I am a bit of a fiend for hunting through local charity shops, particularly their book shelves, and I’m always on the lookout for cook books.
On a recent visit I came across this gem. I am aware of Mark Hix through his OYSTER BAR cookbook which includes some simple but fairly luxurious recipes, and the idea of him co-writing a kids cookbook really appealed to me.
The best thing about the book is the fairly substantial introduction where Mr Hix shares his own thoughts on feeding children and educating them about food. I share in his view that “children do prefer to eat good food but a lot of them don’t get the opportunity.” If a child is brought up on ready meals and takeaways then most real food might taste bland because it isn’t full of salt and sugar. If a child is only allowed manufactured food rarely and is used to freshly prepared food that is less salted, then their taste buds are allowed to enjoy the variety of sometimes subtle flavours that the world of food contains. Mr Hix has other great advice for parents trying to feed their children to the best of their ability including:
- Giving your child a baguette to chew on as they go round the supermarket to avoid the whines for rubbish food.
- Serving your child only a tiny amount of a new food but let them ask for more.
- Eat out in ethnic restaurants where a child is expected to eat the same food as an adult, not a child’s menu made of beige, over-salted rubbish shaped into a child friendly form.
The recipes range from soups, stocks and purees through to puddings and drinks and include many family favorites such as real fish fingers, shepherd’s pie, a range of simple tasty pasta dishes and some great salads; all family friendly and aimed at helping you feed the best to your brood. One particular dish I am desperate to try is the crispy pigs tails; not minced pork shaped into a tail shape and covered in day-glow breadcrumbs but the real McCoy. I have traked down a butchers in Bristol (Ruby and White) that will source the tails for me. They only get 3 whole pigs in a week so they will freeze the tails and keep them for me till I get a dozen
I will let you all know how it goes.