Family Harvest by Simone Kelly is a collection of recipes, advice on feeding a family, and tips on ‘growing your own’ at home.
With a focus on educating, involving and engaging kids, not only at mealtimes, but also in the preparation process and sourcing of produce, Family Harvest means ‘family foods’ don’t have to be bland, boring and all about hiding the veggies.
Inspired by Simone’s own journey in introducing her young stepchildren to the flavours and foods she and husband David love, the book combines food philosophy, practical tips for involving your kids in the kitchen and inspiration on gardening with limited space, along with over 100 delicious recipes.
Between their corporate careers and busy lifestyles, preparing separate meals was not realistic for Simone and David’s family.
“Because we love food so much, we always wanted to raise little human beings that loved it just as much as we did. And, to be completely honest, there was another factor: we didn’t have the time or energy to prepare separate meals for the children,” said Simone.
Determined to win the dinnertime war and feed the kids healthy food that she would also enjoy Simone soon realised that there was a distinct lack of helpful resources available.
“All the books, blogs and articles I read seemed to suggest that meals could only be ‘family friendly’ by removing every trace of flavour or interest and by disguising any form of vegetable,” said Simone.
“Any parent who has faced the conflict that can occur in getting kids to eat their vegetables understands how painful it can be; but I want our kids to have a lifelong healthy relationship with food, so I’m not a big believer in tactics that could backfire down the track, like hiding the veggies,” said Simone.
More than just wanting the kids to eat their vegetables, the approach Simone shares in Family Harvest, is about introducing ‘the new’ – new ingredients, new flavours, new dishes and new cuisines, and helping children expand their tastes.
Simone’s campaign was challenging but ultimately rewarding, with both children, now 11 and 14, having a broad and varied diet and being open to trying new foods and flavours.
“The other wonderful and unexpected result is that the children have developed a passion for good food and interesting flavours. It’s an interest we all share, and it has brought us together as a family – not only at mealtimes, but also on our travels,” said Simone.