Nourishing Families CIC supports parents, children and young people to build a lifelong, healthy relationship with food. We offer unique and inspiring workshops and programmes for parents and caregivers, and for children or young people to transform their approach to food and meals. Leading ultimately to happier and healthier children.
Our vision is that we all grow up and live with ease around food to nurture wellbeing.
Nourishing Families CIC is a social enterprise, which means that any profits are reinvested back into the organisation or used to offer subsidised places for those that need them.
Our in-group courses are available across Devon in Plymouth, Torbay and the South Hams. Online provision is also available.
Company number 11990964
WHO WE ARE
Anna Thomson is a registered nutritionist with a degree in Nutritional Medicine from the University of West London. She practices nutritional therapy from clinics in Exeter and Totnes. She is a Master Practitioner in Eating Disorders and has trained as an Intuitive Eating Counsellor. She has three children, one at primary school and two at secondary, who provide constant inspiration and test the Nourishing Families approach!
Aleksandra Matakovic Manca is a consultant child and family psychiatrist with a background in psychotherapy and art therapy who works in an integrated way both in the NHS and privately. She has many years of experience working with children and young people with eating and feeding difficulties. She is passionate about education, prevention and helping families find healthier ways to be together and thrive.
Heather McIntyre is Finance & Business Manager at the Citizens Advice Bureau/ She is a mum to two children and was a participant in the original Nourishing Families pilot programme. She believes that it is important to build vital relationships for children and young people with the food they eat that will provide key building blocks for future mental and physical wellbeing.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The idea for Nourishing Families was conceived after my third child was born.
I was reflecting on my nutritional therapy work with clients. A common thread in all my work is how to support and encourage people to reconnect with food and to create healthy and sustaining eating habits.
I had also given talks and run workshops for families around healthy eating and nutrition. I heard the many struggles and challenges parents faced compounded by the many mixed messages about food out there. Typically parents felt confused, anxious or worried about some or several aspects of their children’s diet and eating habits. I began to create a course called ‘Nourish Your Child’.
Life took an unexpected turn when I was invited with my family to manage a traditional guesthouse in Japan as part of a regeneration project in an area of significant depopulation. Several months later we had sold or given away most of our possessions and found ourselves living in a remote valley in northern Kyoto prefecture. When the year’s project ended we weren’t ready to leave so we moved to a nearby traditional farmhouse and I began teaching English in three primary schools.
The experience in Japan was invaluable when developing Nourishing Families. I’d seen first hand how Japanese children are brought up in a supportive and established food culture. I noticed how much less complicated and straightforward the children were around food, how much better they behaved, and how much they enjoyed food.
I changed from the one-directional ‘Nourish Your Child’ to ‘Nourishing Families’ as I believe the importance we give to the sourcing, preparing and sharing food together can underpin and nourish the whole family. At the same time as a mum to three children, I understand the challenges parents face so Nourishing Families is all about supporting parents, children or young people discover what is significant for them in their unique situation.