It is with such pleasure that I introduce you to Anya Bell. A Professional Childcare Chef and Nutrition Advisor at Nurture Early Learning in New Zealand. She is also a passionate foodie and Mum to three grown children.

If you do not already know Anya and you love food and children, you might just cry with happiness as to what she talks about during our Foodie Chat.

So so SO many gold nuggets for educators, childcare chefs and parents. Oh my word.

We recorded this on Zoom, and it is up there above this prose, the video recording. We were trying to go live but my tech hero (aka husband) had taken the kids out for some quiet. But I am proud of Anya and I pushing through and figuring out how to see each other and record it! Phew!

I do hope you love it as much as I did. Thankfully the way in which Zoom records, you won’t see me wipe away my tears of joy with some of the things that Anya expresses.


During this chat, we talked about:

  • How Anya developed a love of food as a young girl
  • What happened when she entered into her first childcare centre as a chef
  • How she was able to improve the menu situation at her first centre
  • What kinds of foods she started implementing to improve the menu
  • How she was able to co-ordinate the kitchen and her timings once she moved to a wholefood menu
  • The importance of the environment that children are eating in
  • The importance of trust between the adult and the child in the eating realm
  • The importance of self feeding and allowing children to serve themselves
  • The use of family style eating
  • The use of the Division of Responsibility theory
  • The importance of a “No pressure” eating environment and what they actually is
  • Learning from the responses from the children
  • Creating a foundation of an eating environment and looking at it from a long term perspective
  • The importance of professional development and team building
  • The importance of respect between the child and carer as much as between colleagues
  • The use of food as a learning tool through food exploration
  • And some exciting news about what is next for Anya!

To keep up to date with what Anya is doing now and in the future, please connect with her on her instagram feed.

Anya also spoke about some people and areas she gains her inspiration from.


Jo Cormack

Simone Emery – Play with food

Fearless Feeding

Ellyn Satter

The Curious Nutritionist

Next month our Foodie Chat will be with Phoebe Cormack. She is a musician and Registered Music Therapist. Phoebe works in a many capacities with children including in ELCs, NDIS clients and with Musical Kitchen. Yes! Phoebe is also the other half of Musical Kitchen, our foodie music collab..

To find our more about Phoebe check out her instagram page here


Thanks for being here.



Oh and if you would like to see our last foodie chat with storyteller and holistic educator Ale Adam, you can here!