How to Cook a Gourmet Meal for Kids

Cooking a gourmet meal for children may introduce them to a wider range of foods. See more parenting pictures.

Kids' nutrition has been a hot topic in the news, from Michelle Obama's campaign against childhood obesity to reassessing the nutrition of school lunches [sources: Hall and Hellmich, Eng]. Widening your child's food experiences can open him up to a variety of nutritious foods and help him set a trend for healthier eating throughout life.

"There's nothing sadder for me to see than an adult who only is eating the same five foods over and over again," says Sarah Krieger, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "You are missing out on nutrients when you do that."

While there's no way to be sure that your child will be an adventurous eater, giving him the chance to try new foods and new food combinations offers him the opportunity to go beyond typical kids' fare.

"Picky eaters come from not being exposed and not being encouraged," says Bethany Thayer, M.S., registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "It's the parent's job to expose and make sure that they've seen the food and know that these foods exist; it's the child's job to try the food and decide if he likes it or not."

Parents have the opportunity to teach their children about a range of foods, including those that might be gourmet. Yet, you want to be careful how you approach these new foods with your kids. Presenting foie gras with a side of wilted spinach might not be the best way to encourage new food choices.

In this article, we'll look at some tips for incorporating gourmet ingredients into meals for your kids. We'll also look at some ways to transform classic kid favorites into more gourmet meals.