If you haven’t heard, Jamie Oliver recently joined forces with Sobeys to bring better food to Canadians all across the country. Their aim is to help you source the freshest, best ingredients while providing you with inspiring ideas for eating well and saving time everyday.
At the beginning of October I had the good fortune to attend an event with Jamie at the Chatelaine test kitchen here in Toronto. He spoke for 30 minutes about the importance of cooking (he considers knowing how to cook one of the greatest luxuries you can have today) and feeding your family well with wholesome ingredients designed to promote a healthy lifestyle.
While there wasn’t time for a one-on-one chat with Jamie, I was able to catch a few tidbits about his thoughts on food, family and feeding picky eaters:
- Feed kids salad and teach them to love vegetables. He does this by placing a large salad bowl in the middle of the table and portions some out to everyone eating. When the plates are cleared, the more popular dinner item (pasta, meat) is put on the table and the kids can help themselves to it.
- The very best way to feed kids well is to give them the choice between a good choice and an even better choice.
- Learn to say no. And be really good at it.
- Try one new thing every week; most of us eat and buy the same thing all the time, but try something new to expand cooking repertoire and palate preferences.
- As a society we need to relearn how to cook. The skill skipped a few generations so we need to teach people how to do it again.
If your’re interested in teaching your own children to cook, my good friend, Mardi, is a local French teacher who runs an after-school cooking club at the all-boys school she works at. She’s cooked many of Jamie’s recipes with her young chefs-in-training, and I encourage you to check out her blog posts detailing the dishes the boys make.
Also, Jamie has created a website, Jamie’s Home Cooking Skills, packed with ‘hands-on courses that help students (children) develop the essential skills they need to cook simple, nutritious, affordable food’. If your kids are interested in getting into the kitchen, this is an excellent place for them to start.
Are you a Jamie Oliver fan? Do you have a favourite recipe of his that you’ve made? I cooked from his latest book last weekend and loved each recipe I put in front of my family.
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