Chef Rakhee Vaswani talks about her new book for 'picky eaters'

Chef Rakhee Vaswani's first book, Picky Eaters And Other Meal-time Battles, offers quick easy recipes and guidelines to serving restaurant-style tasty, yet healthy, meals at home

The guide logoSeven years since the launch of Palate Culinary Studio, chef Rakhee Vaswani released her first book, Picky Eaters next yesterday. “My husband is the pickiest eater in my family,” she quips. The book is based on her observations and the tactics she applied to ensure her family got the correct nutrients. She jots down her experiments with her kids, now 16 and 18, to gulp down that glass of milk and eat the much-detested broccoli. Excerpts from an interview:

Your forte is baking and desserts. Why did you choose this subject for your first book?
Today, even my baking classes have evolved as I include gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free items as even people with a sweet tooth have become health conscious. I have been a picky eater as a child, and I know that every household has that one picky eater. I wanted to write a book, especially for mothers, to show that there is a cheat sheet.

Chef Rakhee Vaswani
Chef Rakhee Vaswani

Why are kids picky eaters?
No number of food pyramids children learn in class will make them eat nutritious foods. Many kids face a fear of food called Cibophobia, or a general dislike for certain vegetables or lack of inclination to try new foods. Did you know it can take up to 15 variations of an ingredient for a child to eat it?

How will this book help the reader?
Today, the man or woman who mans the kitchen is faced with the challenge of cooking restaurant-style good looking, yet healthy food. In the book, I suggest sly ways to include nutritious ingredients into tasty foods, for example, the butter chicken gravy can be made with almonds instead of cashew nut, spinach can be added to smoothies and air fry or roast onions instead of frying them for a biryani. For crispy noodles in a Chinese meal, crisp the noodles in an oven instead of deep frying. In the book, I also stress on the important of a healthy food culture in the house.

How should one deal with a picky eater?
Including your child in grocery shopping and cooking a meal helps a great deal. This will open their minds to trying the final product. Also, to strike a balance, one tricky dish should be served with a tasty side dish.


Vegan chocolate mousse
- By fitness trainer Yasmin Karachiwala

Take one ripe avocado and purée it until it is smooth
Then, take 1/2 cup cocoa powder and coconut milk/almond milk each mix the two together. Then, add them to the avocado
Now take two teaspoons of a natural sweetener/stevia and one natural vanilla extract. Add both to the above mixture
You can also add nuts or berries if you want to give your dessert that extra crunch or flavour
Transfer the mixture into individual bowls and refrigerate until cold

Easy to implement
To stir fry veggies or chicken, replace refined flour with barley flour
While making spinach gravy, cut down its peculiar taste by sautéing all the ingredients in the gravy
For the roti shirkers, add bran flour and cheese to wheat flour. Cheese will add the protein and uplift the taste
If kids don't like the taste of milk, add a banana and blend

Also view...

In pictures: Malaika Arora Khan and other top celebs attended the launch of Rakhee Vaswani's book. (View images)

Launch of Rakhee Vaswani's book 'Picky Eaters', Malaika Arora Khan, Radhika

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