We’re very excited to introduce Petit Taste, a new series on children and the culinary world. Our good friend Elise runs The Curiosity Project and is the amazing mom to two kids (3 year old Sam and baby Annie). We love how Elise finds creative ways to fuel curiosity and provide educational experiences for her kids.
You’ll find them tasting teas and spices or traveling to Sonoma for the best tamales. Elise also takes Sam and Annie on tons of cool day trips. When she’s not adventuring around with at least one kid on her back, she can be found working as a studio violinist and whipping up confections in the kitchen. We hope you enjoy!
Hello! This is Elise from The Curiosity Project. I’m excited to be teaming up with The Taste SF to talk about a unique angle of the world of food: introducing kids to great cuisine. I think that little kids can eat anything grown-ups can eat . . . and love it! I’ve been testing out this theory with my 3-year-old, Sam, since he started eating solid foods, and guess what? He’s always preferred strong flavors over plain, “kid-friendly” foods. Olives? Sharp cheeses? Spicy food? Fish of all kinds? He’ll eat that stuff any day! And that is so exciting, because it means the whole wide world of food is fair game: both for Sam and for me. Au revoir, kids’ menus!
Today I’ll be sharing an easy way of introducing kids to new tastes: an herb garden! It’s also a great way to engage kids in the cooking and dining process. While we’re making dinner, I’ll send Sam out to gather some herbs and throw them into the pot for me. He also enjoys adding fresh herbs or dried spices (more on that here!) of his choice to his own plate.
If you want to start your own herb collection, the first step is to go on an outing to buy herbs. We bought ours at a local garden supply store and a specialty grocery store. You can let your petit gourmand help pick out plants that look interesting to them, let them sample each one at home, and then task them with watering the plants daily–they love this job! Whether you have a green thumb or not, many herbs grow easily in a kitchen window or on a patio, and each herb comes with instructions on how much sun and water they need.
Here’s a list of easy herbs to start with: mint, basil, thyme, sage, oregano, parsley, chives, cilantro/coriander, lavender, and sage. Happy gardening!