As a mum of three, it’s important to me that I am able to feed my family decent meals. Dinner time is the one time of the day where we are all together and will all sit and eat around our table.
But with varying levels of fussiness between my three children, it can sometimes be difficult to find foods that they will all enjoy equally. That’s why when I saw that Emily was looking for bloggers to review her new book, I applied straight away, determined to get my family all eating from the same menu.
*This book was gifted to me so that I could conduct this honest review. All opinions are my own. Photos are a mixture of my own and the Authors*
Who is Emily Leary and why should I listen to her?
Aside from just being one of those genuinely lovely people, Emily knows her stuff. She is an award-winning writer, presenter, blogger, vlogger, wife – and A Mummy Too.
A Mummy Too, is the name of her blog that she launched back in 2011 – the place to go for daily recipes, tips and video guides for busy
Emily Leary has also been ranked number 63 in Grocer Magazines Top 100 UK foodie influencers in 2016 alongside the likes of Jamie Oliver and Greg Wallace and has worked with M&S, Innocent, and Onken… to name a few.
My children and their eating habits
Before I try out this book and see what difference it can make to our family, I feel it’s important to give you an idea of where we currently are. As I mentioned above, my three children have 3 varying levels of fussiness. Incidentally, they were each weaned differently at the start of their food journeys too.
Dexter, my firstborn, was weaned on purees and then lumps. He was a very sicky baby and was weaned early due to lack of weight gain. At the age of one year, he loved eating a roast dinner but it was always chopped up small and manageable for him.
Paisley had a mixture of both purees and baby led weaning. I used to puree food for her to make sure she ate some but then gave her lumps to play with and explore too, most of which ended up on the floor. Doing it this way, I felt that at least I knew she was getting something nutritious in her belly – whether she managed it on her own or not.
Bridget was baby led weaned from the get-go. I held off until 10 days after she was 6 months and her first meal was Christmas dinner, sat around the table with us. She LOVED it. She gagged occasionally and of course, made a mess but she got to grips with food straight away and really enjoyed being part of family meal times.
These days, Bridget eats everything we give her, always reaches for her vegetables first and is often the last one to finish as she enjoys every mouthful. She has also been known to finish her siblings’ veggies too.
Dexter is the hardest work. If you ask him really really nicely or really get him excited, he will humour you by trying a bit of veg but then immediately spits it back out. He doesn’t eat fruit either. I’m hoping that If I can get him to try new things, Paisley may follow suit but she’s in her obstinate 3-year-old stage… so who knows.
How the book works
Get Your Kids To Eat Anything is based around a 5 phase plan. Currently, we are taking our time on phase o
So, phase one is based on assessing what you eat regularly and making just a few small changes here and there to your meal plan. There is no pressure for everyone to like everything or to try and trick your children into gobbling up veggies, it’s just about taking something that you are familiar with, and doing something unfamiliar with it…
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that
Phase 2 is about educating your children. There is a fabulous shopping list in this section that is kind of like a treasure hunt. The idea being you take your chilldren around the supermarket and between you all you find something spiky, something purple, something that smells sweet etc.
We recently spotted this lovely purple tender stem broccoli and I don’t think the kids had ever seen it before – I can’t wait to blow their mind with purple carrots! Phase two also suggests growing your own herbs, visiting farms and giving your children a real sense of where their food comes from.
The next 3 phases, admittedly, I haven’t gone through fully just yet but I will most certainly post a follow-up review when I have. However, to give you a brief idea of what they’re about, Phase 3 is to put the fun back into food and get creative with your plating – I know my kids will love this but currently, there is no point even considering making fancy plates of food if they’re just too fussy to eat it.
Phase 4 is to completely change up your flavour combinations and step into the unknown and finally, Phase 5 is to cement everything. To continue with the variety and keep mixing it all up.
Inside Get Your Kids To Eat Anything, there is so much more than just recipes.
Emily Leary has created activities to work on together and loose meal plans that you can adapt to put into practice what you have learnt. There is a handy shopping list of cupboard staples to start you on your way as well as a blooming amazing shopping list at the back arranged by the phases and then sub-categorised by storage place.
Each phase has a reflection journal for you to look back on what you’ve learned, what worked and what didn’t go down so well etc. It really is so much more than a recipe book. But it’s not a magic wand. You have to put the effort in to make it work.
Get Your Kids To Eat Anything is a fabulous guide book. It completely makes you reevaluate the way your family thinks about food. The recipes are brilliant, the plan is foolproof and the food photography is simply stunning!