One Part Love, One Part Food = Sunshinefood

Sunshine Food!

Over the last couple of years I have had the privilege of living overseas with my husband, our first born and now the newest addition and Eat Play Love baby model (while it lasts). During this time I have met some wonderful and inspiring people and made some life long friends. 
One such special person is Rachel Ryder, the creative mother behind Sunshine Foods. 
I have the privilege of having my 'Ten minutes with an inspiring mom' interview with Rachel. She is sharing with us a little bit about herself and her awe inspiring talent for making kids meals something so healthy and exciting that even we as adults want to eat them. You can follow Rachel on Twitter @sunshinefoodies and on Instagram @sunshinefood and check out her awesome creations! You might want to try these to get your kids excited about meal time, especially if they are picky eaters. Following my mantra of Eat Play Love, this could not be a better suited feature!
Here are my ten minutes with Rachel.



Q. Tell us a bit more about yourself, your family and how Sunshine Foods came to life

A. I'm Rachel Ryder and I live in Glasgow with my husband Tom and daughter Rosie. Originally from Nottingham, I moved to Glasgow from London two years ago to follow my husbands career. I left behind my city investment banking career but my days were soon to be just as busy as Rosie arrived one month later. 
Sunshine foods came about when I was introduced to a similar foodart page (Barebarnmaten) on Instagram by my sister. The owner creates the meals for her son and so I decided to replicate a few for Rosie. I really enjoy making them and to brighten up Rosie's morning with a fun, healthy, nourishing meal that she will eat from start to finish. My main reason for creating these meals is to see the excited look on Rosie's face when they arrive on her highchair tray!



Q. Do you have any mealtime advice for new mommies? 

A. I'm no expert! We usually offer Rosie fruit and veg everyday and in at least two of her meals. She doesn't always eat it but I still think it's important to offer it consistently. I also try to resist the temptation to offer alternatives if she is being particularly fussy one day. I think if she is hungry she will eat what we have offered. But I do think it's important for it to taste and look attractive. And that's where sunshine food comes in...



Q. Can you give other moms some tips in creating these pretty meals 

A. Sunshinefood is much easier to create using fruit. The basics to always have in good supply are bananas and raisins, and then supplement it with different seasonal fruits. I tend to buy what looks ripe and ready in the supermarket and then adapt the ideas to work with what I have in the fruit bowl! 
In terms of ideas, I use basic objects and then add simple extras like hearts, stars and sunshines. 
I tend to create the plates for breakfast or afternoon snack and keep lunch and dinner to protein and veg. If I'm making Rosie one for breakfast then I'll give her some cereal and then create the plate whilst she eats that first. That saves her getting too impatient as she often wakes up ready to eat!



Q. As moms we are constantly trying to balance our job as wife, mother, house wife or career woman and 'self'. What most moms are wondering round about now, is where do you find the time for all of this? How do you balance your every day life?

A. I'm very lucky as I am able to work part time. It's a brilliant balance as I find the working days provide a lot of adult conversation and mental stimulation but also refresh me so that when our work/nursery week is over we are able to fully concentrate on spending time together and doing fun things. 
I'm also lucky as my husband is at home a lot so he is the main chef in our house! He is a fantastic cook and does the majority of our cooking. It's great as not only do Rosie and I get wonderful dinners but we also get to spend that one hour that most mums spend in the kitchen, together in the evenings.



Q. Time Out. We know that special time goes into these meals that you prepare for Rosie, but there also has to be time that you take out, away from making pretty food, time just to spend with the family. What does leisure and family time for the Ryder's entail?

A. We are all really into exercise. Most weekends we will visit our local gym. I love to work out either in the gym or I go to exercise classes such as Body Attack. Rosie has recently started gymnastics and if Tom isn't in the gym or on the rugby pitch then he can usually be found surfing on one of Scotland's freezing coast lines! 



Q. Family traditions that you had growing up that you still celebrate?

A. Eating around the dinner table! 
My family always used to eat around the dinner table at least twice a week. Tom and I try to eat at the dinner table every night and Rosie eats with us so that she gets used to good manners and enjoying eating and socialising together as a family.



Q. In the fun spirit of Eat Play Love, when you were a child, what did you dream of becoming one day.

A. A mummy!



Q. Having a child changes the way in which we see the world. What would one piece of advice or wisdom be that you would like to share with your daughter.

A. Work hard and make friends. I worked really hard at school and it has paid off in my exams and career. But having friends contributes massively to your overall happiness. I hope that Rosie has plenty of good friends in the future.



Q. In closing, one piece of advice for the moms  

A. Hmmmm... Teach your child as you go. Talk to them as you do day to day tasks. Get them involved and try to make dreary tasks fun by counting, guessing and laughing together.


What a lovely interview with Rachel. It's always nice to hear what other moms are doing and what inspires them to do so. Catch you on our next blog post. 

Until then, Eat Play Love!