About Food Monsters

Food Monsters is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, set up to support children to enjoy a wide variety of food.

My name is Claire Burrell and I created Food Monsters in 2008. Welcome to the website!

I have always had an interest in health, and after becoming a mum of twin boys in 2004 became increasingly interested in working with young children.

Background

The idea for Food Monsters came when I realised that there were lots of activities in Edinburgh for under-fives, but none that supported children to eat a wide variety of food. The name came from one of my friends saying that my boys were ‘food monsters’!

As a mum of twin 2-year-olds then, I found endless ‘healthy eating’ recipes and cookbooks, but very little practical information about how to encourage children to eat well. What should I do or say when the boys say “yuck” or “I don’t like that” without even tasting what I had offered them? It seemed to me that the traditional approach of adults asking children to “just try it” or “have a little bit” was outdated, and in a lot of cases was ineffective.

A new approach that supported and engaged with young children and helped adults offer food in a more effective way was needed.

So in 2008 I resigned from my NHS job, and set about creating Food Monsters classes, to support young kids to enjoy fruit and veg in nurseries. I successfully ran classes myself for a few years in various nurseries in Edinburgh, and created products for parents such as meal planners too.

By 2014 I had created a new approach to offering food. Children were responding positively to group experiences in nurseries, and parents and Early Years practitioners were recognising this. I wanted more children to benefit from the new approach, and started training staff in nurseries to run Food Monsters classes. A staff training pilot over a year showed great results.

In 2015 Food Monsters became a “not for profit” company, with the social aim of improving the health of young children, and in 2017 became a Community Interest Company.