Our eldest daughter Lola has always had a love for cooking, be it daughter and Mum’s time at home, or BBQs outside with family and friends or lessons at school. Ever since Lola was the little girl she’s always enjoyed getting messy in the kitchen, and now in more recent years realizes that she has a flair for cooking, and very much enjoys being creative with food.

Now much older, she understands that we need good, healthy ingredients which is even more crucial when living with PWS, keeping us fit and well. So we’re not just cooking up a storm, we’re actually providing much-needed tasty nutritional food to enjoy together. Lola’s happy to create a meal from scratch with whatever’s available at the time, or follow a recipe from a book, or just be inspired by others cooking either way, she’s really into it.

Lola’s been involved in a local cooking competition here in New Zealand – New Zealand Kids can cook. The kids had to prepare and cook a meal in 30 minutes, using four or more New Zealand grown vegetables. Last year she entered the Northland, Junior, Kiwi kid can cook competition, and won. So then she got through to the finals.

So Lola competed this year, for Top New Zealand, Junior, kids can cook finals, held in Auckland – when the pressure was really on! Although she didn’t win the top NZ finales, she’s been inspired, and keen to share her confidence, and love of healthy food with others, so in time as we travel in our bus, Lola plans to have her own video blog to share her healthy cooking ideas with the other kids out there, cooking and living with PWS or not, it’s good for everyone.

Even some adults need guidance when it comes to cooking – a few years ago I had to go away for a whole month, Paul doesn’t really cook, but during this time I suggested that he worked his way through Lola’s children’s cookbooks to help him along! He’s good at most things, but not cooking, so that was a fab idea, so for those who don’t normally gravitate towards the kitchen or speak the kitchen lingo, check out the kid’s cookbooks and of course Lola’s cooking blog too.

There have been several occasions where I’ve been really grateful, as a day may have run away with me, deep into a project, then Lola kindly offers to cook dinner- how wonderful –  liking the independence and responsibility of it all she gets on with it in her own little world a whizzes up something scrummy every time.

As we travel we’ll visit all the local markets in that area, and aim to buy locally grown organic produce, as we feel very conscious about what we put into our bodies, especially with all the processed foods around – it’s not always what it seems on the packet is it , I say fresh is best, prepared with love.

I believe exercise, a well-balanced diet, and healthy cooking is the key to life – we are what we eat – to a certain degree! , therefore a good skill to have. Being a Mum, it makes me happy to provide healthy food for my family, and to know that what I’m putting on the table is good for us, therefore makes us feel good too. Sometimes life is crazy and dinner rushed, but that doesn’t mean it has to be fast food! Raw wholesome foods take little time to prepare. Maybe a little more expensive but I feel like I’m buying good health when I spend on quality food, and it’s much yummier. The odd times that we’re at a BBQ or birthday party, especially if the girls eat party food I feel so guilty. Isla especially can’t process fats and sugars as well as most and is learning that well now. In fact, none of us need it anyway, so it’s making us stronger and we try and stay clear of all the bad fats and sugars, and avoid parties that I know Isla will find hard to cope with the food separation thing.

You’ll see on Lola’s blog –

Lola local market day shopping and all that she gets up to when cooking, from BBQs to cooking on a beach fire, and some normal bus kitchen cooked dinners too, with some stunning settings for alfresco dining I’m sure, nice and relaxed, well maybe not relaxed all the time!  but fun, with good healthy food, fresh, and simple, just the way we like it.