Celebrity chef Michael Van der Elzen wouldn’t describe himself as a fussy eater and he has always encouraged his own children, Hazel (5) and Ivy (3) to try different styles of food. “I’m quite firm with them in the hope they won’t be fussy,” he admits. “From a young age they have tried spicy Asian and Indian food and even olives.”
One of the stars of TV One’s Kiwi Living, Michael has teamed up with Weet-Bix to encourage Kiwi families to eat a Better Brekkie. These are his tips for fussy breakfast eaters:
- Don’t try bribing them by saying if you eat this then you can have that – it’s a slippery slope. Instead use the foods they do like and build on them. Make it fun and keep trying out new things.
- Give them Weet-Bix with hot milk that has a touch of cocoa powder in it. As they’re eating this, it will soften. Challenge them to get through it before it turns completely mushy.
- Children love smoothies. Give them my Weet-Bix Wake Up Shake and they’ll have no idea it’s got all that breakfast goodness blended up in it. Even if you haven’t got a blender, you can still make this. Just soak the Weet-Bix in milk and mix with mashed banana with a little honey.”
Weet-Bix Wake-Up Shake
With all the goodness of bananas, dates and Weet-Bix, the Weet-Bix Wake-Up Shake delivers a source of iron and fibre.
- 2 Weet-Bix wheat biscuits
- 300ml So Good Almond Milk
- 1 banana
- 4 dates
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
1. Place the Weet-Bix into a blender with the So Good Almond Milk and let soak for a minute to soften.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
Michael Van de Elzen’s tips for lunchboxes OR lunchbox ideas
With his own five-year-old daughter Hazel about to start school for the first time, celebrity chef Michael Van de Elzen has been turning his thoughts towards interesting and nutritious lunchbox ideas.
“Her friends will know her parents are both chefs so we’re expecting her lunchbox to be greatly anticipated and we’ve been making lists of different things we can include in it,” says Michael. “I was sent to school with curried egg sandwiches five times a week and in the end I rebelled by stashing them in the bin and going to the tuckshop. That’s why variety is so important.”
One of the stars of TV One’s Kiwi Living, Michael has teamed up with Weet-Bix to encourage Kiwi families to eat a Better Brekkie. Michael shares his ideas for nutritious lunchbox ideas.
- Involve the children by getting them to help make simple, nourishing muesli bars for their own lunchboxes. Crumble up Weet-Bix, add oats, dried fruit such as dates, apricots or dehydrated apples, honey to sweeten, butter to bind it all together, then pack it into a baking tin, bake in the oven, cool and cut.
- Children love wraps and pita pockets. Give them all the ingredients and let them make up their own.
- Include lots of things to nibble on like hummus, fresh cucumber sticks and, for a treat, my Weet-Bix Pancake Roll Ups.
Weet-Bix Pancake Roll Ups
(Serves 3, makes 6 pancakes)
Weet-Bix Pancake Roll Ups are a fun way to deliver a source of fibre – served with a twist the children will love. They can even help make them!
- ½ cup flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Weet-Bix wheat biscuits
- 2 small whole eggs
- 200ml reduced fat milk or milk alternative
- 100ml water
- rice bran oil for frying
- 3 banana
- 6 plums (fresh or stewed)
- 6 tbsp low fat yoghurt to serve
1. Sift the flour and combine with salt, brown sugar and finely crushed Weet-Bix.
2. Slowly add eggs until mixture is well combined. Add the milk, small amounts at a time, and mix until smooth.
3. Finally add the water to the desired thickness.
4. Heat a small amount of oil in a 25 cm non-stick fry pan and pour in 60 mls (¼ cup) of pancake mix. Ensure you move the pan around until the mixture fills the bottom.
5. Cook for approximately 2 minutes, until lightly brown and then flip and repeat.
6. Roll each pancake around half a banana and pack them into the lunch box or serve for breakfast with plums and yoghurt.
Michael Van de Elzen’s tips for more exciting breakfasts
The most unusual breakfast celebrity chef Michael Van der Elzen ever ate was while he was living in Ireland. “They have white pudding there instead of black pudding,” he explains. “The first time I saw it I thought I’m not going to eat that. Then I tried it and wow it’s good.”
Michael also has fond memories of the breakfasts he and wife Belinda enjoyed during the three months they spent in India. “There was so much amazing fruit. We’ve never felt so healthy in our lives.”
One of the stars of TV One’s Kiwi Living Michael has teamed up with Weet-Bix to encourage Kiwi families to eat a Better Brekkie. These are his tips to liven up the first meal of the day.
- If time is short in the mornings make porridge the night before with oats and coconut milk plus some crumbled up Weet-Bix. Put it in jars and chill in the fridge. In the morning top with sliced fruit and even some crumbled nuts. It’s almost like a pudding so the children will be happy and you’ll have it ready in moments.
- For a summery treat make my tasty Weet-Bix Tropical Stack. You can use tinned mango slices in natural juice if frozen isn’t available or swap out the fruit for something different for a change.
Weet-Bix Tropical Stack
- 2 slices frozen mango (defrosted)
- ¾ cup unsweetened yoghurt (200g)
- 1 cup sliced peaches in natural juice (100g)
- 2 bananas, sliced
- 4 Weet-Bix wheat biscuits
- 1 ¼ cups milk (300ml)
- Garnish – desiccated coconut (optional)
1. Place your mango into a small bowl and using the back of a fork, smash the mango into a puree, add the yoghurt and stir to combine.
2. Take a 270ml glass and start to layer your stack, starting with one crushed Weet-Bix wheat biscuit then sliced banana and peaches and the mango yoghurt.
3. Repeat once again.
4. Pour over the milk when ready.
5. If preferred, blend ingredients into a smoothie
Michael Van de Elzen’s tip for after-school snacks
Healthy eating is always at the forefront of celebrity chef Michael Van de Elzen’s mind and providing energetic children with a yummy after-school snack is a good way to help ensure they don’t go off track.
“If it’s always the same old thing that’s when they’re tempted to stop at the shop for a bag of chips,” says the TV One Kiwi Living star. “Weet-Bix is a versatile base and it’s so easy to build on the flavour. Use instead of crispbreads and the children will love it. Try topping with a blend of ingredients such as avocado, Marmite, cheese and tomato.”
Michael Van de Elzen’s tips for cutting down on sugar
On a recent family trip to Samoa celebrity chef Michael Van de Elzen was stunned to find how loaded up with sugary treats the breakfast buffet was. “It was a challenge trying to steer the children away from all these sweet things,” says Michael. “I don’t think we should be having that much sugar for breakfast.”
One of the stars of TV One’s Kiwi Living, Michael has teamed up with Weet-Bix to encourage Kiwi families to eat a Better Brekkie. As well as being high in fibre, iron and B vitamins, Weet-Bix is low in sugar. These are Michael’s tips for adding a hint of natural sweetness.
- Dried fruit such as dates are ideal – you can even blend dates into shakes and smoothies.
- Stone fruit and fresh blueberries give a wholesome burst of sweetness to smoothies, breakfast trifles and yoghurts.
- Try a sprinkle of coconut sugar. It has fantastic flavour and it’s less refined. I also love to use a drizzle honey or good quality 100% maple syrup.
For more information, visit www.weetbix.co.nz/the-better-brekkie-programme/
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