When you’re a young couple it’s easy to order in or dine out on a daily basis, but when the kids come along, spending time in the kitchen to prepare nutritious and healthy meals for them can become a problem for some dads. We turned to gay dad and celebrity chef David Burtka who just published his debut recipe book Life is a Party, to get some advice, inspiration, and support as we take our baby steps in the kitchen.
One of the main things we learned from our interview with David is that healthy eating habits for your kids stem from the way we, the parents, behave and interact with them when it comes to food. “I think that some parents also don’t want to put up a fight and don’t want to argue with their kids so they’ll just make a second meal,” David says. “You know, there’s no option in our house, there’s no second meal. What we’re eating for dinner they’re eating for dinner.”
“My kids will eat anything you’ll put in front of them. And I think that there’s a lot of parents that just give their kids jarred baby food, and there’s no salt, there’s no flavor, and of course they’re learning to eat bland so no wonder they just want to eat chicken nuggets and macaronie and cheese. I think that the more we try to expose our kids [to flavors] the better eaters they will be.”
For those who struggle in the kitchen, David suggests to start with cooking chicken. “A roast chicken is one of the easiest things you can possibly do,” he says. “All you do is you pat it, you put salt and pepper on it, you put it in the oven, 425 for an hour. That’s it.
“You can have it that evening and then you can have chicken for the whole week. And there’s so many things you can [make from it], like soup or chicken pot pie, chicken enchiladas or a chicken salad – which is putting it on a regular green salad. It has endless possibilities. Even with a roast, you can cut half of it and put it in the freezer, I mean, proteins freeze really well, you can put them in the freezer for two weeks and then repurpose it in another way. That’s what I’m always doing.”
David Burtka is an award-winning and sought-after host, chef, caterer, and actor. He has appeared on Broadway and in numerous television programs. David studied at The Cordon Bleu culinary school and interned at the acclaimed restaurant Babbo. He has also worked with Cat Cora, Thomas Keller, and Ina Garten. His Food Network special, Life’s A Party with David Burtka, aired in 2016 and was awarded a Telly Award and 1st Prize at the New York Film and TV Awards. David lives in New York with his husband, Neil Patrick Harris, and their twin children, Gideon and Harper.
Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex Maghen
Guest: Stan J. Sloan, Family Equality Council
Opening Theme: Hercules & Love Affair, “Leonora” buy here
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