Rick is joined by Chef Gigi Gaggero this week for an insightful discussion about her new book and kids who are picky eaters.
Make lunch, not war. Food Fight: For Parents of Picky Eaters (Koehler Press, August 31, 2018) is a hands-on guide to understanding and reprogramming how families battle picky eating. It’s loaded with proven tactics to help parents take mealtimes back.
As founder of a professional culinary school for children, author Chef Gigi Gaggero has coached thousands of children and adults in how to cook (and eat!) better.
Based on over 35 years of professional experience, Food Fight targets picky eaters with the science of flavor and taste mechanisms, teaching parents how to transform nutrient-dense meals into something delicious for their children’s unique and developing palates.
In addition to behavioral tips and solutions, the book features over 60 innovative and practical recipes, including naturally colored Green Eggs and Ham, smashed-fruit filled Purple Tie-Dye Unicorn Muffins, umami-rich Dinosaur-as Teriyaki Drumettes, and hassle-free Homemade Soft-Serve Ice Cream.
While it’s easy to see picky eating as a phase, moderate-to-severe picky eating often coincides with serious issues like depression and anxiety that may later require intervention. Chef Gigi exposes the habits that inadvertently reinforce picky eating and helps parents navigate the challenging landscape by showing them the science behind flavor and awakening them to the culinary magic of umami. Rick and Gigi also talk about what kids who are athletes need in their diets.
Our taste buds disappear as we get older. Children have thousands of
additional taste buds, so flavor sensations, especially bitter flavors, can be
• If a child develops a preference for a certain flavor at an early age, odds are she
will stick to foods with similar flavor profiles.
• Hiding or disguising vegetables in children’s favorite meals has negative
consequences, with children later rejecting the food they once enjoyed and
becoming suspicious of all home cooked meals.
• Bribing backfires in the long run, as it teaches children to create lists of negative
and positive foods, where healthy foods are only viewed as a means to a dessert.
• Children, like adults, have a natural aversion to bitter foods, which may be a
survival measure. Most naturally-occurring poisons taste bitter and initiate a gag
reflex. Bitter foods can be made palatable to children by enhancing them with
Chef Gigi is a nationally recognized expert in children’s culinary education. She is the Former Dean and Academic Director of Le Cordon Bleu’s Hospitality Management Program, and founder of Kids Culinary Adventures, a professional culinary school for children and teens. She has appeared in a variety of broadcast media outlets, has been a frequent guest on Radio Disney, and is a regular contributor to numerous parenting and health magazines.
Enjoy this edition of ‘Tech of Sports.’