17 December 2013

Spreading The Love This Christmas!

Christmas is a time for giving, receiving and playing games so why not tie it all in together and spread a little love this Christmas with the hug game! Something for all the family to enjoy.
Here are Good Vibrations Barcelona Matthew and Peter explaining the instructions...

Hug Game


Happy Christmas

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas, full of laughter, fun, and great memories to be treasured with the family!
What does Christmas mean to you and your family?
What message about Christmas are you giving to your children?
May this be a wonderful end to 2013 to pave the way for a fabulous year to come in 2014!
Happy Christmas everyone :-)

Brussels Sprouts

Love them or loathe them they are one of the most popular components to a British Christmas meal. Full of goodness, the green chlorophyll helps to cleanse the liver from all the over work during the festive season, rich in fibre and vitamins they are a wonderful addition to the meal.

Here are a few alternative ways to present or cook them for added interest for kids...

  • Line up onto a kebab stick for older children with homemade BBQ sauce (see previous posts for details).
  • Saute onions until soft and sweet and add halved Brussels Sprouts.
  • Brussels Sprouts sauteed with cooked peeled chestnuts.
  • Boiled 4 minutes and served with tangy orange dressing (orange zest and juice, tahini, white miso and apple juice concentrate).
Let us know how your kids respond!

Healthy Christmas Treats

Christmas can be a wonderful time of year, celebrations with the family for whatever the season may mean to you, delicious food, snug evenings in around the fire place playing games as well as a little bit of magic for the little ones too.
Christmas can however cause a lot of unnecessary stress especially when doing the supermarket runs. We seem to be bombarded with junk food and sugary treats at every aisle, mainly aimed at children. Not only do these foods on a regular basis harm the health of growing children, they can also increase stress levels as the body fights the toxins, saturated fats and refined sugars.
This is not to say we cant enjoy some chocolate, sweets or other festive goodies out there. However just notice the wide range of variety of more wholesome brands available. If you are counting the pennies, wonderful homemade treats can be great fun to make involving the children too.
A few healthier Christmas snack options (some of which can also be used as stocking fillers)...
  • Tangerines, Satsumas, Mandarins...what a better way to bring in one of their 5 a day!
  • Homemade carob treats (simply melt a bar, mix with dried fruit and nuts and leave to cool before cutting into chunks). This can be wrapped in little bags as a tasty stocking filler.

  • The same mixture can be made with added orange rind and rolled into a ball shape when cool enough to handle. Wrap in foil and add to stockings as a tasty chocolate snowball.
  • Use the previous carob mixture and mix with a little desiccated coconut, rolling into small truffle shape balls and coating with more coconut. Mini snowballs!
  • Check out your local health food shop for tasty sweets free from sugar, gelatin, artificial colours and preservatives...and yes they taste great!
  • Melt a carob bar into a lovely rich thick sauce and allow kids to dip their tangerine segments  or nuts into the sauce.
  • Dried fruit and nuts in mini bags.
  • Mini packets of raisins.
  • Fruit leathers, fruit snack bars.
  • Homemade popcorn with a few drops of umeboshi seasoning...kids will love this!
  • Vegetable sticks and tortilla chips with dips (avocado, hummus, beetroot...)
  • Kids non alcoholic mulled wine: red grape juice, orange juice and a few mulled wine spices.
  • Roasted chestnuts in the oven.
  • Sweet potato wedges
  • Sweet potato and apple cake. The touch of cinnamon makes this cake a perfect festive treat.

28 November 2013

Snack Time

Red Lentil Slice With Vegetables

Who said red lentils need to be solely for soups? By cooking red lentils with chopped celery, onion, carrots, little miso to season and herbs we can create a thick lentil mix. Place this into a non stick frying pan and fry for 3 minutes and then place under the grill until the top is golden brown. Once cooled this becomes a perfect lentil slice, a wonderful alternative to Spanish tortilla for those who don't eat eggs or simply wish to have something different.
This mix can also be placed into cupcake moulds and baked, making wonderful mini lentil bakes for children. They will love the taste, love the novelty factor and most importantly they will be getting some of their 5 a day! 

7 November 2013


How was everybody´s Halloween and Firework Night celebrations? Wondering what to do with all those pumpkins?
There are many varieties of pumpkins out there, often the pumpkins for carving are less sweet than most. For more information about pumpkin varieties click here
Pumpkins are a great source of natural sweetness, perfect for relaxing and warming the little ones after a long day at school. Great in soups, roasted, mashed, in stews, steamed, tempura battered and fried, in quiches etc.
More pumpkin recipes coming soon!

November Vegetable: Red Cabbage

Red cabbage both beautiful in colour and delicious to eat. This recipe with the sweet and sour flavours is perfect for introducing red cabbage to children as well as a great seasonal side dish for all the family.
Try sauteing sliced red cabbage and onions with a little olive oil and a small pinch of sea salt until soft and tender. Delicious with added ground cinnamon, 1-2 tablespoons of apple juice concentrate, a few raisins and couple of drops of umeboshi vinegar to taste.
Let me know how your children respond!

10 October 2013

Superfood - Avocado

Avocados are unique. There is nothing really quite like them in terms of their texture, flavour, colour and properties.

They are very high in monounsaturated fats that help with healthy development in children. Seeing as they are a tropical food, an excess is not recommended in comparison to eating a diet based on local, seasonal produce, however including avocados once or twice a week to children's diets can give them some great quality fats.

If you havent tried the avocado pate on this blog you can find the recipe in the recipe page here delicious served with lightly salted corn chips.


100th Post!

We have reached our 100th post here at My Fruit and Vegetable Friends!
A big thank you to all of the followers out there whether you are on Google+, Bloglovin or Twitter. You are very much appreciated! Thank you for spreading the word and contributing to make positive changes towards the health and well being of our future generation.
Together we can make a difference!

Superfood - Sweet Potato

Sweet Potatoes are wonderful for the autumn. Not only for their wonderful warm, orange colour and natural sweetness but also for their ´superfood´ qualities.

It has been noted that they contain huge amounts of Beta Carotene that the body converts into vitamin A, essential for healthy eyes, strong immune system as well as acting as a powerful antioxidant. Good stuff!

They are especially great for children as they are naturally sweet, helping to nourish the spleen and pancreas, relaxing the body and helping to reduce cravings for sweets and candy in between meals.

Try out the sweet vegetable bake recipe here


10 September 2013

Superfood - Broccoli

Broccoli is great, full of chlorophyll (if lightly boiled for 3-4minutes) and vitamin C, bringing a wonderful freshness to help cleanse the liver. Especially useful to include in daily meals if you find your kids are grumpy in the mornings (can sometimes be a sign of a liver trying hard to process too much fatty, salty foods).

Children love the sweet and sour taste too so if you are struggling to get them to eat broccoli, try serving it with the following dressing...

  • 1 teaspoon of umeboshi paste, few drops of toasted sesame oil, 1-2 teaspoons of rice syrup, a little water and some orange or lemon zest.

Broccoli can also be added to minestrone soups (add in the last 3 minutes before serving so to retain the green colour, ie the vitamins).



What are superfoods, and should we be feeding our children superfoods daily?
The term Superfood has been used over the past few years to describe foods that contains high levels of certain properties that are considered beneficial to our health. It has in some respects become a little bit of a trend, with a new superfood being hailed as the latest must have in shops and the media every year, resulting in a huge increase in sales for that product.
While certain foods contain higher levels of vitamins etc than others, it is important to remember that our body needs a wide range of nutrients, even those small amounts of trace elements are important for a healthy body. A varied, balanced diet based on natural wholefoods is ideal rather than overdosing on one particular superfood.
I also believe that sustainability and the care of our planet is so important at this moment in time. Therefore focusing the majority of our diet on local, seasonal produce is ideal rather than importing Goji berries all the way from Tibet for daily consumption.
I am not saying that we cant try new foods and get to know other products, however focusing our daily consumption on local, seasonal produce is not only great for the environment but also our health. Particular plants and dishes originate from certain countries for a reason...hotter foods traditionally come from hotter climates as spices such as chili help to cool the body down in the long term. As well as hearty rich stews with root vegetables tend to originate from colder climates as they help to warm and ground the body.
However saying that over the next month I will post some information on a few vegetables that have been classed as superfoods. These can be included in your children's diets for added health benefits.
If you have any questions about a particular superfood do post your comments here and I will answer any queries :-)

5 September 2013

Coming up...

Seems like superfoods is a popular topic! Many parents have been asking me what superfoods they should be feeding their children. Information will be coming very soon with all the answers!

Food Types

What should we be feeding our children?
Here are a few essential food types to be included in children’s diets for overall health and well being…
Complex Carbohydrates: Help nourish the nervous system, strengthen the brain, stabilise blood sugar levels and provide long lasting energy. Essential for studying school children.
Examples are…wholegrain brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, rye, barley and wholegrain oats.
Fats and Oils: Good quality fats and oils are essential for overall health, helping to keep joints supple, provide insulation and protection around vital organs as well as improving brain function. Good quality fats and oils provide nourishment and warmth to the body especially during winter months and colder climates.
Examples are…omega oils found in oily fish, as well as nuts and seeds.
Vitamins: Found in fresh fruit and vegetables. Green vegetables that have been lightly cooked for 3-4 minutes retaining the rich green colour have large amounts of chlorophyll and vitamins essential for overall health and healthy liver function. Light, freshly cooked vegetables help to bring balance to the body when consumed alongside cooked proteins especially during the spring and summer months and warmer climates.
Examples are…broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, spring greens, and green beans.
Minerals: One of the food groups with the highest amount of minerals is sea vegetables. Widely consumed for centuries in Asia where some of the lowest osteoporosis levels in the world are found. Minerals are essential for bone growth and creating good quality blood. This helps to strengthen and nourish the body, especially during winter months and colder climates.
Examples are…sea vegetables such as Wakame, Dulse, Kombu and sea salt.
Protein: The building blocks of the body. Essential for growing children to help build body mass, strong muscles. This provides nourishment, helping to feel fuller and satisfied for longer, helping to reduce some food cravings.
Examples are…eggs, fish, vegetable proteins such as tofu and beans.
Natural Sugars: Sweet foods needn’t be sugary sweets or deserts. Naturally sweet vegetables can help relax the body and nourish the spleen and pancreas. Root and round vegetables strengthen and ground the body providing ´roots´ which are often much needed in hectic modern lifestyles.
Examples are…sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin.


22 August 2013

Top Tips

Top tips on helping children to try a new food… 
1) Stay calm and relaxed: Children can be very sensitive to what is going on around them and they will sense when there is pressure and tension around them about eating fruits and vegetables. Trying something new can be daunting and scary; in a relaxed atmosphere this can be easier.
2) Introduce new foods gently & consistently: Avoid pressuring, bribing, demanding…instead introduce a new vegetable in small amounts repeatedly with their favourite meals until they are willing to try it.
3) Make food appealing and fun: How can you present it in a fun, interesting way for your children? Pay attention to colour, cutting styles, flavour and texture.
4) Get them involved: Getting children involved with the prep work will make them more interested in eating it. They can help mix, cut (with a child safe knife), wash, peel fruits and vegetables.
5) Cut down on junk food snacks and fizzy drinks, especially in between meals: Not only is this harmful to children’s health, it can also affect their appetite for main meals.
6) Be Flexible and think outside the box: Just because your child doesn’t like carrots sliced and boiled doesn’t mean they won’t like grated carrot in a salad or carrot soup. Be inventive, creative and persevere.
Share your successes here...do you have any top tips that have worked for you and your family?

21 August 2013

Mmm Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes offer great natural sweetness which children of all ages love. Not only do they taste great, they help nourish the spleen and pancreas, helping to stabilise blood sugar levels.
Check out the delicious sweet potato recipes on this blog (more to follow)...

Sweet Potato Wedges

Sweet Potato Treats

Sweet Potato and Apple Cake

Sweet Vegetable Bake

Oven Baked and Delicious

Other sweet potato recipe ideas include sweet potato and red lentil soup, sweet potato and beetroot soup, mashed sweet potato with orange rind, mashed sweet potato with suede, and jacket sweet potato with various fillings.

Weaning off the Junk Food...

I have had many requests regarding this topic, how to wean children off junk food. It can be daunting at first to make the change however in the long run that change can be invaluable to the health and well being of all the family.

So often I have been in restaurants to be amazed at the difference between the children and adult menus. Whilst the main menu is filled with fresh produce, homemade dishes full of variety and colour, the children’s menu is usually a monotonous brown full of oily, breaded and overly seasoned produce – the majority of which has only travelled from the freezer to the deep fat fryer.

Is this really what we want our children to grown up with?
Will this provide them with the nutritional benefits that they need at this important stage in their lives?

If children have never been given junk food on a regular basis, they will not have anything to compare freshly prepared meals to. They will therefore be more willing to try new fruits and vegetables and consume a varied, healthy diet.
Starting children off from the beginning is easy, however once children have acquired the taste for junk foods it can be a little bit more difficult to make the switch – that is not to say it isn’t possible. As Audrey Hepburn once said, ‘Nothing is impossible, even the word says I’m Possible’. With kind perseverance, creativity and communication you can make that shift for the highest good of all the family.

So how do we go from chicken nuggets to freshly prepared home cooked meals?

Communicate: Talking to children about the importance of good food can help them to understand why rather than them reacting to the ‘because I said so’. Explain why a particular food is good for them in a way that they can relate. For example…whole grains can give you lots of energy and strengthen your brain power when you are at school. Notice how that will provoke a different reaction compared to ‘eat your porridge because I said so’.
Slowly Does It: Start to create home cooked versions of the junk food favourites. Not only will you reduce the salt and sugar intake, you can be in control, slowly making the junk food versions less childlike and introducing children to home cooked meals that can be enjoyed by all the family. Making your own fish fingers can be quicker than you think. Simply cut some skinned and boned Cod or Haddock into long strips and coat with a beaten egg and bread crumbs. This can be placed on a greased baking tray and cooked until crispy and golden brown. A great way to serve this can be with sweet potato wedges and peas or in wraps with salad and avocado dip (see Recipe section of blog for dip recipe).
Get them Involved: There is no greater way to get children interested in food than with getting them involved with the preparation process. Make it a fun game, for example you may pretend to all be sailors on a ship making your own fish and chips as the pirates have stolen all the fish fingers. Think outside the box and be creative. If it doesn’t work be flexible and try something else! This also helps children to become aware of where food comes from and how it is prepared which can prove invaluable when they are old enough to cook for themselves.
Experiment, have fun and get them involved. Notice what changes and keep persevering. If they don’t like it one day it doesn’t mean they will never like it for the rest of their lives. Continue without bribery or force whilst remaining kind to yourself in the process. It is never too late to make a change and sooner or later you will see results.

9 August 2013

Homemade Lemonade!

Due to a Lemonade flash mob with Good Vibrations Barcelona I found myself in the kitchen full of lemons, lemon juice, lemon zest making up batches of homemade lemonade mmmm!
Very easy to make and wonderfully refreshing drink for the summer, especially for picnics, BBQ's and children's parties. Simply take a 1.5l bottle of water and empty the water into a saucepan or container to use later on. Add the juice of 5-6 lemons and the zest of half a lemon, water and agave syrup to taste (roughly 1/2 a cup), place the lid on the bottle and shake well. Before serving, use a strainer to remove the lemon zest. Can be enjoyed as it is, chilled or with some added mint leaves for an added extra.
Enjoy and do let me know how your kids respond to this recipe, especially in comparison to Lemonade with sugar. Notice what is different with their behaviour...

(For more health details on sugar see the post on this blog´A spoonful of sugar...´)

11 July 2013

100% Fruit Juice

Fruit juices are great for making home made ice lollies and children will love this refreshing treat in the summer. Choose 100% pure fruit juice if you can, without any added sweeteners or sugar (see previous post on this blog ´A spoonful of sugar...´ for more information about the side effects of sugar). Fruit juice is also prefered to squash as quite often squash is full of refined sugars and artificial sweetners.
You can use orange juice, peach juice, apple juice, apple and blackcurrant juice...the list is endless. Simply pour the juice into ice lolly moulds and freeze!

9 July 2013

Smoothies And Juices

Why not try a few of these out this summer? All you need appliance wise is either a hand held blender for the smoothies or a smaller juicer for the juices.
You may notice that I don't use ice in juices and smoothies, not only does this water down the flavour, it can also put more strain on the body (especially the kidneys) if excessive amounts of ice cold drinks are consumed. A freshly made juice or smoothie is perfect and the sooner it is drunk once made, the more vitamins you and your family will be able to absorb. Also see a previous post on this blog called ´The White Stuff´ for more information about dairy foods.

Smoothie Ideas
Using banana and rice milk as a base you can create very creamy 100% dairy free smoothies. Rice Milk is preferred to soya as it is easier for the body to digest as raw soya products can cause inflammation and bloating. By adding a  few grains of sea salt you can also bring out the natural sweetness of the fruit and help balance the acidity thus making it easier to digest.
  • Banana, Rice Milk, Strawberry
  • Banana and Rice Milk with Almonds
  • Banana, Rice Milk and Blackberries
  • Kiwi, Apple, Banana and Orange
  • Banana, Rice Milk and Pineapple
  • Banana, Rice Milk and Peach
  • Fruit Salad: Banana, Kiwi, Orange, Strawberry and Rice Milk
  • Peach, Orange and Apple Juice
  • Banana, Rice Milk and Cinnamon
  • ?? (Experiment and enjoy creating your own flavours!)
Juice Ideas
MMmm fresh carrot juice! If you haven’t tried it, add it to your to do list this summer. Children will love the natural sweetness.
  • Carrot and Apple
  • Carrot and Pear
  • Celery, Apple and Mint
  • Pear and Apple
  • Carrot, Orange, Apple and Beetroot
  • Carrot, Apple and Celery
  • Apple, Orange, Cucumber and Mint
  • Apple, Cherry, Orange
  • ?? (Experiment and enjoy creating your own flavours!)

8 July 2013

Hot Hot Hot!

How is everyones summer starting off so far? Enjoying the sunshine and all that summer has to offer?

So what is summer all about for you and your family? More outdoor time, camping, walks, swimming, reducing the amount of TV or simply having the opportunity to have some quality family time a after a busy year working or at school?

Whatever summer may represent for you and your family, it can also be a time to enjoy the fresh seasonal produce that is now available. Sugar snap peas, golden corn on the cob, fresh beetroot, green runner beans, crisp radishes and not forgetting sweet, juicy strawberries. Summer is a great time to incorporate a few smoothies, juices, salads and fruit to balance the warmth that the sunshine brings.

When children arrive home after a long day at school, feeling hot and bothered and often irritable as they are hungry, a small juice or smoothie can be great whilst dinner is being prepared. This needn't be a XL super sized juice as obviously that will affect their appetite. However a small juice can keep them going until dinner, helping them to cool down after a hot day.

Juice and smoothie recipe ideas to follow...

2 July 2013

Have A Good One!

Is it just me or has this year flown by?! July already, things are hotting up and what a perfect way to enjoy some summertime treats.

Ideas and recipes to follow soon...if you have any thing you wish to share with other followers too, do post your comments on this blog.

Bring on a fun filled summer, full of new experiences, ideas, great food and joy!

26 June 2013

Good Vibrations Barcelona

If you haven't done so already check out the previous posts with the Hug Game Explained video. Great fun! For more fun, positive ideas, videos, news and activities have a look on the Good Vibrations Barcelona page on facebook...

Peter Sharp has organised some wonderful events to spread happiness and love socially, experimenting with new ideas, concepts, seeing what really makes humans tick, and the noticing how even though we can be complex individuals, deep down many are are seeking a similar and very simple thing...to feel happy, loved and accepted.

Whilst food plays a very important role in children's health, thoughts, emotions, lifestyle etc also play huge part. All areas need to be acknowledged and balanced in order for them to be able to grow up feeling happy, confident and healthy.

Try the Hug Game today and notice what difference it makes to your children's attitude and behaviour.

What changes?

How do they respond differently towards you and others after the game?

Feedback is always welcomed, do leave your comments on this blog and let us know how your family respond!

Hug Game Explained Video

Hug Game

Ok so this is not really to do with fruit and vegetables however it fits in nicely with the bigger picture behind this blog, helping children to become the healthy and happy individuals they came here to be.

Spreading positivity and joy is always something of immense value, especially nowadays where there can be so much fear present. Children are no exception as many grow up surrounded by fear, lacking love and affection, and as adults, I believe it is our duty to encourage them to look for the positive things in life,  and experience the joy of connectingng with others in a positive way and this game works perfectly in doing so.

The idea is based on the famous rock, paper scissors game, however using hugs instead. Great video, great concept and works well for all ages. Below is a link for the video demonstration of the Hug Game by Peter Sharp and Matthew Watson Jones from Good Vibrations Barcelona (more information to follow).

Have a try with the family, notice how your children respond and most of all enjoy the positivity and feelings of love and connection that this game brings.

Happy hugging!

14 June 2013

Watch This Space!

I am currently working on some very exciting new projects for My Fruit And Vegetable Friends...one being some brand new videos for this blog!

More useful tips and ideas coming your way...

Watch this space!

27 May 2013

New Recipe

For those of you that have been eagerly awaiting the new carrot cake recipe...it is now in the recipe section of this blog for you to enjoy. Do let me know what you think!

Happy Baking!

24 May 2013

More Cake Anyone?!

See the recipe section of this blog for this delicious summer berry polenta cake...perfect for all people big and small. Kids will love the colour and sweet, fruity flavour...adults will also love the fact that its 100% wheat free, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free - guilt free indulgence!

Get children involved with making this cake, they will love to be a part of the process.

Fruity Pancakes

Want to start the weekend with a fun breakfast for all the family? Buckwheat pancakes are perfect for those with wheat or gluten intolerance's. You can use 100% buckwheat flour or even better soak buckwheat wholegrain overnight and simply blend with some rice milk and use as a great pancake batter - 100% wholegrain with more long lasting energy compared to refined wheat flour.

A simple topping of strawberries marinated in rice syrup and a tiny pinch of sea salt (helps to bring out natural sweetness of the fruit) works a treat as well as Carobella spread (found in most health food shops)


Mmm Carrot Cake!

Who said sugar free, dairy free, wheat and gluten free can't be sweet,  indulgent and deliciously creamy? This is a great, moist carrot cake with a zingy, lemon cream topping...perfect alternative for iced cakes and a great way for children to enjoy a healthier treat . To add more fun simply use a shaped cake mold and decorate the cake with fruit, nuts or a smiley face :)

Recipe to follow soon in the recipe section of this blog!

16 May 2013


Exciting news, My Fruit And Vegetable Friends is now on Pinterest! You can use this link My Fruit And Vegetable Friends for more great recipe ideas and photos.

See you there!

Vegetable Skewers

Vegetables skewers are always a fun way of presenting vegetables to  children*, being perfect for barbecues, parties as well as adding some fun to normal mealtimes. Vegetables can be roasted in the pan, on the barbecue or the oven and served with some delicious homemade barbecue sauce - guaranteed to go down a treat!

BBQ Sauce
Mix 1 heaped tablespoon of cornflour with 1/2 a cup of water in a saucepan. Add a generous teaspoon of Mugi or Genmai Miso, 1 tablespoon of juice from grated ginger and 1 tablespoon of apple juice concentrate. Mix well and bring to the boil and simmer allowing the sauce to thicken (continue stirring well throughout to minimise any lumps).

This works well with vegetables and fish...and not just for the little ones!

Enjoy :-)

*provided that they are old enough not to harm themselves with the sticks!

9 May 2013

Great Offer!!!

Do you want to learn delicious, healthy recipes for you and your family?

Do you want to improve your family´s helath and vitality as well as your own?

I would like to invite you to a very special Natural Nutrition Course in English at the heart of Barcelona. Learn to cook tasty and healthy meals for you and your family as well as begin to learn the comprehensive study of the energetics of food and how we can use it to our advantage to create vitality and great health.

This course will include...

  • The 7 levels of Cooking
  • Our body’s needs. Why, what, how and how much
  • The modern way of eating and its effects
  • The move towards a healthier way of eating
  • Transitional steps. Changing for the better
  • Quick cooking for busy people
  • The inner journey of digestion – achieving its maximum potential
  • Creating good quality blood
  • Activating our body’s natural ability to detoxify
  • Breakfast – start a day with harmony and vitality
  • Introduction to the Energetics of our daily foods
  • Simple menu planning for daily use -theory & practise
  • Mastering the art of daily balance
  • Cooking for individual energetic needs
  • Learn about our Constitution
  • Self-diagnosis and its practical application in daily cooking
  • The wheel of life: our needs at different stages of life
  • Reclaiming our natural weight – general guidelines to achieve it
  • Seasonal cooking – how to achieve balance in each season

  • This course (In English) is an exclusive for 2013 at La Escuela de Montse Bradford, spaces are limited so book now!

    For more information and bookings please email recepcion@montsebradford.es

    Begin this summer with increased energy, health and wellbeing!

    20 April 2013


    Its that time of year!

    Every spring time Biocultura trade fair comes to Barcelona with 4 great days of ecological, organic and forward thinking companies. Everything from food, clothes, books and jewelry as well as great talks by the top professionals in the business.

    I will be helping 'la Escuela de Alimentacion Natural y Energetica de Montse Bradford'...see you there, its going to be a good one!

    Biocultura Barcelona 2013

    Happy Belated Birthday!

    My fruit and vegetable friends has been online for just over a year now...a big thank you to all the viewers, google+ followers, Mumsnet, Bloglovin and twitter followers (@FruitVegFriends) for helping to spread the word about My Fruit And Vegetable Friends and make a difference to children's diets.

    Thank you :)

    More great stuff to come...!

    19 April 2013

    Tip #3:

    So heres the 3rd tip for this months NLP theme on improving childrens diets...

    Role Models
    If you want to achieve a goal one of the best ways is to find a role model that has already achieved what you want to achieve and to notice what they did to achieve it. Model their behaviour.

    How does this fit in with improving children's diets?
    Find another friend or relative that has improved their children's diets and find out what they did...how did they behave, think, believe and feel in order to achieve their goal? What practical steps did they take? Do they have any useful tips and advice for you and your family?

    Be curious, experiment with new ideas and enjoy seeing the healthy eating improvements unfold!

    This also works the other way - children use adults as role models and if they are surrounded by a healthy eating family who enjoy good, home cooked food, and are able to explain the importance of good food in a fun and creative way them then they are likely to follow in their footsteps.

    Children will have a very hard time believing that vegetables are good for them if the rest of the family is eating microwaved junk food and fizzy drinks!

    Be that role model for your children.

    “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Gandhi

    10 April 2013

    There Is No Failure - Only Feedback

    Tip #2: Congratulate yourself for persevering and learning something new from every situation. If you don't receive the results that you were hoping for, try something else.

    Children are great examples of this, they will try all sorts of methods to influence you to buy that new toy or chocolate bar!

    ...asking politely, demanding it, having a tantrum, saying that their friends have it etc...

    Flexibility and creativity are key

    Be Flexible: Try a different method and see what happens, if they didn't like carrots cut into stick shapes, try them cut in flower shapes (see vegetable shapes post)

    Be Creative: You know your children better than anyone so use that to your advantage, be creative in presenting vegetables in a way that will be appealing for them.

    "If you always do what you've done, you'll always get what you've got"
    Henry Ford

    NLP - What is it and how can it help?

    What is NLP?

    NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming, and I often describe NLP by saying that it is a tool...a tool to understand any unhelpful patterns we may be creating unconsciously in our lives, and to enhance or alter our patterns of thought, behaviour and emotion so to become the best version of ourselves.

    So what does NLP have to do with Fruit and Vegetables?

    I wanted to share some NLP skills on this blog that can help improve situations with getting children to eat fruit and vegetables - NLP can be used in any situation, for anyone - not just in coaching sessions!

    Not only will you be equipped with great recipes and food ideas, you will also know how to positively influence your children through the use of body language and words!

    So here is the first tip...

    Tip #1: Building Rapport

    You cannot lead and positively influence your child if you do not have rapport with them. Rapport is a sense of trust, a common ground, a connection which can be increased by a few simple steps.

    First, a few things to take into consideration when building rapport are…

    Be genuine – If you’re not genuine they will pick up on it
    Be curious – Ask them questions, find out who they really are and how their brain works
    Step into their shoes - Aim to see the world from their point of view

    Body Language - adopt an open posture, subtly matching and mirroring your child's body language.
    This means if you want to talk to them about the importance of vegetables, get down to their level physically so you can communicate at eye level to gain better results. You will come accross as more welcoming, friendly and less threatening.

    Notice how differently your child will react if you stand over them with your arms crossed compared to talking to them at eye level with a friendly expression and posture.

    Voice And Language - adopt a friendly way of speaking, subtly matching and mirroring your child's voice and language.
    This means if you want to talk to them about the importance of vegetables, use language that they understand and also deliver it in a way that they understand.

    Notice how differently your child will react if you shout and demand that they eat their vegetables compared to using a similar pace, tone and words to what they use?

    PACE: Start by aiming to see the world from their point of view
    RAPPORT: Build rapport between you
    LEAD: Now you have the opportunity to positively influence them

    One more thing to mention is your state. You cannot positively influence your children if you are in a negative state, and by state I mean feeling unhappy, sad, angry or irritable.

    93% of communication is non-verbal!

    Notice how differently the each of following two examples play out...

    a) Parent is feeling angry and irritable, because of this they may stand over their child and demand that they eat their vegetables, they may have also adopted a crossed arms posture or tapping their foot, a harsh tone of voice and stern words...how willing do you think the child is to cooperate in this situation?

    b) Parent is feeling optimistic and motivated, because of this they may to get down to the child's eye level and explain why eating their vegetables are important, they also may choose to use words that the child understands, a friendly expression and acknowledge the child's feelings...how willing do you think the child is to cooperate in this situation?

    Your thoughts→  Your behaviour/physiology→ Communicated to other

    Whatever you think will be communicated to others on some level. By thinking positive thoughts you will start to feel more positive. By feeling more positive you will start to behave in a positive way through your choice of words and body language, therefore gaining a more positive reception from others.

    Try it and see what happens!