If you’re struggling to keep the peace at dinner time, you might be heartened to know that even one of the world’s most vocal proponents of eating together finds mealtimes with kids a tricky business.
“I’d say about three times out of 10 it’s really pleasant,” Jamie said.
“But seven times out of 10, someone’s kicking off. It’s carnage,” the dad-of-five admitted.
Further, he noted that keeping everyone’s foodie preferences in check proved a very relatable challenge.
“Look, cooking for kids is utter psychological warfare and this thing called perfection doesn’t really exist!”
Best laid plans
It’s heartening to hear this from the high profile chef, who had previously spoken out against pandering to children’s whims and implementing a tough love approach.
“We are too subservient to our kids – you have to be tough,” he’d previously told news.com.au.
“To love a child is saying no sometimes. It is much easier to give in but the minute you give in consistently you are in trouble.”
It seems that in theory, the hard line sounds ideal. In reality, though, things play out differently.
I had the pleasure to cook some amazing sea trout marinated with wild herbs olive oil fresh grated horse radish and lemon what a joy!! Cooked on a medium BBQ over apple oak so the skin goes so crispy and I put the lid down so it was just cooked with juicy blushing flakes so good….. oh and a little help from my little petal x
“My family isn’t perfect”
Jamie admitted that keeping kids focused on the (delicious) task at hand often proved near impossible, too.
“My family isn’t perfect… it’s like warfare,” he said, revealing that concessions were made very often, to keep the peace. (Sound familiar?!)
“We’ve struggled with the ‘no electronics at the table’ rule for older kids yes, and for Petal she is edging towards being a little bit of spoilt brat – everyone wants to placate here the louder she screams and I have to admit that sometimes to have some peace while we eat she will get to watch Fireman Sam on the TV.”
Parents reading Jamie’s comments will be intimately familiar the appetite suppressing power of a very cross toddler or upturned bowl of soup. Sometimes “flexibility” in the name of peace is the only way to ensure everyone gets something in their tummies and a modicum of sanity is maintained when the whole gang sits down to eat.
Is meal time chaos at your place? Can you relate to life at Chez Oliver?