Three Muswell Hill super mums will teach you how to eat nutritious and delicious

Fig and Bloom

Fig and Bloom - Credit: Archant

Coriander Stuttard learns about Fig & Bloom’s approach to healthy family eating with tasty recipes and nutritional advice

An evening at one of Fig and Bloom’s Nutrition and Cookery workshops will leave you empowered with knowledge and skills to take back to your kitchen.

You’ll also be full of admiration for a brilliant team of successful, busy mums.

Stephanie Ridley, Dorothy Barrick and Caroline Flower met on the first day thier children started reception at Muswell Hill Primary - a serendipitous moment when they discovered their shared passions and complementary skills.

“I had a catering company but wanted to also tell people about nutrition, and Stephanie was a nutritionist who wanted to cook,” explains Barrick.

“We sat next to each other at a coffee morning and I suggested we have lunch.

“Ten days later we had the ideas, the name and the business!

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“Caroline was busy having a baby but joined us last July, giving us the valuable business help that we needed.”

Fig and Bloom offers individualised nutrition with a practical element of recipes and cooking.

Commercial Director Flower comments: “We know what’s important for good nutrition: eating wholefoods, a rainbow-coloured variety of things, not processed, not full of sugar – you can’t argue with that.

“But beyond that it’s about providing the extra guidance and a personalised flavour.”

Nutritional Therapist Stephanie Ridley introduces the workshops or individual appointments.

With a degree in Nutrition, she approaches everything with evidence based advice.

“I explain what’s going on, what the body needs and what it does with the food,” she says.

“Once you’re more informed you can begin to apply it.

“It’s not just a question of follow this or that diet, it’s about really understanding what might work with your lifestyle.”

Chef Dorothy Barrick cooks up quick tasty dishes, and supplies the client with a batch of recipes relating to whatever their particular issue.

Californian-raised, she grew up eating lovely big salads and started cooking from a young age because:

“I didn’t want to wash up and we had a saying in the house that whoever cooks doesn’t clean!”

Barrick spent her early career in fashion and design but always loved cooking.

Her partner suffers from an arthritic condition which meant her cooking took on a healthy angle “trying to see if there was any relief for him through diet”.

“Then I met Stephanie and I was able to ask her the questions – it’s so nice to have them answered with a scientific basis, not just the University of Google.”

Nearly two years on, they are pushing ahead with an ambitious business plan, working with Tesco Baby Club to create a hub of advice and tasty recipes tailored for pregnant women and new mums.

Launching this summer, it consists of three short videos with Ridley talking about nutrition before during and after pregnancy and Barrick has created simple recipes incorporating the important nutrients for each stage.

Typical of what the team does best, as Ridley comments: “Tesco wanted everyday mums other mums can connect with.”

The team believes in getting good nutrition into family life working with families where there will typically be different requirements – perhaps one with an allergy, one a vegetarian or vegan, and a busy mum.

They also offer “kitchen audits”, getting rid of nasties in the cupboards and setting you up with base ingredients for a healthier lifestyle.

“Parents are often worried about their children’s reaction but you can strike bargains,” says Ridley.

“They’ll be surprised that we might allow a dark KitKat – well it’s better than lots of the other things!”

Barrick adds: “One thing I’ve noticed is the need to educate women that they need to sit down and eat a good lunch so they don’t just pick throughout the day.”

The workshops are light hearted but focused, not preachy but informative and fun.

They can be booked for a group of friends a company team building, or like the evening I attended at Le Creuset in Muswell Hill. Nutrition recipe packs will be available from local shops and the website.

The next nutrition and cookery workshop: Energy Boost - how to improve your energy levels through food, is on September 29 at Le Creuset 7.15-9.45pm