‘Where are the Coco Pops, Mum?’

I don’t believe in food guilt. Not at all. 

In fact, what I do believe is that we’re all doing the best we can with the time, energy, inclination, education and financial resources that each of us has for our diet.

What happens when you come to see me, is that I’ll ask you to run me through what you typically eat. 

If you tell me you eat organically grown, seasonal, local, hand picked heirloom veggies with free range meat or a paleo/vegan/vegetarian diet, or you eat maccas for breakfast, KFC for lunch and Dominos for dinner… you’ll get the same reaction from me. There’s no judgement because I know we’re all just doing the best we can.

And in case you think that Naturopath’s are clean eating freaks so you couldn’t possibly admit to eating a cream puff… I can burst that bubble for you right now!

Last week we went away in our little caravan. Normally I’m really organised and our meals are cooked, breakfasts packed and we have everything we need to still eat pretty well while we’re away. 

This time I had a complete packing debarcle.

I forgot pillows. I forgot swimmers. I forgot t-shirts and shorts. And I forgot the coco-pops.

Yep! Coco-pops.

I have to admit here that coco-pops are a school holiday treat. And that I’m a bit sneaky. I actually make the coco-pops on the last day of school (see recipe below so you can be just as sneaky), pop them in a Tupperware container next to the muesli, and no-one has ever questioned their origin.

Until I forgot them!

‘Mum! The coco-pops!’ My son cried in despair when I admitted they were back in Wagga.

‘That’s okay,’ my husband said. ‘We’ve got to duck into the shops for pillows anyway!’

So. Here was my predicament. Admit I’ve been making the coco-pops… or buy something I wouldn’t normally give the kids.

Next thing you know, I’m in the cereal isle with two very excited kids jumping up and down begging for coco-crispies. I stood there shaking my head. And seriously! I thought junk food was meant to be cheap! Have you seen the price of these sugary things? Woah! But at least if it was the crispy checkers version of coco-pops, maybe I wouldn’t be completely busted.

No food guilt. No depravation. It was one box. We bought it. The kids thought they were great. And to be honest, they didn’t eat that much of them. Most mornings they had half their bowl and headed off on their bikes. And when they came back we handed them a banana.

No one felt like they’d missed out on anything. And no-one has asked for them since we’ve been home.

And just in case you’re thinking that allowing my family to eat coco-crispys or whatever they were isn’t that bad… they also had dinner at IKEA one night. Yep! And no, you didn’t have to assemble it yourself.

Diet is truely about doing the best you can with what you have. Maybe we can change your breakfast or what time you eat dinner. Maybe we can give you a recipe to make a batch of protein balls to take to work so you have snacks for the week.

But whatever you’re eating or not eating… whatever you’re having too much or too little of… and whatever food habits you suspect may need to be changed… you can let go of the food guilt right now. You, just like I am, are doing the best you can right now. And if you’d like some help making some dietary tweaks, get in touch with someone like myself who can help.

And if you’d like the coco-pops version I normally make… I’ve included it here. I have to admit that I couldn’t bring myself to look at the ingredients on the box that I bought to see how they compared!
The not in a box Coco-pops version!

3 cups of rice puffs

2 Tbspns of coconut oil

2 Tbspns of rice malt syrup

2 Tbspns of cacao powder

1 tspn of cinnamon

Mix it all together, spread it on a try and bake it for around 15mins at 160 degrees fan forced, giving it a mix half way through cooking.

Let it cool and have it with your choice of milk. Enjoy!

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