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!

7 April 2013

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & How To Listen So Kids Will Talk

'How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & How To Listen So Kids Will Talk'
by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish has to be one of the best books I have read. Practical, useful, eye opening and entertaining with great tips on how to communicate with children.

This books helps to bring peace and harmony to the home with tips and ideas on how help children gain confidence, responsibility, initiative and most importantly knowing how to acknowledge their emotions so they can grow to be happy and healthy individuals.

A few tips that can help with children eating vegetables...

Give Information: Explain WHY vegetables are important - children are smarter than we give them credit for and if we explain the facts in a way that is easy to understand they will be less likely to react and refuse than if we say "because I said so"

"Vegetables are important to eat because they help your body to work well so you have energy to play and study at school"

Write A Note: For older kids you can leave a fun post-it note near the fruit bowl or by some healthy snacks saying

"please eat me if you want a snack :) "

However the best way to reduce junk food consumption is not to have it in the house in the first place!

Give Choices And Show Respect: Give children a choice allowing them to choose what vegetables are cooked for dinner...

"do you want green beans or broccoli with your dinner?"

If a child is struggling with a vegetable then acknowledge their feelings and show respect...

"It can be weird trying new things at first...what would be better eating it with your eyes open or closed?"

Describe What You See: When a child is trying to eat vegetables describe what you see...

"I see_(name of child)_trying some vegetables"

Describe What You Feel: After describing what you see, add in some feelings...

"Its a pleasure to see the vegetables being eaten"

Sum It Up: After the two previous descriptions, sum it up in a word so they can also expand their vocabulary...

"That's what I call perseverance!"

Try these tips and notice what changes!