Slow Food Baby, a community education program developed by Slow Food UK, was launched this Mother’s Day with the first training workshop for facilitators who will pass on tools and practical knowledge to help parents prepare good food for the newest members of their families, emphasizing the importance for early health as well as their future food choices.
Developed by Slow Food UK with input from experts and their membership, Slow Food Baby is a train-the-trainer program in which volunteers are taught how to facilitate the interactive workshop Happy Eating: The Slow Food family approach to first solid foods & mealtimes. The first group of fourteen facilitators was trained in Manchester and are now getting ready to deliver the program in their own regions across the nation.
Slow Food UK CEO Catherine Gazzoli said they expect to reach around 900 families in the first year, however they are in discussions with some of the leading parenting charities in the UK to develop partnerships to assist in rolling out the project.
“Providing wholesome, healthy choices to infants learning to eat can set them on a path to a lifetime of good eating habits,” Ms Gazzoli said. “Slow Food Baby strives to give parents and carers helpful guidance, ideas, tips and strategies to ensure that their little ones have the best introduction to first foods, and enjoy it in a family-friendly context.”
The project was inspired by a talk on feeding babies presented by Slow Food New York City with chef Galen Zamarra of Mas Farmhouse and Nina Planck, author of Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two and Baby’s First Foods. New York committee member Ed Yowell connected Catherine to two enthusiasts, and together they undertook the first brainstorming for the workshop.
The resulting 1.5 hour long workshop has a core focus on taste as well as nutrition, and how early sensory experience is critical for laying the foundations for inquisitive and healthy food choices throughout life.
“If babies are allowed to experiment with healthy food, and are kept away from food loaded with sugar, salt and fat, they will end up with a taste for beetroot, broccoli, pumpkin, fish… anything really,” summed up SF UK board member and project advisor Prue Leith, the well-known British chef and writer. “Sadly, if they are given sweets and chocolate, cakes and biscuits they will prefer them, and make their parents life hell for years as they demand them.”
For more information on Slow Food Baby, contact Sara Trewhitt: [email protected].
Photo by Bess Mucke ©