I love food. There is no denying it. I love sweet stuff, savoury stuff, good stuff and definitely bad stuff (mmmmm, brie!).
Mr Oliphant and I “Star Chase”. That is to say, we have a list that features all the Michelin starred restaurants in the UK and we are trying to visit each and every one of them. The list is long. There are currently over 100. It’s never going to happen.
Anyway, I digress…
My love of food plays a big part in my life. Since I carried my massive wicker cooking basket into my first Food Technology class with Mrs Tipton back at St. Wilfrid’s in 1995 I have loved looking at recipes, working out how to cook/bake/make something and then going for it. And it seems that strange love for something I’m not massively good at has transferred to Rubes.
The first time I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up her answer was a “cooking person” (she has since changed her mind several times, but usually comes back to chef eventually!). I’m assured by the nursery nurses that it’s pretty normal, but she never stops talking about food…I think she’d eat all day if she could. But she eats good stuff. She likes (thank goodness!) good stuff, especially fruit and vegetables. And we talk all the time about health and nutrition.
Not in a boring, ram it down her throat, science lesson way…but in a fun, “name that vegetable” quiz show type of way. She knows pretty much every vegetable there is, and she can tell me why we should eat them and why, as she says, “sugar is a treat”.
We cook together. She loves nothing more than donning her apron and hat that my lovely friend Sarah bought her one birthday. We share food. We eat together as a family whenever possible…but the key thing!? We eat bad food too!! We eat it and we LOVE it. We enjoy it. We savour every bit of it. Fish & Chips, pizza, ice cream, chocolate. Yes please!
Everything in moderation. And everything explained in a way so that she understands what a healthy choice is, and when to stop gorging on the chocolate buttons…or the Walkers Sweet Chilli Sensations (which she often does!).
I cook A LOT of the wonderful Ella’s Kitchen recipes, but I also use the Family & Kids section of the BBC Good Food website and my usual recipe books come into play by substituting non child-friendly ingredients for ones which I know will still work well. Yes it takes time, but there are cheats (namely pre-sliced onions, mwahahahaha!) and the freezer becomes an amazing appliance once you have children! It’s not easy, especially with Henry systematically emptying my cupboards and going for every cheese grater/cocktail knife/glass item available whilst I cook, but I try my best.
With all of this in mind I’m starting #teachthemtoeatwell to try and spread the word. Home cooked is best. Processed food is great when you need it, but not all the time. Don’t focus on body image when talking about food to your children. Take time to explain stuff to them. Teach them now, and they’ll reap the benefits later in life.
But, most importantly…enjoy your food!
Join me! Use #teachthemtoeatright next time you cook, and let’s inspire each other to cook new and exciting things for our babes.
See you soon x