No matter how old your kids are, and how good your intentions have been, I guarantee that at least once you’ve worried about their eating habits. Whether it’s not meeting their five a day or favouring only beige foods, kids really know which buttons to press.
It can be hard to navigate through the myriad of books, programmes and advice and frankly, just knowing where to start making changes is a huge step.
A new book by Emily Leary, aka A Mummy Too, aims to change that. Alongside being a beautiful recipe book, it offers a 5 stage programme that challenges fussy eating and helps parents work with their children. It’s about more than cooking up a load of vegetables, it’s got advice and meal plans as well as activities to get your children involved in all aspects of their food.
The holistic programme which sits at the heart of the book is split into five phases:
- Introducing unfamiliar colours, textures and flavours into existing family favourite meals – recipes like lentil bolognese or fish fingers with sweet potato
- Experimenting with tastes, textures and smells, including understanding where different foods come from and starting to grow your own
- Sparking your child’s enthusiasm with exciting, creative dishes
- Introducing new flavour combinations, using familiar ingredients in different ways
- Establishing long term habits so that the new programme really sticks
There are plenty of recipes to choose from in each stage; they are easy to make and don’t require loads of fancy ingredients. I tried out the Savoury Lunchbox Muffins recipe, which was really straightforward and was a great opportunity to get my three year old daughter involved. What’s great is that there are little tips on how you can adapt the recipes, for example we used different veg in the muffins and it worked out fine.
I’m quite impressed that my attempt kind-of looked like the picture!
There’s plenty of choice, from quick snacks to full on meals and lots of the recipes are family friendly (in that the grown ups would actually want to eat them too).
I have to admit that when I first received this book, I was quite intimidated. It’s all very glossy and seemed a bit unachievable for us as a fish-finger loving family.
But actually when I got stuck into reading it, and understood the programme more, it became less scary and something we could take a stab at.
It’s not going to be an overnight change for us, there’s no book in the world that will do that, but Get Your Kids to Eat Anything gives you the foundation to start to make changes. There’s so much knowledge and inspiration in there that it gives you confidence, even if you don’t follow the recipes exactly to the letter (although that doesn’t mean you can swap the veggies for chocolate in the muffins).
I can definitely see the long term benefits of following the programme.
Emily Leary is a married working mum of two children as well being a multi-award-winning writer, blogger, vlogger and presenter. Her blog, A Mummy Too was launched in 2011 as a place to come for tips, daily recipes, and video guides for busy working parents who want to make the most of family life.
Emily herself was ranked #63 in Grocer Magazine’s Top 100 UK Foodie
Influencers in 2016 alongside Jamie Oliver and Gregg Wallace. She writes for the Huffington Post and Metro.
You can buy Get Your Kids to Eat Anything on Amazon (affiliate link) and in bookshops.