Can't cook, no time to cook!

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Magnet website (UK)

Kim Wilde provides tips for busy Mums on home cooked nutritious meals in minutes and how to save time in the kitchen.

Celebrity Mum of two Kim Wilde, who still spends much of her time touring Europe blasting out her timeless hits such as 'Kids in America' and 'You Keep Me Hangin' On', knows just how little time working Mums have to cook for their families, let alone cook nutritious meals from scratch. So Kim has teamed up with kitchen expert Magnet
to share her top tips on not only how to cook a healthy meal in minutes, but how to get children to eat fresh vegetables.

Children are notorious for being fussy eaters and getting them to eat five-a-day is an ongoing challenge for most Mums.

Kim Wilde's horticultural skills have allowed her children to grow up with access to home grown fruit or vegetables almost every day, but here she shares her top tips for helping to persuade children to love veggies as much as they do chips and beans.

1. Excite children about vegetables

"My children have been around vegetables all their lives as we have always had a vegetable patch. I think this is a big part of the secret in getting children to like vegetables.
"I have always involved my children in growing, picking and cooking vegetables so I don't have to disguise them in meals. As children's senses are excited by touch, sight and smell, getting them involved in the growing process means that they are not only learning about where food comes from but are comfortable with vegetables and look
forward to eating them.

"I would encourage mums to try growing their own vegetables. It doesn't have to be a big part of the garden and you will find most are easy to grow. If you don't have space to grow any veggies in your garden, try growing fruit, herbs and vegetables on your kitchen windowsill to encourage them to take an interest in nature."

2. Introduce exotic vegetables

"There are so many wonderful and exotic vegetables in supermarkets these days and this provides an ideal platform to encourage children to get excited about vegetables.
Aubergines for instance have a wonderful purple colour and taste great too. Involve your children in picking and selecting unusual vegetables so they are involved in the process from start to finish."

3. Make cooking fun

"By getting children involved with cooking you will not only educate them in basic culinary skills but you can make it a fun activity for the family so they become more motivated to sample the results. Allow them to help with preparation (all adult supervised of course) and devise your own recipes – with their help - so you can create a fun activity that encourages creativity."

4. Nutritious meals in minutes

"As a busy working Mum, it’s often tempting to give children a ready meal. Although of course on occasions we do this as a bit of a treat, you can make nutritious, quick and easy meals in minutes if you are pressed for time:

Stir fry’s are a great way to get vegetables into a meal and they take minutes in a wok to cook. Using lean chicken, add spices and soy sauce as desired to give flavour.

I always have a stock of home made soups in the freezer which you can defrost and eat in minutes. I use seasonal vegetables like pumpkin and apple in the autumn and experiment with flavours like beetroot and orange for a tasty, low fat meal that's ideal for an after school snack.

Frittatas and omelettes are a great way to incorporate vegetables and eggs and you can add fresh herbs for a quick and tasty meal."

5. If all else fails - hide the vegetables

"I'd recommend not hiding vegetables as it's better to educate children about them, but if they are still struggling to eat them then hide the veggies! Meals like Spaghetti Bolognese are a great way to hide veggies as you can grate carrots, leeks and finely cut
mushrooms without them being visible to the children and its quick and easy to make. I would also use organic, lean meat where possible."

6. Create a family friendly kitchen

"I love the layout and design of Magnet’s Cubista Walnut kitchen. It's a similar layout to my kitchen as it's a space that enables you to not only cook, but watch TV, eat, get children to do their homework and chill out in."

Magnet's top family kitchen tips are:

  • Include a breakfast bar – this enables you to chat to your children and cook at the same time
  • Use safety gadgets like remote locking doors, hob guards and lockable bleach cages so products are out of harms way
  • A flip down TV can be incorporated into kitchen designs to entertain children but can then be neatly tucked away under cupboards when not in use
  • An American style fridge/freezer can house lots of food and drink – ideal for a hungry family

A family kitchen can be any style or colour. Express your family’s personality and have fun with the design!

For further information visit www.magnet.co.uk or call 0845 123 6789