Like many New Yorkers, the Kidz Central Station team defaults to ordering delivery almost every night. Then, we motivate to cook more often so we can eat healthier. This vow lasts a week. Repeat. Does this cycle sound familiar??
That’s why we are super excited to introduce Carried Away Chefs to our busy, tired families who are also concerned with eating family meals in a relaxed, happy environment. Dedicated personal chefs travel to you to cook a healthy, delicious home-cooked meal using ingredients you want – a comprehensive home dining solution. They will even shop for the groceries. Don’t worry if you have a tiny NYC kitchen because these talented chefs can work with anything! Check out @carriedawaychefs for their mouth watering photos.
Founder Kate Homes is a Le Corden Bleu trained chef who spent many years in top fine-dining kitchens and at the Food Network. During this time she also worked as a personal chef and truly enjoyed the connection formed by cooking in family homes. We, especially, connected with how her service and her mission transformed once becoming a mom herself.
How has being a mom informed your mission with Carried Away Chefs?
I had my first daughter, Lucy, 2 years after starting the business and began to truly understand how we were not only helping with our clients’ meals, but also with family time and life balance. When I went back to work, I started mimicking our weekly service for myself at the beginning of the week; cooking a handful of meals. I’d then come home in the evening and instead of rushing into the kitchen to prepare dinner, I’d sit down on the floor with my daughter and spend the quality time we hadn’t had while I was at work. Enjoying a glass of wine with my husband, playing with the kids, knowing dinner is ready to re-heat when you get hungry is such a pleasant way to wind down from the work day.
What are your two best tips for handling a picky eater?
1. Minimize drama – kids pick up on when they’ve pushed a button that gets attention, negative or positive. If there’s always a lot of fuss over eating certain foods, it might become not about the food at all but about the habit of resisting. Try acting casual and saying, “oh, you don’t like that? I totally forgot sorry!”
2. Eat the same food and eat together. We can’t do this all the time, but sharing a few meals, snacks, or treats together throughout the week can reinforce the idea that it’s not solely about the nutrients. We are supposed to enjoy food as well.
How do we get our kids to eat healthier, i.e. sneak in more vegetables?
There are definitely some fun recipes we’ve made that actually ‘sneak’ vegetables into the recipe so kids don’t know they are there. I think it’s great because we all could always use more vegetables in our diets, though it does slightly ‘kick the can down the road’ in terms of developing healthy eating habits. I’m a huge fan of just making the vegetables taste amazing. Seasoning very well with salt (in moderation it’s not bad); it brings out the flavor of vegetables and makes them SO much better. Or try soy sauce or liquid aminos; my kids will eat anything if there is soy sauce on it. Texture plays a part, too; a lot of kids aren’t into cooked vegetables but are totally fine with raw. Throw in a tasty dipping sauce and you’re good to go!
What foods or textures or tastes can help expand our children’s palate?
I have found that introducing exciting flavors and cuisines early can help expand their palates and give you more options. Asian dishes that include soy sauce or toasted sesame oil are well seasoned so they will be a hit; and Mexican and Indian as long as they aren’t spicy. I prefer ground or shredded meat dishes as they are easier for little ones to chew, and more seasoning covers the bites. I also try to make rice, quinoa or couscous dishes where everything is chopped small so they get all the ingredients and flavors in each bite.
Give our busy parents your favorite kid-friendly dish using just 5 ingredients and minimum pots and pans from their small NYC kitchen.
Turkey mushroom lettuce cups – one skillet!
- 2T Toasted sesame oil
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 cup grated shiitake mushrooms
- 2T tomato paste
- 3 T soy sauce
- 1 head bibb lettuce (this is a 6th ‘ingredient’ but you don’t actually have to do anything to it!)
1. Saute the turkey and mushrooms in sesame oil with a pinch of salt. when the cooking juices start to diminish, stir in tomato paste and soy sauce, cook until thickened
2. Break up the lettuce head into ‘cups’- see if you can entice your child to eat the lettuce like a taco with the meat inside, or if not, just the meat.
Carried Away Chefs services:
- A personal chef will come to your home once weekly to prepare 3 main dishes + 3 sides + 1 baked good ($350+ groceries) or twice weekly to prepare 2 main dishes + 2 sides + 1 baked good per visit ($550+ groceries)
- In-home interactive cooking demonstration for your family, including a recipe packet
- Cooking classes: for kids ($45/child, minimum 6) or individual sessions ($275+)
- Private Events
Author: Kidz Central Station
Founded by a NYC mom of two young children, Kidz Central Station uses technology to solve the problem so many busy parents face—how to find, book, and manage their children’s classes, camps, local family events, and birthday parties. Kidz Central Station offers more than 20,000 classes, camps, and birthday party options representing hundreds of NYC’s top activity providers. With a sophisticated search engine and class reviews, it is easy for parents to find the best classes for their children, sign up for a trial class, and directly enroll.