Jamie Oliver Reveals The Biggest Problem Parents Face When Feeding Their Children

The celebrity chef kicked off HuffPost UK's #ThrivingFamilies initiative.
thriving families

Jamie Oliver believes parents need to stop feeling guilty about the food they cook for their children.

The dad-of-four was quizzed by parents on the topic of healthy eating as part of a Facebook Live with The Huffington Post UK to launch our Thriving Families project.

“I think guilt is an association that is really common and normal in parenting,” Oliver said when asked what he thinks is the biggest problem holding parents back.

“The fact that parents compare themselves and wish for more or review themselves every day, that holds them back. But it’s normal.

“Progress in food involves new aspirations - often meaning more choices and more things for children to eat.”


Oliver also addressed several parents’ questions which looked at how they can cook healthily on a budget and with time constraints.

“I do get it,” Oliver said. “But currency is not cash, it’s knowledge.

“Being streetwise about food is a life skill that will protect you. Batch cook at the weekend, it’s so cost effective.

“You can control what’s going on and there’s loads of great recipes out there for free online.”

Oliver also said parents shouldn’t be afraid to use their freezer, explaining it’s often associated with negatives because “historically, we’ve frozen crap”.

“Cooking is an environmental thing that can empower yourself,” he added.

“Put portions of food in zip lock bags and lay them flat in the freezer - you can reheat those bad boys in two hours.

“Do it once every two weeks. My freezer is like a library of portions!”


Another question the celebrity chef answered was how to get children and toddlers to eat their veggies.

Explaining that vegetables can have a bitter flavour that affects children who are young more intensely, Oliver said it’s “very normal” to have kids that don’t like them, then do, then don’t again.

“Ultimately, there is no one-stop-shop for solving it, but it’s about creating an environment of having a laugh,” he said.

“Children aren’t born to only eat burgers and nuggets, they’re just marketed to eat those things.

“One thing I can give you for sure, is that if you teach your child how to grow something and pick something, they’ll eat it.

“I’ve seen that in multiple countries throughout the world.”

Jamie Oliver addressed how parents can combat “junk food” - claiming fizzy drinks and cereal are the worst culprits.

“Ultimately, cooking with kids is about creating a moment and memories,” he added.

To get a full, 360-view of the discussion with Jamie Oliver on Facebook Live, watch the video below.

This summer The Huffington Post UK is spearheading an initiative helping families thrive, with a focus on parent wellbeing, the challenges facing stay-at-home and working parents, friendships and navigating the landscape of modern parenting beyond the 2.4. To kickstart the campaign, Jamie Oliver guest edited the site, bringing a focus on feeding healthy families.

We’ll be sharing stories and blogs with the hashtag #ThrivingFamilies and we’d like you to do the same. If you’d like to use our blogging platform to share your story, email ukblogteam@huffingtonpost.com to get involved. Jamie’s new cookbook Super Food Family Classics, published by Penguin, is on sale at £26.

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