In today’s episode, I’m excited to be talking to another amazing guest, Belinda Smith. Belinda is the founder of The Root Cause. The Root Cause is all about starting conversations with children, parents, teachers about food. How it impacts our health, learning, waste and the environment. Belinda and her team work with families throughout Australia and they’ve seen first-hand what children eat at schools. How much of a difference that makes on a child’s health behaviour, academic results and attendance.
Being a mum, a wife, a health and wellness coach, Bel believes in empowerment through education. We talk about how to empower our kids to make better meal choices. So we don’t have to be constantly on their backs and doing it for them. She also shares the following tips and insights in achieving peaceful meal times for mums:
- What appears to be fussy eating to us, is actually quite normal behaviour but we’re up against our own expectation.
- Fostering independence and dividing the responsibility by helping kids understand food, and its effect on their bodies.
- Creating a safe and fun environment at the dinner table where kids are able to create “positive” stored memories.
- And so much more!
I’m excited to introduce you to another amazing guest today, Belinda Smith. Belinda is the founder of The Root Cause. I’m sure lots of you already know her and her amazing work. The Root Cause is all about starting conversations with children, with parents, with teachers about food. How it impacts our health, learning, waste and the environment. They work with families throughout Australia and they’ve seen firsthand what children eat at schools. How much of a difference that makes on a child’s health behaviour and academic results and attendance.
The Root Cause is founded by Belinda, who I’m speaking to today. Bel is a mum, she’s a wife, she’s a health and wellness coach. She believes in empowerment through education and that’s what we talk a lot about today. How to empower our kids to make better meal choices. So we don’t have to be constantly on their backs and doing it for them. I’m really excited to talk to Bel today. She runs her business with her husband, Israel. We actually connected quite a few years ago now when we were both getting ready for our big trips around Australia. We were travelling around Australia at the same time. Unfortunately, we never caught up but I was just so excited watching Bel, Israel and their kids get a big bus ready to travel around Australia.
They stopped and worked in remote towns, in rural towns, in cities delivering their workshop. All about empowering kids to make better meal choices in schools. How amazing is that? Their school program is called the Mad Food Science Program and they now have a whole bunch of certified instructors that work all over Australia. They’re doing just the most amazing work. I’m really excited to chat to Bel today about creating a peaceful meal time environment for mums. I think this one is going to bring you a lot of value, so here’s Bel!
Jess: Welcome to the podcast, Bel! It’s so great to have you here. Would you like to tell our listeners a bit more about yourself? Your business and the work that you’re doing.
Bel: I certainly would. Thank you, Jess. Thanks so much for having me here, by the way. I guess my work, you could put it in a nutshell that my specialty is helping parents find peace around feeding their kids. Their health but then supporting them into empowering their kids to make better food or meal choices. So that the kids actually start to understand more about food and their body and how it makes them feel. It’s not always just mums or dads telling their kids what to eat. Their kids actually really get it and they start self-selecting out of the very food that we don’t want them to have. You know, a lot of the processed foods.
Jess: Yes, I love that and that’s so important because we can only do so much as parents, can’t we? So I love that about your work that you’re all about empowering the kids.
Bel: Yeah, definitely. I think certainly over the last eight years, the biggest thing I’ve identified is that when kids stop having the struggle with their parents. It opens up the doors for them to actually start understanding about food. And therefore this is what we really want to do as parents. We want to give our kids the gift of a positive relationship with food or a meal. So that ultimately, when they leave home they can fend for themselves and that’s what stops us worrying at night. You know?
Bel: Like we, in the wee hours of the morning. We wake up worrying about our kids’ health and are they eating the right fruits and vegetables. Am I giving them nutritious meals, you know? Will they have long term health? All of those things start to go away when our kids actually work with us rather than working against us.
Jess: Yes, definitely and I mean, I’m certainly in that age where my kids are becoming more independent. When our kids are little, we’ve got that complete control over what they’re eating. But when once they reach a certain age, they’re out and about with their friends. We don’t have that complete control over exactly what’s going into their mouth. So when we’ve done that work to empower them to make good meal choices, that tricky stage becomes easier as well, doesn’t it?
Bel: A hundred percent. The thing is, when we actually generate our own level peace around, you know. We’ve done the best that we can for our kids. And we know that when they’re with their own peer group, yes they might make meal choices that we wouldn’t make for them. When you’ve got that peace, you’ve done your best at home. And that they’re probably making meal choices that out of the grand scheme of things of what their friends are making. They’re still making better meal choices than what their friends are making. Even if it’s not what you choose for a meal. There’s still that element of, “You know what? I’m really happy with where they’re at, I know they’ll be able to take care of themselves.”
Bel: And that’s so important for our own sanity but also really important to use that word, independence. That’s what we need to be aiming for. My coach, Lisa Carpenter always reminds me, when we over help our kids, we actually create adults who are more helpless. We really don’t want that for our kids. We want them to be able to grow and understand food, meal. Make it an environment at home where a meal or food is something that you bond together on. And then when they leave home, that they’ll know how to take care of themselves.
Jess: Yes, and I love that… Fostering that independence extends to so many areas of our kids’ life but today, we’re specifically talking about food. Meal. Can you maybe share with us some of the biggest challenges that mums are facing? You know, in your audience when it comes to feeding their kids.
Bel: Yeah, look, it’s probably the same as what your audiences are facing too. It’s like, the processed world that our kids are growing up in. Everywhere you turn, processed food is marketed to them overtly, even sometimes not overtly. They’re making a chemistry lab with flavours that are designed to excite our kids’ brains, so that’s a challenge. Then it’s what are their friends eat around them, so we can do our best at home. But then they go to school, and they look at what their friends are eating. And people might have experienced this before where they say, it’s not such and such as eating Oreos, or barbecue shapes. So it’s what their friends are eating, that’s another challenge.
Bel: Then it’s the sport. We send our kids to play sport because it’s good for their health. And they get rewarded with lolly snakes and soft drinks, you know? So the very thing that we’re sending therefore, it’s almost like it’s getting undone at the end, Because we’re rewarding them with food that doesn’t help them. And then when you put all those, these are major factors in kids’ life, you know? Like, what their friends are doing, the school environment, you know. When they’re out shopping, sports.
Bel: So coming at them from all angles, there are messages that are telling them that this is the food that’s fun. And yet, when we try to get them to eat the foods that we know their bodies need, they instantly relate to the word “healthy.” I always encourage people, don’t use the word “healthy” with kids, because it doesn’t really mean anything. In fact, it means so many different things even to adults. So expecting our kids to go, “Oh here, it’s healthy. I definitely have to eat it,” doesn’t really wash with our kids.
Bel: All of these foods have the ability to affect our children’s taste buds. Of course, having a piece of broccoli just doesn’t compare to eating a bag of chips, you know what I mean? These are, you know, real big challenges that we’re facing. But I do have to say, and this is out of utmost love and respect to parents. Because I’m a parent as well. I run my own business, as well as doing all the stuff that we do as mums. But it’s actually our business and our own time. That’s probably our biggest challenge and it’s the thing that actually robs us of our peace. First and foremost, because we’re always beating ourselves up about, “I don’t really have time to meal plan.”
Bel: Or, “I don’t really have time to prepare. I’m too busy to cut up fresh fruit and vegetables.” All of these things. It’s those thought patterns that we have about our own time in our life. Our juggling act that really first and foremost robs our peace because then, we beat ourselves up for falling off the wagon, you know? Like people say, I start the year really good and then I fall off the wagon and then I feel guilty for doing it. The aim is to generate a little bit of peace and stability around what is workable and sustainable in your family. So that you’ve got a good base to work from and build from without expecting perfection at the start.
Jess: Yes, I love that. That’s so true that. Our busy lives really do get in the way, as well as all those other things that you talked about. We end up on this sort of negative cycle. Like you’re saying, I’m too busy to prepare the healthy food and then feeling guilty. Then, that cycle just sort of continues. So it’s about really solidifying some simple strategies that we can use. And I think we’ll both agree that although our family’s diets probably aren’t perfect 100% of the time, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time to get healthy food on the table for our families every day.
Jess: And I think we’ve both got that mission, haven’t we? Of spreading the word that you can have a job or a business and still manage to get healthy food into the lunchbox. It’s keeping it simple is really important. And so, I wanted to talk to you a bit about fussiness as well. Because even if we do find the time to get that healthy food on the table, it doesn’t always go down very well with our kids. Can you talk to us about fussy eating and when that becomes more prominent in an age kind of sense? Why do you feel like so many kids have these fussy eating issues these days?
Bel: Well, look, there’s so many reasons. Obviously, the work that you do around gut health is so, so important. Because that plays out in fussy eating all the time. If I look at all the people who talk to me about fussy eating, and I kind of roughly drew an age group. When people perceive fussiness starts, it’s usually around a three to four year age mark. So I like to take a step back. The reason why I call the business The Root Cause is to ask, what is the root cause? What are the things that could be driving it at that age? The thing that I’ve started to identify is, a lot of the time, what appears to be fussy eating to us, is actually quite normal behaviour. But we’re up against our own expectations.
Bel: So we have an expectation of our kids will eat a variety. They’ll eat their dinner within a certain space of time, that they will like five servings of vegetables. Two servings of fruit, that they’ll eat all the different flavours. And when our kids don’t meet that expectation, then we get upset. Then we start to actually assign the labels fussy. Now, look, don’t get me wrong. There are definite children that are fussy with textural issues and stuff like this. But I think one of the first things that we can actually sit back and ask ourselves is, is it actually true that our kids are fussy? Or are they just not meeting our expectation of what we would like them to have?
Bel: The second thing is to actually understand that at that three to four year age group, that’s when we are teaching our kids. The first little inklings of independence, you know. Like toilet training, how to use their cutlery, and all of these things. So we’re trying to encourage our kids to be independent. Then when it actually comes to eating, in a way where kind of robbing them of that independence. I only just started to recognise this in the last five years of my work, that we’re doing it out of love. We love our kids beyond words that you can even describe. We want them to eat all these foods because we know that they’re great for them.
Bel: But what we don’t actually appreciate is that it takes time to appreciate different flavours. Tastes in some kids get it straightaway and some kids don’t. It’s just like learning to walk. There’s children that start to walk at eight or nine months and then there’s ones that are like 16 months, you know? When our kids are learning to walk, we don’t stand on the side when they fall over and say, “Come on, get up!” Or chase them around, trying to flog them with a stick. But when it comes to feeding them, quite often. I had a mum the other day tell me, she said, “I’ve tried everything. I’ve chased him up and down the hallway with the fork and…” I know!
Bel: So, I mean, look, like I said, it’s no disrespect to parents because we’re all doing things out of love. But I think if we actually really asked ourselves, what specifically is causing us this concern. We would find what is underlying. It is some level of fear or worry that they’re going to get sick or that there’s something not right with them. Fear is always never a great place to work from because it puts a stranglehold. Like we hold on, like with the death grip to this state. As if we need to control it, but what we just need to do is influence it. Put out and expose them to a range of foods and just be okay that they will try what they can try at this point of time. Not stress and obsess if they don’t get it straightaway.
Bel: Just give them the opportunity to come for. Allow it to be their journey and I always like to ask parents think about yourself in your own eating habits. Have you always eaten everything that you eat today? Because like for myself, I’ve got my own childhood memories about dinner experience. Some of your audience may actually understand this themselves. When I think back to the dinner table at my place, my mum was a single mum with four kids. Money was tight and so we had to sit at the dinner table until everything was eaten. No matter what time of night it was. I also was in a way I feel now like when I look back on it, I was kind of pressured to eat the foods that she was putting in front of me.
Bel: Like brussel sprouts, just detested them but back in those days they were cheap to buy. So mum had cooked them up and it smelled like she was cooking my brother’s football sock. So I loathed them and you know I did not eat one. When I left home, you could not have paid me to eat brussel sprouts. It was only until I got in my 40s, at a friend’s place and she made them with like butter, garlic, bacon and roasted them. I actually discovered that it could be delicious. So I think we need to take that step back and say how true is it. Just because they’re not eating it right now, that it’s actually a problem. Am I making it more of a problem than what it really is?
Bel: So when we look at things through that filter we might actually start to realise that perhaps they’re not actually fussy maybe it’s just a phase. The same with textual things, you know? It’s a bit like a preference. I’m sure if we really thought about it, each one of us have a preference to how we like things. For instance, if I go back to my favourite brussel sprouts. I would actually take the brussel sprouts done in sautéed garlic, butter any day over steamed brussel sprouts. Kids just need to you know, they develop their palate as well. We just need to give them the opportunity to do that.
Bel: I want to say that, that doesn’t mean that there is no such thing as fussy eating. I just want us to think more about the label fussy eating and ask yourself is it true? And also remember it in a way, when we say these things about our kids, it’s a bit akin to when someone at school says something to them about their lunchbox. Oh that’s yuck or that looks like poo or whatever. They take that on and they take it personally. Sometimes our kids might hear us talking about them being fussy and they know, they don’t want to be fussy.
Jess: But they take that on board, don’t they? That becomes part of their identity.
Jess: Yeah and I was just gonna say, I agree with so much that you’ve just said. I agree that most kids go through a bit of a fussy stage. And I think it’s the way that we respond to that which really does make a difference to how long that fussy stage lasts. You know, because the way that we respond and act around that sort of fussy eating does have a big influence. So this is one of the reasons that I love, the division of responsibility kind of concept. For anyone listening who hasn’t ever heard that term, it really takes the pressure off. I think it really goes well with what you’ve just been talking about Bel. The division of responsibility is that as parents we are responsible for what we’re serving up to the kids.
Jess: Where we’re eating, what time we’re eating. But when our kids come to the table they’re responsible for what parts of that meal they’re eating. How much they’re eating. Of course, all of us especially when we’ve got some knowledge on nutrition and how important nutrition is for our kids, we want them to eat all of that good food that’s put in front of them. But it doesn’t get us anywhere to be attached to. Like you said, them eating those five different vegetables or making sure they’re eating whatever protein’s on their plate.
Jess: So if we take that idea of the division of responsibility, it takes the pressure off us as parents. What I find is, over time, without that pressure on kids, they generally will increase the amount of variety that they eat. I mean, obviously, fussy eating is a very complex topic. There’s lots of different kinds of things that we can do. But that is one of the things that I certainly talked about. Is that something that you can talk about as well, Bel?
Bel: It definitely is, in my Peaceful Meals for Mums program. One of the first things we actually address is becoming aware to the things that we’re saying. And what our responsibility actually is. So that you can find peace around feeding your kids and their health, regardless of what’s going on at the table. We have this thing that if they don’t eat, they’re going to go hungry. Then they’re going to go to bed hungry. All of these, I guess, things that have happened in the past. But when we actually become really present to it, my job is to put out food, and their job is to actually eat it. You know that when you put out food, you put out what you want to eat, as well as what you would like them to eat.
Bel: Plus some safe foods that they’re going to eat, so that they won’t go hungry. Then you sit back and when you come at it from this approach that I’m just going to be an observer. Like, we talked about food being a fun experiment. When you just sit back and look at it through that lens, and you allow it to unfold. You will see what happens on so many times when mums say, “Oh it’s voodoo magic! I didn’t say anything but all of a sudden, my child’s picking up the carrot. And they were like, they’d said that they were never going to eat vegetables.” So, you know, the thing is, it does actually take time. And you are 100% right Jess, that it’s our response that can drive how long it goes on.
Bel: I guess I want to use that as an opportunity to talk about this thing called stored memories. I always talk to parents about what are the stored memories that we’re creating for our kids at the dinner table? Is it a stored memory of, “Oh my God, I’m going to the dinner table, mum’s going to ask me to eat broccoli.” Are they already anxious when they’re coming to the table? Already expecting for you to be unhappy with them? Or are they coming to the dinner table bounding with excitement that they’re going to get a chance to have a chat and eat what they would like to eat? Because those stored memories are just like my brussel sprouts story, you know?
Bel: We want them to come to the table and leave the table feeling happy. Knowing that the dinner table is a safe place, regardless of what they eat. Because when we expose our kids to lots of foods in an unpressured way, they feel more relaxed. They’re less anxious. When they’re anxious, it actually affects their ability to enjoy their meal. It can affect their stomach muscles, their taste, everything. So I would encourage people to think about the division of responsibility gives you such extreme peace. That I’m putting out a whole suite of different foods you’re going to enjoy foods.
Bel: So many times we go without the foods that we want because we’re worried that our kids aren’t going to eat it. And so put it all out. Give them safe foods and then sit back and just be at peace and accept that this is where they’re at. Remember that if you don’t put it out, if they can’t see it, they’re not going to be able to eat it. So this is really important.
Bel: I had a mum say recently, “I just want him to eat more salad greens.” And I said, “Well, how often are you putting them out?’ She said, “Oh, I don’t put them out because he won’t eat them.” And it’s like, “Okay, well, let’s test this out.” You know, if he can’t see it, he’s never going to be able to eat them. You know what I mean? So yeah, our response and having that being in the position of peaceful power, that you’ve done your job. You can give yourself a good tip tonight because you’ve done your job. And just accepting that it is what it is. Whatever they ate is whatever they eat for tonight, and it’s not going to be like that forever.
Jess: No, that’s right. That definitely takes the pressure off, doesn’t it? And I think like you just hit on a really good point. You’ve got to keep putting the food out there. I hear this from mums so often as well. There’s just hardly anything that goes on the plate anymore because he or she won’t eat it. And it’s like, well, it’s still gonna get put out on the plate. If they’re not comfortable with it being on their plate. Like lots of fussy kids will freak out when there’s a piece of broccoli on their plate. They don’t want, you know, you can put on a separate plate next to their main plate. Or at least in the middle of the table. We know from the research that repeated exposure, even if it’s not going into their mouth.
Jess: The more comfortable a child is with a food, the more likely they will be to eat it long term. So that is really important. Then something else you said about kids coming to the dinner table. They’re already in that stressed state because of that stored memory of what they know to expect from the dinner table. I think so many mums say, it’s the child that’s making the dinner time stressful, which is probably true. Like their reaction to food, but it’s our responsibility to switch that around, isn’t it? It’s not up to the child to do that. When a child is stressed, their cortisol levels are high and we know that high cortisol reduces appetite.
Jess: So it’s just perpetuating the problem if that meal time is stressful. Which is why I think your new program is such a brilliant idea and needed by so many mums. Like you talked about earlier, your specialty really is empowering kids so that they make better food choices themselves. Can you share a bit more about exactly what this means and how mums can start that process of empowering their kids?
Bel: Yeah. Thanks Jess, I mean, it is. I guess the reason why I’m so passionate about this is I’m a mum just like you guys who’ve probably all been on the receiving end of your child. You know, throwing a tantrum at the supermarket over a food that you really don’t want them to have. I remember my son vividly having a tantrum over Star Wars microwave popcorn. He was arching his back, wailing and screaming, and I felt like crawling into a hole. We didn’t even have a microwave, so there was no point in even putting it in the trolley anyway. So I have realised that when our kids just give it, then those kinds of arguments go away. When they actually understand about food and how it can make them feel.
Bel: They become empowered to go, “I want to put that in my body or I don’t want to put that in my body.” We give them the confidence of not saying it’s a good food or a bad food. Just, does it help my body or does it not help my body. And they can rationalise, “Oh, that’s not gonna help my body, then maybe I shouldn’t have it today. Or I had something yesterday that didn’t help my body. So maybe I shouldn’t have it today.” These are the kinds of conversations that you can start to have with your children when they become more empowered around food. One of the best things that you could start to do is try to steer clear of talking about processed foods as treats.
Bel: If we think about this logically, as a parent, a treat is a food that is out of the ordinary and doesn’t happen very often. But in today’s day and age, processed food, most children are having two of those in their lunchbox a day. If they’ve had cereal at home, technically that’s a confectionery for most cereals. So it’s another treat to you know, so be really wary. I guess of using labels like treats, good, bad, junk, you know? And instead, get kids to understand the why, like, that helps your body. If they’re a swimmer, that’s actually really good for your lungs. Or what is going to motivate them or that doesn’t really help your body.
Bel: Do you think we should be having that every day and have conversations with them. Get them to think about the food they’re eating, and how it actually affects their body. That would be the very first starting point. But I guess there’s also the flip side of that is, we need to be prepared to let go and give them the space to actually understand this as well. That means we need to be prepared to let them learn about how their body feels when they eat the foods that we want them to eat. How their body feels when they eat the foods that we would prefer them to not eat. I’ll give you a real-life example of this, we have a boundary in our family.
Bel: I don’t like my son’s school canteen. Once a month or once a term somewhere, he can have a canteen order. He can order whatever he wants from the menu. But we use it as an opportunity to talk about how did that make him feel? So just recently, he wanted to have this thing called a juice bomb. It’s like a fizzy drink juice, flavoured. So I let him order it and then I said to him, how about you pop the can in the bag, and we can talk about what’s in it, you know? So that you can work out if it’s something that you want to have more often or not. And see how it takes away the pressure from them. Like it’s not mum saying I can’t have it because of course, when we say we can’t have it, they wanted even more.
Bel: Then they find someone to give it to them, so this takes the pressure off. So when he got home, he’d forgot to bring the can, he said, “Oh mum, sorry.” Then he googled it because kids love using the computer. He googled it, found it, we sat down, we spoke about the ingredients. We looked at how many teaspoons of sugar in there because it led to the whole discussion. It’s not a whole fruit, all the fiber’s gone. Our bodies just think about it as sugar. Should we be having that much sugar in a day? You know, all of those conversations. And that’s where empowerment happens because your kids start to really connect. Is it something I want to do to my body every day or not?
Jess: Yeah, I just love that. I’ve always taken that approach with my kids as well. I remember a situation where we’d had two birthday parties in one day. My son was only about three at the time and I could see he was going overboard on party food. He came home and he actually vomited that night. As he was vomiting, he was saying, “I’m never going to two parties in one day again!” So he even learned firsthand even though it was painful for me to you know. And I didn’t even see everything that he was eating.
Jess: It’s like, at a kid’s party but he learned. He has always been so much more careful about what he has eaten because we can tell, tell, tell our kids, you know, till the cows come home. But until they actually experience how that food makes them feel, then they don’t quite get it. It’s like anyone, really.
Jess: I’ve got another example, a very recent one, my daughter had a birthday recently. One of her friends gave her a bucket full of Skittles, a huge bucket. Oh my gosh! And you know, my approach to lollies is that we avoid. We don’t have them very often but when we do have them, we avoid the artificial colours and that sort of thing. Obviously Skittles are full of those artificial colours. I’ve got a little book called The Chemical Maze. I think you can’t get the little book anymore, but you can get the app. She actually, a few days after her party, pulled out this little book because she’d seen all the numbers on the ingredient list. I hadn’t said anything about these Skittles.
Jess: She’d looked at me like, “Look what I’ve got, mum!” But she’s very careful with food anyway, like she doesn’t go overboard. Anyway, that’d been sitting in a room. She pulled out this Chemical Maze book and started looking up the numbers. And her face was like, “Oh!” Because this particular book and the app, talk about all the research that’s been done. The associated negative health implications and it was terrible. She was shocked. And she just looked at me and said, “I don’t want to eat these.” So we did a deal where we went and bought her some. Because I didn’t want her to miss out on that gift that she had gotten. She still wanted lolly.
Jess: We just went and chose healthier versions. Still not perfect, but much healthier versions of like sweets that she bought. Like I said, she’s quite sensible. She has one or two and then puts them away for another week and my son’s the opposite. He definitely wouldn’t be like that. But yeah, I think those stories are good examples of how empowering our kids to make good decisions definitely pays off in the long run.
Bel: Yeah, it does and it’s the one way that those worries that we have about our kids long term health. When you know that you’ve done your best to actually empower them so that they can make those choices when you’re not around. Just like what your daughter did. Even though you were there, she made those choices without you needing to say anything. There’s a whole new level of peace that we get like this. We know instinctively, we don’t have to argue with them about food. It doesn’t need to be a constant battle and we know that longer term, they’re going to be just fine without us.
Jess: Yes, yeah. And that’s really ultimately what we want, isn’t it as mums? Yeah, such a good conversation. We could continue talking for hours, I’m sure. But I just want to finish off by I guess, giving you the opportunity to tell us a bit more about your new program. How mums can find out a bit more about this approach that you have to peaceful meal times.
Bel: Yeah. Well, look, I think in a nutshell, I want to just say to people, it is 100% totally possible for you to have peace at the dinner table. Even if your kids aren’t eating what you expected them to eat. Or if they’re running around the dinner table, your peace doesn’t need to be lost. The energy that you bring to the table can affect the stored memories that we spoke about. So this is all about how do you create stored memories for your kids. So that dinner time is a peaceful place, not just for you, but also for them. A place that they want to come back to and ultimately expand what they eat.
Bel: So the one thing that I’ve learned is that when we have our peace, and we learn to let go of all the expectations that we have on our kids and around what they eat. How quickly they eat, or even expectations on ourselves, you know? Like menu planning and all of those kinds of things. When we let go of our own expectations on ourselves and we find peace, then it opens up a whole new level of energy around food in the family. Our ultimate goal is just to make eating real food most of the time a behaviour. It’s about making good behaviours around food now and in the long term. So your peace is actually the story that sets that all up.
Bel: That’s the part that I’m helping people with in this program. Because as mums, we really do love our kids so much but sometimes it’s very hard to separate our love from the fear that we also have.
Jess: Yeah, I love that. I think that the program is going to be helpful for so, so many mums and your work in general as well. I’ll pop the link to your website in the show notes. If anyone wants to head on over and find out more about The Root Cause, I know you guys have got so many great resources on your website. And you’ve got a little free e-book as well. Do you want to tell us a bit about that?
Bel: Yeah, so I’ve got an e-book called, “5 Ways to De-stress Dinner”. They’re just five simple little things that you could put into place that could change the dynamic at the dinner table. So my suggestion with all of my work, regardless of what programs you do with us, or even when I’m in a school setting, is to say choose one of them. Focus on that, make it a way of life, and then choose something else. Because when we try to do everything we really don’t get a chance to do anything really well. So when you download the e-book, choose one of those items to focus on for a week or two and see the change that happens from that.
Jess: Yeah, such good advice and I give the same advice all the time. Just pick one, one thing because feeding kids or improving your kids’ gut health, they’re such big topics. You can easily feel overwhelmed. So I think that’s a really great way to end that you don’t have to do it all just pick one thing. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and before you know it, you’ve made a lot of progress.
Jess: Thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today, Be. I’ll pop the links to Bel’s e-book and website in the show notes for anyone who wants to click across and go and check them out.
Bel: Awesome. Thank you so much, Jess, and thank you everyone. And remember, you’re all doing an awesome job.
Jess: Oh, such a good way to end. I agree. Thanks so much!