Foodie Mom: Real Foodie Mom of New Jersey
A chat with mom, cookbook author and reality tv celebrity, Teresa Giudiceuser rating
A while back I solicited some of my foodie friends for advice on how to get kids to try new foods and asked about some of their favorite dishes and snacks.
Now I’m going beyond my circle of friends and will be soliciting some famous foodies with kids for their advice. (Who knows, maybe Gianna and I will get invited for dinner.)
First up, mommy to four daughters, Teresa Giudice. You may know her from Bravo TV’s “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” or as a recent contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice.” But she also is an author of two New York Times best-selling cookbooks, Skinny Italian (Hyperion) and Fabulicious!: Teresa’s Italian Family Cookbook (Running Press). Her four daughters, Gia (11), Gabriella (7), Milania (6) and Audriana (2), all love to eat mommy’s cooking. And, believe it or not, they really like to help out in the kitchen.
Teresa shares more about food, family and some of her kids’ favorite snacks.
Why is it important to cook as a family and get kids involved in the kitchen?
Getting involved in the kitchen at an early age is so important because it teaches kids good nutrition and how to provide for their family. They even learn a little math with fractions and measuring. When your kids cook with you, they feel like they actually made the food, so they're invested in the meal. They want to eat what they have made.
What do you do to entice your girls to help out in the kitchen?
They want to help out; I don't have to entice them. Whatever Mommy does, they want to do. The best thing you can do as a parent is remember that your children are watching and copying you, and set a good example for them. I think one of the responsibilities and joys of being a mom is actually doing the work—that's one of the reasons I don't have a nanny or a chef or a housecleaner. I like doing things for my family myself because I grew up watching my mom doing those things and I wanted to be like her.
Name one of girls’ favorite meals that you all make together.
I included their favorite recipes to cook with me in Fabulicious! Milania loves lasagna because she can layer the noodles and make them look all pretty. Gabriella loves Chicken Parmigiana because she loves to bread the chicken and sprinkle the cheese on top. Gia's older so she's able to do more measuring and cutting. Her favorite is Grilled Sausage and Peppers. And Audriana just likes everything. She pulls her little table over to the counter and stands on it so she can help me cook.
What are the girls’ favorite healthy snacks?
We don't eat a lot of processed food. My kids love fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks: carrot sticks, those little Clementine oranges, strawberries, grapes. I cut them all an apple when they get home from school every day.
So, the girls are not picky eaters?
No, my kids eat everything! They even love salad. They see me cooking so many different things so they're used to new foods coming into our kitchen. I tell them to try it; they do, and they like it.
What would you suggest a mom or dad do to get their child to try something new?
A great way to introduce kids to something new is on pizza. What kid doesn't love pizza? We make our own dough, make our own sauce, and then I have them add a veggie they've never had before. Because they're involved in the process; it's their pizza so they want to love it.