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Food Adventures

Introducing Your Child to Flavours from Around the World

by Elisabeth Luard and Frances Boswell

Food Adventures

With the advent of designer baby clothes and nursery décor, it was only a matter of time before the notion of gourmet baby food arrived. Unlike trendy accessories, however, the idea of introducing babies and young children to a variety of wholesome, multicultural foods is one that has value and staying power. In Food Adventures, Elisabeth Luard and Frances Boswell—a mother-in-law/daughter-in-law team—suggest that picky palates may be a by-product of all those Cheerios and strained carrots in American children’s early diets. Worldwide, young children eat small portions of adult foods rather than the jars and packages we tend to reach for in America. Since babies and toddlers are naturally adventurous, they are willing to try anything once; exposing young children to a range of international tastes can encourage food exploration later on.

Food Adventures offers simple-to-prepare recipes ranging from a child’s first bite to his or her first day of school. Baby food never sounded so good with spoon foods like blueberry soup from Scandinavia and leek purée from Belgium. Simple combinations such as Romanian polenta with yogurt and Peruvian quinoa with butternut squash are easy for little stomachs to digest. For toddlers, stacks of dark chocolate and dried apricots entice little fingers, as do Greek artichokes or Spanish frittered calamares. Perhaps the best chapter combines mealtime with playtime, with recipes for “Princess-and-the-pea pancakes”—a stack of fluffy apple and cinnamon drop scones with a single pea carefully buried—and a “Fireman’s lunch” of grilled pork chops. For older children, the book presents suggestions for making exotic homemade “takeout” and turning the kitchen into an imaginary French bistro or Indian curry house. Offering children dishes like Afghani lamb korma with cardamom or Parisian pain au chocolate could indeed put an end to the picky palate epidemic.

Reviewed by Rachel Levin


(Updated: 11/25/08 SB)

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