The Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain on chaotic family life and combating her anxiety

I’m a morning person so I like to be up by 6am to wash and pray before the sun rises, and then have a tea at the kitchen table.

I sit there still and silent like a ghostly apparition, but I love starting the day so peacefully.

I run a tight ship. The kids are responsible for their own chores. Each morning they unload the dishwasher from the night before then collect eggs from our chickens, and I cook those while they get ready for school.

Before they leave I run through a checklist to make sure they haven’t forgotten anything, like their PE kit.

I always end with asking whether they’ve brushed their teeth – usually the answer is no!

Walking 5km every day helps with my anxiety. It also offsets some of the cake I eat!

When I get back from a mid-morning stroll, I’ll do some writing then I’ll typically spend the day testing new recipes.

There are ingredients all over my kitchen, with pages of notes everywhere too. It’s insane, but I love it.

Everyone says my family are so lucky to be surrounded by so many sweet treats, but to be honest, the novelty has worn off for the kids.

They’ll often walk straight past the cake and get an orange from the fruit bowl instead.

It’s a mad frenzy after school. The boys make their own way home, but my little girl needs picking up.

From then on it’s crazy busy. They eat, I have a little snack, and it’s a dash to get them to rugby, swimming or their Arabic tutor, who they see twice a week.

It’s a hard language to learn, but they’re doing well. Once we’re all home, they go upstairs to wash and get ready for bed.

My little girl still loves being read to, although I think it’s the snuggle she really likes. My kids need me more as they get older, not less.

The world is changing around them – they read things on the internet, they know about death and I can’t protect them from that forever, so they always have lots of questions.

Sometimes I have to research the answer because I won’t know myself.

I got really lucky with my husband. Abdal [an IT manager] will come home while I’m cooking, quietly tidy up, then go to the gym and leave me to it.

When I’m finished I watch EastEnders with a cup of camomile tea. Their lives are so miserable, it makes me feel better!

When Abdal gets back we binge-watch as many episodes of Game Of Thrones as we can manage before bedtime. I’m exhausted by then.

I sleep a lot less than I did before kids. I can survive on four hours, but only for a few weeks before I get ill, so I try to be in bed for midnight.

  • Nadiya’s new homeware range is available at

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