Cindy Nell-Roberts, former model and Miss South Africa is well known as a bubbly and stylish television presenter, working on shows like the popular lifestyle show Pasella. She chats to us about being a mother, finding balance and the importance of breakfast for children.
On being a mother
Q: How does it feel to be a mother of two children?
Laugh â?? sometimes surreal, but itâ??s so much fun! I love being a mom. My children have given me a whole new view on the world and I cannot wait to share the rest of my life with them.
Q: What advice can you give to new moms in terms of balancing parenthood with a career?
Time management â?? keep your emails short and to the point. Say no to things you cannot remember why you are saying yes to in the first place. Cut people out of your life who do not positively contribute to it. Make time for yourself, you cannot give to others if your cup is empty. See a little humour in everything and drink wine when all else fails.
Q: For you, what is the most important part about being a mom?
I grew up in a strict home and it is important to me to raise children with good manners and gratitude. But it is also important for me that my kids have fun and just enjoy being children. Quality time beats quantity for me and laughing together is important. I have help to do all the boring stuff like picking up after them or preparing the bath whilst I do the fun stuff like building puzzles or chasing them with the tickle monster.
On being involved with the Kellogg SA Breakfast for Better Days Initiative (almost one fifth of SA children go to school without breakfast)
Q: Can you tell us a little about this initiative? What is your role?
This year I came on board as an ambassador for the Kellogg’s Breakfast for Better Days Initiative. I am the vehicle to create awareness in the media about the project and the number of children in South Africa who do not eat breakfast to start their day. I travel around South Africa to the various schools who participate in the Breakfast for Better Days initiative, publicising the project and informing the public of how they can help.
Q: What are some of the benefits of serving ready-to-go cereals to children?
Children cannot learn on an empty tummy. They cannot concentrate or even play. When their tummies are full with good quality cereal and full cream milk they feel ready for the day. Sometimes this meal we give a child is the only thing they will eat until dinner. It makes all the difference. When there is absolutely nothing in your tummy, a bowl of wholesome cereal goes a long wayâ?¦
Ready-to-go cereal can be preserved, transported, easily distributed and is logistically easy to implement in a real solution. We have to be practical about solutions, because to fix the economic challenges we face, we have to implement solutions that are doable and move forward. I find often there are so many great ideas but none get implemented because the logistics are not taken into account.
Q: Why is breakfast important to you and your children and family?
Itâ??s a time of gathering and itâ??s the most important meal of the day. If we donâ??t eat breakfast we are all groggy by 11am and the rest of the day is a spiral of up and down blood sugar levels. All other meals are influenced by this and itâ??s a vicious circle. We love breakfast and have fun together in the mornings. Itâ??s my favorite time of the day.
Q: Have you always been a breakfast eater?
Yes, I guess so. When we were in school we ate cereal every morning and now I eat eggs every morning.
Q: Tell us about breakfast time in your home? What are your childhood memories of breakfast time?
My best memories were in winter, my mom would wake us up and wrap a blanket around us, we would then sit in front of the heater in front of the TV and watch the 7am cartoon whilst she brought us our cereal with hot milk. Then dressing time and school time. We loved that and I remember it like it was yesterday.
Q: Any tips for moms on fixing a quick breakfast for both themselves and the kids when running late?
Keep a tupperware of pre-cooked oats in the fridge, heat it up, add honey and milk for kids (my son even likes a some chocolate sprinkles over it) or slivered almonds, cinnamon and honey for mom and you are good to go for the day. Or a bowl of Kelloggâ??s all bran flakes goes a long way for me, and my son likes to snack on them dry in the car – like chips. I keep All Bran flakes in the house and in the office, sometimes even for lunch. And at night when I crave something I have a bowl of cereal with hot milk, it makes me feel comforted. But I donâ??t think this last tip is good for the wasteline.
Q: How do you feel when you start the day with breakfast?
Calm. No highs or lows, just relaxed with stable energy and ready for the day.
Q: How can other moms get involved in the Breakfast for Better Days initiative? Where can they go to find the details?
Moms can help get involved by simply purchasing the specially marked Kelloggâ??s cereal. For every box purchased, one serving of cereal is contributed. Foodbank South Africa collects the cereal from Kelloggâ??s and delivers it to schools on their behalf. So far Kelloggâ??s has already shared 2 662 914 breakfasts with children in South Africa, and is committed to serving five million breakfasts this year, regardless of purchases made.
For more information: www.kelloggs.co.za
On future plans
Q: Where can our readers go to keep up to date with you?