Helping families enjoy exciting, varied dishes from breakfast to dinner has always been a huge passion of mine, and while I share new recipes ideas all the time, what has also proved a huge part of what I do over the years is helping parents navigate picky eating and succeed in producing meals the whole family will eat.
After 8 years, it's all culminated in a book I'm so proud to see out in the world and available online, in bookshops and in supermarkets: Get Your Kids to Eat Anything. A cookbook, yes, but so much more.
Get Your Kids to Eat Anything: a 90-second explainer
In a hurry? Here's a quick 90-second explainer to give you a sense of how much Get Your Kids to Eat Anything could change your family mealtimes.
Want a bit more info? Read on!
Delving into Get Your Kids to Eat Anything
Get Your Kids to Eat Anything, tackles one of the biggest parenting challenges of all: fussy eating.
And it’s more than just a cookbook! It’s a 5-phase programme that aims to foster the whole family’s enthusiasm for a variety of ingredients and meals through a host of activities, challenges and 70 really tasty, family-friendly recipes.
The 5-Phases are designed to take you through a meaningful, simple and sustainable journey to end fussy eating. They are:
PHASE 1: PUT THE UNFAMILIAR INTO THE FAMILIAR
Introduce elements of unfamiliar colour, flavour or texture into family favourites. Think spinach “meatballs” or lentil bolognese.
PHASE 2: EDUCATE
Experiment with texture, taste and smell. Look into the science of taste, understand where food comes from and grow your own.
PHASE 3: DISCOVER THE FUN IN FOOD
Build a new level of enthusiasm for variety with creative, exciting dishes such as pancake plate art and bright red risotto.
PHASE 4: STEP INTO THE UNKNOWN
Push food boundaries with surprising flavour combinations, such as strawberries and cream pasta!
PHASE 5: CEMENT VARIETY
Now it’s time to make sure the habit sticks. You'll learn techniques to keep your family mealtimes varied long-term.
How do the phases work?
With Get Your Kids to Eat Anything, you'll embark on a food discovery which will change the way you look at food and bring healthy variety into every meal for years to come.
You will ease away from the same four-to-six staple meals most families fall back on, towards truly varied meal plans from day to day, week to week, to the point where introducing your whole family to new flavours, colours and textures is a breeze because new is the norm.
Most importantly, this is a programme based on the experiences of real families. It's borne from years of cooking for my own children - the successes, the failures, the learnings and the breakthroughs - and from conversations with YOU, the thousands of amazing readers who join in the conversation on my blog every week.
I’m really proud of Get Your Kids to Eat Anything. It’s a tried and tested process the whole family can work through together and really enjoy. I hope you will too!
Are the recipes just for little ones?
No! From jacket potato with homemade
The activities and challenges are written with primary school children in mind, but again, are designed to try out and enjoy as a family and children below and above that age range could definitely get involved.
Does the programme mean more time spent on cooking forever?
No! I'm a busy parent too and know that few mums and dads have time to spend hours in the kitchen, so the vast majority of the recipes are ready in 30 minutes, some take less than 10!
And every recipe in the book sticks readily available supermarket ingredients, so you won't be expected to drive across the county looking for a specialist sauce!
All the recipes are laid out in fortnightly meal plans with space for you to add your own meals, and there's a complete set of shopping lists at the back too. Easy!
You will, of course, need to invest some time in working through the programme together, but the return on that is being able to look in the fridge, cobble together a single meal and know that your whole family will eat it, without complaints!
The buzz so far
Get Your Kids to Eat Anything launched less than 2 weeks ago, and there has already been some incredible coverage, including a 3-page feature in the Saturday Telegraph.
This featured some recipes from the book and you can still see the whole article online if you have a Telegraph subscription.
I also woke up last week to an amazing double-page spread in The Sun, which saw a family of four put some of my tips from the book through their paces with great success.
I love nothing more than seeing families put the programme into practice, so this was a really proud moment.
And lots of regional papers ran my tips, including The Irish News, York Press, Belfast Telegraph and Aberdeen Evening Express.
It's certainly been an exciting time. And there's more!
I am featured as a guest expert for the Spring 2019 issue of Mother and Baby Magazine, in which I wrote all the tips, tricks and recipes for a bumper 10-page feature on making food fun. It's out now!
The reviews are in!
Authors, journalists, and family and food bloggers have shared their thoughts on the book in their droves, and I've been blown away by their support.
The book I’d like to force into any mother’s kitchen [...] I particularly like her stance that parents should feel alongside children, exploring new tastes, textures and colours, rather than opposed to them. - Prue Leith
- “You are encouraged to take your children food shopping with you to explore different ingredients, do some food tasting, grow their own herbs and so much more to make the whole experience fun and interesting.” - Birds and Lillies
- “[Get Your Kids to Eat Anything] is a real resource to teach your family to try new things, embrace new flavours and open up the dinner table to whole new experiences that will change the way you eat as a family for life.” - What the Redhead Said
- “The process has meant we're eating more fruit & veg [...] but we're also able to branch out & try new flavours. [Gracie] will now eat red cabbage, spinach & mushrooms – something I never thought I’d
liveto see!” - What Katy Said
- “[Get Your Kids to Eat Anything] is a valuable kitchen resource in encouraging me and my family to try something different. I love that the recipes aren’t overly complicated, are easy to follow, and use ingredients that are readily available” - Life in Full Flavour
“The book has been great for giving me new ideas as well as helping the children feel involved and excited about mealtimes.” - Once Fallen Angel
[Get Your Kids to Eat Anything] goes far beyond hiding vegetables in sauces. Leary’s is a five-phase method for winning over fussy eaters. - Jess Salter for The Telegraph
- “The ideas can fit easily into busy family life and each recipe is explained simply. As someone who doesn’t think of myself as a great cook, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how many different things I have made” Just Eilidh
- "I absolutely love Emily’s approach, so much of her philosophy on feeding kids chimes with my own. It’s all about taking a relaxed approach to feeding your kids, experimenting and finding fun and enjoyment in exploring new foods together." - Eats Amazing
- “After just a short time of using this book and following Emily’s helpful advice, mealtimes are getting easier, less frustrating, and food (of the non-beige variety) is actually being eaten and enjoyed by all! ” - Pushing the Moon
- “[Get Your Kids to Eat Anything] is jam-packed with information. It is full to the brim of suggestions on how you can improve you & your child’s experience of eating. Every phase is clearly outlined & influenced by real-life experience.” - Happy Family Hub
- “I started to read the introduction, and despite it being late at night, I couldn't stop. I read the whole book in one go.” - Steph's Two Girls
- “Thanks to some helpful hints and tips from Emily I’ve been able to incorporate some of these “problem” foods back into our meals without needing to hide them – simply by changing the way we approach them.” - Les Be Mums
- “Judging by the small progress we have made so far, this book is going to make a huge difference to our lives. Thanks Emily – looks like you’ve written a right corker here!” - Mummy in a Tutu
- “With Emily’s programme in mind, I've been more adventurous [...] In the last week [JJ] has had falafel for lunch & scoffed down courgette muffins. My mindset towards what to feed the children is slowly changing” - OddHogg
They both ate and enjoyed the purple sprouts, which was amazing as they wouldn’t touch the sprouts in their Christmas dinners. - Cushway family for The Sun
- “If you’re looking for a simple way to meal plan, and try new dishes with your little ones, then you’ll love that this book comes with a fantastic shopping list too for each of the phases.” - Allergy Free Day
- “What I love about this book is that it’s so much more than just a cookbook. There’s a load of ideas for getting your kids involved in growing, buying and cooking their food. ” - Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen
- “Get your kids to eat anything is a wonderful investment for your family. It is in an investment in your kid’s health, future and social world as well as a saver for your time and energy.” - Eat Simply
- “One of my favourite things about Get Your Kids to Eat Anything is how easy it makes getting your children involved in understanding what is in their food and being able to help prepare it” - Stopping at Two
- "My 8-year-old son has just been diagnosed with a dairy intolerance, so we’re navigating that at the moment and his fear of his pain returning has made him rather wary of food. Many of his favourite staples are now off the menu, so we’re enjoying working through this book to help introduce new foods." - Veggie Desserts
- “Get Your Kids To Eat Anything is a fabulous guide book. It makes you reevaluate the way your family thinks about food. The recipes are brilliant, the plan is foolproof and the food photography is simply stunning!” - Messy Blog
- "The book is cram packed with incredible recipes from tomato and wild garlic focaccia, curried fish fingers with sweet potato chips, chunky stacked onion and fennel burgers and colourful fruit and veg lollies.” - Chilling With Lucas
- “It isn't just a recipe book, it is a whole way of getting children to enjoy trying new food. Fantastic for mums like me, with my two. They have actually been really excited about trying out some of the recipes.” - Stopping at Two
- “We went through every single page, looking at all the recipes, and seeing which ones he was most excited about. His reaction was pretty crazy (think what you see in the video and multiply that by at least ten)." - The Family Patch
- “Get your Kids to Eat Anything solves a problem many parents face and does so in a way that is both respectful to kids and lots of fun. It is a winner!” - Family Budgeting
five phaseplan makes a lot of sense. I would thoroughly recommend making the chicken and vegetable black noodle sirfry and pineapple bowl smoothie, which was a massive hit with my daughters” - Dad Blog UK
Emily has managed to combine her mummy knowledge and passion for food to make a truly helpful and brilliant cookbook - Priya Tew, RD, BSc (Hons), Msc
- “It's early days yet, but I can really see how this approach is going to work [...] And being vegetarian I was really pleased to see how many suitable recipes there are, using a wide range of ingredients.” - Jennifer’s Little World
- “Emily’s book takes away the headache, and provides ideas and strategies, so your frazzled brain doesn’t have to. Coupled with gorgeous recipes like this, we don’t think that the book title can be far off the mark." - Kiddycharts
- “Get Your Kids to Eat Anything gives you the foundation to start to make changes. There’s so much knowledge and inspiration in there that it gives you confidence.” - Mummy’s Waisted
- “Armed with the knowledge within Get Your Kids To Eat Anything, I am slowly but surely bringing new flavours and exciting meals into our weekly meal plan.” - Just the Three of Us
- “Make progress with fussy eaters with staged activities, hints & recipes. The gentle steps could be exactly the structure you need to bring confidence & enjoyment back into planning, cooking & eating as a family” - Parent Shap
- “[Get Your Kids to Eat Anything] is so much more than just a recipe book. Yes, there are beautiful pictures and great meal ideas in there but it is really a new approach to eating [with] practical applications, in an easy to follow way.” - Free From Farm
Why buy Get Your Kids to Eat Anything?
Whether you've just gone with the flow and found yourselves in a family mealtime rut, or you've tried everything and feel at the end of your tether, most of us face some degree of fussy eating.
Get Your Kids to Eat Anything will help
It's organised, it's interactive, it's simple and it works.
If you have any questions, just let me know!
Get Your Kids to Eat Anything by Emily Leary is published by Mitchell Beazley, £16.99 (www.octopusbooks.co.uk). Book photography by Tom Regester.