Good Taste: Sarah Waldman proves you can have fun with your family’s food (and keep it healthy too)

Sarah Waldman's "Little Bites." – Photo by Elizabeth Cecil

It wasn’t too many years ago that we didn’t even know what a blog was. Nowadays, blogs have taken over our free time, and for many of us have become our go-to places for recipes, news, and travel inspirations. An Internet sensation that’s here to stay, a food blog was what Sarah Waldman started while she lived in Providence with her husband. What began as a creative outlet would one day bring her to where she is now: on Martha’s Vineyard, as a cookbook author.

Before Sarah and her husband arrived on the Vineyard, she attended the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school and certification program, where she pursued her passion for bringing wholesome foods to America’s tables. Pregnant with her first child, she started the blog in 2009, and has not looked back. The family moved here a year and a half later. After several months on the Island, a midwinter phone call from friend Christine Chitnis sparked the conversation on taking on the project of a cookbook, and “Little Bites — 100 Healthy Kid-Friendly Snacks,” was born.

This book is filled with seasonal vegetarian recipes; with gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free options. Developed by two busy moms, it serves as a collection of recipes perfect for the family on the go that cares about what they eat and the bodies they’re feeding. With so many unhealthy options in the market, even those that disguise themselves as healthy, it’s not always easy to make the right choice, and the “Little Bites” cookbook is here to make life easier.

I’m not a parent myself (but definitely cooking from this book soon!); Sarah explains to me the hard work that comes with parenthood, and that she doesn’t want anyone to feel like she’s pressuring them to make healthy meals at all times. A natural balance occurs when you start substituting those not-so-healthy snacks with homemade ones.

“No, my kids don’t eat everything. Dylan is a chocoholic, and that’s the whole point. Saying no to things all day is exhausting, so instead of saying no, I’ll make him Chocolate Cherry Fudge Pops, which are made with coconut milk, unsweetened cocoa, and cherries. Ta-daa!” Sarah explains that taking cues from your children is important, and that while you can’t fight your children’s taste, you can try to steer them in the right direction.

A tip she suggests is involving them in the process of making meals, even ones as small as snacks, to spark children’s interest in food. Another practice that helps connect them to their food, and provides fun family bonding time, is looking through a cookbook together, or visiting the farmer’s market. Have them help out with easy tasks that give them ownership and control.

This summer, cool the kids (and yourselves) down with this recipe for a Blueberry Lassi. Lassis are sweet or savory Indian drinks made with yogurt or buttermilk as the base, so it’s also a fun way to introduce a different culture to your kiddos!

 

Prepare a blueberry lassi for your little one, an Indian drink made with yogurt or buttermilk. – Photo by Christine Chitnis
Prepare a blueberry lassi for your little one, an Indian drink made with yogurt or buttermilk. – Photo by Christine Chitnis

Blueberry Lassi

makes 4 glasses

 

2 cups fresh blueberries, plus more for topping

2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt

¼ cup agave nectar

1 cup ice

 

Simply blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into 4 glasses and top with a few fresh blueberries and a straw for sipping.

 

You can find Sarah at the annual Cook the Vineyard event at Lola’s in Oak Bluffs on Monday, July 20, from noon to 2 pm. The event celebrates local and regional cookbook authors, and includes a multicourse wine-paired luncheon featuring dishes selected from the recipe books of participating panelists. Tickets are $65 for a sit-down meal, and can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com/event/1437979.

 

Stay up-to-date on Sarah’s book tour and new recipes by heading to her site at sarahwaldman.com.