|By Marketa Stastna|
Posted: March 2014
Lulu Cohen-Farnell creates nutritious meals from scratch for 10,000 children a day. She shares her secrets for helping them love what’s good for them
Lulu Cohen-Farnell: Making small changes in kids’ diets is easier than people think.
France has arguably one of the world’s most renowned cuisines. So it’s perhaps not surprising that Parisian born Lulu Cohen-Farnell is the founder and driving force behind Real Food for Real Kids (RFRK), a Toronto-based catering company that offers fresh, nutritious meals and snacks to schools, childcare centres and camps.
RFRK feeds more than 10,000 kids each day. Besides offering healthy, appealing meals, the company is committed to changing the way kids perceive food and eat foods, offering menus that celebrate world flavours and locally and sustainably grown foods. RFRK meals always include two servings of fresh vegetables and fruit.
We sat down with Lulu, a mother of two, food enthusiast and entrepreneur, to chat about the realities of providing healthy meals to thousands of kids.
Why did you get interested in nutrition and starting RFRK?
The reason I started RFRK 10 years ago is the same today – to enable and inspire healthy eating, and to help families embrace real foods and live a healthier happier life. RFRK quickly became a family affair when my husband David Farnell joined me to fulfill our mission.
We help cultivate good food values, expand children's palates, and aim to enhance the nutritional IQs of all of our stakeholders: children, parents, caregivers, and their communities.
On those happy, healthy foundations, we hope that these kids will build life-long habits of healthy eating and sustainable living.
Why is it important to you that your kids eat well?
I consider teaching my kids to eat healthy is a parent’s duty. It’s a child’s right to get the nutrients their body needs to stay healthy, active, and strong.
Making small changes in kids’ diets can go a long way, and it's easier than most people think!
How do you encourage your kids to eat well at home?
I prepare foods from scratch and make them colorful, beautiful and tasty. I always display three or four different dishes; that way my kids can pick their favourites and feel like they have a choice.
What have you learned about children’s food preferences?
When they are used to eating delicious, healthy foods from an early age, that’s what they crave!
What tips do you have for parents who struggle to get their kids eating well?
Most important, don’t give up! According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, many children will not accept a new food until it has been offered at least 10 times. Continue to offer new foods until your child considers them familiar.
It’s up to us adults to inspire our kids to eat healthy and deliciously. If we don’t make the right food choices for them, and show them the good example, who will? We want to give them the best opportunity for a healthy and happy life.