We started following Lizzie on Instagram earlier this year and we fell in love with her delicious, fresh and healthy family friendly food. We’ve since made so many of her recipes and we have already pre-ordered her book (Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food) so we decided to get in contact with her to ask some questions! Thank you Lizzie!!
You are obviously very passionate about food. Where did that passion come from?
I think a big family, based in the kitchen, always discussing the next meal was a start. And growing up I spent months every year in the hills in Italy eating the most delicious tuscan food. And I’m just very greedy!
How did you start your journey into making food your career?
It was never a choice really. I had my first baby 9 years ago and became fascinated by the massive impact food has on our health, and wanted to make easy, delicious recipes that everyone could too, but that would fill kids with goodness.
Has your cooking or the way you cook changed since having children?
I went from spending days shopping and planning for a huge dinner party that would last hours to sweating sleep deprived blood over mountains of squash puree that was batted to the floor in an instant. It’s a baptism of unruly fire and everything changed immediately.
Now I make things in 10-15 minutes, usually with just a quick rifle through the fridge. It usually goes down, but if it doesn’t we move on! And you eat the leftovers later.
Do you have tips for fussy eaters?
Kids are programmed to be fussy and suspicious and particular. I’ve got a part of my book dedicated to this problem as so many people are brought to their knees by this.
One of my top tips would be – don’t underestimate hunger as a tool. I don’t mean starving anyone, of course, but endless snacks all day and bags of rice cakes snaffled in between meals will fill up tiny tummies. A toddler with an appetite is so much more likely to try out something new, or enjoy a bowl of something they said they didn’t like before. It works so often for me!
What gave you the idea to do specific nutrition and cooking days for nannies and what can a nanny expect from one of your days?
I was asked by a great friend, Thomasina Miers, who wanted to make sure her au pair was cooking her girls really tasty, good food, and to give her new ideas and recipes to use.
It’s a really fun day of talking about what kids need, and how their needs are so different to ours, to cooking up lots of recipes, and trying them out together. Nannies have loved this course, and mums have told me they’ve noticed so many changes in attitudes and cooking skills, they often come back for another one.
Your instagram feed is followed by over 18000 people (Amazing!), was there a moment where it suddenly took off for you or has it been a steady climb?
It goes up in fits and starts and I know it makes people pay attention but I try not to try and figure it out. Articles in the press always make a difference, and being mentioned on a huge Instagram feed, but otherwise it’s pretty steady.
We’re super excited to get our hands on your book (Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food) in January, can you tell us a little about it?
I’m SO excited too, I can’t really believe it will be in my hands. It’s like my 4th baby.
It is the book that I really wanted when I had just had a baby, and it’s a beautiful, modern bible for delicious food that will make you all feel great. Families, students, busy people anywhere who don’t have time to soak nuts but want to stay healthy will all love it!
Do you and your family have a favourite recipe?
My kids eat the Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes at least once a week. I tweak it and change it around but they always ask for it.
But they would all say they’re favourite recipe was Spaghetti Vongole, they love pasta like all kids, but with the added onus of juicy clam nuggets that they slurp up out of their shells.
It’s sometimes so unexpected what is going to be a hit, so just make sure to let them try everything! I had no idea my 4 year old would eat a bowl of vongole!