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Exclusive: Jamie Oliver on parenting teenagers – and a newborn

I’ve got to be honest – it’s carnage all the time.

Jamie Oliver admits he never expected to be a father of five.

Neither did he imagine he’d juggle that role with being a multiple restaurateur, author of more than 20 cookbooks, television star and activist.

This month the world-class chef, who has just released his latest cookbook Super Food Family Classics, talks to The Australian Women’s Weekly about the big changes in the Oliver household since he and wife Jools welcomed their newest member, River Rocket, into the world, and how he incorporates his healthy eating philosophy into his parenting.

“I’ve got to be honest – it’s carnage all the time. Five kids running around, it’s busy, it’s loud, it’s noisy, it’s hormonal – everything is going on,” he tells us of the couple’s kids Poppy Honey, 14, Daisy Boo, 13, Petal Blossom, seven and six year old Buddy Bear.

“I always thought two children was standard practice but it didn’t work out that way and I wouldn’t change it for the world. At home it is full of joy and love and apart from the tears and the pain, it’s all worth it.”

Jamie says the first month with their new arrival has been “amazing and exhausting”, but he and wife Jools are settling into their new life.

Not only are the couple taking care of a new-born again, they are also navigating the trials and tribulations of raising teenagers.

“That brings new challenges,” he says of parenting eldest daughters Poppy (14) and Daisy (13). “I’m desperately trying to be a good teenage parent.”

But despite the chaos a big family can bring, Jamie still manages to practice what he preaches in the kitchen. In his latest cookbook he concentrates on recipes for cooking healthy meals for the family.

“As far as my life now is concerned, the book [Super Food Family Classics] mirrors what is in our fridge and freezer.”

He says the food hacks in his books are “not just a cute idea” and that he implements these every day in the meals he and Jools prepare for their children.

To read the full story with Jamie Oliver and some of his super family dinner recipes see the December edition of The Australian Women’s Weekly out now.

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