For Thermomix® Consultant (now Business Development Manager), early childhood educator and mum of three, Kerri-Ann Spanko, her journey to cooking from scratch in 2008 wasn’t so much a choice as a necessity, when her son Riley, at six months of age was having ongoing challenges with eating solid food.
“It was awful and so stressful because we didn’t know what it was or why it was happening,” Kerri-Ann explains. “Anything we gave him to eat, he threw up. It was honestly devastating.”
After seeing a number of medical professionals and being told she was “being a worried mum”, Kerri-Ann decided to seek help from the RPA Allergy Clinic in Camperdown, NSW, near where she lives. It’s there that Riley was diagnosed with failure to thrive, EoE and gastritis as well as food allergies and intolerances. Kerri-Ann was given an elemental formula to provide basis for Riley’s nutritional intake and was told he had to avoid all artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.
“The exact words were: ‘If he’s going to eat it, you have to have made it.’” Kerri-Ann says.
So began Kerri-Ann’s journey to cooking from scratch.
“Knowing that, I felt like I’d regained some of the control around helping Riley get better. Before this point, it had felt really hopeless. So, we totally shifted how our family ate. Of course, we hadn’t been consciously eating additives and preservatives previously but the more I read the labels of some of the products we’d been buying and the more I learned, the more I realised how little control we’d had over what we were eating. I started cooking everything from scratch and dairy-free,” Kerri-Ann says.
In switching to cooking everything from scratch, Kerri-Ann was in complete control of what she and her family were eating and was side-stepping all the hidden additives and preservatives often found in packaged food. These changes were seeing progressive improvements in Riley’s health, however she says her biggest struggle was time and money. In her cook-from-scratch approach, there were no shortcuts and there was little space for anything else other than cooking for her family’s allergy needs. This is where Kerri-Ann’s journey with Thermomix began.
“You’ll laugh, I know – but for me, the turning point came when I bought my Thermomix® in 2013,” she says.
“At first, I wasn’t keen on the idea but when I went to the cooking experience, I was instantly sold. The first thing they made was strawberry sorbet which of course had no additives. Not only was it allergy-friendly, but it only cost $2! I had bought dairy-free, preservative-free sorbet for my son earlier that day which cost much more. The Consultant then made pizza dough in two minutes, which also only cost $2. I saw right then and there how much money and time having a Thermomix would give back to my family. Within weeks, I could see the savings in time and money racking up and I honestly haven’t looked back.”
Kerri-Ann’s Thermomix journey sparked such a passion in her for helping other families, that she decided to start her own Thermomix® business and show others just how easy cooking from scratch can be.
“I decided to try my hand at being a Consultant without any expectations,” Kerri-Ann says. “What I found is I loved every minute of changing people lives, cooking delicious food for my family and having a job that worked in with the hours I was available.”