Listen: 'MasterChef' fan favourite Callum Hann offers parents a guide that covers the 12 simple skills kids need to acquire to have "nutritional literacy"
Getting kids in the kitchen can be something we have a love-hate relationship with: on the one hand, you’re teaching them valuable life skills about preparing a nutritious meal and experimenting with ingredients while, on the other, you might have a fussy critic analysing your cooking and battling to get their favourite foods on the plate.
Learning how to choose ingredients, cook and eat in a balanced way is something that serves kids well in the long-run.
Teaming up with Sanitarium for their new free resource 12 Before 12, MasterChef fan favourite Callum Hann offers parents a guide that covers the 12 simple skills kids need to acquire to have “nutritional literacy”.
“It’s not just about cooking, it’s the whole process of food,” Callum told Hope 103.2.
“Getting kids involved in whatever way you can – whether that’s outside in the garden picking a few herbs from a pot, or helping mum or dad do the shopping, to helping decide what you’re having for dinner – you can create really positive associations with mealtimes for your kids. And, then the chance of them eating healthier later in life is so much more.”
It’s a philosophy Callum’s trying to encourage in his own household as he and his wife Crystal have marked the first birthday of their daughter Elle.
Callum said his new life as dad has made him more conscious of the food choices he’s making for his family, and he’s keen to pass on healthy habits to his daughter.
He said being a dad “is so much fun”.
“[Elle’s] at an age where she’s just not just on milk and on puree, she’s pretty much eating more or less the same food as me and my wife are eating, and I love getting her to experiment and try new foods – she sticks her fingers in everything.
“Kids can be the toughest critics, but so far she seems to just love fresh produce to be honest – she’ll munch on a carrot, or a cucumber or some berries or whatever, which is really exciting to see. And, as a dad, I guess I’m trying to practice what we preach in this book.”
Before kids reach that pre-teen milestone is a really good window to teach them the skills they can apply to eating healthy for life.
“Up until that time where they’re an early teenager they do spend the majority of their time either at school or at home, so there’s the greatest opportunity to actually spend time teaching them those skills,” Callum said.
“As they get older and they’re away for camps, and sport and hanging out with their friends they’re home less and less, and it’s harder to get those habits in.”
Download your free copy of 12 Before 12 via Sanitarium’s website.