Laura Kenny reveals she was ‘ready to give it all up’
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Olympic cyclist Dame Laura Kenny, 30, opened up to Express.co.uk about how she will be taking a different approach to her son’s health after becoming concerned in a new exclusive interview. The athlete, who tragically suffered through a harrowing ectopic pregnancy last year, recently shared the happy news that she is expecting a second child with husband Sir Jason Kenny.
Speaking in a wider interview about eating healthy with the #TwoBeforeTenChallenge from the Dried Fruit Alliance, Dame Laura described how she was shocked to find her five-year-old son Albie wasn’t getting the nutrition he needs.
The sportstar explained how she became “worried” once she realised that Albie wasn’t getting his five fruits and vegetables a day due to her own preference for “bland food”.
She spoke about how people probably “find it surprising” that, as an athlete, she wasn’t getting her own five a day in.
“It’s not really,” she mused. “I like bland food so I always just go, ‘Oh I’ll just have a bowl of pasta before training.’ And actually I get to the end of the day I think, I’ve had three… four at best?
“But then the even more worrying thing for me is that I don’t think my little boy Albie was getting five a day either,” she admitted.
Dame Laura went on to describe how she now uses simple recipes to sneak in much-needed fruit and vegetables into Albie’s meals.
“It’s just been kind of a wake up call for us as a family,” the cyclist confirmed.
Now, she blends it all up into a smoothie – an ingenious effort to get a five-year-old to eat his fruit – and also has him choose a healthy, dried fruit snack from some fun goody bags.
“I’m still a blend it and hide it kind of person,” Dame Laura confessed. “I’m all for an easy life. It’s just not worth the argument for me.”
She continued: “He’s five, so saying to him ‘Can you go and eat an apple?’ is really difficult.
“Whereas if I say, ‘Go and choose one of the brightly coloured bags out of the cupboard’, he’s like ‘Oh yeah!’”
“He sees it as a bit of independence because he goes and gets to pick what he chooses.”
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Dame Laura also shared her secret healthy pizza recipe that meant she could pack vegetables into Albie’s dinner without him even knowing it.
“It’s not worth him sitting there saying, ‘No I don’t want to eat that,’ because he’ll say things like, ‘It tastes too crunchy!’” Laura said incredulously.
“Instead, when we make pizzas, I’ll make our ‘secret sauce’ (because he has no idea what’s going into it), but it’s basically just tomatoes and onions and peppers blended and then I add a bit of tomato puree – and he’ll never know that’s all in it.
“To me it’s just easier – I’m not for getting into this argument about him actually seeing it as food. At the minute, he’s five, so I’m all for just keeping him quiet and healthy!”
Dame Laura went on to explain how her diet had been “so bad” between the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
“Nutrition actually was the biggest thing that we looked at. I mean, before training sessions I was doing stupid things like eating beans on toast,” she confessed.
“I never even considered that actually, if I just ate healthier and ate a bit more of it, I was getting more vitamins and minerals in my daily intake.
“It wasn’t until our nutritionist sat me down and said ‘Laura, this is horrendous’ that I was actually like, ‘Yeah, you have a point.’”
Yesterday, Dame Laura and her husband Sir Jason announced the happy news that they are expecting their second child after she tragically suffered a miscarriage in November 2021 and an ectopic pregnancy in January 2022.
Dame Laura Kenny is taking part in the #TwoBeforeTenChallenge to raise awareness of the health benefits of dried fruit.
95% of us are not getting our five a day, the research also shows that if you start the day the right way – with a breakfast containing two of your five a day – then you are statistically more likely to hit your recommended daily intake.
For more information on the campaign head to the @EatMoreDriedFruit Instagram page.
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