063: How to Approach Feeding Our Kids – and Ourselves; A Conversation with Mom and Cookbook Author Rachel Roddy

RachelRoddy_July2015_ElenaHeatherwick-12Continuing in our month-long series about feeding kids, today I have the privilege of talking with award-winning author and blogger Rachel Roddy.

Before visiting Italy a decade ago, Rachel enjoyed a great career as an actress. At 32, however, she found herself in Sicily – with no desire whatsoever to go home to England. Rachel wandered around Sicily and then Rome, learning the language, loving the culture, and recognizing that her approach to food and eating needed to change.

She’d never thought of herself as a writer, but before long Rachel had started the blog Racheleats.wordpress.com. She’d also rented an apartment in a quirky, fascinating neighborhood in Rome, fallen in love and had a child; choosing, in effect, a tranquil, homey life in which food plays a nourishing and delightful part rather than the life she left behind of an actress “with many eating disorders.”

Along with her partner, Vincenzo, and her son’s father, Rachel is raising 4 1/2-year-old Luca; our conversation ranges over what it’s like to raise a child in a culture that is not your own, food and the young child, and also about Rachel’s own childhood and the part food has always played in her own life.

Click here to read the full notes on this podcast episode at weturnedoutokay.com/063!

Rachel’s beloved Roman neighborhood is often called the Fifth Quarter, and when her first cookbook came out in 2015 in England, Rachel gave it that name; just last month – February 2016 – this cookbook arrived in the States, now with the name My Kitchen in Rome: Recipes and Notes on Italian Cooking. It took me about three seconds while checking it out on Amazon to decide that I needed this book! I promise you, I have never looked back; it’s a great resource for someone like me, part Italian and raised with both the culture and food.

Rachel has led such an interesting life, and over the course of it has given a lot of thought to food. She shares:

  • why every time we put a home-cooked meal on the table we instigate a “quiet riot”

thoughts on how, even in a place like Italy where people pride themselves on the quality of their food, corporate greed is having an influence

  • great advice for parents who are struggling to get healthy food on the dinner table: learn about where your food comes from

Having started life in London, England, Rachel has a delightful British accent. I know that is just one of the many things you’ll love in listening to this episode!

Key Links:

Connect with Rachel at her blog, racheleats.wordpress.com, and by reading her weekly column, Kitchen Sink Tales, in the great British newspaper The Guardian.

My Kitchen in Rome, the American addition of Rachel’s cookbook, is available in Amazon; click here to check it out (I bet that, like me, you will not be able to resist purchasing it 🙂

Friend-of-the-podcast Jeannie Marshall, author of The Lost Art of Feeding Kids, initially connected me with Rachel; listen to our conversation from We Turned Out Okay episode 60 here, and here is a link to her amazing book in Amazon.

Rachel brings up a favorite book of hers, What to Eat by Hattie Ellis, as part of her advice about getting healthy food on the dinner table and into our young kids; check that book out here.