Blog with By-Billie clothing

Luka is a mum of two beautiful kids, Flynn and Florence and is the face behind @boobtofood . Luka’s page is a platform for her to share her passion for promoting healthy, nourishing, whole foods for both kids and adults.

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Tell us a little about you and your family?

hello! my name is Luka, and my family comprises of myself, my husband Jesse and our two kids - Flynn (3) and Florence (7 months). We live in the beautiful beach city of Newcastle, NSW. Im a registered midwife and nurse, but currently enjoying my maternity leave and planning on studying nutrition in the new year!

You have such a wealth of knowledge when it comes to healthy and nourishing foods for the mind and body - why do you think it’s important that parents are feeding their kids the right foods, rather than opting for fast and convenient alternatives?

Thank you! Oh I could honestly go on about this all day - so many reasons!

1. So that you know exactly what is going into your child's body - no preservatives, no additives, no adultering just pure, natural foods!

2. Opting for whole, nutrient dense foods. Our babies stomachs are small, so we should be focusing on fuelling them with nutrients they need, not just 'filling' them

3. Unfortunately the common fast and convenient alternatives for babies include rice cereals and food pouches/jars. However baby rice cereal is highly processed and refined, stripped of its nutrients and causes high blood glucose spikes due to the high glycogen content! You could argue that it has nutrients, however this is because it is fortified to add these ingredients - shouldn't we just focus on whole foods with naturally occurring nutrients??!! Its also very bland tasting, which may set your child up for fussy eating - we need to get our babies used to natural flavours.

Are your kids good eaters? Have you got any tips on getting children to eat well?

My kids are both fantastic eaters! I always wondered if I just got lucky with Flynn or if it was what I did, but Florence is proving to be quite a foody so i'm hoping its my approach to food! My biggest tip is to feed your kids what you eat, not only will it make you eat healthier to model good habits, but your kids will look to you and monkey see, monkey do! I never make a big fuss over certain foods on his plate - my rule is he must try everything, but I never make him 'eat it all'. I respect when he is full, but he gets no alternative meals if he doesn't eat his dinner - and due to this he nearly always will finish his whole plate!

Other tips are getting your baby used to flavours as first foods, don't be afraid to add herbs, spices, garlic, ginger, turmeric etc to your babies food! And just because you may not like a certain food, doesn't mean your baby won't love it!

Get your kids involved in cooking, let them ask questions, let them taste foods as you cook. They take great pride in their food when they have helped make it, and in turn want to eat it!

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One thing I personally struggled with in feeding my daughter was “what to actually feed her” ha! I definitely went through a stage where I thought pouches were totally fine if they were organic but I soon realised that she wasn’t satisfied after each meal. You recently put me onto MCT oil and I add this to her smoothies and eggs! What are some misconceptions you have come across when researching food to feed and fuel your kids?

This is definitely the reason I started 'boobtofood'. Mums want to do the right thing and obviously your child's wellbeing and healthy is number one priority! And parents think they are doing the right thing by buying 'organic' pouches and jars, and if you look at the ingredients they are generally pure and no additives. However have you ever thought how does chicken stay in a pouch on a shelf for years? Have you actually tasted one of these pouches? They are generally VERY sweet, and don't taste much like what they are meant to taste like! They are stripped of all fibre, protein, fats and again cause high glycemic spikes! They are able to be shelf stable because they are exposed to ultra high heat processing numerous times. This high heat destroys nearly all the nutritional value which is probably why your daughter never seemed satisfied after meals! The high heat reduces the water content in the food, leaving behind a high sugar content then water is re-added to this sugary residue hence why even the savoury options taste sweet! Pouches also don't allow your baby to learn about real food, about texture, savoury flavours, smell etc.

In regards to MCT oil, this is just an amazing way to get good fats into your baby. When we combine good fats with your meals (avocado, coconut oil, MCT, ghee, butter) it helps the body to absorb the fat soluble nutrients in food such as vitamin A, D, E and K as well as lots of antioxidants. It increases satiety and nutritional value of food - this will definitely leave your baby satisfied!

What are three things you couldn’t live without from your kitchen?

I have a very simple kitchen.. id love a thermomix or a food processor! but I mainly use

1. my blender!

2. Ikea plastic highchair - easy to hose down!

3. for Florence - the plastic bibs with the catcher!!

What are Florence and Flynn’s favourite things to eat?

No word of a lie Flynns absolute favourite food is broccolini! He calls them 'trees' and likes to pretend to be a dinosaur when eating them. He also is a toddler and obviously loves foods that kids love, but I try to give him healthier alternatives ie:

1. instead of chocolate he has carob buttons

2. smoothies: he loves frozen strawberries, frozen coconut, a frozen banana, MCT oil, protein powder, collagen powder, hemp seeds, chia seeds, coconut milk.

or almond milk, avocado, banana, almond butter, a date, MCT oil, hemp seeds and protein powder

3. he loves gelatin gummies! he calls them jelly and I have to stop him eating them!

4. any fruit

5. half an avocado with lemon, and he loves tuna!

6, for dessert every night he has some frozen berries or a 'proud as punch' ice block

7. chicken pesto pasta - he has lentil pulse pasta or zucchini spirals :)

8. kombucha

9. popcorn ( we make our own in coconut oil or with butter and seaweed flakes)

10. Nori sheets! and avocado and tuna sushi

Florence is just starting her food journey but so far she loves everything! she loves bone broth in her bottle, salmon, sardines, sweet potato, beetroot with ginger, mushrooms, liver, bone marrow, egg yolk, avocado, watermelon, banana, pumpkin!

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What's a day on your plate look like?

Every day is different, and I shop seasonally at the markets, but generally:

Start the day with lemon and apple cider vinegar in warm water

Breakfast: a protein smoothie (same as Flynns above) or porridge with tahini, or scrambled eggs with mushrooms and spinach

Morning tea: a coffee!

Lunch: generally is a buddha bowl - with a protein (chicken, salmon or egg or haloumi), sometimes quinoa (cooked in bone broth at the beginning of the week), roasted vegetables (I usually roast a big batch at the beginning of the week to give to Flo and for Flynn and I to have for lunch), sauerkraut, avocado, baby spinach, tomatoes, sometimes goats cheese or feta

- accompanied by a cup of bone broth.

Afternoon tea: Matcha tea, sometimes a biscuit or some fruit if I have made some healthy ones!

Dinner: different every night but generally: fish and veggies, chicken pesto 'pasta' with zucchini noodles, soup, pearl couscous warm vegetable salad, steak and vegetables, vegetable 'lasagne', homemade meatballs with homemade vegetable packed sauce and zucchini noodles.

Dessert: a turmeric latte or a 'lunar latte' from nutraorganics. Sometimes some PANA chocolate or PANA ice-cream!

Luka

xxx