I know why it’s yum mum!
Natasha Gavin, 37, from Ealing, launched her business to educate children about the importance of eating right.
As a health Value for Money auditor for the National Audit Office, one of Natasha’s projects was on a report entitled, ‘Tackling Obesity in England (2001)’, which looked at the cross Government efforts to tackle this rising problem. Natasha was shocked to discover that children were increasingly developing Type 2 Diabetes due to childhood obesity, and is very saddened by the fact that the situation has only got worse over the last decade. Adult obesity has levelled off, but children just keep getting fatter, and unhealthier.
This report was the initial inspiration for a career change but the defining moment came from an experience with her eldest son, Michael. Natasha remembers, “He was three, sat on the loo, a little constipated, and he called out to me ‘Mum, I need broccoli for dinner, and porridge for breakfast, to help me poo!’ At that moment it dawned on me that I had told him enough about porridge and broccoli for him to know himself what he needed to eat to maintain his health. It took me five more years, and a lot more ‘experiments’ with my own two boys and their little friends, to be convinced that if I could empower children with simple information, they were much more likely to eat the right stuff.”
From that moment, Natasha knew she had the tools to educate and empower children to eat what they needed to maintain a healthy body. She launched her not-for-profit company, I Know Why it’s Yum, Mum!( IKWIYM) to educate children in London about what they should be eating.
The I Know Why it’s Yum, Mum roadshow
IKWIYM is a theatrical show that travels around nursery and primary schools educating children on what they should be eating in a way that they can understand, relate to and learn from. Natasha explains, “The storyline is intriguing and captures them throughout, and involves a lot of participation, music and humour of course! We then do workshops to reinforce what they have learned (fast paced and very interactive). And they take home the I Know Why It’s Yum, Mum! little table of great goodness. This has practical tips about preparing the items they discovered in the show, memory jogger facts to help them remember how they came up, and nutritional benefits of each item. The show focuses on items they might come across in their homes, and of course things that are really good for you (like sunflower seeds and avocados!)”
Natasha adapts her show for different ages and the aim of The Rainbow Workshops are to get 2-5 year olds excited about fruit and veg. They involve touch, taste and song activities, but are also all about explaining one nutritional benefit for each item covered, so that the children know WHY their mums and dads are always encouraging them to eat them!
Since leaving her auditing days behind her, the Mumpreneur’s life has become more complicated and hectic but launching her own business has given Natasha the fulfilling, fun and challenging role she had dreamed of. For other mums thinking of launching their own business, Natasha recommends that you invest only what you can afford to lose. She says, “Make sure you have the skills, or get people involved who do. Running a business needs skills in negotiation, persuasion, bookkeeping, time management, social networking.. You need emotional intelligence, you need to be tough and determined, but know when to walk away. And through it all smile, and be passionate. Because that will take you a long way.”
For more information on I Know Why it’s Yum, Mum, visit their website here.