He may be a celebrity chef, but to Jamie Oliver's four kids, he's just a dad making a healthy dinner. And it doesn't stop at his own table: He's on a mission to get every child to eat better.
"Kids are our future, and if we don't take care of them and teach them about food and how to feed themselves, then we are shortening their lives. Get your kids to help you in the kitchen: Food skills are life skills, just as important as reading and math. Cooking also builds confidence and a sense of responsibility. There's nothing more responsible than doing the washing up!"
-- Jamie Oliver, Chef, restaurateur, and activist
Get Jamie's recipe for Shredded Rainbow Salad
Cooking with Kids: Lessons from Jamie
Obviously, you're a great cook. Are your kids great eaters?
They all do pretty well, I am happy to say. Poppy (age 10) and Daisy (age 9) love to bake bread and make pasta with me. Petal (age 3) and Buddy (age 2) are a bit young yet. But it's not easy all the time. Poppy went through a phase where she didn't like soft foods! Now they all love breakfast smoothies made from fruit and yogurt.
How do you get the kids to eat new foods?
I just keep trying. What they don't like today, they might like tomorrow. Forcing them doesn't work! And I make sure to set an example. If I'm not willing to try new things, why would my kids be? It's important that they see their parents eating healthy things. Have a bowl of salad on the table -- they'll see Mum and Dad helping themselves and, before long, they'll usually copy you.
What do you like about this Shredded Rainbow Salad?
This is probably one of the nicest and quickest salads you could ever make. I think my record is about 40 seconds, thanks to the magic of food processors. I like putting it on a big platter down the middle of the table, so one person can dress it for everyone.
A Great Read
Jamie's book about the food of Great Britain is a taste of home for the London-based chef.