Inside: Review of Get Your Kids To Eat Anything by Emily Leary
I always thought fussy eaters became that way from a young age, brought on by pandering to toddlers and their hysterics. Honestly, I was so smug that all of my children loved everything I ever offered them!
So imagine my shock when at age 6, Gracie suddenly decided she hated most food. How could that be when she’d eaten everything under the sun up to that point?
I have no idea why it happened but my guess would be ever-changing tastebuds caused a sudden dislike for certain flavours or textures. I hadn’t pandered, it was just something that happened. Damn.
Get your kids to eat anything
I have to say, up until this point I have gone down the ‘just try a little’ and watched in dismay as she’s turned her nose up at everything – even roast potatoes. I mean who doesn’t like roasties?!
So when I heard that Emily Leary, an award-winning food blogger, was bringing out a book around this very subject I was excited to get my hands on a copy!
At first glance, flicking through the pages you might think it was a recipe book. But on closer inspection, you see that it is an in-depth 5-phase programme to help you and your family eating a well-balanced and varied diet.
So not only would it help with getting Gracie eating more food groups again, it would help us get out of our food rut too! Bonus!
The 5-phase programme
The book is broken down into 5 sections, each one talking you through in such a way as to not overwhelm. I love that it is very much a hand-holding book as each stage gives you a partly completed 14-day meal plan, with the recipes that you’ll need to help introduce the different foods.
There are also tasks to guide you through the process and challenge you to think differently about food – something that we definitely benefited from as a family.
My girls loved helping me to choose the different foods for the different recipes – using their knowledge of food groups and then looking at the different colours and flavours we could include in the meals.
The recipes all use staple foods and are all fun and easy to make. One of their favourite new breakfasts is Pancake Plate Art – a fab way to get them eating fruit and get them away from the boring toast or cereal option that they are used to.
PANCAKE PLATE ART – SERVES 4
PREP TIME: 15 MINS • COOK TIME: 15 MINS
For the crêpes
150g (5½oz) plain flour
50g (1¾oz) icing sugar
4 medium free-range eggs
270ml (9½fl oz) whole milk
2 teaspoons slightly salted butter
For the toppings
2 green apples
slice of watermelon, cut into thin batons
20 red grapes
a few pomegranate seeds
“Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs and milk to the well and whisk, gradually drawing in the dry ingredients from the sides to make a batter. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Melt a little of the butter in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Pour a small ladleful of batter into the pan, just enough to cover the base. Fry for about 1 minute, then loosen the edges with a spatula, flip and fry for another 30 seconds or so until golden brown and speckled on both sides. Repeat for the remaining crepes.”
For the art
“To make the underwater scene, slice one-third off the side of an apple and place it, skin side up, in the centre of your pancake. Arrange 2 long melon batons to form the stalks of the eyes and 2 shorter batons to form the “arms”. Place 4 mandarin segments to form the pincers. Slice 2 grapes into quarters lengthways and arrange them to form the legs. For the eyes, slice a grape thinly and place a disc at the end of each eye stalk. Place 2 pomegranate seeds in the centre of the eyes to complete the scene.”
Can you get your kids to eat anything?
The whole process has meant we are eating more fruit and vegetables as a family but we are also able to branch out and try new flavours.
And Gracie? She’ll now eat a roast potato if it is flavoured with herbs but not only that, she will now eat red cabbage, spinach and mushrooms – something I never thought I’d live to see!
If you are living with fussy eaters or feel that as a family you eat the same things week in week out, then I cannot recommend this book enough!
I was gifted an advanced copy of the book. All thoughts and words are my own.