternative is bland “kid food,” just that there’s nothing wrong with heating up last night’s leftovers if they really hate tonight’s main course, and there’s nothing wrong with skipping the side and not cleaning their plate.


And children can be super stubborn. The only time I remember my father getting mad at me had to do with me not eating something that I deemed disgusting. He made me sit at the table until I ate my salad that was covered with Thousand Island dressing. :nauseated_face: He was in the navy during WWII and had to eat stuff he hated, so he was trying to teach me a lesson.

I sat there until 9:30 pm before he sent me to bed. It didn’t go unnoticed that my mom offered other salad dressing choices after that incident.


Social media has thrown a wrench into this too. I’m pretty sure my 15yo nephew has a full blown eating disorder now, that started as being a picky eater. Most kids go through phases like that, but his never went away and kept getting worse. :worried: He gets so much weird pressure from IG, SnapChat, and elsewhere about what he should and shouldn’t eat, and all manner of body image shame that it’s really created a problem for him now. We can’t hardly get him to eat anything anymore and he’s really really thin.


This was going on many years before social media exploded. I remember back in 98 in home ec my teacher brought in someone who dealt with an eating disorder, several girls who didn’t get the message the lecturer was trying to convey kept asking her how much weight she lost and the teacher eventually had to step in to stop those questions.


Yes I know eating disorders aren’t new.

Social media has made them a lot worse though.

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My mom once tried that “you will sit there until you are finished” crap with me, with canned spinach. When I finally tried to force myself to get it over and just scarfed that noxious shit down, it just ended up coming right back up… all over the dining room table.

She never tried to make me eat it again.

Two takeaways:

  1. Small children’s taste buds are NOT well developed, so when they don’t like bitter foods, it’s because they actually taste fucking horrible to an underdeveloped palate.

  2. Spinach is wonderful when it’s fresh; that canned shit is a fucking abomination, and ‘Popeye’ can burn in hell for promoting it.



I didnt see that you made a similar observation before I commented.

Here’s your coke!


It made the problem and the accompanying knowledge much more streamlined, yes.

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This is great advice since my mother was forced to eat mushrooms as a child, so she hated them. But when she started dating my dad many years later, my dad just gently encouraged her and she found that she actually loved mushrooms, especially breaded and fried.


I have a similar story; my flame is an excellent cook, who is constantly making dishes so I can retry foods that I didn’t care for when I was younger - he has helped vastly expand my palate, and I am gradually overcoming all the ‘food-related trauma’ I retained from the way I was raised.

(I discovered fresh spinach on my own before we met.)

Good on Chef Zhang!


I personally only had a couple incidents of not enjoying what I was served when I was a kid. One was quiche, for which I got the 'sit at the table ‘till it’s gone’ treatment (an experience I associate with the movie ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ as it was being aired while I was stuck at the table.) While the other is meatloaf… which I’ll still not eat. I also remember my cousin being the kind of kid who would only eat hotdogs and Ho Ho’s, though he grew out of that eventually.

It’s cool to see a kid who’ll gobble up anything put in front of him and it’s even cooler that his dad is giving him such a wide range of things to try.


TBH i hate this mentality, it actually harms kids psychologically and creates an unhealthy relationship with food. As a formerly picky kid i cannot stress how awful the whole “eat or go hungry” BS is, in my case i chose to just not eat and i was rail thin for most of my childhood.

I didn’t grow up in the US but i was an incredibly picky kid, the reason for this was due to my mom not having the foresight to ask me why i wasn’t eating what she was making, or straight up ignoring my complaints when i did voice my opinions instead of taking them to heart and switching certain ingredients. And mind you my mom is a phenomenal cook. It wasn’t until i was a teen that something clicked with my mom and she tweaked her dishes slightly and i was able to eat with no issues.

I’ve posted about this before but a better way is to engage with kids in the cooking process. Have them help every now and then and allow them to make choices for the meals or ingredients. Having them involved in the process demystifies a lot and gets them to appreciate what it takes to make delicious meals for the family.


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