Nadine Coyle has admitted she didn’t know what an avocado when growing up in Northern Ireland and the food she ate as a child is vastly different to what her seven-year-old daughter has nowadays.
The former Girls Aloud singer, who was raised in Londonderry, now lives in London with her daughter Anaiya Bell, who she had with ex-fiance Jason Bell.
She said she has been trying to help Anaiya foster a positive relationship with food, particularly in a world where women's bodies are often overly scrutinised. Nadine herself was under constant scrutiny in Girls Aloud’s heyday for being ‘too thin’.
Nadine (36) said while Anaiya is generally quite "adventurous" when it comes to food, she doesn't like cheese, eggs or pork products.
She added with a laugh: "If we couldn't eat ham, eggs and cheese [growing up], we may have starved at lunchtime."
Anaiya definitely enjoys a "wider variety of foods", said Coyle.
"A lot of foods growing up were not available. I didn't know what an avocado was, I don't think you could find them in Derry or Donegal when I was growing up" — but Coyle soon stops herself with another chuckle: "I sound like I'm about 90!"
One thing the mother-daughter duo share is a passion for food. "I love, love, love to cook," said Nadine. "If I go on holidays and I'm gone for too long, I start to feel really weird. I realised seven or eight years ago it's because I can't cook."
She added: "It's so sad when food does become the enemy. I've been through that, where you're thinking, 'I can't get the jeans on', or 'I'm moving up a size' — or, in some cases, I'm moving down a size for whatever reason — maybe stress.
"Having a good relationship with food is so important, because we have to eat — there's no way of getting around it," she said.
While she doesn’t make an issue out of food, allowing Anaiya some treats, Nadine is trying to empower her daughter to make positive choices — which is why she's looking forward to them using the NHS Food Scanner App together, where you can tap and see what's actually inside the food you're eating.
Nadine said if children are educated about nutritious food from an early age they won't be "feeling like you're forcing it on them... So ultimately, in their mind, the decisions are made by themselves."
The free NHS Food Scanner App can be downloaded at: nhs.uk/better-health/food-scanner or search 'Food Scanner App'.