Neil from 'Progressive Family Food' has joined forces with Katy Ashworth from Cbeebies to share tips and recipes with Raring2go! to make your life easier if you have fussy eaters, and to provide strategies to help improve your child's relationship with food and make mealtimes less stressful.
Here, Neil and Katy talk about the benefits of eating 'Family Style'
There are two basic principles to serving family style; 1. Food is served in the middle of the table. 2. Everyone, young and old, serve themselves.
Allowing children to safely serve themselves has a multitude of benefits. From the outset, it can make them feel grown up. They are carrying out a task that is usually the reserve of adults, this can help to build confidence as well as developing motor skills through the new actions they are using; cutting slices, balancing food on a slice and using tongs to pincer salad.
The relationship a child has with food also changes when they serve themselves. They have control which children crave and can often be the root cause of meal time battles. They can choose what they eat and how much to eat. If one side of the galette has a tastier looking piece of pastry they can go for that and they can also choose how big a slice to have. If a child it too young to cut the galette themselves then they can dictate to an adult which piece and how much to slice. It teaches kids to be attentive to their sensations of hunger, allowing them to select a portion size that they feel will be suitable for them at that time. They are more likely to eat what they choose and the subsequent waste should be less than when parents serve their kids an arbitrary amount on a plate.
The benefits continue, as with the food remaining in the centre of the table it is easy for kids to go back for more if they desire and as long as what is being served is healthy then kids can be left to listen to their own fullness cues, an important life skill.
The development of life skills also continues. Kids learn how to communicate. Rather than being served a plate and adopting the eyes down' position, kids now have to engage in please, pass the¦. and negotiations over who has the last piece of the pie.
The benefits of family style eating are tremendous. It has positive impacts on many aspects of their lives and their relationship with food whilst being subtle enough that they might not even realise that they are learning!
Family style eating is an interesting change to the norm and can be adopted for all sorts of meals, from large bowls of pasta with sides of garlic bread to a full roast presented for the family to enjoy. Whether you make our rustic fig and tomato galette once or many times, we are sure that this will not be the only time you serve a meal family style.
This rustic savoury pie is great served warm with a summer salad but the fact that it is simple to make, tastes great and has a natural sweetness that kids will enjoy is just part of the story.
Yes, being rustic' allows forgiveness of a multitude of sins; Is it meant to look like that?, Yes, it's rustic. The ingredients are also flexible. We make ours with mozzarella cheese because our kids like it but you can simply swap in any cheese you know your family will enjoy or use the dish as a platform to introduce new flavours and textures¦. goats, feta and even blue cheese can all be substituted with delicious results.
But one of the great successes of the dish can be achieved through the way it is served.
This recipe and strategy is a collaboration between Katy Ashworth and Neil Welsh. Katy presents the Cbeebies flagship cookery show I Can Cook' and is a mother who is passionate about healthy living. Neil works with parents of fussy eaters, helping them win their battles with their fussy eaters whilst building a solid food foundation for kids for life. More information can be found at www.progressivefamilyfood.com
Neil at Progressive Family Food
Neil works with parents of fussy eaters, helping them win their battles with their fussy eaters whilst building a solid food foundation for kids for life. More information can be found at www.progressivefamilyfood.com.