Tell us a bit about you! What motivated you to create your blog?
We are two moms, Jenny from the US and Gemma from the UK, who met in Dubai and became friends over sharing recipe ideas and empathizing in each other’s hysterical tactics to get healthy food into our little ones’ bellies. After a few years of WhatsApp messages back and forth with recipe ideas, tricks to hide veggies, ridiculous games to get them to eat whatever it was we were serving and of course pictures of our creations documenting each step of our recipes, we had more than enough to start an Instagram account to share our recipes and stories in hopes to help other moms.
What inspired you at a later stage to write your own cookbook?
With the content we already had, we thought it would be a breeze to put together a little PDF book we could offer online. But before we knew it we had 60 recipes, 4 chapters of nutritional information and had retaken almost every photo. Who knew Instagram photos wouldn’t be high enough resolution to just simply import into a book. Oops. Needless to say our “simple pdf breezy book” after a year of edits, design, recipe sampling, and more edits morphed into a properly printed edition that we are so very proud of.
What can parents expect out of it?
Our cookbook includes 60 favorite kids recipes all with a healthy twist. We have also included several chapters that will give you the information to fully understand what you are feeding your children, not just recipes to follow. Understanding the macro and micronutrient needs of your child will enable you to feel confident that you are giving them the healthiest meals possible. Our book includes a shopping list categorizing every ingredient mentioned in our recipes into protein, starchy carbs, non-starchy carbs, and fats so that you can learn how to build your own balanced meals. There is also a section discussing portion sizes and a super simple method to ensure your children are getting the right amount of macronutrients.
What message would you like to send out to mothers?
I think it’s important to remember that there is no perfect answer or recipe that will make your child eat perfectly every day. We can’t expect that every day will be easy. Meals times can and most likely will be at some point frustrating. All we can do is try to encourage our children to eat healthily. We aim to put parents in the right direction with some basic knowledge of nutrition laid out in the book. The most important thing to remember is to keep trying and “try” is the keyword.
What challenges have you faced?
We have faced loads of technical challenges because we are certainly not IT specialists. But somehow we have managed to create a website, IG and a book. Lastly, as you might imagine being moms, we are both very busy with our kids. In addition to our toddlers, Jenny had a baby a year ago when we started writing this book, which now looking back seems a bit crazy to have begun such a big project with an infant. Gemma went back to work, so free time was not exactly plentiful.
What advice do you give moms looking to publish their own recipes?
That’s a funny question, I don’t know if we have any advice, because we have tackled each step individually and figured it out along the way. I would say the only advice would be to expect that it will take you triple the amount of time than you would expect. Wait, let me edit that to 10 times. Regardless of how many reads and re-reads we do we keep finding edits and wanting to add more information. At some point, you just need to stop before the book turns into 1,000 pages.
How do you manage your time between Motherhood and setting up a business?
Since we are in the business of making healthy food, it’s great that at the end of the day we have a lot of yummy food to feed our children, although it’s always cold because they have to wait for us to take endless photos to post on Instagram. Thankfully our kids are good friends so they enjoy playing while we work.
Any advice for Moms looking to open a new business while having a full-time job?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes to childcare and housework! In all honesty, it would have been impossible without the help of our amazing nannies and Gem’s mom.
Any advice you give for moms who would like to cook healthy on a busy schedule?
All of the recipes in our book are quick and easy. It was really important that the recipes we included were real and real to us means fast and healthy! The best advice we could give is to be as organized as possible, meal plan at the weekends for the week ahead, do your groceries based on your plan, make in batch and use your freezer, it is your best friend!
Any advice for moms with picky eaters?
Don’t rule out certain foods just because your child mentions that they don’t like them; keep reintroducing those foods to them. Also, it’s important to look at their food intake over the period of a week rather than just 24 hours. Some days we as adults just aren’t as hungry as others, so try not to stress too much if one day you feel your child hasn’t eaten enough, they won’t starve themselves!
Best advice on Motherhood you’ve ever received?
Gem: For me the best advice I was ever given was from my mum, she told me to keep to a routine with meals, bath, and bedtime and since the day my son was born we have been really strict with our routine and it’s worked for us, we all know where we stand and what to expect.
Jenny: I’ve just listened to Gemma’s advice and it’s funny because I was just about to say the opposite. Although we have very similar parenting styles we also bring different perspectives to the table, which has been great for our book and recipes. The best advice I have received is to relax. Once you get used to something, whether it be a sleep routine or their favorite meal, it can all change in a moments notice. I too am very strict with my routines as Gemma, but I have learned to let go when they don’t always work.
Best family hangout?
As we both live on the Palm we love Riva at the weekends or the beach. Tom and Serge have a really great fenced off kid’s area which makes mealtimes there much more enjoyable. The newly renovated Al Seef on the creek is also a great place for the whole family.