I had no idea then just how much of a phenomenon The Naked Chef would become, and looking back to that time, I never would have thought then that I'd be sitting here today writing for The Huffington Post and kicking off their Thriving Families month. So it turns out that I did inspire quite a few people, and many of them were mums and dads. I'll never forget being chased down the street by this big, muscley bloke one day and when he caught up with me, I genuinely thought my days were numbered and he was going to punch me but he simply smiled and said: "My missus said I should start cooking because of you and if I'd seen you a few weeks ago, I would have lumped you. But actually, I'm really enjoying cooking and I'm better than you now!" That was one of those moments where I started to understand just how powerful food can be in changing people's lives for the better.
There are no two ways about it, babies are dumb. Before they can even move, as soon as they are able to grasp things, they enjoy putting themselves in mortal danger. They are not to be trusted for a second.
In recent years, we've found that where parents tell their kids that, for this party, they should choose to invite, say, six or eight friends, it is unlikely that - and unusual for - the kids to pick the little girl with DS.
In 2016 I would have liked to have thought that the Equality Act 2010 would have ensured there are more adjustments being made nationally to ensure that families like mine are no longer being excluded.
Before I became a parent, I had certain ideas of what kind of a mother I wanted to be. Those ideas were fairly vague initially, but nonetheless I had a list as long as my arm of things that I knew I would NEVER do... and then I had kids.
If we set a clear boundary in place and our children either sneak across it quietly or march defiantly over it, it is vital that there are consequences. If we simply turn a blind eye our children will soon come to believe that we don't say what we mean or mean what we say.
We all worry about whether or not we're a good parent. You only have to go onto instagram to see the hoards of inspirational quotes proclaiming 'you're good enough', to realise we're a little bit obsessed. Are we doing enough? Are we giving them enough?
have suggested that parents should make themselves aware of the safety risks for younger teens playing the game. And this is the same message for the plethora of Internet crazes that we see emerging at regular intervals. What can seem like a lighthearted good laugh to start off with can often get out of hand.
The one thing I have learned from frequently having my secrets shared, is that they are far more common than you would think. Here are a few of my parenting secrets that I am confident at least some of you might be keeping as well.
We're not talking about a simple car commute, here. We're talking about a half-hour ride on a public bus through a busy city, followed by a long walk down a very steep hill with one-year-old who refuses to get into a push chair. Getting to work is almost as exhausting as actually working. So here's what I've learned so far...
There we were, minutes into an enjoyable morning at a virtually empty indoor play place--the kids crossing net bridges, hoisting themselves onto foam pallets, and running around in gigantic hamster tubes--when an unfamiliar voice approached me.
Across the country, parents of children the same age will be breathing a sigh of financial relief. From the term following their third birthday, all children in England are given 15 hours' free early years education per week in term time.
During my 80s summers, each new day was a blank canvas waiting to be painted with new adventures. We just woke up and saw where the day would take us. No lists. No schedules. No cries of 'what are we doing today?' We had off-the-cuff fun - the type that didn't consume all of my mother's time, patience, money and sanity...
Parliament needs comprehensive change to do its job credibly for all of society, and Professor Childs' report sets out a range of great ideas to achieve that. We also need a much more representative media, but there seems less appetite for change in the corridors of power in Fleet Street.
Pregnancy is a funny time in your life. As well as all the bizarre medical issues (I won't go into details just in case you are reading this and eating your lunch at the same time) there are other funny happenings. Pregnancy brings out some very odd behaviour in other people too.
Sleep issues often lead families into crisis, sleep deprivation is after all used as a form of torture. Becoming a new parent and interrupted sleep go hand in hand, those first few months can be utterly exhausting, but for some families sleepless nights with their children can go on for years, putting a real strain on family life.
Unlike the sun which you pay a lot of money for in the name of a relaxing holiday, or not, you are supposed to just woman up and get on with life as normal despite the fact you're sweating your tits off and no one is sleeping properly.
When a new baby comes into the world it seems inconceivable that this little creature will one day be walking around in the world on his own, but it does happen, and sooner than we think, and there is lots we can do to help them develop and grow in the best way possible. A simple, good quality baby toy can make a wonderful gift
We encourage parents to think carefully before leaving their children at home - at any time. Leaving them unattended could put them at risk of accident or injury - how would they cope if something unexpected happened? It's also a good idea to ask them how they feel about being left alone and talk to them about what to do in an emergency so they feel confident and prepared.