Kids Food

Fuel to Grow

Image source: Contributed

Matt Golinski shares his trials and terrors when it comes to ensuring the apple of his eye, has an apple a day.

When my three-year-old was two, she’d sit on the kitchen bench as I made dinner and ‘help’ me by stealing pieces of raw pumpkin and zucchini and munching them down gleefully.

What a proud and deluded dad I was.

Somewhere in the transition to becoming a threenager, the word ‘disgusting’ entered her vocabulary, and she now uses it to describe the majority of vegetables, raw or cooked.

Even the threat of ice cream bans and chocolate rationing is often not enough to get her to force them down.

I know I’m not alone, and I know it’s not a new problem; I’m sure kids have been slipping their brussels sprouts to the family dog when mum wasn’t looking for generations.

The difference is that when grandma and grandpa didn’t eat their dinner, they just went hungry.

As a guilt-ridden, time-poor, modern day parent myself, I often give in to the dietary ‘preferences’ of my child, just to avoid tantrums (from her, not me) and to know she’s at least eating something.

Now before you go calling social services on me, I can assure you that my daughter is perfectly well nourished and most of the time has a very healthy diet.

It’s taken a bit of trial and error, but I’ve discovered the greatest successes come from looking at the foods she does like, then working in healthy elements so there’s a good balance of nutrients and sanity.

Spaghetti Bolognaise is a great example; a sauce that could be just onions, mince and tomatoes is the perfect place to hide grated zucchini, carrots and celery.

Fried rice is another good way to get a whole lot of different vegetables into one meal, and by simply dicing them all nice and small, it would seem they no longer display any of the characteristics of their former disgusting selves.

The statistics clearly show that Australians’ love of processed foods, refined sugars and unhealthy fats, and a deficit in fruit, vegetables and whole grains in their diet is leading to an epidemic in obesity and diabetes, which in turn creates all sorts of other medical issues.

But a much greater problem this country is facing is a population that is plagued with mental health issues like anxiety and depression, and it’s a problem that’s affecting us at an increasingly younger age.

You could blame that on the pressures kids face in the school yard, on social media, or on the ever-looping 24-hour news cycle filling their heads with stories of tragedy, but there’s a distinct and proven correlation between how we fuel our children’s bodies and minds and their ability to cope with everything life throws at them.

I don’t believe bringing up a healthy family requires a degree in nutrition, or ruling the kitchen with an iron fist; but it does take a commitment to moderation, an awareness that we are surrounded by processed convenience foods and having the fortitude to resist them, and a basic understanding of the types of food required to make up a balanced diet.

School kitchen gardens have become an important way to educate young people about the realities of growing food and will hopefully play a part in bringing up a generation with a greater respect for the food they consume.

They might even teach their parents a thing or two.

I have no doubt that when Miss three turns to four I’ll be faced with a swathe of new parenting challenges, but for now if all I have to do is think of creative ways to make broccoli disappear to keep those beautiful little eyes sparkling then I’ll just keep up the magic show!

About the Author /

[email protected]

Matt Golinski is a highly regarded chef with a passion for simple, produce-driven cuisine based on seasonal, fresh local ingredients. He is an active member of the Slow Food movement, a champion of artisan producers and a generous mentor to keen young chefs. He is the Food and Culinary Tourism Ambassador for the Gympie region; Ambassador and Advisory Executive Chef for Peppers Noosa; and a festival favourite.

Post a Comment

Want more? Subscribe!

Get the latest news delivered fresh to your inbox!

Want to list your business?

Contact us to find out how! Contact us

Get ready for a night of sensory splendour at "The Sculpted Dinner" – where every bite, beat, and bid will elevate your experience!

Join in on the 2nd December at @artsconnectinc exclusive gala fundraiser for @sculptureontheedgesc , promising a night unlike any other!

The @flaxtongardens team is set to dazzle your taste buds with a menu that celebrates the vibrant flavours of the Sunshine Coast`s finest local produce. Get ready for a culinary journey that will leave your senses dancing!

Immerse yourself in captivating performances, groovy tunes, and a thrilling auction that promises surprises at every turn!

Save the date for an unforgettable evening filled with art, flavour, and entertainment!

Let`s make memories together at "The Sculpted Dinner" – a delight for all the senses!
(Visit the link in bio to secure your tickets today!)

`Tis the season to shop local! Join in for Christmas Shopping in the @thevillageperegianbeach where @thelocalperegian and @talacollectiveau are turning up the holiday cheer with late arvo/early eve shopping every Friday in December!

Embrace the laid-back vibes of late-night shopping in Peregian Beach, ensuring your Christmas finds are as unique and special as the season itself.

Don`t miss out on the festive fun – let`s make this holiday shopping spree one for the books!

Join @headspacemaroochydore for a transformative workshop on Connection Skills!

Improve social connectedness, conquer awkward moments, and boost your conversation game! Let`s navigate emotions together and enhance those social skills. Hosted by the incredible headspace GP, Dr. Amanda.

When: Monday, December 4th, 2-4pm
Where: YouConnect Hub (Warehouse) @ headspace Maroochydore

Ready to level up your social game? Register now via the link in the bio or calling 5409 4900 and let`s make connections that last a lifetime!

It might have been raining, but that didn’t dampen spirits during our summer fashion shoot at the stunning @novotelsunshinecoast resort!

Thanks to our wonderful team for bringing the much-needed sunshiney vibes and being such a joy to work with.

We can’t wait to see the beautiful looks we’ve created together – stayed tuned for our sensational Summer Issue! 🌞

Fashion Editor, Ally Chuck @ally_chuck
Photographer, @laurenbiggslbph
Hair and Makeup, Justina Simone @justina_simone
Models, Lucia and Cinzia Cimino, @luciaciminolashes @cinziaciminoc_
Assistant, Chloe Knight @chloeaknightt
Social Media, Rebecca Jamieson Dwyer @becjamiesondwyer
Shoot Manager, Deb Caruso @debcarusopr
Nature, @novotelsunshinecoast’s own 🌿🦘🌿🦘

Master the art of kefir-making @greensmithgrocers workshop on December 3rd! Discover the health wonders and simplicity of crafting this fermented elixir at home.

Benefits include restoring gut bacteria, cleansing intestines, and boosting the immune system. It`s a protein-packed, lactose-friendly powerhouse!

Unlock the secret on December 3rd. Don`t miss out – arrive early for a pre-workshop coffee & pastry! (link in bio to reserve a spot)

Unleash your inner artist at @sculptureontheedgesc 2023!

Dive into a full 18-day program of creative workshops, designed for EVERYONE!

From beginners to masterclasses, there`s a workshop for every level of creativity.

Bring the kids along for weekend fun with Monte Lupo Arts and Paintbox Art School! Let them explore their artistic talents and make new friends in the process!

Have a blast, learn new skills, and immerse yourself in a world of creativity!

Join in for an unforgettable journey of self-expression and artistic discovery!

Click the link in bio to discover the full Workshops Program!

Sculpture On The Edge
Event dates: 23 November - 10 December 2023
Flaxton Gardens, Flaxton, Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
8 AM - 4 PM Daily
Indoor & Outdoor Exhibition, Workshops & Special Events.

image: @barry_eyeswideopenimages
artwork: Sugarbag by Parthenopi @parthenopium

Join the festive fiesta @greensmithgrocers Christmas Market Night – their biggest market of the year on Thursday 30 November!

Support incredible local brands and farmers, and score a jolly 10% off storewide from 2pm-7pm!

Get ready for a merry shopping spree, load up on holiday must-haves, and indulge in scrumptious food tastings!

If you`ve never experienced their market nights, this is THE one to be at – their grandest and best yet! ​​​​​​​

Don`t miss the magic at Greensmith Grocers, Stockland Birtinya! (link in bio)