We always get a satisfying feeling from cooking a meal that has everyone begging for seconds.聽But when the聽kiddos don鈥檛 want to eat what adults eat, you can end up cooking two or three聽different menus, just for one meal.聽Patricia Wong, founder of PBS鈥檚 YouTube cooking series聽Farm to Table Family, is showing everyone how to聽cook聽beautiful and tasty meals for their whole聽family. Don鈥檛 you wanna steal some cooking secrets from her? We thought so. We chatted with Patricia聽about her advice for busy moms, how to cook with kid assistants and the best ingredients to use in meals.


1. Plan Around What Your Kid Loves: One of the easiest things you can do聽is create聽meal plans based on聽what your kid likes. Patricia tells us,聽鈥淚 know 鈥榠nteractive鈥 foods that involve dipping and slurping will always go over well.鈥 Her most recent success was Japanese soba noodles and sauce. Her children couldn鈥檛 get enough of dipping their noodles into the sauce. If your kiddos are having an awesome time, then they鈥檙e聽highly likely to eat what鈥檚 in front of them.


2. Taste Is Important: Patricia gets right to the point when she tells us,聽鈥淲hen food tastes good, it will be eaten.鈥澛燭iny tots聽and young children are little food connoisseurs, just like you. Fresh veggies and fruits pack flavors that taste great, so serve them plates loaded with high-quality ingredients.

3. Get Your Kids Involved: In her videos, Patricia聽shows us how to get kids involved in the kitchen, but she knows that it can聽still be hard to keep up with them. She advises us,聽鈥淚t鈥檚 important to pre-measure and chop ingredients. That way you can get right to the fun stuff: pouring, sprinkling, stirring and shaking.鈥 And it鈥檚 not just your kiddos 鈥斅燩atricia tells us,聽鈥淜ids are like tornados in the kitchen.鈥


4. Don鈥檛 Be a Perfectionist: Patricia says to throw perfection out the window when it comes to cooking with your kids, sharing, 鈥淕o in with the mindset that while mistakes will be made, and the counters will be messy, you鈥檒l also give your kids a wonderful experience.鈥

5. Use Fresh Ingredients:聽We all know using fresh ingredients is聽super important and great for your body, but it can be hard聽to find them, especially in the middle of a long, cold winter season. Patricia suggests checking this 鈥Seasonal Ingredient Map鈥 to see what鈥檚 fresh in your local area and familiarizing聽yourself with all the ingredients that are in season.

6. Change Up Your Cooking Method: If it鈥檚 hard to find fresh ingredients,聽Patricia encourages changing聽things up and trying different cooking methods. 鈥淪low-cooking techniques, such as braising, can turn subpar produce into flavorful meals. I also like the idea of preserving fruits and vegetables when they鈥檙e abundant. This is an old-fashioned technique that has become trendy in the last few years.鈥

7. Whip Up Your Own Recipe: When you鈥檙e cooking for your whole family, modify the recipe in a聽way that works for your family. Patricia says she鈥檚 always thinking about the freshest ingredients, cut of meats and 鈥渟uperfoods鈥 that can go in the meals that she makes. One example she gave us was substituting聽kale for basil in pesto. 鈥淚t was absolutely delicious, packed with nutrients and very flavorful. Adding more flavors and nutrients is key for more healthy and yummy foods that all of your family members will聽enjoy.鈥

8. Try New Recipes: Patricia encourages you to save some time on the weekend to try new recipes, because you鈥檒l have more chances to聽try and test new flavors, ingredients and cooking methods to expand your cooking聽repertoire.

9. Bring Your Style into the Kitchen: Aside from being a fantastic cook, Patricia is also stylish in the kitchen. Of course, we asked Patricia where to shop. She said she turns to her stylist friend聽Levi Sawyer聽for聽styling tips and inspiration. They shop at J.Crew, Madewell, Vince and local boutiques in Los Angeles area, like聽Mohawk General Store. For cute dishware, she opts for Marimekko and Kate Spade. Rustic ceramic mixing bowls and cookware are from Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma and March.

Which secret tip is inspirational to you? Have you seen her YouTube videos? Tell us which vids are your favorites in the comments below!

(Photos via Farm to Table Family and @fttbabymama )