Daniela Ben-Zion has been turning picky eaters into veggie lovers since she and business partner Dana Ravner cooked up the idea for Kulinary Kids NYC.
Kulinary Kids teaches the fundamentals of cooking to children as young as three. Many start the course having “never touched anything green,” and by the end of the ten weeks they’re asking for kale chips, says Ben-Zion.
We checked the inside Ben-Zion’s own fridge to see if her two boys, ages six and seven, really choose carrots over mac-n-cheese as often as her bite-sized clients. And to see what healthy factoids she had to share with slightly older picky eaters...
Wow, you must really love dairy! That’s a lot of yogurt, milk, and cheese sticks. We’re really into yogurt. The yogurt tubes, my boys love. For my husband and me, yogurt is the really easy get-your-day started kind of breakfast. We love Fage 0% Greek yogurt, and the drinkable ones.
But no Go-Gurts? No, nowadays you can access really delicious whole organic foods in the same packaging as the other brands…so why wouldn’t you just do that?
That’s so true. But, will your kids really eat all those beautifully arranged vegetables in your fridge? I am very proud to tell you my children are great eaters and they love their vegetables. Their go-to snacks include cucumbers and fresh bell peppers. Like most children, they love sweets and cookies, but they’ve come to really love and appreciate the natural sweetness of fruit and vegetables. Vegetables are a snack in our house.
Wow, snack time at your house is much different than it was at mine. Are you sure you’re not hiding any Oreos in the pantry? Haha, no. We’re not hiding Oreos, but we do like cereal bars and pretzel chips. This is not a home of no candy, no sweets, though. The kids do enjoy treats like chocolate occasionally.
You're a busy mom: What do you buy that's pre-packaged? I see hummus and pasta. Most of the starchier sides we make with dinner aren't homemade. My sons love Near East cous-cous and rice. But then we make veggie sides from scratch to go with it, and we always cook our own meat or fish. Or I’ll make the sauce to go on the store-bought pasta.
What are your go-to foods that are healthy and delicious for adults that kids will love, too? Hummus is a great choice, and kale chips.
What's the number one tip you'd give to parents trying to get more healthy foods into their kids' diets? Continue their children's exposure to healthy foods. If the parents have a healthy diet, then the kids are more likely to follow their lead. If you give children beautiful healthy options, that’s what they’ll get used to. —Jenna Holt
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