Something we have realized, here at Food Matters, is that everyone is on a different journey through life. A lot of us may all have a similar goal in life but each of us is such a unique individual that our story is never the same as someone else.
Each day, we are blessed enough to be able to be a catalyst for change through the documentaries that we have created and that we continue to share through FMTV, this results in some of our beautiful community sharing their individual story with us. We love hearing these and we love being able to share these with you.
This story is from a mother who we have a lot of love for, her story is a very unique one, just like yours. She is a mother on a mission to ensure her family thrives and lives the best life possible... This is Charlotte's story!
Food Matters: Your story is a unique one, can you tell us about your catalyst to transform your family's lifestyle?
My heart was broken when it became alarmingly clear we had to look at other feeding options for my son Willow. For four months we had a screaming baby with reflux, chronic toxic diarrhea, vomiting, terrible gas and due to little, to no sleep my health was also compromised. Up until this point he had only had pure perfect fatty breast milk. I had tried everything; I expressed and treated my milk with Lactaze to remove the lactose. I tried different bottles to feed him my milk with, I tried an elimination diet, different feeding styles. Nothing changed and nothing improved.
When I looked into other feeding options, ones that had to be gluten and casein-free I could not find one formula on the market the was organic, lactose-free, gluten-free and casein-free. One that wasn’t filled with corn syrup, soy, vegetable oils and synthetic vitamins. Willow also couldn’t have folic acid so my options were limited. I wanted to find a whole foods alternative. It was also brought to my attention from Willows’ Doctor that the gluten and casein were not going to serve him well. This gave me a true sense that what we were putting into our bodies was going to greatly affect our outcome.
Willows’ Doctor and team of therapists were really quick to point out he had extreme gut dysbiosis and that we needed to address this through fermented foods, probiotics, broths, herbs, supplements and a traditional wholefoods approach.
Food Matters: Tell us about your food philosophy...
It’s so basic. I believe in eating mainly vegetables, good amounts of fats from wonderful produce and small amounts of protein. I love to eat locally organic and seasonally where possible. No additives, no weird numbers, and no words I can’t understand. Just real food as nature intended it. And always served up with love.
Food Matters: Any parent might argue that it is impossible to feed your children some of these foods. What are your tips to get Willow to try new things?
Children are creatures of habit and routine. It’s important to keep trying without any massive expectation. They can smell expectation and pressure a mile away so I try my best to make food and meal times relaxed with no force. It’s all about the rule of 10. You should try 10 times before giving up. Helen Padarin taught me this and I love it.
More often then not a fussy eater is an indication that something is going on with the gut. As soon as we got Willow onto fermented foods and slowly got his gut bacteria to improve, he began to experiment with more flavors and textures even. The inclusion of fermented foods opens their palate up to things they may not usually experience.
I love cooking in broths; I cook all his vegetables in broth as well as eggs etc. I also add in beautiful dulse flakes to his food for extra nutrition and I concentrate on good fats such as coconut meats and avocados. If he is being really fussy I serve up a smoothie with coconut water, cream, avocado, some raw greens, some berries and half a zucchini. Some nuts too would be great. That way I know he has an abundance of good stuff and he is nice and full of the good fats.
Food Matters: In your words, what would you tell a new parent who was in a similar situation?
I’m with you and you are not alone. Listen to your innate knowingness and intuition. No one knows your child like you do. Seek out wonderful Doctors who work with both eastern and western medicine. They will look at all avenues to help get you and your family closer towards optimum health. Look up the Mindd Foundation for great practitioners.
Know that there is help out there; it takes a village to raise a child. By sharing stories we can help create easier safer platforms and a space where real food is encouraged and accepted.
Food Matters: Lastly, what is your favorite dish to make with Willow?
Willow is such a little foodie so it’s hard to choose. I asked him what I should make and he said “syddy” which is his word for smoothie.
Creamy Coconut Smoothie
You can add smoothies into a baby's diet as soon as they can master a sippy cup. Some children get the hang of it at 6 months while others manage at 8 – 10 months +. 1-2 SERVES
Try pouring the smoothie mix into popsicle molds and you will have an incredibly creamy ice cream at hand to cool the little ones down. It also makes a wonderfully cool treat in summer for toddlers.
- Coconut water and meat from 1 young coconut
- 40g (1 1/3 oz. / 1/4 cup) organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
- 1-2 teaspoons grass-fed gelatin
- 1 teaspoon practitioner recommended probiotic powder
- 1 teaspoon coconut kefir
- 1 pinch chia seeds
- 1/4 avocado
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- pinch of vanilla powder
- pinch ground cinnamon
- Cut open the top of the coconut by chopping a square opening into the top (preferably with 4 deep incisions using a cleaver), and pour the coconut water directly into a blender jug. Scrape out the soft coconut flesh from the inside of the coconut shell with a spoon, and chop the flesh into chunks.
- Add the coconut flesh and all other remaining ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Add filtered water, or coconut milk slowly until you reach your desired consistency. Serve immediately.
You can be as creative and playful as you like with smoothies. We love frozen organic berry mixes, some papaya, mango, or any tropical fruits. Just play with different combos and give preference to fruits in season.
Introduce chia seeds only in small quantities if your bub has no digestive issues.
In summer it’s always handy to keep frozen bananas in the freezer – they are a fast, cooling treat and great to throw into smoothies.
What Was Your Healing Journey With Your Family? We'd Love To Hear From You!