Kitchen Fails to Kitchen Fabulous!

We've all had disasters in the kitchen and even if it's not a disaster, if you have small children like me, it can be deemed a 'FAIL' at first sight, scent or even just the mention of an unfamiliar dish. As a mother of 3 children aged 5 and under as well as a fussy eating 11 yr old, I have become somewhat immune to the usual dinnertime banter of 'I don't like it' and 'do I have to eat it?' Then starts a negotiation not unlike buying a house. My child says "well how much?" and I give her an amount. She then makes an offer well below the asking price and well...... you know how it goes. However, I do feel a tinge of failure when I get the 'serious, my foot is down' type of remarks such as 'that's disgusting', 'I can't believe you served me this' as well as audible gagging. So to all those mums nodding their head I want to say "You're not alone". Even a foodie has these daily battles. My 5 yr old has even said to me 'Mummy why can't you just be normal, you always give us healthy food".

So what do I do when I feel this tinge of failure? I think of the positives;

* I'm setting the right example

* I'm a great role model to the people I care about most

* My children will not starve to death and their muscles will not waste away (although they claim otherwise)

* Every time they taste a new healthy food it is a victory

* Regular healthy meals quickly become the 'norm' and the fighting subsides

* Resistance will fade

* By providing healthy food I am contributing to the health and longevity of my beautiful little souls

As parents, we want to make our children happy. It's completely normal. Who can deny how a child's face lights up when you mention chocolate or lollies. Not only children, I regularly have adults approach me in workplaces or meetings waiving a box of chocolates at me with a look of sheer joy and excitement at offering me one and enjoying a sweet together. Obviously these are people who aren't familiar with my business goals of getting Australians to eat better. I don't shut them down with comments of 'my body is a temple' and 'haven't you seen that sugar film'. I smile and take what's on offer. Sweets are a part of our social interactions and sharing them with your own children may be rewarding. So it's really important to make treats occasional and healthy foods the 'norm'. Below I've listed some simple ideas for adding more nutrition to every day foods for families.

* Mix some quinoa through rice and call them special baubles

* Always pack a fresh vegetable in school lunches (no, fruit is not a vegetable)

* Toss baby spinach through a creamy pasta just before serving

* Make a healthy slice then drizzle dark chocolate over the top

* Get the children involved in food preparation

* Grate or even blend vegetables and add to bolognaise

* Always insist children taste everything once

* Talk about the benefits of a healthy diet with your children at the dinner table

Jody is a qualified Chef, Food Technology Teacher and researcher in the Nutrition and Dietetics field. To book a personal consultation with Jody phone 0421160906.

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