JAMIE’S TOP TIPS FOR PARENTS
Over the years, the popular chef has spouted out great words of foodie wisdom. We dived through it all
REBRAND. GREEN SMOOTHIE? IT’S SHREK’S DRINK
Chances are children will neck a nutrient-packed green smoothie if you call it “the Shrek shake”. Ditto a blueberry version if it's been named after Elsa from the film Frozen.
23MAKE IT VISUALLY APPEALING
Don't buy treats often. Instead, place jars of seeds, dried fruits and nuts on the kitchen countertop to help change their grazing habits.
Nut butters, such as almond or hazelnut, taste great on slices of apple or banana, or on top of crackers. Tahini (made from sesame seeds) is a corker, too – it’s a good source of protein, calcium and omega 6 and 9, and takes rice cakes up another level.
45TURN WATER INTO SOMETHING SPECIAL
Stir in a handful of crushed raspberries and scrunched mint. Alternatively, a squeeze of fresh orange or lime juice goes well with cucumber.
MAKE IT A PROJECT
Create a vegie patch in the garden or in a pot on the balcony. Kids are much more likely to eat something they’ve helped grow. Get them involved in the prep too – as opposed to just the boring setting of the table or clearing up. Ask them to mix up a salad dressing or bash some herbs in the mortar and pestle. They'll have fun making healthy meals and will be more inclined to eat them.
Some parents are concerned about the sugar in fruit, but when comparing fresh fruit to chocolate, it’s a far superior bite. Serve whole for the bonus fibre.
BE AS STUBBORN AS YOUR KIDS
“I’ve put a salad in front of my kids every day, whether they’ve liked it or not,” Jamie says. “I change it up, make a dressing with a little honey or balsamic to sweeten it slightly, and guess what, all these years later they all eat salad.”
Telling your little ones that they’re never going to eat bad food again is a recipe for disaster. Just change one thing – swap cola for lemon soda water. Once that’s a habit, look for another small swap.
TEACH LIFE SKILLS
By the time your child leaves home, aim to have taught them 10 healthy recipes (nutritious cooked breakfasts, lunches and dinners, plus a snack or two or smoothie). It’s as a much parent’s responsibility as adequate schooling.
Lobby your local MP about making changes in health education campaigns and the types of food sold at tuckshops. Or approach your school directly with alternatives. Also consider setting up a buying group with other parents, so you can purchase quality items in bulk so they’re cheaper.