Jamie Oliver has launched a global petition to fight for compulsory practical food education in schools across the world.
Our lifestyle choices really affect our children’s health. Kids should begin to explore and enjoy a wide range of wholesome foods from weaning onwards, but they need us to make it happen. Healthy eating becomes established with active, patient and consistent input from parents. This is the gift of health that keeps on giving.
Set up your child for health
  • First, check your own attitudes about food and health. You’ll struggle to get kids eating well if you and/or your partner are not committed!
  • Perhaps look at your own eating habits. Keeping a simple food diary for two weeks will make you much more aware of what, when and why you eat.
  • Kids model their parents’ behaviour - so be a model of healthy, relaxed, enjoyable eating for them. If you are stressed around meals and eating, kids will be anxious and difficult themselves.
  • Who’s the boss? Parents - not kids - should be in charge of food. Mum and dad need to agree their strategy around this. Also, remember to include significant others, like grandparents and other minders, in the plan.
  • Be consistent! Clear boundaries make kids feel secure. Their job is to keep testing them; yours is to be consistent while gradually giving them more freedom as they grow.
  • Don’t make food a ‘big issue’. Kids will leverage it against you.
  • Don’t talk about ‘healthy food’ to young ones - they may start thinking ‘healthy’ means ‘horrible’.
  • Don’t use unhealthy foods as a treat.
  • Make sure the only alternatives in the home are healthy ones. (They WILL find your secret stash of sweets/chocolate/biscuits!)
  • Try to get family members eating together at table at least once a day.
For Maggie's next cooking class: Easy Meal for busy Mums & Dads!, check out www.iinh.net or www.thesoulfoodco.ie (see details below)
Easy Meal for busy Mums & Dads!
Ease the stress and hassle of everyday meals. Learn to create healthy dishes for the whole family to enjoy – kids included!
Are you a mum or dad on the ‘run’? Not enough hours in the day? Want to cook great meals for yourself and family? Join Maggie for a practical, educational, fun-filled day, with lots of tasty recipes and ideas, and a glass or two of vino served at the end of the day (a little treat as you all work so hard).
  • Child- and family-friendly meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Lunchbox Ideas
  • Nutritious snacks
  • Time-saving tips and tricks

  • ‘Better brands’ shopping list

  • What’s in it? Understanding food labels 
  • Nutrition basics for meal planning
  • Lots of wholesome, practical and innovative recipes