I’m a mum of two and a scientist. I’ve also recently qualified as an Advanced Raw and Plant Based Chef.
My children have autism and a host of food allergies and sensitivities. I’m also allergic to gluten, wheat and dairy products. We have stripped our diet back to wholefoods at home and we are totally dairy, wheat and gluten free. I’ve chosen to be vegan. My eldest child and my husband are not. As I stated before, my children have a variety of allergies to foods and so to get them to eat well, and ensure they have a balanced in diet I’ve had to get creative.
My easiest challenge was the change to a GF/DF, chemical free diet due to help with autism. This diet change really has had a huge impact on my children in terms of behaviour, concentration and anxiety.
I have one child with ARFIDS. This means that he has an aversion to most food textures and smells. Getting him to accept vegetables, nuts and fruit was impossible, since he would only eat bland, colourless, tasteless foods without a huge fight. To train his taste buds I had to think outside the box. I realised that if I gave him blended drinks including the vegetables and fruit that I wanted him to have, on a subtle level I was training those taste buds to eventually accept these foods whole. After spending hundreds of dollars trying to get help from various eating therapists, and failing, it was worth a try. It has worked. He is now accepting more and more foods every day without gagging. He is however, still a total self imposed vegan, and so I have had to work out ways to ensure he gets iron, protein, zinc and the B vitamins he needs.
It wasn’t hard to start this breakfast smoothie regime once I bought a Nutribullet, which I must say, is a great starter blender. I always make sure that I have bananas, frozen berries, nut butter, soaked nuts and the seeds and powders listed in the recipe. There is no excuse not to start the day right for the whole family. It only takes a little bit of planning. We all have a nutrient packed smoothie for breakfast, even at weekends.
Here is my simple recipe:
cup of frozen berries or any soft fruit like kiwis (I use 2)
1 heaped tablespoon of nut butter (almond, cashew or peanut)
1 teaspoon of spirulina powder
2 teaspoons of pre-soaked chia seeds
2 teaspoons of flax seeds
Add two cups of water and more if its too thick
Blend and enjoy!
You can freeze leftovers in ice pop molds for the kids or freeze a cup full to take to work for an amazing lunch!