How do you get the kids to eat more fruit and veg?
When it comes to being a family food blogger, you need two vital ingredients; an eye for detail, and an inspired palette. Janani - aka ‘Everyday Eats with Tara’ - has both of these in super-size portions. She also knows a thing or two about getting little ones to eat fruit and veg from their childs plate!
Interview with Janani
Every month we cast the spotlight on inspiring female talent and parents to share with our community. This edition, we chat to Janani; a mum, foodie and law graduate.
(Munchy Play kids plate creation by Jan)
Fans of her Instagram feed, are treated to a smorgasbord of; one-pot wonders, fuss-free pasta, and homely meat-free dishes with a nod to her time living in India. All marvellously conjured up for her three-year-old daughter Tara. It’s no surprise that brands like Aldi and Little Dish have collaborated with her.
How did you get into food - what or who have been your influences?
Cooking has been my passion from a very young age. My Grandma was a big influence, I remember her praising me for a sandwich I made using leftover vegetable curry as a filling. She would bribe me with toffee bars, in return for making simple meals form her. This gave me a passion for cooking which stays with me to this day.
My mum is also an excellent cook. My brother and I were really fussy eaters when we were kids, so she would make us innovative and delicious foods, without any complaints. I’ll be proud if I do half of what she did for us!
How has Motherhood changed the way you cook?
Before Tara, my recipes were repetitive and mostly depended on my mood. I had a very busy job, so it was all about super quick meals and one pot dishes without a thought about nutrition.
During weaning, it became clear that I needed to expose Tara to different foods and promote healthy eating from the start. But we needed to set an example, so our way of eating as a family changed significantly.
Today, I use fresh produce over canned processed foods, I’ve lowered our salt intake, and I’ve stopped preparing deep fried foods.
What advice can you give other parents looking to make the switch to plant-only food?
Be confident and make the switch if you feel it’s right. There’s a common fear among parents that following a vegetarian diet may not provide kids with enough nutrients, but it’s really not so.
A plant based diet is beneficial in the long run. Its proven to reduce the risk of cancer and offers varied health benefits like lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of diabetes and maintaining a healthy heart.
What can parents do if they have a fussy eater?
There are three key parent hacks to feed nutritious foods to fussy eaters.
What is your go-to kids dish?
There are days when I know she is going to be fussy, I think it’s one of those ‘Mom instincts’ on those days, I make her favourite - mixed veg curry and cumin rice. It’s an absolute winner with a blend of five different vegetables and a generous handful of nuts like cashews and almonds.
What’s next for ‘Everyday Eats with Tara’?
I have something very exciting coming up on Tara’s birthday this year, but it’s a secret for now.
I’m also launching a campaign to support small businesses, using my Instagram page. The goal is to collaborate and help them, as I move toward becoming a full time recipe developer and content creator. There’s a lot to learn, I’ll never stop learning…..