Discover how you can use food to teach your children about acceptance, tolerance, and the beauty of cultural diversity!

Joining me is Priya Krishna. Priya is a food reporter and video host for the New York Times and the bestselling author of multiple cookbooks including her new kid’s cookbook, Priya’s Kitchen Adventures.

From redefining what constitutes a “kid recipe” to navigating picky eating habits, in this episode, Priya shares practical tips for making food playful, fun, and educational. Her mouthwatering recipes will offer you an easy entry point to teach your kids to embrace diversity and expand their palate, one delicious bite at a time.

Priya (00:00):

I really think that we can create more empowered, open-minded, empathetic individuals if only we teach them to be open-minded about food at a young age.

Dr. Sarah (00:16):

Exposing your kids to a variety of flavors, textures, and cuisines. Not only expands their palettes, but can also teach them to appreciate differences and celebrate other cultures. That is what my guest this week Priya Krishna is helping parents to do. Priya is a food reporter and video host at the New York Times and the bestselling author of multiple cookbooks, including Indian-ish and her new kid cookbook called Priya’s Kitchen Adventures, which comes out on April 30th. From redefining what constitutes a kid recipe to navigating picky eating habits. Priya provides invaluable advice for parents and caregivers, and her practical tips for making food playful and fun along with being educational are all amazing ways to foster your child’s openness one recipe at a time.


Hi, I’m Dr. Sarah Bren, a clinical psychologist and mom of two. In this podcast, I’ve taken all of my clinical experience, current research on brain science and child psychology and the insights I’ve gained on my own parenting journey and distilled everything down into easy to understand and actionable parenting insights so you can tune out the noise and tune into your own authentic parenting voice with confidence and calm. This is Securely Attached.


Hello. We’re going to welcome Priya Krishna to the podcast today. Thank you so much for being here.

Priya (01:50):

Thank you so much for having me. I’m thrilled to be here.

Dr. Sarah (01:54):

Yay. This is a different kind of episode than we often do. So I’m personally very excited about this. I love food and cooking and so yeah, can you tell us a little bit first about what you do and how this ended up being the trajectory?

Priya (02:13):

It is a really, really good question. So I am a food reporter and a video host at the New York Times. I write stories about food. I do a lot of our restaurant coverage, so I spend a lot of my time traveling around the world eating at restaurants. I like to write stories that shine a light on the people that we don’t hear from who make the food world run, and I write cookbooks too. My cookbook journey started in earnest with my cookbook Indian ish, which is a cookbook I wrote with my mom about the Indian food I grew up with. And the hope with that was to really normalize Indian food in the American cooking cannon. I grew up in a food media world where Indian food was seen as difficult, hard a project recipe you make on the weekend, but Indian food is my everyday food and I want the notion of everyday food to be more inclusive, and that’s sort of what led me to Priya’s Kitchen Adventures.


I had never thought about writing a book for kids, although I love kids’ books and I read a lot of them and I watch a lot of kids’ shows and movies just because I personally enjoy them and I think they’re some of the smartest, smartest books and movies that I end up seeing. And I have a lot of nieces and nephews and so I watch with them and my publisher contacted me and was like, I love the voice in Indian ish. It’s so young, it’s so youthful. Have you considered writing a kids cookbook? And I was like, well, I don’t have kids. It feels a little strange. And then my mom was like, if you really want to change American taste, if you really want to make it so that people are growing up with a more inclusive palette, you got to get people when they’re young.


And I started looking at kids’ cookbooks, which I loved when I was younger, and I was like, they are so white. A lot of them are the same recipes. It’s like a lot of unquote kid food quesadillas, chicken tenders, personal pizzas. And the kids I was talking to were much more open, they were much more curious. They were on YouTube a lot. They were watching food from all different countries being made and they wanted to know more. And I feel like they wanted to feel empowered to make food that made them feel grown up, made them feel like adults. And I grew up traveling because my mom worked in the airline industry. And so before I as a teen, I’d been to Egypt and France and Greece and I was like, gosh, but travel is how I got interested in food, but you do not need to travel to be able to experience food from different cultures. And so I was like, I’m going to take kids around the world. I’m going to take them around the world through this cookbook. They’re going to learn to cook dumplings and ri and hummus from Egypt and fish curry from Trinidad. And I think to your earlier question, what I’ve realized writing this book is that at first I was like, what defines a kid recipe for me? Think about what is defined a kid recipe for so long. It’s like beige white food.

Dr. Sarah (05:39):

Like simple, two ingredients, right? Cheese and bread and maybe some other thing that makes it different from the difference between mac and cheese versus a cheese pizza versus a quesadilla versus a grilled cheese.

Priya (05:50):

Precisely. Or it’s like the category of food that’s like fruit cut into fun shapes and that kind of stuff. And I wanted to redefine what a kid friendly recipe. To me, a kid friendly recipe is accessible. It doesn’t require a lot of special equipment or chopping. It’s safe, but it’s also empowering. It allows kids to make choices for themselves to decide, oh, how spicy do I want this? Do I want to make this condiment on the side? What do I want to top my toast with? And above all it’s inclusive. I think that a kid-friendly recipe has to feel inclusive. I want recipes that make both make kids feel seen and also make kids. I want recipes that make kids feel seen, but also expose them to flavors that are new to them. So that is the goal of this book. I really think that we can create more empowered, open-minded, empathetic individuals if only we teach them to be open-minded about food at a young age.

Dr. Sarah (06:57):

I love that what you were saying at the end about it being inclusive made me think of this metaphor that I’m probably going to mess up, but it was about books. It was about books and it was like a good book is a window and a mirror. It helps us to, as a mirror feel like we see ourselves reflected in it, but is a window in that it allows us to look through and see someone else’s world too. And so that feels like completely encapsulated in this book that you wrote.

Priya (07:30):

A hundred percent. I feel like the best things in general are things that on the one hand you can relate to, but on the other hand it’s like opening you up to a new world. And I’m so surprised at how little there’ve been some amazing kids cookbooks. I grew up with the Pretend Soup cookbook. I think the Waffles and Mochis Cook cookbook is amazing, but there just hasn’t been a lot of innovation. There hasn’t been a lot of shaking up in the kids’ cookbook genre and the way there’s been in the adult cookbook genre.

Dr. Sarah (08:00):

And I wonder if that’s why you think that might be, I’m glad you’re shaking it up, but is it because people don’t trust kids to be adventurous? Is it because people aren’t thinking about kids? Is it because parents are exhausted and don’t want to cook elaborate meals, which I get your whole point is that it’s not so elaborate, but the perception is I just want to get done with my prep. Thank you very much.

Priya (08:25):

Probably all of the above. My hope with this book is to challenge all of those assumptions. These recipes are organized from easy to hard and the easy recipes are recipes where I’m like, parent can walk away, they can do work in the other room and you’re good.

Dr. Sarah (08:39):

Oh, I like that.

Priya (08:40):

And hard is like parent probably needs to be supervising. This would probably be more like a weekend project. So the idea was to meet not only introduce people to new flavors, but also meet people where they are. And maybe where you are in your parent journey is like, I just want a recipe that my kid can just have fun and that’s just assembly that doesn’t require them to turn on a stove. And there are recipes for you for that. And then there’s the parent who’s like, I want to spend all weekend making fresh pasta and there’s a recipe for you there.

Dr. Sarah (09:11):

That’s so cool. So I have two kids. I have a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old, and I more recently have been doing a lot more cooking with them. My daughter has learned how to make scrambled eggs and it’s been fun and she’s four and she’s getting excited about that. But for me, and I’m just totally curious about if you’ve in your work and just in writing these books, heard or experienced any of this, but during Covid, during lockdown, I used to love to cook. It was my love language cooking for people. It was my relaxation. I would get excited about different, I loved to cook. I was total foodie. And then when Covid happened and I had a 2-year-old and a 10 month old and I was underwater and I was like, the last thing I want to do ever again, ever again is cook, I just can’t. I have zero. I was so burnt out and stressed and it almost took me well after that whole crisis period was over. It took me a couple years until I was even interested in looking at recipes again and being like, oh, I could do something kind of complicated and fun and I could get in there and I could bring my kids in. I don’t know. That was just my experience and I’m so grateful that cooking’s coming back into my life again. But I took a hiatus out of just sheer parental stress.

Priya (10:36):

I think that’s totally fair. And as a recipe developer, I felt that too. I very much felt that strongly. I too was cooking every single meal on my own and already when you cook for a living, cooking is a very, you’ve complicated relationship with cooking. You can’t always derive the pure joy that many other cooks do, but I was thinking about that a lot when I was writing this book. And so really my goal was how do I not create more work for parents? How do I make it as easy as possible for a parent to just set a kid up and then just either they got work to do on their laptop, they’re reading a book on the couch, and those are questions. I had 30 kid recipe testers for this book, and I talked to their parents too. I asked their parents, what was your experience of watching your kid make this recipe?


Were you nervous? Did you feel like you had to helicopter? Did it make more work for you? Did it make less work for you? How can I make it easy? And so based off their feedback, I put little icons in the recipes where it’s like, okay, this is an area where a parent might want to help, and if the recipe is devoid of icons, you can kind of be like, okay, it’s a lot of just folding an assembly and there’s really not much a kid can do to hurt themselves. But the goal was to just lower the barriers for parents and allow them to just, I feel like parents are just looking for things that their kids can do, and I just want this book to be just chock full of these are 56 activities that you can do with your kids, and some of them your kids can do by themselves. Sometimes you can do with your kids, but the idea is that this is your kid can open the book, buy a few ingredients, but not that many because the recipes are pretty simple and pretty straightforward. And that can be what they do on a Saturday. That can be what they do after school, and whether you’re looking for a five minute activity or a two hour activity, there’s something for you.

Dr. Sarah (12:39):

And I love this because I also, it makes me think a lot of, in my world and in the world of parenting and parents of little kids, there’s a lot of sensory play play activities, lots and lots. It’s a big industry and it can be overwhelming, but it can also be really fun, these cool play prompts and people are always looking for what are some good sensory play prompts that are, and to me this feels like it does double duty because it obviously helps kids build autonomy and confidence around food and their relationship with food and being a little bit more adventurous or confident about trying different things, which all parents are interested in helping their kids do. But it also can be, it’s play. I remember making when my kids were really little, making edible paint out of flower and water and food coloring so that they could paint in the bathtub and if they put it in their mouth, nothing was going to happen.


And that’s not so different than cooking the idea that you can give kids kind of the sensory experience and if it gets messy, it gets messy. Obviously if it depends on what your goal is, it sounds like if you want this to be not messy and not overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. But also if you just want to give your kids an opportunity to experiment with different textures and ingredients and smells and colors and all that stuff, and if they make a mess that’s part of the experience that that’s also good for them. That can be the sensory play for the day.

Priya (14:24):

For sure. Although I will say I developed most of these with minimal mess in mind and also with minimal dishes in mind because who’s doing the dishes at the end of the cooking? Usually the parents, and I also made it with sensory play in mind. I was talking a lot to my cousins who all have kids and they were like, my kid loves being hands-on with their food. So there’s a lot of recipes where you get to fold a dumpling, you get to shape rice into a rice ball and stuff it with your fillings and wrap it with seaweed. When you make spanakopita, you make the filling and then you layer on the philo sheets and you brush it with melted butter. There’s just a lot of, I wanted it to feel like most of the recipes had a really cool tactile or visual element to them.

Dr. Sarah (15:20):

I think that that is so important. We talk about what makes something for kids and too often historically, it’s been kind of a bland, dumbed down version of something.

Priya (15:33):


Dr. Sarah (15:34):

And really what makes, in my perspective, what makes something for kids is is it playful? Kids want to play. You are not going to do well if you want to make a recipe with your kids and they need to be precise and not touch something that feels cool to touch and not get their hands way deep into something. That’s what to me defines. Is it kid friendly? Is it poor kids? Totally. Can they get their hands in it?

Priya (16:07):

And it’s so funny that you say that because as I was delving to this world of what does kid friendly mean, I was talking to my friends about it and they were like, honestly, that’s also what I’m looking for in a recipe. I want something that’s like, the instructions are very clear and well-written, no jargon in them that allows me to make my own choices that feels accessible, but potentially introduces me to new flavors, adults also those kinds of recipes. And so I feel like for so long we’ve put up a wall between what is kid friendly and what is a kid recipe and what is adult recipe, and I’d like to think this book kind of brings that wall down. In fact, many of the recipes in this book are just things that I have incorporated into my own weeknight rotation because I too hate chopping and I don’t like cleaning the nooks and crannies of my blender.

Dr. Sarah (17:07):

Yeah, I feel you. I also love, I’m just flipping through it right now as we’re talking and I like that there’s a little bit of that geographical, so yeah, we’re covering the fact that it’s accessible and age appropriate, developmentally appropriate, and yes, it’s playful and fun and engaging for kids in a way that they can come in and feel confident and competent, but they’re learning stuff too. There’s a ton of cool exposure to learning about the world, which is obviously very parents are looking for this.

Priya (17:47):

And I also didn’t shy away from difficult topics. You’ll notice in the chapter on India, there’s colonization mentioned in the chapter on Egypt. I talk about going to the Cairo Museum and being shocked that nothing was, that there was so little there and being told it’s all been transported to the British Museum and that’s because of imperialism and I was basically mining my childhood diaries for the content that you see in the book and in my diaries. These are questions that I asked myself, and I think there are questions that kids ask and I got honest answers from my parents and I’m like, I want to teach kids, and I just didn’t want to censor what my experience of these places was as a kid. I wanted to transport them there exactly as I experienced it.

Dr. Sarah (18:47):

I think that’s so valuable because it’s almost like you’re, obviously you have all these kid testers, you’re getting their viewpoints, but it sounds like you’re going back to your own childhood perspective. Yes. You are an adult and also inner child had a voice in this book.

Priya (19:07):

Yeah. All of my diaries are now just sitting here on my bookshelf. I just took them from my parents’ house and started reading them and I was like, God, I was obsessed with food even as a 7-year-old.

Dr. Sarah (19:19):

That’s cool. What was it like to go back and reread all your old diaries?

Priya (19:23):

I mean, mostly humiliating and embarrassing in the way that reading all your old diaries is, but I wrote about going to a tiny restaurant in France and having chocolate and mousse and it totally blowing my mind or going to China and going to a dance show where they served dumplings and learning what a water chest nut was. I was really thrilled. The trips were amazing and I was so lucky to go on them, but when I read my diaries, it’s really the food I’m the most fascinated by.

Dr. Sarah (19:55):

That’s amazing that you, obviously you knew what you were drawn to at a young age. God, I think I kept a diary. I have ADHD, so I probably started a lot of diaries and lot of them, but I definitely remember I spent a summer in Israel when I was in high school, and I did keep diaries while I was on that trip, and I think if I went back, it was like all about this boy I had a crush on. I don’t think I was talking about all the amazing food, but it’s interesting how just thinking about you as a young kid writing about this stuff and now this is what you do that’s really kind of a cool window into your childhood that you get to go read it.

Priya (20:41):

It is really great. I will caveat that by saying there’s a ton of me writing about boys. I have a crush on it by diaries.

Dr. Sarah (20:50):

What girl diary isn’t?

Priya (20:50):

Yeah. Almost as much as the food stuff. And the second thing that I’ll say is that my parents always laugh because they’re like, now that you’re writing this book, it makes us feel like idiots that we weren’t like, oh, she’s into food. Maybe we should sign her up for a kid’s cooking camp or try and hone this. They truly had no clue and now they’re like, should have seen the signs.

Dr. Sarah (21:17):

Well, it sounds like whether they intended to or not, they supported it because they exposed you to all these cool experiences and you did get to have all of this exposure to different foods and it turned out well for you, it sounds like.

Priya (21:32):

It’s true. We got there eventually. There were some bumps in the road.

Dr. Sarah (21:36):

As there often is. Right. Another thing, it’s funny, another thing I’m thinking about too, because my mind is I’m a psychologist, I just go here, but as I’m thinking about the idea of cookbooks too, another thing, and I don’t know if you thought about this at all, but there’s a lot of executive functioning skills at play in following a recipe and this idea of even in cooking the, I’m not going to say this right, but the Meen plots, the idea of putting everything thinking ahead of everything you’re going to need, which is planning and organizing and sequencing, those are all executive functioning skills and then sort of following the steps necessary to create this thing, probably problem solving and troubleshooting and creative thinking in the moment as things don’t go the way you thought they would or if the heat was turned up too high or whatever. Those are all really good executive functioning skill exercises and great for kids to practice.

Priya (22:41):

I could not agree more. I feel like reading and following a recipe checks so many boxes, it forces you to do so many things. I started the book with basically a guide to using this book and it basically, it’s just that it’s read the recipe all the way through before you cook it, get your ingredients out and prepare your mis and plus so that you’re ready to roll. Have an open mind when you’re cooking. Take one bite, always try it, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it, but always try because we never know we don’t like something until we try it.

Dr. Sarah (23:16):

Yes, that’s amazing. And if you took that exact instruction and applied it to pretty much any experience a child might have in life, whether it’s school related or social related or whatever, that is not bad advice.

Priya (23:31):

I’ll expand it to adults. There’s a lot of adults who I want to be like, plan ahead, have an open mind. Read the instructions.

Dr. Sarah (23:40):

Yeah. I mean very little that we think is really important. Teach our kids isn’t very useful for us too. I think we underestimate how much we need a refresher and all the stuff that we try to teach our kids.

Priya (23:55):

A hundred percent. I have to say that the kids who tested the recipes, they had a level of awareness, open-mindedness, empathy that rivaled a lot of adults that I encounter.

Dr. Sarah (24:11):

That’s amazing.

Priya (24:11):

On a day-to-day basis. I don’t know. I think adults have a lot to learn from kids, especially when it comes to cooking. I was so inspired by the feedback they gave. I hope that this book does a lot of good, but I think maybe we need to, I guess I don’t know how to say this, but I feel like we need to expect more. Our kids are capable of more than we think they are. I really think that they are just far more capable than often we give them credit for. And sometimes we assume, oh, they’re only going to want to eat this. They’re only going to want to try this, but maybe we just need to expose them to more.

Dr. Sarah (24:58):

And exposure is really, really helpful too, especially for kids who are pickier. If you have kids who have, it’s interesting, I just did a whole training on ARFID, which is avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, which is kind of basically kids who are six and under who are not eating enough food for various reasons, and it’s usually because there’s either a sensory sensitivity to that kind of experience of eating or they’re just not interested in food. They’re not as sensitive to their hunger, fullness cues and food is either really uninteresting to them or really overstimulating to them kind of on those ends of the spectrum. But even for picky eaters, which kids who don’t meet that criteria for ARFID, one of the ways that we help them is exposure, exposure to foods in a non pressuring environment. So creating a recipe, like building a recipe for kids where maybe the ultimate goal isn’t even to try it or eat it or whatever, but just to make it, just to smell the smells, just to touch the stuff, just to see the colors, just to feel like, oh, that food that makes me a little nervous.


It was tolerable. I survived hanging out with that food. And those exposures are actually really helpful. And so I think even just this idea of utilizing cooking as an exposure for kids who are pickier and that you don’t even have to be clinically in that or category for you to be picky. And a lot of grownups with picky eaters just tend to start to accommodate that in ways that they don’t even notice. We just put the foods that they do on their plate. We know they’re going to eat that, versus we set the plates down at the table and we put all the food in the middle of the table and we let them kind of pick what they want, even if we were right, even if they’re only going to put the chicken nugget and the piece of white toast on their plate, even though I put all this other food on the table, if I put the chicken nugget and the white toast on their plate knowing they’re not going to touch anything else, I’m sort of saying to them, these foods aren’t really for you.

Priya (27:29):

A hundred percent. I agree.

Dr. Sarah (27:30):

Versus just saying all of this is for you and you take what you want, and perhaps one day a green beans is going to end up on that plate or something that they chose to try. But if we kind of plate their food for them and always say, I know you’ll eat this, so this is what I’m putting on your plate, then they don’t have that opportunity to surprise us or surprise themselves.

Priya (27:57):

I really love that. I think I am not a parent, but I think when I am a parent, I think that’s absolutely right. I will say I also intentionally, when I was picking recipe testers, I chose ones who were picky eaters. I chose ones who were like, I only buttered noodles. I don’t like most vegetables. I wanted to give myself the challenge of can this picky eater find a recipe that intrigues them enough to try it out? Or in a lot of cases, will cooking the recipe makes someone more open-minded to try it. And in a lot of cases, that ended up being yes, when a kid knew they had made this thing with their own two hands, they were more inclined to try it even if the ingredients were things that maybe they’d said no to in the past. And that was really interesting.


And it was also like I tried to choose recipes that could connect them with things that they did. For the buttered noodle kid, I was like, try the udon with butter and soy. It’s very, very similar, but a chubby noodle, a few more flavors, but it still has that nice chewy, bouncy, buttery flavor that you’re looking for. And just talking through that with the kids and hearing the feedback that they had about ingredients, some ingredients that they didn’t like before testing the book changed their mind. In other cases, they didn’t like this and they still don’t like it, but I think it was cool that they gave it another shot, that they opened their mind a little bit more.

Dr. Sarah (29:37):

And that’s half the battle, right? Flexibility is really the goal. I think with picky eating, it’s not necessarily the ultimate byproduct of increasing flexibility is to have more foods that they will eat, but if the goal is I just want you to eat more foods, you are going to just enter into power struggle land. If the goal is I want to increase your flexibility and your openness in general, and I start where you’re at, and I give you little stretches to increase flexibility and openness, not necessarily to creasing the foods you eat, just to build the flexibility and openness muscle, you’ll likely over time see that a lot of things add into their life. But I wouldn’t start with, you just need to eat this thing. I would start with, can you imagine adding this soy to your butter noodles? You don’t even have to taste it, but what would you imagine it? What would the soy smell like? This is about flexibility and exposure to different ideas and different ways of thinking about things that actually, I think will lead to far more openness with foods. So it tracks, I think it’s right.

Priya (31:00):

Well, to get the affirmation from someone who studies kids is great. I literally was going into this being like, I’m just letting my kids, my recipe testers tell me what to do, and they’re dictating what’s in the book.

Dr. Sarah (31:14):

I think that’s a pretty darn good strategy when you’re trying to build something for kids to really have them help you build it and trust them. That’s a good way to go about it. They’re brilliant.

Priya (31:27):

Honestly, I would tell any of the adults who tested recipes for Indian-ish, my adult cookbook, this, the kids were better testers. They were more thoughtful testers, they were more honest testers. They gave more detailed feedback. The feedback in the book is so good that I published it next to every recipe. You’ll see kid feedback printed in there, and I’ve been doing press for the book and people are as interested in interviewing the kids as they maybe more interested in interviewing the kids as they are with me. Like I want to hear about these kids who are cooking five or six recipes and taking on this gig as a recipe tester over their Christmas break.

Dr. Sarah (32:08):

That’s so cool. Yeah. I’m curious, do you have a funny story from this experience of having 30 kids test recipes.

Priya (32:17):

Just receiving the brutal honesty of children? Yeah, that’s fair. I am a writer. I’m used to getting critical feedback from editors, critics, whatever. It hits different when it’s from a kid. I would go through the feedback, the spreadsheet, and there were some recipes. They were just like, it was yucky, hated it. And I took their feedback and I went back to ’em. I asked if they didn’t like about it, and there were some recipes that I ended up cutting or seriously modifying based off of their feedback. So ultimately it was good, but they’re not sugarcoating.

Dr. Sarah (33:06):

And I wonder if that sort of nugget of wisdom can be something as parents, we sort of take, right, okay, your kid says to you after you make them a meal. And the stakes, obviously the stakes are high when you’re writing a cookbook because this is your livelihood. But as a mom, the stakes feel very high to me when I am exhausted and I’ve just cooked a huge dinner and I put all this work into it, and I sit down at the table and I’m exhausted, and my kids don’t even take a bite, they just look at it and they go, yuck. I’m not eating that. And I’m just that feeling of I want to get mad at them because I put all this work into it and it feels wasted if they don’t eat my food. And then this idea of, oh, what if I am just modeling what you’re describing this, okay, feedback, not just hearing that, oh, this is yucky, and taking that at face value and interpreting what that means as a rejection of my hard work and getting mad at them or whatever.


But saying, well, okay, so be more specific. When you say that’s yucky, what do you mean? What looks yucky to you? What doesn’t look? Is there something about it getting their actual feedback? And not that we have to then highly over accommodate and only cook what they like or only go straight to what they think that they like, but just like, oh, if there’s a certain texture that they’re not a fan of or a certain flavor that they don’t like, not that we eliminate that from the menu necessarily, but maybe that’s cues for like, okay, those are smaller exposures. I’m going to have to bring those in smaller ways and giving safer foods in addition to exposure foods. But I think there’s a balance sometimes having expectations that our kids eat with the family’s menu, but also taking into consideration what their preferences are and what their aversions are. And again, not completely eliminating their aversions and only catering to their preferences, but being curious about what their experiences is too.

Priya (35:15):

And honestly, one of my biggest takeaways from the testers was that kids just really want to feel heard. They want to feel like their opinion matters, they’re listened to, and I think that almost is more important than the action you take afterwards is just the listening part.

Dr. Sarah (35:38):

Yeah, no, that hits, that makes so much sense to me. I think that that’s a really good thing to think about. That’s validating. Yeah, this doesn’t look like something you’ve seen before and that feels a little bit odd to you to put something in your mouth that you’ve never seen.

Priya (35:56):

That makes sense. Yeah. This is different. This is new. Let’s just all acknowledge that. There was a kid who wrote about fish sauce as an ingredient in their feedback form, and they wrote, I smelled it, and I really didn’t like the smell. It was really gross to me. And then when we were making the dumplings, I had to put just a little bit, so I put a little bit in and I mixed it up. And then when I ate the dumpling, I really liked the dumpling flavor, and so it made me wonder, I had judged fish sauce, but then in the dumpling it tasted good and there was a lot of, I didn’t like this thing on its own, but maybe with the other ingredients it worked and I could see their brains working in real time reading the forms.

Dr. Sarah (36:46):

That’s so cool. Yeah. What is your favorite recipe in the book?

Priya (36:51):

I think the recipe that just brings me the most joy is my husband. Seth is a very avid baker, and he developed a lot of the dessert recipes. And there’s one dessert that I love. It’s profit rolls. It’s like pastry shell with ice cream and chocolate sauce on top. It’s from France. It’s so delicious. And I was trying to figure out a version that wouldn’t require kids to make shoe pastry, because shoe pastry is, it’s hard for any adult to make, and you can’t exactly buy store-bought shoe pastry. It’s very hard to find. And then my friend solo was like, what if you just toasted sweet rolls in butter and then sandwiched ice cream and then made a quick ganache in the microwave, and I made it, and the recipe testers just lost their minds over that recipe. And parents loved it too, because they were like, I can literally just toasting buns and microwaving chocolate.


I can do that. That’s so easy. And it’s such a sensory overload, that recipe. It’s like crispy buns, melty ice cream, then you drizzle the chocolate over the top. It’s just like, it’s so fun to watch it get assembled, and it’s so messy to eat, and it is so delicious to kids and parents alike. Whenever I make it, I sometimes make it a little party trick when I have friends over, and it never fails to amaze anyone, and it’s very adaptable. You can use gluten-free bread if you’re gluten-free. You can use non-dairy ice cream. You can make the chocolate sauce with coconut milk. I mean, it’s just one of those things. I was like, this is just fun. This reminds me of why cooking is fun.

Dr. Sarah (38:46):

And it’s kind of in terms of getting our kids to try something adventurous. It’s like a easy low rung on the ladder, but if they have a good experience, they’re more likely to keep climbing that ladder and trying something a little bit more novel or a little bit more, a little scary to them, whatever. It’s like say, if you incrementally go up that ladder of adventurous. So I love that idea, and that sounds really delicious.

Priya (39:16):

It’s so good. It unlocks some nostalgic brain of just chocolate sauce and ice cream. Of course. It’s delicious.

Dr. Sarah (39:26):

I love that. A whole new take on an ice cream sandwich. All right, well, if people want to get your book and follow you or just learn more about this kitchen adventure, where can they connect with you and find your book?

Priya (39:40):

I am on all social media platforms as @priyakrishna. You can buy my book really wherever books are sold. But I would love it if you supported your independent bookstore. I’m trying really hard to get the book in as many indie bookstores as possible. I grew up sitting in indie bookstores and reading books off the shelves, and they’re just amazing community spaces. So support your local bookstore or your local library too.

Dr. Sarah (40:04):

Yeah, and bookshop.org I think is a good place to get, it’s like the Amazon of independent bookstores if you’re used to going on Amazon to get your books. bookshop.org is the same thing, but it’s as easy as Amazon, but it gets the independent bookstores business. That’s always good.

Priya (40:23):


Dr. Sarah (40:24):

Amazing. Thank you so much. I’m excited. I’m definitely going to try some of these recipes with my kids.

Priya (40:28):

Yay. Thank you. It was great to talk.

Dr. Sarah (40:37):If you enjoyed listening to this conversation, I want to hear from you, share your thoughts and your feedback with me by scrolling down to the ratings and review section on your Apple Podcasts app or whatever app you’re listening on. And let me know what you think of this episode or the show in general. Your support means the absolute world to me, and just a simple tap of five stars can make a real impact in how this show gets reached by parents everywhere. So thank you so much for listening, and don’t be a stranger.

196. Cooking Up Inclusivity: Nurturing open mindedness in kids through food with Priya Krishna