I have friends who worry their daughters are overweight.
But you know in that polite way friends have with each other – on some subjects, you can’t say what you’re really thinking.
So I see fruit and vegetable star charts.
I see mothers taking their daughters to dieticians and paying for personal trainers and putting their daughters on “eating plans”
I listen to mothers transmitting all their years’ of accumulated expertise in dieting to the next generation.
Ultimately, I hear about daughters crying in their rooms, because they think they’re fat.
And this is what I want to say:
Stop worrying and start cooking.
Show your daughter the delights of food transformed by fire and knife.
Create daily occasions of coming together around the shared pleasure of a good meal.
Don’t make children’s food that you wouldn’t touch yourself like fish-fingers, boiled veggie sausages, or pasta and ketchup.
Give your food every advantage and cook with butter, olive oil, sunflower oil, salt, sugar, fresh herbs, ginger, spices, garlic, lemon, vinegars, chicken stock, vegetable stock, toasted sesame seeds, capers and anchovies (although not all at the same time).
Show them that food is wonderful and not forbidden.
Show them that our appetites are good and not shameful.
Teach them to eat at the table.
Throw away the scales, and don’t talk about diets or have diet books in the house.
Instead tell your daughters that their bodies are gorgeous and strong and capable.
Tell them how beautiful they are. Because they are. And you are too.
Then tell them to lay the table because supper is ready.
Limor’s turkey drumstick casserole
This is the best way I know to cook turkey drumsticks. It is truly delicious, plus thrifty. One drumstick has enough meat for two hungry people.
Sprinkle paprika on drumsticks and roast for an hour each side in 200c oven.
Shred meat from the bone then add meat to mix of balsamic vinegar, Worcester sauce, soya sauce, teriyaki sauce, lemon juice, olive oil and honey. Cook for another hour and a half with sweet potato cubes and chopped carrots that you’ve peeled and pre-nuked for 5 minutes. Serve with rice.