Cooking With Kids
This Golden Oatmeal From Nutritionist Maya Feller Will Brighten Your Breakfast
She shares thoughtful and realistic ways to think about how we relate to food, with a delightful emphasis on ingredients and techniques to say "Yes!" to, like this kid-approved sunny turmeric and berry oatmeal.
- Christine Han
- Written By
- Recipe from EATING FROM OUR ROOTS. Copyright © 2023 by Maya Feller
- Interview By
- Katie Covington
I loved reading about your patient-centered, culturally sensitive approach to nutrition. Can you share the concept from the introduction of your book of shifting our mindset from “What should I cut?” to “What should I add?” and how this approach focuses on joy and adding nutrient dense foods and flavor through spices and a variety of plants?
Conventional diet philosophy is based on restriction as an ends to a mean. If you want to be “healthy” cut out sugar, if you want to raise a “good eater” restrict what your child eats. Furthermore morality is implicitly woven into how we talk about food and nutrition. If we “fell off the wagon” we are “bad” and need to work to get back on the straight and narrow.
Working to embrace an alternative path one where food is food and can and should be consumed without shame or guilt is unconventional. I often say it takes time to unlearn negative associations with food and the first step will look different for each person / family.
Including a variety of nutrient dense foods that are representative of one’s culture is an important part of the discussion. Including plants that are familiar increases the likelihood that they will be eaten and enjoyed. Utilizing herbs and spices that fit your individual palate enhances the like ability of all vegetables.
For people cooking meals for kids and adults alike, do you have any go-to tips on serving little kids (who may be picky eaters) foods with lots of flavor from new-to-them spices or flavors?
Kids like adults have likes and dislikes. Introducing new foods requires a low stress interaction. For example when adding a new vegetable or fruit to the mix serve it alongside something familiar and allow for multiple exposures. It can take as many (even more) as 20 times for a child to accept a new food. Inviting your child to grocery shop a well as spend time in the kitchen in an age appropriate way further brings them into the process.
Presentation can often be key for young kids. Do you have any recommendations or success stories?
Kids do like a pretty plate. Fun utensil can absolutely help. Encouraging a home where age appropriate utensils are used as a part of mealtime expands what can be served. Some children prefer to have food separated while others want to eat similarly to the adults in the home.
If it’s the latter, plate the food in a similarly appealing way. Adults and care givers set the food culture in the home and model food and nutrition related behaviors for the children in their presence.
Golden Oatmeal (India)
1 cup plain unsweetened oat milk
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup rolled oats1 teaspoon jaggery
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 whole cardamom pods
2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated plant-based spread
½ cup blueberries, for garnish
½ cup raspberries, for garnish
Ingredient Highlight: Cardamom is an excellentsource of potassium as well as other vitamins andtrace minerals. It has someantioxidant properties andmay aid in digestion.In a medium pot over high heat, bring 1 cup of water and theoatmilk and salt to a boil. Onceboiling, add the oats, stir, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the jaggery, turmeric, blackpepper, and cardamom pods. Stir and continue simmering for 6 to 8 minutes, until the oats haveswelled and are soft and the oatmeal is brightyellow. Add 1 tablespoon of the non-hydrogenated plant-basedspread and stir. Pour the oatmeal into a bowl and garnish with the berries and remainingtablespoon of non-hydrogenated plant-based spread. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
In a medium pot over high heat, bring 1 cup of water and theoatmilk and salt to a boil. Onceboiling, add the oats, stir, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the jaggery, turmeric, blackpepper, and cardamom pods. Stir and continue simmering for 6 to 8 minutes, until the oats haveswelled and are soft and the oatmeal is brightyellow. Add 1 tablespoon of the non-hydrogenated plant-basedspread and stir. Pour the oatmeal into a bowl and garnish with the berries and remainingtablespoon of non-hydrogenated plant-based spread. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Recipe from EATING FROM OUR ROOTS. Copyright © 2023 by Maya FellerPhotography copyright © 2023 by Christine HanPublished by goop Press/Rodale Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.Reprinted with permission.
Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition is a registered dietitian nutritionist who is a nationally recognized nutrition expert. In her practice, she provides medical nutrition therapy for the management of and risk reduction of non-communicable diseases.
Maya received her Masters of Science in clinical nutrition at New York University, where she is adjunct faculty. Whether addressing the nation or working one on one and with groups, Maya believes in providing nutrition education from an antibias patient-centered, culturally sensitive approach. Maya is dedicated to promoting nutrition education that helps the public to make informed food choices that support health and longevity. Maya shares her approachable, real food based solutions to millions of people through regular speaking engagements, writing in local and national publications, via her social media account on Instagram, @mayafellerRD.