I love geeking out on books, podcasts and doco’s especially those related to health, wellness & nutrition and this book came at the perfect time as I start to think about the logistics of feeding a small human myself.
Emma’s book addresses the nutritional needs of children, the emotional role of food, dealing with behavior problems through nutrition, getting fussy eaters on board and provides a wonderfully balanced and simple approach to kids & food. This book was super easy to read, was not at all dogmatic in its approach and offered loads of options for parents to try as every child is different.
Let’s have a quick chat to Emma before you all go and cram up her website trying to buy her book all at once.
Sophia Eats is such a brilliant book, what inspired you to want to share all that information with the world?
It was inspired by my clients and people on social media. Clients were always asking for a reference book on toddler health, something that was easy for time poor mums to use and uncomplicated. I was also posting pics of Sophia on Instagram and Facebook and the comments were “how do you get her to eat that??” I then realized that there was a gap in the market and I started writing!
Sophia seems like a pretty amazing little eater. Is there any food she refuses to eat at the moment?
Oh yes, she goes in stages – at the moment it’s avocado and eggs which is my all time favorite breakfast so its challenging! I often struggle getting enough protein into her, as at daycare they tend to fill them up with carbs such as sandwiches and pasta. I am always trying to sneak protein into her snacks in the form of nut butters, goat’s cheese and chia seeds in almond milk with berries.
Saturated fat is getting lots of media attention at the moment as people’s perspective starts to shift. What are your views?
Both Sophia and I eat unprocessed saturated fat as it’s crucial for so many functions in our body. The important point to differentiate is that processed saturated fat and trans fats are carcinogenic and harmful. I aim to include lots of avocado, salmon, ocean trout, sardines, nut butters, coconut oil, coconut shavings, organic butter, organic meat and organic eggs. My focus is gluten free, cows milk free, unprocessed, organic food as much as possible.
What were Sophia’s first foods?
I did baby led weaning with Sophia, which I talk about in the book. Basically you pop chunks of food on the highchair and they feed themselves. I loved it, messy, fun and extremely sensory as they look at it, hold it, smell it, and finally try eating it! I did avocado, pumpkin, pear then coconut oil. It took about a month before she was actually eating full pieces as she spent lots of time exploring her food.
What is Sophia’s favourite food?
Oh it’s hard to choose one! Either her sheep’s milk yoghurt with bee pollen or making a green smoothie.
If you could give parents one place to start with their kid’s nutrition, what would it be?
Set your family food rules – what are the non-negotiables in your house? Write these up and stick to them from the very beginning as toddlers can feel the cracks in your consistency!
Here are my top three:
1. I am in charge of food education – there is an authoritative approach of clear boundaries and clear goals. The goal is not to control what Sophia eats but to teach her how to eat well. Give simple choices: spinach or carrot tonight? Check my language e.g. “it’s time to eat now” not “do you want to eat now”.
2. Avoid emotional eating – food is not a reward, bribe or toy. Encourage sensory education e.g. how does it smell, how does it feel on your tongue, can you see how green the broccoli is.
3. Sophia eats what I eat, no short order cooking – we eat together, she gets my undivided attention and we talk.
As you can imagine from that little snippet with Emma, the book is a wealth of information, ideas and advice and as I am sure you are all BURSTING to get your hands on a copy, I am giving one away to a lucky reader.
What do you need to do? Get on over & like Emma’s FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM pages and leave a comment on this blog post, my Facebook post or Instagram post so I can see why you want this book! Winner will be drawn next Friday 4th July. Ready. Set. Go!