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I've always been enthusiastic about food

One of my earliest memories is of the delicious tartness of the raspberry yogurt I had each night when I was in hospital as a six year old. It's still my favourite fruit to add to yogurt now.

At boarding school, during breakfast, we would compete to see who could eat the thickest slather of peanut butter on bread before our teeth would clamp shut!

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After school

I became a fashion model traveling around the world. I lived and worked in many places and therefore was always trying new cuisines and dishes; some more memorable than others.

Plus I had lots of friends who cared deeply about what they ate and drank and also put on their skin, making sure it was organic or meat free and super healthy and that's when I first started learning about healthy eating and how to read an ingredient list.

Next up

After leaving the fashion industry I worked in several jobs before finding a niche in store design information working with companies like M&S and Waterstones.

Between jobs I also spent six months delivering boats in the Caribbean - which sounds much more glamorous than it was - but we did have a lot of fun and great food!

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Becoming a mother wasn't easy

I was 43 when Sofia was born. And I was single, so trying to work at home from when she was a few months old we were both severely sleep deprived. I was told by doctors, nurses and health visitors just to keep lying her on her back and eventually she would sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time, but she didn’t.

 

One night while she was lying next to me I realised she was stopping breathing! After several trips to A&E and pediatricians she was prescribed strong medication for silent reflux which she remained on until she was about three.

Dr Google frightened me but

I had to keep reading and researching to learn how to make life more comfortable for my daughter.

 

I read stories about children with un-diagnosed reflux who became food phobic and could only eat through a feeding tube. Or children who only eat white food, such as pizza, bread, chips - carbohydrate loaded food that tends to “stay down”.

 

I was determined to make sure Sofia got better and loved food as much as me and her chef father.

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When she said "I don't eat vegetables"

I realised I needed to educate Sofia in a more proactive way and give her the tools to resist the peer pressure she's listening to at school. And yes she does eat most vegetables and fruit apart from mushrooms which my mother told her are too slimey!

 

As soon as kids start school they are discussing what they like and don't like and choosing what they eat for lunch so we discuss what food makes her feel fuller longer and what she likes and any new food she has tried.

Eat Pray Love

One of my favourite food memories with Sofia is that when we were in Naples we visited L'Antica Pizzeria Michele. It's the pizzeria where Julia Roberts's character ate Margherita pizza in the film of Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir Eat Pray Love.

Pizza is very important to us as Sofia's grandfather was one of the founders of Pizza Express.

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Today I am passionate about teaching kids and encouraging them to eat well and have great eating habits for life.

For me, preparing and sharing a great meal with family and friends allows me to express my love for them as well as being great fun.

 

So I have pulled together my learning, lots of ideas, hacks and habits to help other parents teach their children what to eat, how to make food, make it fun to cook, eat and share delicious healthy food. And I really want to share them with you.

 

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