Spotlight on…Niki Charnock

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Nutritionist, Back to the Garden Childcare

spotlight-niki-charnock

Niki Charnock

HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN NUTRITION?

I started off as a sports physiotherapist and started to get into food therapy to help inflammation in athletes with injuries. I realised you cannot mend the body when it is inflamed if you are not eating right.

HOW DID THIS TURN INTO WORKING AS A NUTRITIONIST AT A NURSERY?

I qualified as a naturopathic nutritionist, and I realised if we can sort gut problems in children, they may not suffer from problems like chronic back pain later in life. I believe in giving children the best start for a decent immune system. If you can build on that from the beginning instead of waiting until they are older, using a proactive approach rather than reactive, you can instil good habits from the start. As adults, we think of a treat as sitting down with a film, a glass of wine and some Maltesers. We need to shift the focus from that early.

WHAT DOES YOUR NEW ROLE AT BACK TO THE GARDEN CHILDCARE INVOLVE?

I run ‘Wellness Wednesdays’, sessions which invite parents and families in to learn more about nutrition at home, focusing on healthy recipes and quick and easy steps to a healthy gut and strong immune system. I also write a blog and run yoga sessions for parents. It’s all about giving them ideas for things they can do at home with their children. Parents can read so much online but don’t always know what’s right or wrong, and they want someone to talk to about it. I run one-to-one consultations with them on anything from skin, sleep or respiratory problems to recipe design and how to get children to eat more probiotics.

WHAT OTHER PLANS DO YOU HAVE?

I only joined a month ago, so we are still working on what my role includes, but I hope to start working with the children at some point too. I’d like to do kids’ yoga and get the children into making food themselves, encouraging them to smell it and start appreciating what they eat. I think that will become part of the role soon, and I imagine it will be a lot of fun, if a bit messy!

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