| Inspiration | Lamb mince: 5 recipes to help develop kids’ taste buds
Lamb mince: 5 recipes to help develop kids’ taste buds
While it may seem like a daunting and messy task, getting the kids in the kitchen can be a special way to spend quality family time, all while teaching them important life skills and showing them the amount of effort that goes into making a dish. Kids thrive when they can be creative, so pop an apron on them and let them be your sous chef for the day.
Eating is a sensory experience and engaging in the senses (taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound) has been shown to be a large contributor to children’s eating behaviours and food acceptance*. If you throw food prep, cooking and eating into the mix (e.g. stirring, mixing, cracking an egg, hand-rolling meatballs, and eventually eating them), this can be a multi-sensory experience for kids. In fact, research has shown some kids are more willing to try new, novel foods they have helped prepare and cook**, so this can be a great way to get them trying new cuisines, foods, flavours, and textures.
A good way to introduce kids to a new food is to opt for a familiar texture that has a slightly different taste. Take mince for example, it’s a household favourite for many families and is loved by kids. If you are looking to broaden your children’s taste buds one step at a time, why not give lamb mince a go? With a slightly richer and meaty taste, many kids won’t notice the taste difference, and with lamb used in many different international cuisines, it’s the perfect way to introduce new foods and flavours to your kids.
In celebration of National Lamb Day, we have 5 delicious recipes to widen your children’s taste experiences.
Teach your kids about Middle Eastern cuisine by using lemon, garlic, hummus, yoghurt and parsley when making Lamb Koftas. Kids will love getting tactile, holding food in their hands and enjoy the novelty of dipping skewers into sauce.
Moroccan Meatball Feast
Meatballs are a family favourite. Let the kids explore their artistic side with a “who can make the roundest meatball’ competition when making our Moroccan Meatball Feast. The bonus is this recipe may introduce a few new herbs and spices to the palate of your younger family members.
Turkish Lamb Pizza
If you’ve got pizza lovers in your house, branch out from the traditional ham and pineapple and try our delicious Turkish Lamb Pizza. The kids will love decorating the pizzas with traditional ingredients and can taste the ingredients before they are put on the pizza base.
Greek Lamb Tart
Show your little ones Greek cuisine by using ingredients like feta, olives and chickpeas when making the Greek Lamb Tart. Let them taste check the ingredients before they go into the tart and modify the recipe if needed. Don’t necessarily remove the food if they initially don’t like it, as with repeated exposure to a food they are more likely to give it another go. It’s okay for them to leave a small pile of olives on the side of their plate, one day they might surprise you and acquire a taste for them. If you have ever been lucky enough to visit Greece, maybe share with your kids a few memories about the culture (no doubt they will be surprised about the concept of plate smashing!)
For something more subtle on the palate, try this cheesy and delicious Moussaka – it’s perfect for a cold winters night and the kids can help you grate the cheese or lay the eggplant in the dish.
Although we are living amongst a global pandemic right now and travel is restricted, don’t let your taste buds miss out on delicious international cuisines. You can still enjoy the world’s flavours from the comfort of your own home, and make cooking a fun and creative occasion for the whole family to enjoy.
*Sick, J., Hojer, R., & Olsen, A. (2019). Childrens self-reported reasons for accepting and rejecting foods. Nutrients, 11, 1-14.
**Allirot, X., da Quinta, N., Chokupermal, K., & Urdaneta, E. (2016). Involving children in cooking activities: A potential strategy for directing food choices toward novel foods containing vegetables. Appetite, 1(103), 275-285
Posted by Shawn Moodie