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Free-range family food

01 July 2016

Knowing where our food comes from and how it gets to our plate is one way to encourage a healthy diet and love of good food, especially in children. If, like dad of three Lionel in France, you’re keen for your children to eat well and enjoy mealtimes, start getting them involved in as many stages of your meal preparation as possible. From growing and picking ingredients (in the garden, on the patio, or even a sunny windowsill), to shopping for groceries and cooking – there’s lots children can help with. As Lionel says: ‘It’s important for us to have knowledge of different ingredients.’ Try bringing some of his ideas into your family kitchen.


Lionel keeps his family connected to nature by growing vegetables and raising chickens. ‘We have three hens. They eat all our food scraps, the children share responsibilty for looking after them and they collect the eggs they lay each morning.’


‘We put as much workspace as possible in our kitchen so it’s easy for the family to cook side by side,’ says Lionel. To get everyone involved, think about how you store things – keep items small hands shouldn’t touch up high and things they can touch at their height.


Cook together from scratch when you can. ‘Omelettes are a quick, easy thing to make with our youngest daughter Thelma, 6. She cracks the eggs and whisks them, then I cook them and plate them up before Thelma adds the herbs. It’s fun teamwork,’ says Lionel.

‘Cooking and sharing meals is a way to spend time together as a family’

Lionel, environmental and safety manager, France

‘We eat together at the table every day. It’s an important time, when we can speak to each other without the TV or music distracting us’


Made by

Photography: Christina Bull
Styling: Ashlyn Gibson