We all know that some kids are fussy eaters – a great way of making sure that your children don’t get too picky about their food is to introduce them to a wide variety of different tastes from an early age. This means encouraging the little ones to eat dishes from different countries and cultures – you never know, they might just grow up to become galloping gourmets! Here are the top five Italian foods to start with when widening your little ones’ tastes.
- PIZZA – Pizza is now a popular dish all over the UK, there are pizza places on just about every High Street in every town. There are a wide range of pizza styles to suit just about every taste and the supermarket freezers seem to be full of a mind-boggling array – thin and crispy, deep dish and eve stuffed crust pizzas abound. Most kids seem to love a pizza – whether it’s a plain Margarita or a deluxe pizza topped with a plethora of bits and bobs. Pizzas are easy to make at home and if you’re pushed for time, you can even make a makeshift basic pizza using a bread base. Just use a split baguette, a pitta bread or the crust end of a loaf.
- PASTA – Pasta is another favourite here in the UK – it’s just so versatile. For a quick Italian meal, just cook a pot of pasta, drain, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and you’re good to go. Make up batches of tomato sauces for pasta and freeze in portions – then every time you want pasta, just thaw and add some extras of your choice for a surprise treat every time. When serving pasta for kids it’s best to use smaller shapes that are easy to pick up between fingers and thumb. Sure, slurping long strings of spaghetti is fun (especially for the kids doing the slurping) but it can make quite a mess.
- BREAD – Italian breads are almost an art form and they’re a great way of introducing the children to Italian cuisine. Why not buy a different style of Italian bread once a week to get the kids used to the different types. Serve bread sticks with soup for a change. Have ciabattas for deliciously different lunch time snack now and again. Introduce the kids to Panini – with a different filling every time until they start clamouring for their favourite flavours.
- GELATO – This is one that every child is sure to love – Italian ice cream. Made with milk, cream, sugar and such an amazing array of flavourings, Italian ice cream is the best in the world. Absolutely nothing beats fresh Italian gelato, whatever flavour floats your boat. Take the kids to a traditional ice cream parlour and let them go wild. Believe it or not, ice cream dates back to ancient Rome and Egypt when it was made with snow and ice brought down from the mountains and stored underground to keep it cool.