Zoe Ball – “My baby daughter is just scrumptious”

MFM meets Radio 1 DJ and new mum to talk babies, weight loss and the importance of eating whole grains

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Annabel Karmel’s Shreddies Buzzy Bees

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The Nestle Wholegrain Team – Zoe Ball, Greg Searle, Annabel Karmel, Lesley Waters and Juliette Kellow

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Nestle’s Shredded Wheat fish cake

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Zoe Ball and MFM’s Kyrsty strike a pose after having a chinwag

Everyone knows that breakfast is the important meal of the day, but do we all do it? MFM caught up with the host of celebrities (TV chefs Annabel Karmel and Lesley Waters, Olympic rower Greg Searle and Radio 1 DJ Zoe Ball) who came loaded with advice, yummy recipes and nifty tips on getting whole grains into your family’s breakfast.

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Whilst testing out the tasty treats on offer (the Buzzy Bees were delicious) and picking up nutritional tips from the experts, MFM sat down for a chinwag with our fave celeb mum Zoe Ball (who by the way, looked fabulous despite giving birth to her second child, Nelly, 8 weeks ago).

Congratulations on your new baby daughter Nelly – how is she doing?

Z: She is just scrumptious! She was born a week early and I know it’s impatient, but I’m really looking forward to her being a bit older and more awake! We’re keeping a close eye on her and just can’t stop staring at her. Because we waited so long for a second baby (it took me such a long time to get pregnant) we honestly feel really blessed. She has just started smiling too which is lovely. I think she looks like Woody when he was little. Although, her eyes, when she is smiling, look like mine a little. I really want her to be a girly girl and wear really pretty dresses. Then again, she’ll probably rebel on me and become a DJ!

As a celeb mum in the public eye, there’s lots of pressure to slim down post-birth. How do you deal with it all?

Z: When I got pregnant I told myself “Hoorah!!, I’m not going to the gym, I’m not watching what I eat.” I did do pregnancy yoga, but purely because I enjoyed it. However, my indulgence made me gained 4 ½ stone. With Woody I put on 3 ½. I think what is key is a healthy diet which is manageable. It’s quite scary when you see these celeb women who snap back into shape to a size 8-10. What women need to remember is that the majority of us aren’t like that – there is no rush, just enjoy time with your baby and the weight loss will come eventually. If I want a KitKat, I’ll have one and so should you!

What diet tips would you give fellow new mums wanting to be healthy and shift the baby bulge?

Z: Eat breakfast! I joined the whole grain campaign because I honestly do think that it is the most important meal of the day. I used to go all day without breakfast but now I make sure we all eat it at the table together. I’ll have Shredded Wheat or natural yoghurt and fruit. I then feel happy that I’ve sent  Woody off to school with a full stomach of healthy grains and I’m ready to take on the day and not spend it all snacking. I recently joined Slimming World and it’s really working for me because the pressure is off losing tons of weight but it’s all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I also make sure I eat dinner with Woody quite early, and I eat my bad carbs at lunchtime so I have more chance of burning them off. I will not deny myself my treats, otherwise that makes a miserable mama.

How is Woody (aged 9) enjoying his new role as a big brother?

Z: Woody is quite enjoying being a big brother – he waited so long for her and I don’t think he ever thought he would get one. Now she’s here, I think he’s liking it, although he does call her ‘Helly’ instead of Nelly… He likes to feed her and on a few occasion has appeared around the corner and announced that he has brought her downstairs and we’re like ‘ohhhh no…’ I am aware that I probably do spend a lot of time cooing over her so I think it’s important that I make time for him and not leave him out. He gets Mummy and Woody time, even though sometimes I think, ‘No I can’t do it as  I’m too busy.’ I then realise, actually yes I can, and so I put some time just exclusively for me and him to catch up and have a play.

It’s been 9 years since you became parents for the first time. Have your parenting ways changed the second time round?

Z: When we had Woody we were young and had such hectic lifestyles, this time round we are much more relaxed. We’re much less worried about our own lives and are just hanging out. We’re boring, we never go out now! An ideal night in would be Norman in the front room, he sits there with his old records and puts her into the bouncer and I can’t stand it, but she loves it! Parenthood fits much more nicely into our lives now which has made us more chilled and we’re loving it.

Is Woody a fussy eater?

Z: Woody is actually a really good eater – although he is partial to a biscuit and I’m pretty sure if we left him alone with a cookie jar, it would demolish it! But he eats his greens, he even really likes broccoli – but not sure he’s loving sprouts. He’s going to be one tall strapping lad when he grows up, he’s actually catching up with me and Norman, who are quite tall ourselves.

Does Norman Cook live up his name in the kitchen?

Z: Norman is a fantastic cook – I’m really awful at cooking so he puts me to shame. Norman has Jamie Oliver to thank for his culinary skills! He was on my Radio 1 show one day and gave me a copy of his book. Norman picked it up and whizzed up this yummy risotto and hasn’t looked back. He does all the cooking, which I’m eternally grateful for. A lot of men have a lot to thank Jamie Oliver for…

What is Norman like as a dad?

Z: Norman has really got a great knack of appearing when things are getting manic like if Woody is playing up or I’m on the edge of exploding. He just pops into the situation, takes it away and leaves me to be calm. I don’t even have to hint or scream, he just knows when it’s the right time to intervene and that’s one of the many things I love about him being a daddy.

You’re good friends with fellow DJ and new mum Sara Cox – have you got any playdates lined up?

Z: Sara Cox looked so blooming gorgeous pregnant. I’m really proud of where we have come from our days of being Ladettes to being family women now. As for playdates – we haven’t planned any yet but it’s definitely something being pencilled in our diaries. Sara is actually Woody’s godmother and it’s funny because we were in a shopping centre in Hove recently and she’s the face of a Radox campaign and was on a huge poster. Woody casually walked past the poster and said , ‘Yeah, she’s my Godmummy’, all proud. Very funny.

So, Woody isn’t fazed by having famous parents and family friends then?

Z: Woody is so totally unfazed by having parents in the limelight. When we get papped, he is more likely to strike a pose than hide. When it snowed heavily a few months back, there was a snap of him and Norman snow sleighing. The newspaper blurred out his face and he was outraged! “Why aren’t I in the picture?” he demanded. So it’s good to know that he isn’t affected by it. Quite up for it really, like a budding celebrity, which is funny but slightly scary.

It must be hard doing parents duties with the paps following your every move. We noticed you had a little trouble with your pushchair on a trip out recently

Z: There was a rather embarassing picture of us struggling with buggy outside Babies R Us! That was really funny, as we were trying to keep the baby upright and stop her crying, whilst adjusting the million things happening on the buggy and trying not drop her all at the same time and of course the paps are snapping away – it was a disaster! But funny at the same time. We get lots of lovely baby stuff sent to us but we decided to use this one as it’s so handy and looks pretty cool too. Shame we haven’t quite got the hang of it yet…

Do you think you’ll have any more babies?

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Z: I would love more. But Nell’s only 8 weeks old and we have a great son, so I feel really blessed. Whatever happens, happens…

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