For the most part, I have four selective eaters. They've always been that way. Of the four, I have one picky eater. Or should I say, I had one picky eater. A couple of years ago, and with daily thanks since to Jamie Oliver and his "Food Revolution" television show, Cole eats real food. We've moved beyond microwaveable crap to tasty and nutritious choices.
Claire is my best eater, trying new things and enjoying nutritionally balanced offerings with the occasional binge of Dr. Pepper and Mars bars (newly changed to ginger ale and peanut M&Ms). Chloé prefers most of her food to be white - yes, ick - and carb filled. Caden has always been my most active child in the kitchen, often willing to try new things and help me prepare.
I've learned to choose my battles. In order to keep things well rounded and healthy we may indulge in far too much of some of the same things: roasted asparagus, steamed broccoli, "mama" rice, sauteed tomatoes and mushrooms, wilted spinach and oodles of salad. Not a large selection, but the kids will eat all of it! A few times a week I experiment - usually from a Jamie Oliver or Barefoot Contessa cookbook - and if there are enough thumbs up, it will enter the rotation.
For the longest time we had Jamie Chicken at least once a week. Things have changed and now that Claire - my only white meat eater - has moved out of the house, I purchase a crazy amount of "club pack" chicken thighs as preparing a whole chicken was a waste. I still appreciate the lessons learned via Jamie Oliver through his television show, his cookbooks, his TED talk.
What does all of this have to do with Massey Hall?
Well, Jamie Oliver came to town!
Jamie Oliver has a new cookbook out and I was thrilled learn that he was on a book tour which would bring him to Toronto. I was even more thrilled that my boys wanted to come to Massey Hall and hear him with me!
After a CRAZY day - that included dentist appointments and voice lessons - we hopped into the truck and drove into Toronto to hear a very engaging man speak about his "special needs", his passion for food, his determination to make good food accessible and his life with four young children. He was engaging and charming and Cole was thrilled we attended. Caden kept expecting a cooking demonstration and was less than happy that after an hour and a half there was no food preparation.
As part of the price of admission we each received a copy of the new cookbook - Jamie Oliver's Great Britain. Cole got home and promptly folded over pages filled with recipes he'd like me to make for the family. Who knows, this time around he might even help me make them?
What is the favourite vegetable in your house and how best is it prepared?
I'll draw for a winner sometime later in the week - let's say, Friday the 2nd by noon my time :)