You Don't Need Masterchef to Know How to Feed Your Kids

I’m going to preface this post by saying I’m really concerned about how it will be perceived.

I know common social discourse has already helped form general opinions about how others receive information when someone starts rambling on about ‘feeding your kids properly’ and ‘health eating’ et cetera.


All I ask is that you read on with an open mind, because I come from a different place that has a lot of understanding and empathy, as well as a lot of information that covers the width and breadth of nutritional wellbeing – too much to include in one blog post, so I can only as you to stay with me.

A few weeks back I was confronted by two things; the first being the marketing, in the form of a television advertisement for what pretty much amounts to chocolate milk for breakfast, and the second being the request for ideas for a structured Menu Plan for the daily breakfast for children.

This week, MasterChef Australia

13 Replies to “You Don't Need Masterchef to Know How to Feed Your Kids”

  1. So you’re pretty much saying that my technique of “throw food on a plate, put it in front of child, take away what they haven’t eaten after a reasonable period of time, put child in water then into bed” is pretty much all there is to it? Sweet! I’m doing something that works (for me) 😀

  2. The thing with fussy eating is that we as parents have to be so careful not to perpetuate it. I’ve got one of those challenging kids with autism and sensory issues who is super fussy about her food.

    Saying in front of your child, before they’ve even tried the food “oh she wont like that, its too…. ”

    I’ve got one of those real fussy eaters with autism and sensory issues, but I am aware that if we limit her food too much it just perpetuates the fussy eating, so I keep presenting things on her plate (not touching) and figure it is a step closer to her mouth.

    I do like meal planning, it cuts costs down and will plan “breakfast” but only so I know how many boxes of cereal to buy.

    1. Apologies for repeating myself, I’m falling over tired, literally fell over the filing cabinet just before, ripped my pants, spilled files everywhere and ouch.

      Shouldn’t try to converse in this state.

      As for dinner tonight, scalloped potatoes because Annie did the potatoes and I just had to mix and pour a packet thingy over the top and stick it in the oven. Husband can pull it out of the oven.

    2. That is a really excellent point, Marita! Thank you. That’s so true!

      I know the challenges you face daily, too.

      Yeah, the meal planning your talking about is, in my understanding, the one that was about organisation etc – the one I heard about the other day, man, the mind boggled! It was crazy!

  3. I am a mum of 2 under 5’s and I’m also a chef but if you didn’t already know it, chefs don’t go all out at home very often at all. I hold no issue with giving DS weet-bix for breakfast and a Jam sammich at lunch. Dinner has to be simple because 9 times out of 10 it’s Hubbies job to cook it because I’m working. On the other hand having meat and 3 veg every night can get bland and repeatedly giving the kids the same thing can turn them off to new flavours a bit. I love Jamie O’s Food revolution ideas but he’s also in the wrong damn country so some of the ingredients list is not so readily available here let alone expensive. So the medium ground is…??? I don’t meal plan (though I should!) but I figure where and how I shop is going to be the biggest influence. Making use of farmers markets is one of my favourite ways of avoiding the barrage of advertising that supermarkets have, it gets around the nagging at the checkout! Fruit and veg there is also better value as it’s not been kept in cold storage so will last in the fridge for up to a fortnight. I have also made the decision to do the meat shop at a butcher. Not just for quality but supporting local industry. I guess what I’m trying to say is food should be fun and easy and the more we show our kids where it comes from and what it looks like in it’s basic form the more they are equipped later in life to be able to cook for themselves and not be trapped in fast/ convenience foods. Nothing I cook at home is more complicated then what my own mother cooked for me and she’s not a gifted home cook or chef, she just knew what her mother taught her and what she has learnt for herself over the years. So yes, do watch masterchef, my kitchen rules, ready steady cook… ect ect. If anything it’s just adding to what you already know and inspiration is one of the biggest hurdles when your staring at the fridge, going, ‘wtf am I going to cook tonight?!?’ You don’t have to make it perfect, at home close enough is good enough because ain’t no one paying you for service 😉 Don’t be discouraged by difficulty because everyone learns by trial and error and if you order KFC once a week because dinner bombed then your not a failure as a parent. If anything your on the right track because your willing to give it a go. If your truly stuck on methods jump online and read about basic cookery methods or buy a book, I think there are even apps now that will teach the absolute beginner basic principals. Everything that we do to food now has stemmed from those methods. Oh and I have Jamies 15min meals book, and nothing in there requires a ‘chef.’ Perhaps if you wanted to achieve the picture perfect result but we all knows the photo’s are done by food stylists there fore unrealistic, your aiming for flavour and nutrition here not perfection. In my eyes learning to feed ourselves and cook should be right up there with learning to read and write and the schools aren’t teaching our kids how to do it so it’s up to us.

    1. Completely agree, Kerri!

      My hubby is a chef, so I have the luxury of calling him and saying “what the hell have I done here” and “what the hell am I doing?!”

      I think it’s sad that the art of learning to cook has all but disappeared and his been replaced by cooking art! It’s something I’d like to see back in schools and back in the community at a much more ‘realistic’ level, starting from the very real basics.

      My main concern is the overwhelming messages that are being received (shoved down our throats) by many. It DOES cause stress, overwhelm and feelings of guilt, whether we care to admit it or not.

      I LOVE what Jamie Oliver is doing and admire him greatly for it. I think there is a middle ground … we’re just working on it 🙂

      Thanks for your comment.

      1. aaahhh mainstream marketing=shoving it down peoples throats till they choke. Sometimes I truly appreciate abc for kids for their lack of advertising! LOL I seem to tolerate that kind of mind numbing kids shows better then adds! Some days I think buying a tv series on dvd is better value for my sanity then watching free to air. I guess mum’s just need reminding that TV is a giant money making machine and just because some famous prig of a chef on TV is telling us we need to buy this or that he or she is doing it for a pay off. That’s why these guys own big houses in the Rocks!

      2. Ooh ooh ooh! There’s your next blog series idea – including children in the preparation of meals, with a view to having them able to actually feed themselves a relatively healthy meal if they have to!

        I really want to get at least 4 and 6 year olds involved, but I have no idea how to start in a way that won’t involve tantrums from me.

      3. Also, at our primary school last year they received funding for, and actually built, a Stephanie Alexander garden and kitchen. So now the year 3s and 4s get to do cooking every week. Unfortunately they don’t have the resources at the moment to offer this to the whole school at once, but it’s a start!

  4. I absolutely agree with the fact that you don’t need to be a ‘masterchef’ to feed your kids. Most kids would be starving by now if that were the case. I refuse to let my kids watch that tosh for fear they’ll become as obsessed with food as the rest of our society is. If they’re bored with my school lunches, dinners etc, I tell them to see how boring it is to have no food in your belly!

    Honestly, it’s food and that’s all it is. My kids know you eat some good stuff, some neutral stuff, a bit of bad stuff, and then you grow. End of story. When what your family eats becomes the central part of your family’s life then you know you are probably doing something wrong.

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