Chef Jackie (Jacqueline Jarin)
1. Hi Chef! Tell us a little about yourself.
My Name is Jackie and I am currently the R&D Sous Chef at Lunch Bunch. I am a part of the creative process behind the meals we serve. I’ve been cooking and passionately eating since I was a little girl and cooking professionally for more than 10 years!
2. Tell us about your eating habits growing up. Were you a picky eater?
Growing up, I loved eating and spending quality time with my family around the dinner table. My mom cooked us foods from where she grew up- Vietnam and China and my Dad would take us out to experience American fast-food and experiment with
Italian and French recipes at home, that consisted of charcuterie from the deli counter with provolone cheese and duck liver pate, french butter and baguette. I was also raised by many nannies of all backgrounds so looking back at it now, I was always eating the best of every cuisine of their cultures. Because of these experiences, I was always exposed to different flavors of different cuisines so I wasn’t a picky eater… I was always eating everything!
3. Do you have picky eaters of your own? How are you instilling good eating habits in your kids?
My husband and I are blessed with three crazy kids who all have different tastes and likes for food. One is extremely picky and has the biggest sweet tooth, one has an impressively sensitive palate and will try everything at least once but I wouldn’t say she’s an adventurous eater and the other one- the baby, will eat anything everyone else is eating because she doesn’t want to feel left out.
I instill good eating habits in my kids by mostly eating thought-out home cooked meals. I try not to give them too many snacks and serve them full meals and I always try to serve a vegetable and a fruit on their plate with every meal.
4. What types of meals do you prepare for your children?
We try to keep things interesting and healthy. We like cooking foods we grew up with and also foods we crave. When we keep things simple we usually make soups. We make our own broths every other week and store them in the freezer for “lazy” nights where we defrost it and throw in some veggies, some protein and cooked pasta and everyone is happy and for my toddler and baby- I chop all the veggies super small with scissors so they can’t pick them out if they tried and they just spoon up everything and are forced to eat their vegetables with pasta and broth!
5. Where do you find inspiration for Lunch Bunch meals? Do you
take lessons from feeding your own kids?
I definitely try to find inspiration for Lunch Bunch meals through my learnings from my own kids… Through the things they eat or don’t eat, the shows they watch and through the toys they play with- all of these experiences help me create kid-friendly, fun and wholesome meals for Lunch Bunch.
6. What’s your #1 tip for parents who struggle with picky or limited
My #1 tip I share with every parent who asks me to help with their picky eater is… Never pick out, leave out, or ask restaurants to omit things that may offend their palate. I want them to get used to seeing things they aren’t familiar with and all the beautiful colors of vegetables on their plates and in their meals and maybe one slips into their mouth and they realize that it’s really not that bad but if we stop them from experiencing even looking at different foods, then we enable them to be picky eaters.
Bonus! What's your favorite food/cuisine and what's your children's
I’ll just answer the bonus about my kids since… it feels impossible to answer what my favorite food/cuisine is! All my children's favorite food is pasta and I love cooking it for them because it’s so easy to chop up a bunch of spinach, super fine, and toss it into the tomato sauce or alfredo sauce and feel good about a pasta dinner!