Mediterranean food is a great cuisine to add to your family meals! This easy guide will teach you all the tips and tricks you need to make it kid-friendly, weeknight easy, and a perfect addition to your meal plan! Includes easy Mediterranean recipes for beginners.
Mediterranean Food is one of those cuisine types where its hard to nail down exactly where it is from and what it is. Technically speaking, everything that touches the Mediterranean Basin counts - but this spans such a wide variety of cultures with distinct cuisines - like Egyptian, Ottoman (Turkish), Greek, Italian, French and Spanish. See? There is SO MUCH variation there!
If you haven’t gone over the above guide it’s a good place to start so that you can successfully introduce your children to new and adventurous foods. Here’s some things to get you started on your next food adventure- the Mediterranean!
For the sake of drawing lines, we are going to focus this section on the cuisine of the "Mediterranean Diet", which is actually inspired by the eating habits of the following regions in the 1940's and 1950's:
- Southern Italy
Top Ten Flavors of Mediterranean Cuisine :
- Olive Oil
- Lemons and Oranges
- Whole Grain Breads (wheat and barley)
- Pasta and Rice
Note: Wine is also an important part of all these cuisines, but felt that maybe that shouldn't include that in a "Top Ten" list for a family meals - however for Mommies and Daddies, its totally recommended!
Other Resource You Might Need:
Essential Utensils for Cooking Mediterranean Food
- Zester - Grating spices is the best way to get the most aroma and flavor.
- Pastry Brush - These are amazing for brushing butter and oil, greasing pans, and many other tasks. Buy more than one! I prefer the silicone pastry brushes over the ones with the nylon bristles.
Additional Kid Friendly Resources About Mediterranean Culture:
A big part of getting kids excited about new cuisines is introducing them to other aspects of the culture. Using music, books, and movies help spark children’s interest and open them up to trying new foods.
- Artemisia of Caria (The Thinking Girl's Treasury of Real Princesses) by Shirin Lim Bridges - Thousands of years ago, in the world of the Ancient Greeks where women were expected to obey their husbands in all matters, to play no part in public life, and to stay inside the house, a princess grew up to be not only a sailor and a ship’s captain, but a famous admiral. Her name was Artemisia, and among all the commanders fighting on the Persian side during the great Persian Wars, she alone dared to give Xerxes an honest opinion that could have saved his entire fleet. This is the story of a real and remarkable princess whose spirit prompted the Persian Great King, Xerxes, to declare, "My men have become women, and my women men!"
- Let’s Visit Athens!: Adventures of Bella & Harry by Lisa Mansion - Join sibling Chihuahuas Bella and Harry as they travel to Athens with their family and go to the Acropolis, the Plaka, Crete and learn about the origin of the Olympics. Along the way, local cuisine (such as spanakopita) is sampled and some basic Greek phrases are introduced to the inquisitive youngster. The Adventures of Bella & Harry is a picture book series that chronicles the escapades of a pup named Bella, her little brother Harry and their family, who travel the world exploring the sights and sounds of new, exciting cities.
- Mr. Semolina-Semolinus: A Greek Folktale by Anthony L. Manna - Since she cannot find the perfect man to marry, feisty Princess Areti decides to create a man of her own, Mr. Semolina-Semolinus, out of sugar, almonds, and semolina wheat, but when he is kidnapped by an evil queen, Areti must brave a perilous journey to get him back.