Shikha and Zora
We met Shikha on instagram, after seeing post after post of our hemp products used in nutritional, kid-friendly recipes on her feed @mylittlefoodcritic. She’s a full-time property developer and full-time mum who wants her son Zora (almost two years old) “to enjoy food and establish good eating habits.” She says: “food is so linked to health conditions and I want to provide the best start I can for him.” Along with avocados, quinoa, bananas and cucumber Zora loves our good hemp seeds and calls them ‘magic sprinkles’ – can we put that on our packaging?!
How did you first find out about hemp?
When I began to think about weaning my son, I was shocked by how highly processed baby and toddler foods are; everything I looked at seemed to contain a lot of salt and sugar, food colouring and refined flours. I spent a lot of time researching healthy foods and came across hemp hearts. I have never looked back and now my whole approach to food has changed dramatically.
What hemp product do you use for your Zora?
I use hemp hearts daily – they are some seriously mighty little seeds. They are a great source of protein and omega-3 and absolutely perfect for little ones as they don’t add much volume to meals but have a tremendous nutritional impact. I sprinkle them on just about everything! I also add them to baked goods and savoury recipes.
What advice would you give to other mother’s trying to add new ingredients and nutrition into their child’s diet?
Food rejection can be disheartening, especially when you’ve spent a lot of time preparing something. I used to worry a lot about how much and how often he ate and if he was eating enough. What I’ve learnt over the last year and a half is that consistency is the key; keep offering the same foods they reject, preferably with something they like and they will try it at some point! Secondly, don’t shy away from flavoursome food and strong tastes. Babies are more receptive to strong flavours than toddlers, so it’s easier to establish good eating habits. My son began to help me cook when he was around 18 months and this really helped him to try new foods as he was a part of cooking process.
AJ, Agni and June
Meet AJ, a mum and plant-based chef working on a plant-based e-book and Youtube channel in her spare time. When it comes to feeding her kids – June (4) and Agni (11 months) – there are three things she always takes into consideration: “nutritional ingredients + fun colours + fun food”. But when it comes to hemp, it’s a bottle of milk for Agni; a cold drink, porridge or banana pancakes for Juno.
Tell us a bit about your own diet…
After having Juno, my body went through post pregnancy hormonal changes and I developed adult acne. I grew up vegetarian but during my pregnancy with Juno I discovered ham and bacon. My system wasn’t used to it and created flare-ups to any meat product I consumed. So I made the decision to clean up my diet by cutting out dairy and meat completely. Within a year of going plant-based I noticed how well my skin was doing and it helped me learn more about my body.
How did you first hear about hemp?
I grew up in India in a household of really creative women who would make us fresh nut milk everyday before and after school. It was really a no-brainer that I do the same for my kids. So I started making nut milk at home (almond, cashew, pistachio etc). But hemp came into play when I was browsing for toppings to go on my salads and bought abag for just that use. After researching further about all its benefits in milk form, I incorporated it into our everyday. Agni who is 11 months drinks it through a bottle. Juno has it as a cold drink, in porridge and banana pancakes too.
What’s the hardest part of feeding your children and what advice would you give to young mothers trying new ingredients and plant-based products?
Meal times are definitely our most testing time of the day. Usually breakfast goes swimmingly so I try and load up on that one meal as much as possible. Incorporating a playful way to look at food is so important. I also get Juno involved the previous evening and ask what he would like for breakfast: rice or hemp milk in the pancake batter, fruits and toppings. Food should be fun. So I go by three things: nutritional ingredients + fun colours + fun food (in terms of food games, like broccoli gives you hulk power etc).
Meghan, Olive, Uma
Meghan is 30 and a full-time mum to Olive (4) and Uma (2 and a half). While they are all vegan, she ensures they get a varied diet and incorporates hemp seeds for that plant-based protein goodness. She sprinkles them on all her kid-friendly meals or lets them eat them right out of the packet. It’s not about healthy eating all the time, though, and she knows that a little treat (vegan of course) is important too. I wonder if she’s tried Ginger Vegan’s toffee pudding cupcakes?
How did you first find out about hemp?
I believe strongly in the powers of hemp for loads of different reasons. I used it as skincare initially and then started to use it as food when I became vegan at the beginning of the year.
What hemp product do you use for your kids and why do you use it?
I mostly use the hemp seed hearts sprinkled on our meals. I like the extra texture it add to our foods along with
great range of health benefits such as it being anti-inflammatory, high in protein, omegas and enzymes. I also use
hemp oil too.
What do they think of it?
They don’t really mention it to be honest, though Uma sometimes speaks about the little seeds!
What advice would you give to young mothers trying new ingredients and plant-based products for their children?
I think you just do what you can at your own pace. Find the replacements you like and add more of those in and you’ll gradually cut down on the things you don’t want in your diet anymore. Try not to make it too different or a big ‘thing’ about it. I find a great way to explain it to kids is the animal cruelty side of things as it seems to be something they understand easier than the health side of it.
Nina & Andy
Nina is mum to 11-month-old baby Andrew and works remotely as a graphic designer. She insists on cooking fresh food for Andrew every day, ensuring he has a balanced diet while avoiding salt and sugar and using Good Hemp Seeds and Good Hemp Milk as a way to get in omega-3s into his diet. Some of his favourite foods include streamed eggs (the choline in egg is great for his growth), avocado and yogurt.
How did you first find out about hemp?
My husband found hemp oil when he was looking for food packed with omega-3 when I was pregnant. Since then, I’ve been using it every day as I love its nutty flavour.
What hemp product do you use for your kids?
I give my baby hemp milk everyday and hemp seeds sometimes as a snacks. He loves hemp milk and can drink half a cup at a time (it’s quite a lot for a 11 month old baby)! I use it because it’s a great source of omegas and protein, and most importantly he loves it!
What’s the hardest part of feeding your kids and what advice would you give to young mothers
trying new ingredients & plant-based products?
His appetite varies everyday, sometimes he’s happy to eat everything and there are some days he only accepts yogurt and hemp milk. I know it’s frustrating sometimes when you spend so much time and effort preparing the food for them but end up having to help them finish. You are not the only one and you just need to keep trying different types of veg/fruits until you find those they like. (My baby tells me straight away if he likes or not – luckily he loves most veg and fruits, though not very keen on meat). Once you find the ingredients they like, you can slowly mix in some new ingredients into those “old” ingredients and it’s more likely that they will accept it. If you want to live a plant-based diet, make sure you give them enough protein e.g. yogurt, cauliflower, peanut butter.
Vivienne, Paige, Finn
Vivienne is a working mum of two children, Paige (9) and Finn (2). They have a varied diet and she mostly cooks from scratch, experimenting with new recipes for her blog. Although if life gets hectic, “some days we welcome to beige meals from good old Captain Birdseye.” Good Hemp Milk is Vivienne’s go-to for the kids – Finn is allergic to dairy and therefore they must keep the entire house dairy-free to avoid cross-contamination.
How do they drink hemp milk?
They drink it as a bedtime bottle, in cereal, in baking and smoothies which is a great way to get the added fruits and vitamins in. They love it.
What’s the hardest part of feeding your kids and what advice would you give to young mothers trying new ingredients & free-from products?
Research, research, research! Look at recipes and experiment, follow Instagram pages for meal ideas or for free-from pages as they are very useful and the people give great advice.