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Baby food for the soul: The toddler edition at Art and Soul Restaurant

Chef Travis Timberlake

Chef Travis Timberlake

Art and Soul Restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine, Travis Timberlake doesn’t have kids of his own – but has a whole host of tricks in order to get even the pickiest babies and toddlers to eat their veggies and more! Chef Travis shared his secrets to twenty-five parents of toddlers during Baby Food for the Soul: The Toddler Edition on Saturday, June 20, 2009 – a lesson in nutrition and how to prepare kid-inspired dishes. (See the VIDEO here)

Before his presentation, Chef Travis (see picture) discussed daily dietary needs for toddlers which is based on the average need of 40 calories per inch per day, for example, 1300 calories are recommended per day for a 32 inch toddler. He emphasized the importance of kids getting all of their necessary daily requirements of protein, dairy, and grains. He also mentioned to parents that they should not be overly concerned about fat content with young children and that 2% or skim milk should be avoided. He said that 30% of toddlers calories come from fat and that too little can result in “failure to thrive.”

The Chef prepared several dishes while showing the captivated audience of eager parents step by step how to recreate the various dishes at home. Chef Travis graciously fielded questions about substitutions, food allergies, and the proper usage of spices.  

He prepared ginger glazed carrots, cauliflower mashed potatoes, and tofu and chicken breaded strips using corn flakes. He emphasized the importance of cooking the carrots until they are tender to the touch and a fork can puncture through. He emphasized the importance of using organic products due to the fact that most products contain high-frutose corn syrup and using kosher salt due to iodine in table salt. Appetizers were passed such as smoked rockfish, Macncheese ballhoecakes, macaroni and cheese balls including mini baby cakes -which look like tiny kid-size cupcakes. My five-year-old son, Alex loved the mac n’ cheese balls (see photo on right). He also, unsurprisngly loved the cupcakes. When we ate lunch at Art and Soul after the class he was uninterested in much of his lunch but ate the freshly baked cinnamon and sugar bun and his dessert, the freshly baked milk and cookies.

For more info: http://www.artandsouldc.com/

Saturday, July 18th at 11:00 a.m., they will be offering a second Baby Food for the Soul class.  This class is geared for families interested in an economical and healthy way to start feeding their babies. During the hour-long class, attendees will learn about the benefits of making homemade baby food, including the unexpected ingredients that are most beneficial to children such as lavender and cayenne.  Attendees will also be provided with recipes and information about some of the ingredients that should be avoided. Classes are priced at $35 per parent. $10 of each ticket sold goes to DC Safe Kitchen, a partnership between Chef Art Smith, The Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia Hotel and The DC Fire and Rescue Squad that will teach DC youth about kitchen safety skills.


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