Survival for the Active Family

Survival for the Active Family

Survival for the Active Family

Don't know what to feed your family on a tight budget? Worried because your little ones are too fussy or because you just don't know what to cook when you only have 20 minutes spare? What to cook for dinner shouldn't be a struggle. Survival for the Active Family, the fourth cookbook in the hugely successful Survival series, combines easy to prepare, nutritious recipes that will be loved by the whole family, with tips on how to get active and encourage everyone to get more exercise.

Developed by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and Nestlé, the world's leading nutrition, health and wellbeing company, Survival for the Active Family has been written by leading AIS experts in the field of sport and nutrition and is inspired by some of the country's top athletes including AFL player Luke Ball, former Olympic gymnast and mother to Ruby 4 and Lola 18 months, Monique Allen and former Olympic swimmer Petria Thomas, mother to Aiden, 3 and Zara, 6 months.

More than just a cookbook, Survival for the Active Family is for everyday Australian families and includes tips on how to get kids active and keep them that way as well as over one hundred quick and nutritious recipes for every meal of the day. So whether it's a rushed or relaxed breakfast you're after, Survival for the Active Family offers a range of recipe ideas to get the day off to a good start.

Top tips from the book for getting your children active include:

  • Set up a weekly physical challenge such as how many star jumps they can do in a row or how many circuits of the back yard they can run
  • Cut down on TV, DVDs, surfing the net and playing computer games. These activities are okay to do some of the time but not all of the time
  • Get active early - active kids are more likely to become active adults, so teach them to enjoy it now

    Mum of two Petria Thomas offers her advice. She said: "When I first started at the AIS I was a fussy eater. I was encouraged to try many new foods and it paid off. I now spend my days giving that same nutritional messages to my children, especially Aiden. From my experience even the most stubborn person can learn to love lots of different foods."

    Dr Louise Burke, Head Dietitian for the AIS said: "Survival for the Active Family is all about the importance of combining activity and nutrition to give your family a healthy life. For our fourth book we've pooled our best recipes and tips, along with experience from our athletes to help create easy, healthy meals for all the family."

    Nestlé Corporate Senior Nutritionist, Dr Penny Small said: "Nestlé have an ongoing commitment to providing Australians with good food for good living every day and are proud to be a partner of the AIS. Survival for the Active Family aims to trouble-shoot problems that parents have in providing nutritious and delicious meals for their families."

    Nestlé have an ongoing commitment to providing Australians with good food for good living every day and are proud to be a partner of the AIS. Through online initiatives like Nestlé works to trouble-shoot problems that parents have in providing nutritious and delicious meals for their families. The website has over 500 delicious recipes including a selection of recipes to meet varying dietary needs, with easy to read nutrition tables and tips plus daily and weekly menu planners, measurement converters, personalised online cookbook, A-Z cooking glossary and more.

    The AIS Sports Nutrition website has recipes and information for athletes and their families who want to perform at their best. Fact sheets, recipes, FAQs, and information on a variety of publications can be found at

    Survival for the Active Family
    Author: Louise Burke
    ISBN: 9781742373058
    Price: $29.95

    Interview with Petria Thomas

    What are some examples of meals, outlined in the book, that only take 20 minutes?

    Petria Thomas: The great thing about Survival for the Active Family is that is contains a number of quick and easy recipes that are also nutritious. All recipes have been devised by experts at the AIS and at Nestle, Australia's leading nutrition company. Some good examples are rice paper rolls, buttermilk pancakes, chicken noodle soup and pumpkin macaroni.

    What do you have for breakfast?

    Petria Thomas: I usually have some Uncle Toby's Fruity Bites with low-fat milk and a glass of orange juice. For a bit of variety sometimes I have a bagel or toast.

    If we are short on time what is a great breakfast meal to prepare?

    Petria Thomas: I find toasted muesli, yoghurt and fruit is very quick. Always have some Uncle Toby's oats handy in your cupboard, they can be used for lots of different recipes.

    How can we encourage more exercise in our families, including with Dad?

    Petria Thomas: To organise activities 2-5 times a week as a family, even if it just means going for a walk. There are lots of things you can do as a family, playing in the park, going down to the local pool or beach for a swim, that kind of thing.

    How do you encourage a fussy child to try new meals?

    Petria Thomas: I used to be a fussy eater until I started at the AIS. I was encouraged to try new foods. My 3 year old son Aiden is now becoming fussy but I continue to try new foods with him. We actually got him to eat a piece of fish the other day which was like winning the Olympics all over again. One of the best things about Survival for the Active Family is that it has a lot of recipes that children will like as well as tips from all the athletes - many of whom are now parents - on how to cater for the whole family. For example involving the children in decision making and preparing meals makes them more likely to eat it.

    What is your favourite recipe and exercise tip in the book?

    Petria Thomas: My favourite recipe from Survival is the lasagna which is actually one of Louise Burke's (head dietitian at the AIS) recipes that she's been making for years. Louise encouraged me to try new things when I started at the AIS at 17, and this was one of those meals she encouraged me to try. My favourite activity tip is to keep encouraging your children to go outdoors and minimise time spent in front of the TV - children actually love being outdoors.

    Did you learn anything new teaming with AIS for this book? If so, what?

    Petria Thomas: The AIS and Nestle have definitely created a masterpiece in Survival for the active Family, it's helped me to continuously come up with new ideas and I've learnt some great tips on how to feed a fussy eater such as introducing new flavours to the table.

    Do you teach your own children to swim?

    Petria Thomas: I don't personally teach my children to swim, but my son Aiden goes to swimming lessons (my daughter Zara is still a bit young for formal lessons). I strongly believe that children should learn to be safe in the water and be able to enjoy that activates that water based recreation offers.

    What suggestions do you have to parents who are having trouble encouraging their children to learn to swim?

    Petria Thomas: Getting them in the water early has worked for me. If possible, take them down to the beach or pool to get them familiar with the water in an unstructured and relaxed environment. Showing a child how much fun an activity can be is also a big help!

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