As a nutritionist, fitness master, and mum-of-four, Sophie Guidolin cares deeply about inspiring parents and kids to make delicious and healthy food choices. Following the success of her first kids' cookbook, Sophie has authored a second - My Kids Eat volume 2 based on her simple food philosophy - eat a variety of foods as close to their natural form as possible. With recipes designed to get little hands helping out, Sophie guides parents with tips, tricks, and advice to empower everyone to eat healthier.
How early can kids start helping in the kitchen and what sorts of things can they do?
In our family we have varying ages- 11, 10 and 3 year old twins. We get our kids involved EARLY, our 3 year olds help out by mixing things, putting things in bowls, or the older two are now able to make full family dinners and clean up afterwards, which is a huge win!
What are the benefits of getting kids involved with cooking?
The benefits are endless, but I believe that children are more inclined to eat the meals they help with cooking, it also gives them the essential life skills required as we grow up. It may seem like the mess and extra 'help' can be harder than it is worth, but when your 10 year old can make dinner, you will be cheering!
How do you prevent meal times becoming a battlefield with fussy eaters?
When children are given the choice of foods they want to eat, I find that it is easier to get them to eat and enjoy the meals. I allow our children to select a recipe from the My Kids Eat books, (it helps when every choice is a good one!) For us, we place a lot of variety on their plates and whatever they eat, they eat- whatever they don't we don't stress too much about.
Should we be worried if kids come home having barely eaten their packed lunch?
It depends on how often it is happening, if it is daily- perhaps ask if your child has a preference for foods to eat at school- remember there are so many fun activities and games to play instead of eating, so it may not actually be the foods in the lunch box, but the time allocated to eat it.
A few tips:
- Baking a big batch of banana bread, slicing and freezing individually will double as an ice pack and also keep it fresh until lunch time.
- Small easy to eat items are always a winner.
- Allow your child to select the foods they love.
To dessert or not dessert?
In our house, we have dessert twice per week, we want to teach our kids balance, but that life is not about restricting but knowing the foods that fuel our bodies and energy. We have chosen the days according to our biggest 'sport' days- run club and nippers!
This recipe appears My Kids Eat Volume 2 by Sophie Guidolin, rrp: $44.95, paperback