As I have previously expressed, I care very much about people, our planet and the next generation. I have a burning desire to help others eat well and to create change for the future around the way that we eat collectively as a society, as slow as that process might be.
Along with my passion for food, I also spend a lot of my time working with kids. Over the years I’ve found it captivating to watch children learn and grow as they discover their talents, hobbies and passions. Lately, I’ve been reading a bit about habits, and from what I’ve read there seems to be a common theme: that many habits formed in childhood carry on into adulthood. In one article on childhood food habits, I came across this message that I particularly liked: “For parents, the message is to be a culinary role model. If you choose healthy foods and moderate portions, your children will take note. Moreover, it’s important to start early. When researchers looked at 10-year-olds, their behaviour had already stabilized, suggesting they learn eating norms in early childhood.”
In my opinion, if I'm going to be a part of creating change for the future, a good place to start is with kids; a blank canvas, if you will. The thought of making good eating habits the norm excites me. I find great joy and satisfaction when I succeed in getting kids to eat vegetables that they wouldn’t usually touch with a ten-foot pole, as such, I strive to make recipes with hidden vegetables that kids want more of; it affirms that you don’t have to eat plain fruit and vegetables to be ‘healthy’.
If there's one thing I've learned since looking after many different children, it's that getting them to eat vegetables can be a seriously challenging task!! Especially when food producers are marketing food that children would rather be eating, directly to them. But this is where a little creativity goes a long way. Grate some carrot into cake, zucchini into homemade bread, put spinach in smoothies and sweet potato in brownies!
Wouldn’t it be so much easier to make a habit of eating vegetables if they were snuck into foods that aren’t terribly far from those products that already tempt us as a result of their clever marketing? Queue the recipe for my sweet potato brownies - I've been testing them for months now and am proud to say that I have kids of all ages (and adults) not only eating and enjoying them, but also asking for more! Please make them and give me feedback! :)