So it’s year 2 and a month in at university for my first born and the anxiety of “is he eating properly” steps up a notch or two. His first year was spent in catered accommodation, so if hang overs allowed, he could at least wander across to the dining hall where a hot meal would be waiting, albeit not like home cooking! Second year and living in a house self- catering, raises this over anxious parent’s anxiety to a whole new level! After years extoling the importance of good nutrition on optimal brain function and every other bodily function I could think of, would it all have been a waste of time and the world of takeaways and dodgy kebab bars rule?

A trip to the local supermarket began to confirm my fears. I was determined to rein back my inclination to determine the content, if not the size of my son’s shopping basket (I was paying and so was allowed to accompany him). A few ready meals, boil in the bag, and other dubious, highly processed concoctions to instantly satiate hunger pangs, passed through the checkout without so much as an utterance from yours truly. £80 lighter and at least I could comfort myself that he wouldn’t starve.

On a recent visit to celebrate his 20th birthday with a slap up meal, another £80 supermarket shop ensued. What a difference six weeks can make. Onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, spices, stocks, passata, pasta, pesto, a whole frozen chicken for a Sunday lunch, to name but a few cooking ingredients were confidently tossed into the shopping basket. “What’s changed”, I asked casually, trying to sound not overly interested. “I’ve got into cooking”, came the equally casual reply.

Inwardly beaming at the thought that just maybe my years spent cooking a wide variety of balanced meals, from raw ingredients with occasional takeaways and fast foods thrown in (I am human really), had an effect. So nurture rules! Teach by example exposing youngsters to a variety of healthy foods, could help combat the growing health problems our society faces as a result of poor food choices.

To help students to eat properly, I have just discovered Ocean Classic offers a great option for the more culinary reluctant! They have launched a ‘Student Box’ comprising of delicious foods from fishcakes to steak to chicken with sauces, recipes, cooking instructions and tips. All delivered frozen ready for the freezer. At only £28 incl. delivery this is excellent value. Order at