The Big Problem Parents Have With Martha Stewart's Fish Stew

To say that Martha Stewart comes up with good ideas is stating the obvious, like saying the sky is blue. The lifestyle icon has published 99 books, won awards for her work as a television host, and created multiple magazines (via Martha Stewart). But just as skies can turn dark before stormy weather sets in, Stewart can get it wrong from time to time, and it seems like a recent social media post suggesting parents offer their children a particular stew could have been one of those times.

Stewart left parents scratching their heads when she shared an Instagram image of a salmon seafood stew with chunks of yellow sweet corn, vegetables, and a caption saying, "Kids are sure to spoon this stew up. It's packed with chunks of potatoes, flaky salmon, and ears of fresh corn cut into rounds. A light broth is made with heavy cream and clam juice, and fresh basil is added at the end for extra flavor. For easier, less messy eating, we recommend slicing the kernels off the cob and adding them back into the soup for your little ones."

Parents were taken aback by Martha Stewart's mealtime suggestion

While there was no doubt in anyone's mind that the stew looked delicious, parents were baffled by Martha Stewart's call to serve it to their children. One parent cheekily responded to the Instagram post, "Have you met children?" Another said, "My kid wouldn't go within 40 feet of that and he eats dirt." A third event sent Stewart the gentle rebuke, "Surprised at this. Martha are you reviewing the recipes your people post? This looks good but not for kids. Plus eating the corn would be way too messy for kids and adults."

But one offered more measured response, "Looks delightful, but my kids wouldn't touch it I'm sure." Still, there was one parent that took the suggestion to heart and wrote, "My daughter is 8 and she would love this. Parents need to get away from pizza rolls and lunchables. We gotta teach them while they're young to eat right. We want to raise up healthy adults."

Children don't have to be picky eaters

It's no surprise that Martha Stewart's suggestion of offering children a salmon stew flavored with clam juice and heavy cream would have sent so many parents in a tizzy. Children can be picky eaters, at the best of times, and many parents would rather stick to what is tried and true to avoid turning mealtime into a battlefield.

But child experts say there are ways to introduce new food into a child's diet, which includes showing them how much you might enjoy the dish too. As Lee Gibson, director of the Clinical and Health Psychology Research Centre at London's University of Roehampton pointed out to NBC News, "Parental anxiety won't help. It's better to learn by example, always be positive when offering food and show children how much you like a food when you're asking them to eat it."

So perhaps the trick to the fish stew is making it for the grownups at home before offering it up to the younger ones. Maybe Martha Stewart could actually be onto something.