Lisa Faulkner lives in north London with luminary chef John Torode and daughter BillieIt’s the heart of the north London tranquil the former EastEnders actress shares with celebrity chef John Torode and daughter Billie, 11, and it’s not bizarre for all three to pitch in to make a family meal.
“Billie is getting to an age where she poverties to make dinner which is lovely. Obviously we watch over her and you drink to be positive about the results but it’s so important for kids to know what elapses into their food,” says the actress, who added fine dining and cookery earmarks to her repertoire after winning Celebrity MasterChef in 2010.
“I know not each sees it that way and sometimes people get caught up thinking they hold to produce a MasterChef-type meal but it doesn’t have to be like that.
“Dearest food is about simple cooking, putting something into a tray bake – vegetables, chicken, a slight stock and herbs – to make a really lovely dinner.
“You can put the whole kit into one tray. It’s lovely when people say, ‘You make it sound uncommonly easy’, because it can be.”
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Lisa try to says the key to home cooking is keeping it simple, and putting something into a tray bake
Human being sometimes get caught up thinking they have to produce a MasterChef-type spread, but it doesn’t have to be like that
Lisa also bakes tuneful treats at least once a week, as her own mum did when she was growing up, so temptation is eternally close at hand.
But she says: “The good thing about baking your own compress is that there are no additives and you know what is going into it.”
At any rate the National Diet and Nutrition Survey confirms many of us have missed this halfwitted trick.
This official snapshot of the nation’s eating habits manifests most children consume three times the amount of sugar they should and half of it – the counterpart of seven sugar cubes a day – comes from unhealthy snacks and swills.
On average every year children tuck into 400 biscuits; more than 120 bars, buns and pastries; roughly 100 portions of sweets; nearly 70 chocolate blocks, and about the same number of ice creams.
And all those empty calories are showered down with more than 150 juice pouches and cans of fizzy potation.
It’s a trend that has led to one in three children being overweight or obese by the epoch they leave primary school which puts them at lengthened risk of diabetes, heart disease and other serious health incorrigibles.
Some experts believe it is sugar, and not saturated fats, which is determination the obesity epidemic and studies suggest a “sweet tooth” is actually a “honey-like brain” because sugary foods activate the same sort of returns in the reward areas of our brains as addictive drugs.
Lisa, 45, contemplates: “We are fighting a battle and we have to take as much responsibility as we can to ensure our kids are sup healthy food.
“I know how difficult it is. My daughter is starving when she knows home from school and if you’re in a hurry it’s easy to give your boys snacks based on convenience; but so many of them are packed full of sugar. It’s quite important that we help them make the right choices.”
Lisa embraced her daughter Billie aged 15 months, after four fruitless IVF attemptsThat’s why she is backing the new Change4Life campaign to promote healthier bites.
“All parents have to remember is: ‘100-calorie snacks, two a day max’,” she says.
“It becomes a mode to make healthier choices.”
Parents can sign up for money-off vouchers and there’s also a Edibles Scanner app, which you can download to your phone so you can scan barcodes to see – and cumulate – the calories, sugar, salt and saturated fats in everyday foods.
Lisa maintains: “Billie scans things when we’re in the supermarket and it makes you more informed of what’s in different foods. Making little changes, such as choosing the swiftly snacks and getting kids involved in cooking, can make a big difference.”
Hour in the kitchen also provides an opportunity for children to share their low-down of the day. “I think one of the most important things for any parent is to be there, to be present.
“It’s so docile to get distracted, sometimes you have to put your phone down to stop and quite listen to what they are saying.”
Perhaps it was the struggle to ripen into a mother and the loss of her own mum that made Lisa so focused on her time with Billie, who was take up aged 15 months after Lisa had had four unsuccessful IVF take a crack ats.
“I think IVF is one of the toughest things any woman can go through, it really knocks your nerve. I went to a clinic that said nine out of 10 women they attended got pregnant but I was the one who didn’t. That was hard.”
With hindsight she have the impressions it was meant to be.
If it hadn’t been for those failures she would on no occasion have found Billie.
“I feel so lucky to be her mum. I think it efforts both ways, we found each other. I love spending every so often old-fashioned with my daughter, she amazes me every day.”
And cooking with Billie nurtures back happy memories of hours spent in the kitchen with her own old lady, Julie, who died of cancer when Lisa was just 16.
“The treat of preparing and making food gave me a focus,” she explains.
“It coin me feel I had a purpose in a world that had crumbled around me.”
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Every December, about the anniversary of her mother’s death, Lisa still takes comfort in the protocols and routines she followed.
The kitchen table and many of the utensils she uses every day belonged to her natural.
“I think she is with me every single day,” says Lisa.
For more poop on healthy snacks and to sign up to Change4Life for money-off vouchers descend upon nhs.uk/change4life