Get Your Picky Eater to Try New Foods Through This Simple Food Group

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Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is a world-famous culinary voice. She's the Executive Chef at Butter in New York City, a clever and candid judge on Food Network's Chopped, and recently authored her second cookbook, The Home Cook. Most importantly, Guarnaschelli is a mother and a daughter, and she cooks as often as she can for the people she loves best. (Sound familiar? We relate to that last bit most closely, too.)

Guarnaschelli's daughter, Ava, is nine years old. Though Ava prefers cooking as a passion to the idea of a culinary profession, she spends ample time with her mother in the kitchen. Guarnaschelli told Easy Parenthood, "She [Ava] loves to eat and cook but she has that in the "pure joy" category. She opens her eyes some mornings and says, 'What's for dinner, Mom?'"

Let's be honest, we would, too, if Alex Guarnaschelli was the one in charge of making our dinner. But the challenges we face getting meals on the family table each night can be solved with her new book, The Home Cook. Intended to get people back in the kitchen and serving up good, home-cooked food to their friends and families, The Home Cook is a parent's dream-- especially if you want your half-pint foodies to develop a liking for a wider range of foods than frozen chicken tenders and Happy Meals.

Where does Guarnaschelli recommend you start? When it comes to getting your kids to try something new, she said, "I think the grains chapter is a great place to begin. The recipes are simple. They are all varied." 

"I think the grains chapter is a great place to begin. The recipes are simple. They are all varied."  -Alex Guarnaschelli, on which food group she recommends to parents looking to expand their children's food preferences

We love the suggestion, especially as the Grain & Bean Side Dish chapter offers the Quinoa Salad with Toasted Almond and Lemon-Honey Dressing. They're all flavors our kids know and love, so they're more likely to give them a try together when presented with a "new" dish. Give the Quinoa Salad recipe a try (or go for the Crispy Potato Cake-- an instant classic with our families) and celebrate the joy of being The Home Cook


Recipes and photographs reprinted from The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart by Alex Guarnaschelli. Copyright © 2017 by Alex Guarnaschelli. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Johnny Miller. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.