Posted on September 10, 2013 There have been 0 comments
Mid-week Chat With Smita Srivastava
This week we are delighted to be joined by the blogger, mother and all-round food enthusiast, Smita Srivastava.
1. Thank you very much for joining us, Smita can you tell us a little about your new book and what we can expect from it?
It's my pleasure to be with you today. As the name suggests Fun Food for Fussy Little Eaters is all about inspiring the kids to enjoy fruits, vegetables & whole grains by adding the fun element to their meals.
2. What inspired you to write a book about fun and healthy food, do you have any of your own fussy little eaters at home?
My daughter was a fussy eater. Her tiffin used to come back untouched, at home the dinner plates also met the same fate and being a mother I was always worried about it. Eventually one day I shaped the food on her plate into a pair of eyes and mouth, and the food that used to remain on the table for hours vanished in minutes. I started writing the blog Little Food Junction to share my experiences, the overwhelming response from the people finally inspired me to write a book.
3. Some adults are fussy eaters too, do you think this begins in childhood and how can we encourage adults and children alike to be more adventurous?
Definitely, the habit of fussy eating starts right at the tender age. During these tender years adding a little extra fun and a creative approach towards healthy eating surely paves way for a better future. Encouraging fussy adults requires a much more creative approach and experimenting wisely with their taste buds.
4. We all know that children are the harshest critics, have you served anything up which a child has refused to eat and how did you get around this problem?
My daughter dislikes bell peppers, but with all the goodness they carry, I had to find a way to make her eat them. Using a tiny cookie cutter, I made some tiny flowers with it, popped it on a toothpick along with a basil leaf and named it fairy flowers, and she developed a liking for these flowers . Sometimes I finely chop bell peppers and top on sandwiches as edible confetti and it just works.
5. You run a very successful blog, Little Food Junction, tell us a bit about it. When did you first start blogging and how did you make the transition from blogger to author?
I started blogging almost 4 years back to share the foodie creations that I was making for my fussy toddler with the rest of the world. I had never imagined I would get such a tremendous response from people and media from all over the world. It was delightful to know that people (esp kids and mommies) were loving my creations.
6. Why do you think a lot of children seem to naturally dislike vegetables and what can be done to change this attitude?
I think our likings for the natural flavors and crunch gets overshadowed by spicy artificially flavoured food right from childhood . Kids should be encouraged to enjoy fresh produce right from childhood. They should be taught about the negative aspects of packaged and fast foods right from the beginning.
7. If you had to pick one recipe from Fun Food as your favourite, which would it be and why?
That’s a difficult choice indeed! It's tough to decide between Night Owl (nature all around) and Nosy Fox (fun at the zoo).
8. What is your greatest success story to date, in terms of convincing a child to eat something they would have otherwise refused?
I think it’s the bell pepper instance that I had just mentioned above.
9. Some schools have recently banned packed lunches, branding them too unhealthy. What are your thoughts on this and what elements are needed for a healthy and enjoyable packed lunch?
Packed lunches sold in school canteens and supermarts are mostly unhealthy. Steps taken by schools to ban such similar stuff are great. Children should be encouraged to get packed healthy lunches – that could be in the form of simple whole grain sandwiches, fruits and salads from home. Simple meal planning by mothers in advance is all that’s required to make things much easier.
10. Does your fussy little eater ever help prepare her own meals? Do you think parents should allow their children to help out in the kitchen a bit more?
My family believes in the old Chinese proverb - “Tell me and I will forget, show me and I will remember , involve me and I will understand”. Parents should surely involve little ones to help in the kitchen. My daughter (now 7) loves to pick up an array of colourful vegetables and make some cute sandwich for herself.
Thank you very much for joining us Smita, parents of fussy little eaters the world over can breathe a sigh of relief!
Fun Food for Fussy Little Eaters by Smita Srivastava is available to purchase here.