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Mother of two, Nelly Ligier-Bennett is specialised in Family and Child Nutrition. A graduate of the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London and a member of the British Association for Nutritional Therapists, Nelly is what I call a magician.

She taught me almost everything I know about food and she helped us get rid of the bad nutrition habits we took while living in New York.

Nelly’s mission is to help families and children achieve optimum health through nutritious (yet delicious) meals and lifestyle choices. As a mother of two healthy and vivacious kids, she understands a parent’s challenge to feed their children and themselves in a healthy way within the constraints of a busy and demanding schedule. She is an imaginative cook, adept at creating appealing food from healthy and nutritious ingredients, influenced by the Mediterranean cuisine of the south of France where she grew up. nutrition can lead to vitality and be enjoyable too! She runs educational workshops for both children and parents in schools.

What are the main benefits of a healthy diet?
A healthy diet can help live longer and better. It can help prevent illnesses and improve vitality, clarity, brain sharpness.
Every person’s needs is different so I tailor health plans for adults and children according to their specific requirements.What are the main bad habits to change for a healthy lifestyle?
It depends what habits you have. But here are a few things to refrain in order to improve wellbeing:
  • Avoiding smoking or being in smoky areas
  • Drink no more than a glass of wine a day, stop coffee & tea
  • Drink at least 1.5l of mineral or filtered water.
  • Don’t apply on your skin what you would not eat: use natural skin and body care treatments.
  • Reduce the use of chemicals to clean your house.
  • Reduce your stress level (easier said than done…) through mind and body relaxing techniques: Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation…

How do children react when you teach them nutrition principles?
Children are amazing and very responsive. They engage, participate, and ask questions and love getting hands on. They are also much more adventurer than their parents may think sometimes. I recall a workshop in a nursery school where all kids tried raw artichokes. Some liked it, some didn’t but what is important is to encourage them to try. As I say to my own kids, always try as you might have a very pleasant surprise!

At what age can they start to understand and assimilate these principles?
Kids start to understand basic principles of nutrition from as young as two years old and apply these principles with the help of a parent/carer.
To encourage children to reduce their sugar intake they are a few approaches:
It might sound obvious but refraining your purchase of sweets, chocolate, etc…is the first step
I strongly believe in the benefits of educating  : explaining the drawbacks of eating sugar on their health, and repeat it again and again over time
To offer balanced meal with an adequate level of protein as it provides a sense of satiety. If their diet is rich is sugary processed food, their blood sugar level will go sky high then drop and leads to cravings towards sugar.

How do you encourage kids to eat more veg?
Lead by the example: eat them
Jazzing it up: cucumber, red pepper, cucumber sticks with humus, tahini…
Be creative and include vegetable in cake baking (carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, beetroot)
Cook and engage with them! They will be so proud of their preparation that they will happily eat it

An example of an ideal healthy day? 

Warm water+lemon/ginger – a gentle liver detox
Smoothy : berries, seeds, alternative milk of your choice, green powder : a morning booster full of antioxidants, essential fats, protein…
Snacks: nuts, goji berries : provides essential fats, protein and helps balance blood sugar level
Lunch : bean salad+avocado+rocket+shallot : bean can be substituted by 2 poached eggs. Contains vegetarian protein, antioxidant, liver supporting food.
Diner : truite en papillotte with spices, herbs, steamed veg (asparagus, broccoli, kale) spring onion+quinoa – provides essential fat from oily fish,

Can you give us one of your secret recipes?

  • For this, I invite you to come to our Natural Beauty course at London College of Natural Medicine where some anti-ageing secret recipes will be revealed… www.collegeofnaturalmedicine.co.uk