Club Tropicana

Emily Leary on Her Cookbook Get Your Kids to Eat Anything and Her Five-phase Programme

13 April 19 interview: LeftLion

Local woman Emily Leary has written Get Your Kids to Eat Anything to help parents do exactly what it says on the tin with her five-phase programme...

What fuelled the idea behind the book?
My food blog has given me great insight into what parents want to know and cook, and the approach they need. I wanted to tackle the most burning questions and offer tried-and-tested solutions. I didn’t want to just arm parents with seventy new recipes and send them on their way; the five-phase programme utilises different activities to make it fun.

What are the challenges you’ve faced in your family at dinner time?
In balancing work, family and everything else, we kept serving the things we were sure our kids would eat. Having one child suffering from croup and another with sensory issues, I knew they’d soon be living on the three beige items they still considered acceptable, if we weren’t careful. My experimentation with my kids is now the core of the book: gradually introducing variety and discovering new flavours, textures, and colours on the plate.

What are some of your favourite recipes in the book?
The outlandish ones like strawberries and cream pasta; it’s an utterly delicious butternut squash macaroni cheese with balsamic strawberries. Who would’ve thought children would eat such a weird-sounding meal?

Play and creativity feels integral to the programme...
My mum studied for a Psychology degree and became a lecturer in Child Development, so she was on hand to help me understand my kids’ development. Getting messy and creating food art strengthens their relationship with food.

What plans and hopes do you have for the future?
My biggest hope is that the book makes a difference to family mealtimes up and down the country and beyond. I’d love to take the concept to TV and work with families to take them through the five-phase programme.

Emily Leary instagram

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