It has certainly been a while since we have an inspirational parent up on the blog!
Let me introduce my friend Clair Ingleton.
Clair is a naturopath in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, and when I trained as a nutritionist, Clair was training as a naturopath. Clair has a keen interest in children’s health, and has some great recipe ideas on her website. I love Clair’s gentle approach to health, her use of herbs and her passion to help children thrive.
How many children do you have?
What is your food philosophy for your children?
Definitely a whole foods diet. Being a naturopath my kids rarely get to eat processed food and sugar. I cook most things from scratch and the kids and I are always trying to create new yummy treats from fruits and vegetables with a few natural sweeteners. I’m lucky enough to have a Thermomix which I use to mill my own flours and nut butters as well as using it to hide vegetables in just about everything I make!
What inspires you to feed your children the way you do?
I want then to be as healthy and happy as they can. I feel really strongly in educating kids from a young age about what’s is healthy and what is not. I also don’t want them to have to have pain or suffer from ill health, so for me, prevention is the best option.
Oh and behaviour! I know from my own kids when they have too much sugar they are definitely more defiant and energetic. I see this all too often in other children who may be causing disruptions in class or just making their parents life difficult.
What tips have you got for travelling families?
Be prepared! I always pack vege sticks, and cherry tomatoes for the beginning. They keep quite well depending on the climate. I always make sure I have nuts in my bag for hungry moments. Then at our destination I head to the supermarket or healthfood store to replenish supplies. When at a restaurant with limited choices, I’ll often order “off menu”, that is I ask them for something I want like grilled fish and vegetables, or a simple salad with whatever protein they have.
What are your 3 top snacks?
-Chia pot – chia seeds, fruit & coconut yoghurt
-Celery and nut butter
-Nuts, seeds & piece of fruit
-Baby cucumber, cherry tomato and sugar snap peas.
Oops that’s 4… My kids are always wanting snacks!
How do you look after yourself as well as your family?
By eating well and ensuring we all get enough sleep. I’m hopeless when I’m tired and the kids act up, then everyone is miserable. I also try to walk most places so that I am getting exercise without having to think about it. I try to remember to look after myself first, so that I can then have enough energy and patience to make sure I am looking after everyone else’s needs to my best ability.
What brings balance to your family?
We are kinda old fashioned. We don’t watch a lot of TV, we play games, read books and try to do lots of things together as a family. We try not to be too busy. So many kids have activities every single day after school and then the parents have all their things too, so there’s not enough time to prepare healthy food and enjoy each other’s company. I guess we balance by trying not to be too busy, but doing just enough of the activities we like to keep us all happy.
What is your favourite activity to do together as a family?
Getting back to nature. All of us love getting out of the city and exploring in the bush. Feeling the earth beneath our feet and seeing, smelling and hearing all the amazing creations that mother nature offers.
Do you have a favourite inspirational quote that lights up your life?
Not really! It’s a bit of a soppy one, but once you have a baby you know exactly what this is about:
“Before I met you, I never knew what it was like to be able to look at someone and smile for no reason”
(I smile just thinking about my girls )
Here is a recipe from Clair’s Blog
HIDDEN VEGE-BANANA-BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
Most weekends we bake. I enjoy creating recipes and we all enjoy eating the outcome (usually!). Like most mums, I’m always trying to find ways to get that extra serving of vegetable into my kids. I’m fairly lucky that both my girls like most vegetable and are usually happy to eat them, but still, I like to sneak them in wherever possible. Here’s a muffin that the kids will never suspect has a serving of cauliflower in it.
Banana Blueberry Muffins
2 very ripe bananas (150g peeled)
2 large eggs
30g coconut oil (plus extra for greasing muffin liners)
10g (2 tsp) maple syrup (add more if banana aren’t that ripe)
5g (1 tsp) vanilla essence
90g buckwheat flour
25g tapioca flour
5g (1 tsp) bicarb soda
5g (1 tsp) creme tartar
48 blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Preheat oven to 180degrees Celsius. Grease 12 muffin liners and place in muffin try.
Place cauliflower in food processor and blend well. Add banana and blend again. Add all wet ingredients except blueberries and blend until well combined. Pour into large mixing bowl and then sift in all dry ingredients. Gently mix until just combined. Pour into greased muffin cups. Place 4 blueberries on top of each muffin and bake for approx. 17-18 minutes at 180.