Sam Avery, aka the Learner Parent, is a stand-up comedian, award-winning writer, blogger and father to toddler twins. We caught up with Sam to find out a little more about him, his twin lads, snack time, and to see what he’s up to next.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m very tired! Preparing for a tour and looking after twins is pretty exhausting but I love doing stand-up comedy.
It seemed like a natural fit to chat about my experience of becoming a first-time dad. A million nappies, Peppa Pig episodes and a lot less sleep later, I felt like I had more than enough material for a book and comedy tour.
What are your three top tips for new dads?
- Plan ahead
- Talk to other dads
- Don’t drop the baby!
What do your lads love doing?
They’re typical toddlers who know exactly what they like – running around and making lots of noise! We try and get out as much as possible, and of course with all that running, shouting, laughing, screaming, crying, jumping and punching daddy in the leg for absolutely no reason all day they need some fuel to keep them going.
Where do you and your family go for a bit of:
- a) Fun – the local park
- b) Food – local Mexican restaurant
- c) Culture – World Museum Liverpool (it has a great dinosaur collection)
These will definitely be our go-to destinations with the twins this summer.
Are you much of a cook for the twins?
I’d love to always be whipping up super-nutritious made-from-scratch snacks and meals, but like for many parents the reality is it’s hard to be super organised all the time, and there’s just not enough time in the day.
What’s your favourite recipe?
Homemade meatballs with the kids. Because not enough food has been mauled by the fingers of a toddler in our house.
Throw a load of beef mince, breadcrumbs and lemon zest together. We add a bit of sage and chopped tomatoes too. Use your hands to shape them into balls, all roughly the same size, then pop them on a baking tray or in a roasting in, space them out a bit so they can brown. Shove them in the oven at 200C for about 20 – 30 minutes until browned.
Do you find it easy getting your boys to eat healthy food?
Honestly, it feels like they’re always eating. But getting them to eat decent food can be harder than playing Jenga on the bus!
Got any advice for parents looking for healthy snacks?
Some places are slightly lacking in healthier snack options so I normally end up trying to stress-read the back of a packet while I’m wading through a ball pool, struggling with long words I don’t understand. It’s so confusing, what is humectant, it sounds like a Spiderman villain; or glucono delta-lactone, doesn’t he play for Real Madrid? The twins love Organix, and I love their No Junk Promise.
- If the list of ingredients is longer than War & Peace, not all of them may be completely necessary.
- If some of those ingredients look more like scrabble pieces when you have to miss a go, there’s a chance they may be junk.
What’s the one baby product that you couldn’t live without?
Our kids are 3.5 now so we don’t really use baby products anymore but we couldn’t have got through the first 12 months without the formula machine.
What’s keeping you busy at the moment?
Writing my Learner Parent stand up show that is touring the UK from October.
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Constantly searching for my next coffee.
Sam is partnering with baby and toddler food brand Organix to find out what’s hiding in some snacks. See what Sam found out when he took a closer look at snacks in this hilarious Daddy De-Junk video clip.