As the sun beamed in South Florida laughter was in the air as kids buzzed about February 12thenjoying the day not in a playground, but at the Delray Beach Garlic Fest for ZISBOOMBAH’S PICK CHOW! 1stannual Kids Cook-Off Competition. Pick Chow! received First Lady Michelle Obama’s stamp of approval as the grand prize winner of Let’s Move Apps for Healthy Kids Contest.
Supported by incredible sponsors – The Learning Experience, Schoolhouse Museum & Learning Center, beautiful prizes from OXO and delicious Francesco Rinaldi pasta sauce provided by LiDestri – ZISBOOMBAH fashioned an event tailored to encourage kids to get involved and try new foods. An event where parents took notice and realized kids actually like good food.
Judged by kids, the competition included pint size assistants for Chef Howie Kleinburg and Chef Andy Trousdale as they battled it out for the hands down favorite plates. The outcome…kids kept coming back for more.
Sure to inspire…the Kids Cook-Off Competition that afternoon was nothing short of high energy for all as kids had fun and played with their food.
So what were these kids so eager to come back for? Well…it wasn’t chicken nuggets. Not grill cheese. Not nicely packaged meals-to-go or boxed items with their favorite animated “friend”. It wasn’t even the standard plain spaghetti with butter. What it was…healthy, fresh ingredients of whole foods simply combined to create tasty snacks and meals.
The chefs’ secret ingredient to work their culinary magic…avocado. Parents were shocked and in awe as kids jumped at the opportunity to get real with raw food. Nothing but smiles and fun as learning took place before parents’ eyes and yes, in kids’ mouths.
Yummy dips for fruit were transformed by blending avocado with yogurt. When asked about the favorite part of the dish, one little girl judge said, “She liked the strawberries, banana and avocado.”
Another boy judge commented, “The dip is a lot sweeter and gives a bolder, bigger taste to the banana.”
When commenting on the flavor of a salad, Kid Judge Justice says, “The food is really great and the salad is perfect.”
Another girl stated, “I love this salad! I want to make this again at home with my mom and dad.”
Steak was introduced to these budding food critics and one little boy enjoyed the flavor so much he struggled to give up his plate. One more little girl when asked to choose between steak and chicken…stunned the crowd with steak as her answer.
Chefs Andy and Howie said they “liked cooking for kid judges” as they laughed, “because kids were surprised by the mixture and flavor of foods”.
It’s all about flavor for kids. If the food tastes great, kids will eat it and the result is a happy kid enjoying a nutritious meal.
ZISBOOMBAH’S take away for parents…think outside the box when it comes to feeding your kids. Good-for-you foods must be introduced. If not introduced by you…how will they ever know if they like them? Healthy food can taste great to kids, mix it up and learn to play with different foods and flavors.
If your child doesn’t like a food, try again preparing it a different way. Use condiments that your kids like. Who cares if your child wants to put ketchup all over their broccoli…they’re eating broccoli! If a food is absolutely disliked, put it aside and introduce another food, but remember to go back to that food again. Taste buds evolve and a food your kid doesn’t like today may be their favorite food tomorrow. Always give praise for trying a new food and resist the urge to give up, thinking,”oh my child doesn’t like that” or “my child would never eat that”.
When discussing food, a 3-year-old was excited to answer simple questions and get the answers right. The idea here is simple…engage your kids…talk about food. A food’s color, where it comes from, taste, texture and so forth – kids love talking about food, it encourages a positive relationship with food and positive thoughts surrounding food.
The kids’ favorite and winner of the Kids Cook-off Competition was Chef Howie and his 12-year-old Assistant Chef, Joey. Afterwards, Joey was so excited about the experience that he told his mom he wanted to be a chef when he grew up.
To learn more please visit www.zisboombah.com