Lucy Milne (27) lives in Dundee with her partner Barry (29) and their three boys: Lucas (3), Millan (2) and Leo (12 weeks old). Since Barry works offshore, Lucy currently spends her time looking after their kids while also working as a part-time waitress.
What Lucy says
Why is healthy eating important to you and when did you start cooking?
"I am very passionate about healthy eating and cooking but I didn’t give healthy eating a lot of thought until I became a mum. When my boys started to wean, I became more careful about the kinds of food I was giving them, so I tried making my own homemade ketchup, baked beans, sugar free tomato sauce and even homemade chicken goujons and fish fingers. It’s amazing how much excess salt and sugar are in basic ingredients like ketchup and baked beans. I didn’t want my kids to have too much sugar in their diet so I decided to try and make these things myself. The experience encouraged me to make virtually everything from scratch and now I know exactly what I’m putting into my kids’ meals."
What do you think is a common myth held about healthy eating?
Are your children fussy eaters and how do you overcome teatime tantrums?
"I never bought them ‘kids food’ growing up. They ate what we ate and, because of that, they are not fussy eaters. If you raise your kids to eat only certain kinds of meals, they will only eat those things and will be less willing to try new things. I try to feed my kids new meals every so often, by introducing them to new tastes and textures. I’m hoping that inspiring them to eat well at a young age will instil in them a habit of healthy eating."
What is one of your success stories when it comes to getting your kids to eat healthily?
What are some of your top tips for getting your kids to eat healthily?
"One of my best tips for getting her kids to eat healthily is by making meal time a fun experience for them. I like to call my meals ‘dinosaur food’ or ‘tiger food’ which encourages the kids to eat without any fuss. If my kids don’t want to eat something, I won’t force them. Instead I encourage them to try new things. For example, if they don’t want to eat something like broccoli, I’ll group it with another ingredient they enjoy like carrots. They are more likely to eat it if it’s grouped alongside another kind of food."
What is your favourite recipe?
"I like to make is anything with a tomato base such as chilli con carne spaghetti Bolognese and curries. I like to use a slow cooker to prepare a lot of these recipes as it’s an easy way to cook a big family dinner without spending hours in the kitchen. I will also batch freeze a lot of my meals that she can use at a later time during the week."
Lucy's favourite recipe
"Tomato and tuna pasta with pesto, herbs and chilli flakes.
It only takes 10 minutes and it’s a good source of nutrients, protein and good fats. Plus, if there’s extra sauce leftover, I like to use it to make homemade pizzas."
If you want to make your own tomato and tuna pasta, give this recipe a go: http://www.eatbetterfeelbetter.co.uk/recipe/tuna-pasta-salad.
Lucy's top tips
"I try to make meal times a fun experience for my kids. The more fun you make it, the more likely they are to eat healthily without any kind of fuss.
Try making a 'fakeaway' – our favourite is homemade chicken goujons and fish fingers. They’re much healthier than the fast food version and so simple to make. Plus, you can make them ahead of time and freeze them to use later."