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Meet Judith McLean

Mum of three, Edinburgh

Just 18 months ago mum of three Judith Mclean (mid-forties) from Edinburgh, was a self-confessed convenience eater choosing takeaway pizzas over home cooked meals almost every night. But now, with growing toddlers, she has completely transformed her eating habits.

What Judith says

Why is healthy eating important to you and your family?

"I was motivated to change my eating habits, so I started attending a local cooking course. This course taught me how to cook properly for the first time. It also gave me a real thirst for finding out more about nutrition. Since changing my eating habits and starting to use as many fresh ingredients as possible, I’ve really had a lot of fun developing my skills in the kitchen and providing my family with filling and nutritious meals. Each week I prepare a meal planner setting out what’s on the menu for each day. I do this as it gives the family a chance to see if they’re happy with my ideas and allows me to get organised with everything I’ll need for cooking."

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What are some of your family’s favourite meals?

"Firm favourites tend to be spaghetti Bolognese, chicken fajitas and soups but often our veg box gives us seasonal produce so I have to get a bit creative at times."

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How involved are your kids with cooking and conscious are they about healthy eating?

"My daughter Isla is really involved in cooking with me and loves to help chop things up. I’ve got a great wee tool for small hands that let her cut veggies but it won’t cut her fingers. For me, getting the kids involved early on was something I was keen to do as my mother never cooked at home and so I never really learned. I also find that the more the kids are involved in the preparation of a meal the more likely they are to try new things."

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Are your children fussy eaters?

"My two youngest are opposite to each other. I have a four year old who absolutely loves vegetables but struggles to eat meat while my two year old adores all meats. I try to get around this by disguising things, so I would tend to coat chicken in egg and breadcrumbs for my son to make chicken nuggets and for my daughter, I’d just stick to a variety of veg."

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Judith's favourite recipe

"Chicken fajitas with all ingredients laid out for the kids to assemble."

Make your own fajitas with our Vegetable Fajitas recipe which can be ready in just 20 minutes:

Judith's top tips

"Use cookie cutters to cut out sandwiches to make them more appealing."

"Eat together as a family as often as possible to get them to associate dinner time with fun times."

"Keep putting things on your kids’ plates even if they don’t like it so they can get used to it and eventually they’ll be more likely to pick it up."

This article was created as part of

Eat Better Feel Better

Explore this article's topics:

Food & Eating Healthy helpers Child (4-8 years)

Last updated: 10 Dec, 2018