Holidays are a good time to start to make changes to the eating habits of your fussy eater, come up with fresh food ideas for the family or establish new patterns of behaviour around screen time without the arguments or angst. Here are a few resources that might help you do that.
If your child is a fussy eater Wal Herring's Healthy Little Eaters (Penguin RRP$35) is a book that helps us (as parents) understand how our assumptions about food impact on our children's food decisions and it gives strategies to help set them up for a lifetime of healthy eating.
Easing back on sugar
Sarah Wilson's Simplicious: I Quit Sugar (McMillan RRP$29.99) cookbook has fabulous low and no-sugar options for all meal times. Nutrient-dense breakfast ideas that keep you full for hours, smoothies packed with vegetables and sweet treats that rely on a lot less sugar than their original counterparts are just a few of the options. Reserve it from the library or grab a copy from the bookshop and let your children leaf through the book and choose a few of the kid-friendly options they might like to try in their lunchbox. School holidays are a great time to spend time in the kitchen making new lunchbox treats. Involving your kids in this process will give them ownership around what goes into their lunches, and perhaps develop more cooking skills.
Answering the “what can I eat” question
Having the kids at home means you are going to hear "I'm hunnnnnnngry" a lot. When they ask what they can eat charge them with cooking something to eat. This will develop their cooking skills and ability to fend for themselves. As with their lunchbox items above, involving your kids will give them some ownership around what they are eating and they are more likely to eat it. For morning magic try scrambled eggs, below.
Set up a pizza station where they can be as over-the-top as they want with toppings. Make crumbed, fried chicken tenders, warming winter puds and banana bread for sweets. Find all of these recipes in the Young Cooks: Five essentials feature.
Best scrambled eggs
- Break 1 ½ -2 eggs per person into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- With a fork, break up the eggs but do not beat, you should still see whites and yolks streaming through each other.
- Melt 1 Tbsp butter per person in a saucepan over a low heat.
- Pour in the egg mix and, with a wooden spoon, move the butter through the eggs, allowing them to set in parts before gently mixing together over low heat.
- Before the eggs are completely cooked remove from the heat and fold through lots of chopped chives or parsley. The eggs will continue to cook from the pan's heat. Serve immediately.
Getting the kids in the kitchen can help ease the frustration around the amount of time they are spending on devices. The Average Mum’s Technology Time app can assist with this. The app, which you can download, is a way for kids to trade outdoor time or household chores for screen time, effectively “earning” the right to play games, with parents being notified when the allocated time is up. You may already have a system in your house which is great, but research shows most households don’t have limits on screen time. This could be a good way to lessen the angst around how much time kids spend on devices versus time spent outdoors, playing with friends or simply interacting with other family members.
Nutritionist Mikki Williden helps people manage their diets in an interesting way, at a low cost. Find out more at mikkiwilliden.com