It All Begins with Food with Leah Garrad-Cole

By on August 10, 2017

Leah Garrad-Cole, author of It All Begins with Food  and the founder of Love Child Organics offers some start of the day meal advice for back to school, plus a few of her kids' favourite, and easy to make breakfast meals.
 
1) When it comes to the first meal of the day, what are some things you think are essential for fueling little eaters’ days?

I think it’s absolutely essential to have a variety of foods. We seem to fall back on toast or cereal but we need to think about a variety of nutrients, so that includes more smoothies, with a variety of fruits and vegetables and yogurt. We need to move away from toast and juice, which I think is one of the classics and also think about protein and fibre. 
 
2) As an advocate for organic, non-GMO foods, why do you think the quality of the food we feed our families matters?

It matters for ourselves, our families and the animals on our planet. We have to take responsibility for what we eat. It affects our wellness, the health of our bodies and our children’s bodies. Our children will be stronger, and fight off colds and flus better with better nutrition. Babies and young children’s bodies are small; so, organic food being the cleanest food possible seems like the right idea to me.

3) Which are the most important foods to eat organically?

Every year the Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the most pesticide contaminated foods. I’ve included it in the book or you can check it out on line.  If we can only buy certain organic foods, we can use that list to decide which are most important to us. For example, apples are something kids eat a ton of but they are on the list that has a lot of pesticides on them. So, maybe you want to make the decision to buy those organic. Strawberries would be another one to focus on. They are often high in pesticides as well. You can pick those with your kids on an organic farm and by doing the picking, save on some of the cost.
 
4) I have "hidden" pureed carrots, celery onions and pepper into spaghetti sauce. Should we hide our healthy side or just let it show?

I think we should let it show, not hide. I admit, I still do cut vegetables into smaller pieces for things like mac and cheese, but I think we should talk about it and convince them that healthy food is good food. They need to understand that it makes their bodies healthier and strong. We need to talk about healthy options and cook with them using healthy ingredients in order to expose them, to both their taste buds and their brains. Then, eating healthy becomes a normal thing to do. If we hide it all the time they won’t appreciate why their favourite foods taste so great or make them feel so good. By putting them into something your kids really like, like spinach in banana bread and talking about the spinach and letting them add it in and help make it, then enjoy it, they begin to understand and appreciate healthy foods. Then, they may even start eating spinach in other ways that might be more challenging.
 
5) What are some of your own children’s favourite breakfast foods?

My kids Poppy and Cameron’s absolute favourite breakfast food is smoothies. They both love them and you can make those more fun by having fancy smoothie cups or special straws. Both of them like smoothie bowls. You just make the smoothie a little thicker and then add ingredients on top and eat it that way. Breakfast bars are also a regular in our house. For the kids they seem like a snack but can be made super healthy. I always have some in the freezer ready for a quick breakfast. 

Here are two recipes shared from "It All Begins with Food".

Banana Boats
Roasted Sweet Potato and Blueberry Muffins

Excerpted from It All Begins With Food by Leah Garrad-Cole. Copyright © 2017 Leah Garrad-Cole. Photography copyright © 2017 Janis Nicolay. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

About Charleen Wyman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *