Families…it’s not just parents and little children

Families. Complicated things aren’t they? When we see advice for families we generally see information for mums and dads with babies or school children. But we all know that families stretch beyond that. Just because your kids are grown up, heading off to uni or living at home, you don’t stop seeing yourself as a family.

Maybe you are a single parent or you are grandparents raising grandkids or a foster family with a few kids that disappear after a few months with you. Families split and then join with other families and the family could change in size from day to day or week to week.

We also choose extra people to be family. It could be the lady who lives a few doors down has been like an auntie or grandma to your kids. Those friends from school that are like siblings because you have known them so long, you can say anything to them. Circumstances can throw you together with others in the same situation like when we first become parents or you are hit with a serious health problem and you meet others like you – you can make long lasting bonds.

Family is not a simple word.

Food is shared with family. Cooking and providing food for family is something that most of us are involved with. It can be fun and rewarding or it can be a chore and a source of stress. Often in equal measure. We care for family with food, we are bound to friends and families with memories set around food and dinner tables.

Many of the challenges that face families have an effect on family eating. Allergies, illness, fussiness, money worries, lack of time, confusing messages, lack of confidence in cooking, lack of space to store or cook food – all these things can all make feeding families hard. Serious illness, frailty, disability or long term health conditions can throw all sorts of challenges for individuals – lack of appetite, loss of dexterity and strength or fatigue can make cooking and eating harder, eating can become much less of a pleasure for many reasons. There is also a vulnerability to non-evidence based diets that promise to heal and cure which may in fact be detrimental to health. These things also affect those cooking and shopping for someone with these problems.

All these different ages and stages, challenges and people in our families means there is no one size fits all perfect meal plan or set of rules for family eating. No matter what people might say on social media.

When I say I want to help busy families to eat well I mean all families, whatever they look like and at whatever stage they are at. Whoever they are caring for. Whoever needs food and however they need fed. Helping to keep it as simple as possible. Taking into account that sometimes what is healthy and balanced for one person can be completely wrong for another.

If something needs the input of a health professional then I will point you in the right direction, I am not a dietitian or a doctor or a speech and language therapist ( experts on swallowing which can be a problem for older people or those with particular health conditions) – I stay within my limitations.

I always think about balance and moving towards long term good health. Doing so without rules, respecting people’s food stories and trying to create happy food memories and long lasting positive relationships with food. Can I help you with feeding your family? Get in touch.

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