Mom, what’s for dinner?
Dairy or soya, full cream or low fat, high protein and low carbs, no sugar, banting, ketosis, Atkins Diet – the list of what we should or shouldn’t be incorporating into our family’s diets goes on and on. Added to that is the need to actually get our gorgeous little ones to eat what’s put in front of them
We spoke to four Lowveld parents about how they have not only brought healthy eating habits into their homes but, and here’s the kicker, actually got their kids to eat these healthy options.
Anna Dalrymple – travel consultant, avid runner and fitness enthusiast, wife to Andy and Mom to Fin (10), Indi (8) and Max (6)
A few years back I started to wonder what it was that I was eating that wasn’t making me feel great. Being an all or nothing kind of person, I cut out everything, it wasn’t a question of minimising! I tried the Master Cleanse diet a couple of times when you basically don’t eat for 10 days apart from a lemonade drink. It was challenging but totally changed my outlook on food. When you don’t have food, you certainly don’t crave chocolate or junk – you just want really fresh, wholesome food.
Also the more I ran, the more I realised that eating right would help me improve – fuelling for a long run became important. So started our JERF (Just Eat Real Food) journey. I try and avoid processed food as much as possible – especially sugar, and we eat fresh home cooked meals everyday.
Edwin Green – avocado and macadamia farmer, fitness enthusiast, husband to Donne and Dad to Olivia (6), Emily (4) and Edwin junior (1)
As a teenager I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but what I did know was that I wanted to be in Cape Town with all my friends. A friend of mine, who was already there managed to convince me to join him at a chef school on a wine estate near Stellenbosch. At 19, for me this was a no brainer.
I really started to enjoy what I was doing and it was at that time of my life that my passion for food and cooking began. Ironically it was also at that time when I realised the restaurant industry was definitely not for me. So I decided to come back to the family business and produce food and not cook it.
One thing that Donne and I enjoy is keeping fit. Donne is an amazing runner and has been running for a long time so naturally she encouraged me to get into it too, which I did and haven’t looked back. After a couple years of running, we decided to take this craze of ours to the next level addressing our diet, which was okay but needed refinement.
Our food philosophy can be described in three words – fresh, unrefined and organic. These three words I use more of a guideline, especially when it comes to organic, usually because not all your produce is available as organic. The word unrefined refers to unrefined carbohydrates, so natural foods that haven’t gone through any processing.
Karyn van Jaarsveld, reformed Jo’burger, chicken farmer, self-confessed hippie, Eduan’s wife and Oliver’s (6) mom
It was my time at varsity that was the start of my ‘food mindshift’. As part of my Education Degree at RAU I did Botany and Zoology and I was spending many hours in front of a microscope. It was amazing, and disturbing, to actually see the effects of external factors on what was considered a healthy cell. What we were able to do in a controlled environment made me see what we do to our bodies every day, without even realising it.
The final shift came after I had my son. I have always been a bit of a ‘hippie’ when it comes to medicine and that intensified once I had Oliver. I wanted him to have the best possible nutrition so that we could avoid as many doctors and antibiotics as possible. We cannot control every aspect of our life, but our diet is something we can have control over. Our diet not only affects our physical well-being but also our mental and emotional well-being.
We ‘keep it real’ when it comes to food – we like buying fresh ingredients and making meals from scratch. My husband, Eduan, is an amazing cook, which helps a lot. One of the biggest misconceptions about healthy cooking is that it is bland, tasteless and boring. In our house we follow the philosophy of everything in moderation with the exception of butter – very few meals are made without this core ingredient. Just because it is made with butter and salt does not mean it is unhealthy.
Kadija Badat, homemaker, budding chef, fitness enthusiast, mom to Salmaan (5) and Imraan (4) and fabulous wife.
Growing up in a Muslim home I was raised on a diet that consisted mainly of curries, oily foods and other typical Indian dishes including. After reaching a weight where I was bordering on obesity, I knew that I had to make a change, a radical one to ensure that I would be around to see my kids grow. Gone were the recipes from my youth, instead I had to do lots of research and learn to cook again using healthy alternatives such as coconut oil, and develop family friendly salads.
My philosophy about food and healthy eating is enjoying everything in a balanced way. I believe if you make your food yourself with good ingredients whether it be pastas, stews, curries or even the odd cake, they can all have place in our diets. It’s all about finding and sticking to the right balance.