Many of our favourite cuisines feature spicy dishes. We enjoy curries, Mexican dishes, tandoori treats, Thai food, and many other spicy meals that are filling, flavourful and packed with nutritional benefits. But when you’ve got young children, your options can feel limited. If your kids don’t like spicy food, you’ll find it hard to enjoy family meals out or takeaways, and you might even be forced to either cook two separate dishes or stick to mild options at home.
The good news is, once your children are fully weaned and enjoying a normal family diet, they are never too young to be introduced to some spicier delights. Here are some tips for introducing spice to your child’s diet.
The last thing that you should do is start with a really hot curry that makes your eyes water. This will be overwhelming and put your children off ever trying again. Start with mild dishes like korma and introduce anything spicier gradually over time.
Try a Family Takeaway Night
Takeaway nights are a great treat for everyone and a wonderful way to eat socially as a family. If you can, adding a takeaway night every week or even once a month gives you a great way to introduce new foods in a fun way. Rotate the cuisines you order but include dishes from the best Indian takeaway Bristol, with plenty of things that you can all share and taste, to make spice something that they can start looking forward to.
Add Spices to Their Favourites
You don’t need to eat different cuisines or introduce anything brand new to welcome spice. If your kids have favourites that you make at home, like pasta dishes, start adding spicier ingredients like paprika or mild chilli powder. If they love pizza, add spicy meats and peppers to get them used to different flavours without overwhelming them.
Enjoy Social Eating
Mexican food is fantastic if you want to welcome some heat with fun dinners. Bring lots of dips, fillings and breads to the table and let the kids enjoy building their own tacos or fajitas. This gives them control and makes it easier to introduce new flavours and textures as well as a little heat.
Listen to Them
If your children tell you that something is too hot, listen to them. We all have different tastes and tolerances, and just because you think something is mild, doesn’t mean that they will too. By trying to get them to eat things they don’t like, you’ll put them off and make introducing new flavours harder.
Focus on Flavour Not Heat
Being able to eat spicy food isn’t something to be proud of. You might be able to handle a very hot curry, but do you actually enjoy the flavour? Use spice as a way to add flavour, instead of trying to build up a tolerance.
Try a Wide Range of Cuisines
Remember, spice doesn’t just mean curry. There are lots of options for adding spice to food, and just because your child doesn’t like a particular type of food, doesn’t mean that they’ll never like anything spicy.
Being able to enjoy spicy foods with your family means that you can enjoy a more varied and balanced diet with lots of benefits.