Chef Sam Kass shares how families can pass the love in the kitchen, interview

Chef Sam Kass for Blue Apron, photo provided by Blue Apron
Chef Sam Kass for Blue Apron, photo provided by Blue Apron /

Encouraging families to get into the kitchen and cook is more than just a food trend. While the Partnership for a Healthier America strongly believes in the joy of families cooking food together, sometimes a little extra excitement can spark a greater interest. Former Obama Administration White House chef Sam Kass and Blue Apron have partnered to make family mealtime easy and engaging.

Many home cooks have turned to Blue Apron not just as a convenient food service but also to boost their cooking confidence. The specially prepared meal kits offer both the aspiring cook and the experienced one the tools to enhance their cooking techniques one dinner at a time. From building flavors to plating skills, Blue Apron is that guiding hand in the kitchen.

While Blue Apron might be the secret to a terrific family dinner, the reality is that sometimes mealtime might be served with a side of stubbornness. Although parents may crave that “Father Knows Best” perfect dinner moment, the reality is that the picky eater at the table might sour the mood.

Recently, Chef Sam Kass created special Blue Apron recipes that are included in the Pass the Love with Waffles + Mochi boxes. While many families (and foodies) have fallen in love with Netflix’s Waffles + Mochi, the popular series opened the conversation to food and flavor.

Recently, FoodSided spoke with Chef Kass about his partnership with Blue Apron and the Pass the Love meal kits. Even if the kids (or adults) have some food preferences, Chef Kass has a few tricks that could change what’s for dinner.

Chef Sam Kass is ready to Pass the Love with Blue Apron.

Looking at a kids menu, some people might think that kids only want chicken tenders and buttered noodles. But, Chef Kass believes that kids (and maybe even adults) are a little more willing to push the flavor boundaries than people expect.

Chef Kass said, “When it comes to food, kids tend to be more adventurous than I think we give them credit for. It is all about our approach to making time spent in the kitchen more exciting and educational for the whole family. What you feed your children from an early onset shapes the types of food they’ll like for their entire lives — getting them off to the right start is the most important thing we can do. The recipes I created in partnership with Blue Apron were intentionally designed with ingredients that are easily recognizable to children to create a less intimidating atmosphere in the kitchen, while showing them that healthy can be delicious.”

Given that these meal kits are approachable for all ages, it is an open invitation to give everyone in the house a little more ownership in the food that is on the table. Many people believe that getting people involved with making the food can help people expand their food horizons.

Chef Sam Kass for Blue Apron
Chef Sam Kass for Blue Apron, photo provided by Blue Apron /

That idea is something that Chef Kass believes, too. He said, “research has shown that cooking meals with loved ones can actually improve your family’s diet. When children start to learn at a young age what fresh, quality ingredients look like and how to prepare food for themselves and others, it sets a standard that they carry with them throughout their lives, and in turn they make better dietary decisions.”

As seen in the Pass the Love box, the idea is to engage everyone in the whole experience. Chef Kass believes that the intention of these boxes is “to make the cooking experience more interactive. The book gives children a greater sense of ownership with tips and tricks and nutrition education.”

More importantly, those tips and tricks are ways to take away the food fear and replace it with excitement. While families might not have gathered all these ingredients and seen the recipe like a chef does, the kit looks to foster a conversation beyond just that one meal.

According to Chef Kass, “The recipes featured in the Pass the Love boxes were created with the goal of removing the barriers to home cooking, from accessibility to ingredients, to basic cooking techniques. These recipes are really just a starting point to educate families on how to explore delicious and nutritious meals at home. From recipes like Honey-Balsamic Chicken to Tomato Pasta & Roasted Cauliflower, there is something for everyone to explore. Once families try their hand at these recipes, they’ll be able to build upon them and keep the creativity flowing in the kitchen.”

Chef Sam Kass creates recipes for Blue Apron
Chef Sam Kass for Blue Apron, photo provided by Blue Apron /

Like many of the Blue Apron recipes, the flavors, ingredients and cooking techniques are meant to grow with the cook. Specifically, Chef Kass commented that these recipes were designed “to be recreated and evolve to meet family needs. The recipes in the Pass The Love boxes include wholesome ingredients that are building blocks in the kitchen so families can learn lifelong skills, grow and develop them.”

A food journey is often a long, winding road with twist and turns that people may not expect. Adding to the healthy eating bounty is one that can grow over time. With the help of Blue Apron and the Pass the Love Meal Kits, the culinary adventure is one that families will want to return to again and again.

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How do you encourage your family to try new foods? Does cooking at home help to expand the food choices on the plate?