Liverpool mum starts lockdown kids healthy cooking sessions
3 years ago
Liverpool mum Sarah Griffiths is starting live online cooking sessions to help mums and dads make healthy meals for kids during lockdown.
Nutritionist Sarah, who has a two-year-old son, is going in front of the camera to share recipes and tips in weekly interactive classes which parents and children can join in.
With more people working and schooling from home, she says it can be difficult to keep coming up with ideas, especially on a budget.
“Trying to put meals together for the kids three or four times a day that are healthy and cost effective can become a bit of a nightmare,” says Sarah.
“I want to take some of the stress out of it by getting back to basics and cooking really simple, honest healthy meals. You don’t need big fancy expensive meals to keep the kids healthy, so you don’t have to try and be Delia Smith, we’re just mums trying to wing life at home with kids.”
Sarah, who lives in south Liverpool, launched her own healthy baby food brand Super Cool Food in January last year.
But just weeks after she started supplying nurseries, play centres and shops as well as doing home deliveries, the first lockdown came in and she was forced to close her industrial kitchens and put production on hold.
Leaving her new business dormant was frustrating, she says, but it also gave her the opportunity to take things in a new direction.
“I was so upset when I had to stop but then I sat back and thought, I’m 38, I’ve always wanted to write a kids recipe book but I’ve never had the time. I’d take my son Jaxon to nursery at 7am, go to the kitchens, cook for 10 hours, go home and be a mum, put him to bed and then be on social media dealing with orders until midnight.
“In lockdown I’ve had the chance to watch my baby grow up in front of me, he’s eaten healthily, and that’s inspired me to start writing and sharing my recipe ideas and tips.”
This Friday Sarah will be doing her first live Q&A on Super Cool Food’s Instagram stories, asking mums and dads what they want to see, and then she’s planning to start the live cooking sessions the week after.
“I’ve had a lot of people get in touch with me because although they’re getting used to being at home, and cooking at home more, they don’t always know what to make for their kids.
“My aim is to share recipes which will be in my book, I’ll let people know the ingredients to get in advance and then if they watch live we can cook together.
“And I’d really like people to get the kids doing it too because if you make cooking fun and get your child involved in making food then they’re more likely to eat it and enjoy it.”
Sarah says the recipes will all be really easy to follow, and she’ll be sharing tips for parents on the best places to buy ingredients and alternatives to swap if children have allergies or don’t eat certain foods.
“The first cooking Friday I’m going to do a live on homemade pizzas which is a really simple place to start because it’s basically wholemeal pitta breads with tomato puree or passata, a bit of cheese – dairy or dairy-free – with their favourite topping on it and it’s done – healthy pizzas made and cooked from scratch in about 15 minutes.
“I’ll go through all the recipes step by step, the ingredients and where’s best to shop for certain things – and it’ll be interactive so if you’re watching, you could say ‘Hi Sarah, my child has an allergy, what’s the alternative?’ and I can give advice.
“I want us to cook together and chat together along the way and people can ask me anything about health and nutrition.”
Sarah’s recipes are baby and toddler-friendly, and most can be made in bulk then frozen which keeps the cost down and makes life a bit easier for parents juggling working from home and looking after children.
“It can be cheap to cook healthy meals yourself, it’s just a question of knowing how to do it and having the ideas of what to cook.
“The recipes I’ll be doing are from six months upwards, so there’s things like blueberry and banana eggy bread which is a really good finger food, and fish croquettes which are a great way of getting carbs and protein into a tiny meal and something a bit different.
“I’m not saying this is right and this is wrong, I’m saying ‘try this because it’s better for your child’.
“I’ll be doing the live sessions at 1pm on Fridays, so people can batch cook and freeze for the following week.
“It’ll probably go wrong, I’ll probably burn something, and Jaxon will probably be running round my feet while I’m cooking but I’m not Nigella, I’m a real mum and that’s the reality of having a toddler.”