“As a parent you have a very small window in which to positively influence your kid’s relationship with food before they fly the nest and make their own choices. It’s a privileged position to be in and one that should be embraced.”
These are the words of Scott Gooding, the Aussie author, star of My Kitchen Rules, Paleo chef, fitness coach and father to six-year old son, Tashi. We love what he does and we’re avid followers of where he frequently posts inspiring meals he’s put together for Tashi – full of nutrition and delicious-looking to boot.
We know it can seem daunting trying to balance good food with the particular quirks and irks of each kid’s fickle tastebuds. And mums and dads only have so many hours in the day.
That’s why we’ve called upon Mr Gooding to share how he nails it with Tashi, the kind of meals he finds work best, what ingredients are staples for healthy kids and – bonus! – a delicious and kid-friendly recipe from his beautiful new cookbook . Take it away Scott:
Tashi’s preferences are constantly evolving and changing, which is a challenge.
Breakfast is a classic example – for a long time it was all about scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Now he prefers a banana mashed with cocoa, with a mix of seeds and a few fresh berries on top.
Another go-to is cherry tomatoes, avocado and fried eggs. They’re ingredients he loves and with the right seasoning and oil, it makes for a super simple but tasty dish.
Tips for a school lunchbox:
- Use leftovers from the night before. It’s an easy option and invariably tastes better the following day.
- Include fat and protein. This will keep kids feeling fuller for longer – foods like olives, pâté, eggs (although they’re not allowed in all schools), frittatas, pan-fried fish, or tahini as a dip – easy!
- Pack lunchboxes with ‘real food.’ Keep foods in their most natural state – nothing packaged or processed. My default is to ask myself, could I pick, forage or hunt the food in my son’s lunchbox? If the answer is no, then it’s not in!
- Don’t tailor lunchboxes to a “kids palate.” I pack Tashi’s lunchbox as If I’m packing my own lunchbox. In my experience kids will always go for the sweet or sugary option, so if you include those foods then you will begin to change their palate and preferences. It’s a hard road back from there.
I sneak extra ingredients into his snacks to increase the nutrient density – for example if I’m making him a smoothie I’ll throw in some chia seeds, maca, cacao, bee pollen or coconut oil just to get more goodness into him.
What about dinner:
Nothing in this world gives me more contentment than sitting down to dinner with Tashi and watching him devour a healthy homemade meal.
A good tip: if we ever eat out at a cafe or restaurant, I let him choose from the main menu rather than the ‘kids menu,’ which is often peppered with bad choices. It blows my mind to be honest.
Scott was generous enough to share this recipe from his latest cookbook, , so you can try it with your own kids. This Baramundi Fish and Chips recipe is super healthy, the perfect fuel for you and your little tackers! Click the link or image for the recipe.
We’re interested to know how you feed your little ones day-to-day. Let us know in the comments below: