Nourishing Families offers unique and inspiring workshops and programmes for parents and caregivers to transform their approach to food and meals leading to more meaningful and enjoyable mealtimes and ultimately happier and healthier children.
Nourishing Families is a Totnes based project working towards becoming a social enterprise, which means that any profits are reinvested back into the organisation or to subsidising places.
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 has three children, now all at primary school, who provide constant inspiration and test the Nourishing Families approach!
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The idea for Nourishing Families was conceived after my third child was born, in the many hours spent quietly breastfeeding together.
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 discover what is significant for them in their unique family situation.