Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day

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Food Revolution Day is happening on May 16 again this year. Anyone can join in and I’m starting to feel the fervour! Good food is dear to my heart.

So what is it all about?

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day is an annual global day of action that celebrates good, fresh, real food. It has been happening for several years now and so far 74 countries have taken part, including New Zealand. 

“It’s a day to shout about the benefits of cooking from scratch and, ultimately, to show people that not only is fresh food tastier, but changing their food choices can also make them healthier and happier," says chef Jamie Oliver.

That’s important for older people as well. The way I see it is that if we eat well we have a much better chance of staying in good health, retaining our independence and not be reliant on our relations or a burden on the public health system.

Especially for kids

However, I especially like the fact that this year, although Food Revolution Day is for all ages, the focus is on kids. 

There are some seriously disturbing statistics on the Food Revolution Day website including the fact that worldwide there are already more than 43 million children under the age of five who are either overweight or obese. If this continues, the figure will rise to nearly 60 million by 2020. And children today are the first generation predicted to live shorter lives than their parents because of diet and inactivity. However these diet related illnesses are entirely preventable.

This is why it is so important that this year’s Food Revolution Day is above all, about getting children excited about food. Jamie feels that it is our duty to ensure that the next generation should grow up ‘armed with the knowledge and skills they need to make good lifestyle choices. At the end of the day, they’ll become the next politicians, policy-makers, doctors, teachers and parents. It’s our responsibility to ensure they grow up food smart.’

His aim is a massive one: to get 1 million kids worldwide cooking from scratch!

How grandparents can help

One of the best things we as  grandparents can do for our grandchildren is, I think, not only to cook healthy meals for them, but to let them into our kitchens to learn basic cooking skills. Parents are often too busy, and tired by the end of the day, to do this. But we have the patience and time to show kids the basics, to make cooking fun and to inspire them with a love of food that will last a lifetime. 

Our granddaughters love cooking with me. To be honest there are times when they like it more than I do, especially if the kitchen is left in a terrible mess and I have to clean up after them. Not every recipe they attempt comes out perfectly. Last we week we finished up eating dumplings with burnt bottoms. But mostly it’s a lot of fun, they have already learnt a lot and they are on the way to being confident cooks.

From when they were tiny they have also learnt where some of their food comes from by watching their grandfather tending his vegetable garden. His lettuces and tomatoes finish up on our dinner table so they have experienced firsthand where some of their food comes from and how good it tastes when freshly harvested.

We’re not perfect! Too often we spoil our granddaughters with chips, biscuits and ice-cream rather than healthier snacks like hummus, crackers and fruit. 

Healthy recipes to get you started

My niece who has four children is very health conscious. She has cut the sugar in her home-made biscuits by half and says that her children haven’t even noticed! That seems like a good idea.

If you feel motivated to part of Food Revolution Day you can find a bunch of healthy recipes on their website at

http://www.foodrevolutionday.com/recipes/

One section is for children, one for families and one for grownups. This evening we tried the light Caesar salad with a yoghurt dressing. With the addition of some crumbled bacon it was low on calories and tasted really good. The rainbow salad wrap looks easy enough for grandchildren to make with a little help. And the banana bread which has only a little honey to sweeten it rather than sugar would make a great afternoon tea treat for them, and for us.

It’s worth reading all the other information on this website as well. I found it both informative and inspiring.

Read more from Lyn Potter here