It's so easy to fall into cooking habits and stick with a few old favourites that always work. Giving children only the foods that you are sure they will eat can encourage extreme fussiness and may lead to a restricted diet. Getting used to new textures, colours and smells in food will help your child feel eager rather than anxious about eating on holiday or at friends' houses. And introducing favourite cuisines such as Indian, Chinese and Thai at home means your family can enjoy what the world has to offer with no airport queues, no plane delays and no hassle.
World cuisine is about more than cooking. Turn an everyday family dinner into a Chinese banquet by serving food in little bowls and help your child to give chopsticks a try. Either use special kids' ones that are joined at the top, or fold a piece of paper into a small square and use an elastic band to secure it at the top to make regular chopsticks into pincers - much easier for little hands.
This is a favourite with my family. Quick and simple to make but with a mild, fruity curry flavour. It's great served with poppadums and fluffy white rice .
Makes 2 adult portions. Suitable for freezing. Makes two portions
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion peeled and chopped
I small carrot cut into matchsticks (75g)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 medium apple, peeled and thinly sliced
100g baby sweetcorn
2 chicken breasts (350g) cut into bite sized chunks
1 tbsp Korma curry paste
½ tbsp mango chutney
1 tbsp tomato puree
150 ml coconut milk
1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 150 ml boiling water
100g frozen peas
a little salt and freshly ground black pepper
● Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan and sauté the onion and carrot for 3 minutes
● Add the garlic and sauté for half a minute. Then add the apple and sweetcorn and stir fry for 3 minutes
● Add the chicken and stir fry for 4 minutes
● Add the Korma curry paste, mango chutney, tomato puree, coconut milk and chicken stock and simmer for about 10 minutes
● Add the peas for the last 4 minutes
● Season to taste