My name is Larna and I am a busy wife and mother of 6 kids from 6 – 21 years of age. My husband and I have always had a very strong food philosophy based on our passion for fresh local produce and the family table. It is our belief that when a family cooks and eats together, communication flows and conversations are had (particularly when it comes to teenage boys!). Having spent the last 20 years managing the challenges of feeding a family, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to share some of the ideas that have worked for us in raising children who are both interested and informed about what they eat.
Our fast paced world, hectic schedules and constant demands have contributed to our loss of connection to food and cooking. We get so busy that it often becomes about what is quickest and easiest to prepare because we are tired, the kids are hungry and we just don’t have the energy to think to hard about what to cook. Not to mention when we do actually put in the effort the kids turn their noses up and tell us they don’t like what we have prepared!
Unfortunately, quick and easy does not always translate to fresh, healthy and nutritious, least of all tasty! We end up making use of pre-packaged foods and takeaway loaded with salt and all manner of chemical substitutes and preservatives. Not because we want to… it is just the reality that is life nowadays!
My husband and I were both born and raised in North Queensland and we remember the days when we would climb the mulberry tree and eat mulberries until our lips and tongue were purple. Not to mention the stained clothes from the ensuing ‘mulberry’ fights! I have memories that make me drool when I think about my grandma’s home-made mulberry pies, with thick home-made shortcrust pastry.
We moved from Cairns in North Qld 6 years ago when Mr 6 was just 8 months old and since then he has become the ‘most coffee shopped’ kid in all of Melbourne! As I work from home, I regularly have appointments for coffee and lunch, out and about around the city and Mr 6 has been there right along with me until this year when he started prep. We have been on a fabulous journey together discovering, not only great cafes and restaurants around Melbourne, but also the markets, delis and specialty stores that make Melbourne the ‘food capital’ of Australia.
With Mini Foodie I want to share the day to day experiences I have with my ‘Mr 6’ (as he will be referred to in this blog) and thereby give other children the chance to experience food from a fresh perspective. I want to share the recipes, tips and tricks I use, not just to get him to eat fresh food but to be engaged in the experience of learning and loving what he eats.
In this era where kids can’t recognise and name a vegetable by sight, where obesity levels in children are high, where allergies are getting out of control and where children refuse to eat something they aren’t familiar with, it is my hope that I can contribute something that will support you as a parent in providing something different for your child.
Here on Mini Foodie we will share with you the things my children and I have learnt along the way.
There will be lots of great recipes, not all of which will be ‘healthy’, but they will be made from scratch using fresh local ingredients. I will share how to get your kids involved in growing, shopping for and cooking their own food, so they take ownership of the process and are therefore more willing to eat it. In fact, the earlier in the food cycle your children can become involved, the more likely they are to eat and enjoy it!
And just as importantly, as you share some of these experiences together with your children as I have done, you will be chatting, learning and getting to know each other… spending quality time in each others company.
Enjoy your time here with Mini Foodie.