What I have noticed, however, is that the more involved they are in cooking, the more keen they are to eat something, even if it doesn’t taste quite like chips and Oreos.
My Dad was a chef, and brought me up as a single Dad for the first few years until he remarried. I have wonderful memories of standing on a kitchen chair helping him prepare all sorts, from learning how to make a basic bechamel sauce to chopping onions while keeping my fingers, and I want to pass those skills (and memories of time together) to my kids too.
So preparing food with my girls, 5 and 8 at the time of writing, is high on my agenda.
The trick is to make recipes that are a) quick and simple – they don’t have a lot of patience, and b) that they are likely to genuinely like.
It’s so frustrating spending a lot of time preparing a meal that turns out disgusting, and that goes for them too. Keep it simple, go for reliable favourites at least at first, and hopefully minimise tantrums and turned up noses.
I met Indian chef Hari Ghotra at a food publisher’s event a couple of years ago and you can find her family friendly Lamb Mince with Peas here.
Hari is determined to show us that Indian food does not have to be complicated or use hundreds of ingredients we can’t get hold of in the UK.
Her simple, family friendly recipes are the only ones I’d recommend to busy Mums who like Indian food but a) laugh at the thought of having time to make it from scratch (hello, take-away!) or who had never thought that the kids might like it too.
This melon lassi is a traditional Indian drink combining fruit and yoghurt. You could leave out the sugar if you like, or my personal favourite calorie free sweetener is the naturally derived stevia.