Louise Fulton Keats on Motherhood and a Family Food Legacy

We chat to Aussie mother and Food and Nutrition Writer Louise Fulton Keats about early childhood food memories, the benefits of getting kids in the kitchen and growing up with Aussie icon Margaret Fulton as her grandmother. 

On what she does…

I’m a food and nutrition writer, so I write cookbooks and magazine columns and have regular media appearances. My work life involves a constant cycle of nutrition research, recipe testing, writing and public speaking. There’s plenty of variety which keeps me on my toes! I was a lawyer in a past life, but after studying first at the Cordon Bleu cookery school and then nutrition at Deakin University, I knew a full-time career in food was where my heart lay.

On being the incomparable Margaret Fulton’s granddaughter…

It was such a treat. Grandma lived on the same street as us growing up and my sister and I used to come and go from her house whenever we pleased. We would squeeze through her dog door, plonk ourselves down at her kitchen table and join in with whatever she might be creating. Whether it was shelling some peas or stirring a custard, there was always a job to be done and something delicious to poke a finger into!

On how parenthood changes you…

It’s a total game changer. I think it’s just the constant demands on you from every direction – I feel like I’ve always got one too many balls in the air and that I could drop one (or all) of them at any time. I try to soak up my time with my children as much as I can while trying to keep everything else in my life running somewhat smoothly at the same time. On those rare occasions I get five minutes to myself to have a quiet cuppa, well, I’ve never enjoyed them as much as I do now!

On how her little ones inspire her creatively…

They are my guinea pigs in the kitchen and are guaranteed to provide the most candid feedback on a recipe.

If it doesn’t get past them, it’s generally back to the drawing board!

They also inspire me to create nourishing recipes for their entire generation.

On food + tradition…

I grew up having pancakes and scones every weekend breakfast and now my children expect the same. I’ve used my Grandma and Mum’s classic recipes but put a nourishing twist on them, so you’ll find ground nuts and seeds and fruit purees in the pancakes and pumpkin and wholegrains in the scones, with no refined sugars. I also make them in my Thermomix because it’s just so much quicker and you can also easily add those hidden nutrient boosters – it does the work for me.

On the best parenting advice she’s been given…

“The days are long but the years are short”. I think remembering that everything is ‘just a phase’, that the hard times will pass and that in the blink of an eye my two little munchkins are going to be all grown up, well, it just makes me want to treasure each day and squeeze them that bit harder.

On nutrition…

My great-grandmother, Isabella Fulton, used to boast that her family had the highest grocery bills but the lowest doctor’s bills. Even then, back in the 1920s, she understood the power of food as medicine and that eating well was the secret to health. Nutrition is a fast-moving target and today’s superfood might be tomorrow’s food villain. It’s for that reason I really encourage variety as the best insurance policy we can all take out. If you eat a wide variety of unprocessed foods, particularly plant foods, you can weather the storm of all the passing nutrition fads.

On getting the kids involved…

Honestly, there are days I’d prefer not to, but they won’t allow it! My son, in particular, adores being in the kitchen with me and looks for any excuse to bake together. As any parent knows, it’s infinitely easier to cook alone but, remembering how patient my Mum and Grandma were with me in the kitchen, I do try to include them both as much as possible.

I think teaching your children how to cook is such a lifelong gift.

I want to make sure it’s one I give them both.

On being an Aussie creative mum…

To me it means freedom. Having done my time in the corporate sector, I feel like the luckiest person on earth that I have such flexibility now and also that my work improves people’s lives – particularly children’s lives. It’s the ultimate reward when I receive a note from one of my readers saying their child’s eating and health has improved out of sight. It makes all the late nights and the crazy work-life juggling act feel worth it.


Louise Fulton Keats is a Food and Nutrition Writer and mother. She lives in NSW with her husband John and two children, Harry, 7, and Charlotte, 2, along with their well-loved dog, Teddy. You can see more of Louise’s recipes and books, including her recently published Sweet Nourish, via her website and keep up-to-date with her current work in progress on Facebook.

Images supplied by Louise

Lana Al Habl
Lana Al Habl
lana.alhabl@sydneyschild.com.au