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Nadiya and her three kids

Nadiya Hussain: My family favourites


As our star columnist returns to TV with a new show and cookbook, she reflects on juggling the demands of her success and being a mum.

Being a mother is by far one of the hardest jobs in the world. No paid holidays, no on-call allowance, no company car, no pension. All mothers know it’s a job and a half: tough, but the most satisfying. Before the madness, I was at home looking after the children and that was my job – a housewife, a home maker and, most importantly, a mum to my three children. So, of course, life has changed at a tremendous pace.


Now I have to do all of the above as well as being an author, cook and presenter. The first few years were the toughest juggling act I had ever experienced. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of an incredible husband (who irons, might I add!). But it doesn’t feel wrong to describe it as a juggling act, because we felt like the circus. I lived in fear of my child being the only one dressed in uniform on World Book Day or the like – I think that is every parent’s nightmare. So to avoid that, we have become meticulous about putting everything in our diaries. Our life is run by the music of reminders and snooze alarms.

It’s a life unlike one I had ever imagined for ourselves, but it’s a life that has given me everything I ever wanted. I might have to spend more time away filming and working, but my children have been able to see what it means to see someone follow their dreams no matter how old they are. My family are the people who have supported me and have been my inspiration at the same time. They dictate how I cook and what I cook which is how I’ve come to create my new Family Favourites cookbook. The recipes are a combination of recipes that the kids have always loved and new recipes that I have tested and have become firm family favourites.

Read more articles by Nadiya...

Cooking for independence
We can make our children healthier
How to get kids to eat their greens
How I eat on a budget
Why I asked my family to be vegan
Kids and restaurants can mix


Nadiya's new book ‘Family Favourites’ is on sale now. You can catch her show, ‘Nadiya’s Family Favourites’, starting soon on BBC Two.

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