Tell us about your family:
I married Craig in 1999 – we’re coming up on our 15th anniversary this month! He’s a fabulous friend, father and life partner. Everyone always asks me if Craig works for Mom Made. He doesn’t – he’s in the sports industry, but, I like to say he’s Mom Made's Chief of Moral Support, an extremely important role.
We have two amazing kids, Emory and Audrey. Audrey is in preschool. She loves playing with dolls, helping in the kitchen, playing with friends, dancing and keeping the whole family entertained. Emory is your typical third grade boy except when it comes to food. He loves sports, Legos, reading, and playing with his friends. When he requested Pakistani food for his 7th birthday dinner, we thought, our work is done here!
Tell us about your company:
The company was launched in 2006, when as a new mother, I saw a huge need for healthy, convenient, organic and all natural options for kids. There were no existing options in the grocery for feeding kids in a pinch that were healthy. Mom Made Foods was created from my belief that convenient meals do not need to sacrifice quality or nutrition, and that kids should be able to eat delicious foods without added junk.
What advice would you give moms about raising healthy eaters?
Here are few tricks that I have found to work well...Focus on colors and flavors. Rather than saying, “Do you like your broccoli?” ask if it was crunchy, sweet, bitter or sour. Ask what other foods are the same color. This often helps children focus beyond yummy or yucky. Also, bring the your "helpers" to the grocery store and let them pick the ingredients for the meals to be made that week. Parents can also introduce veggies in a new way. For example, many children like veggies better as part of a soup. Sprout a seed or even grow a tomato plant to help your child get interested in fruits and vegetables.
Bottom line is for us parents to offer a variety of healthy foods, then take a chill pill. Ellyn Satter, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Family Therapist and internationally recognized authority on eating and feeding, is one of my heroes. I've learned so much from her philosophy about the division of responsibility when it comes to feeding kids. If feeding your kids is stressful for you or your children, I highly recommend her books.
How do you unwind after a busy day at the office?
I have only about a 10-15 minute commute home. Usually my husband picks up the kids from their schools so they're already home by the time I arrive. I walk through our door, drop my bags and the kids come running up with arms wide open ready for a big hug. I instantaneously unwind. Cooking, sitting down together for dinner and talking about our days are all therapeutic for me. After dinner, we will go for a family walk, turn on some music and dance or just play together. Our couple hours together before the kids go to bed are my favorite part of the day (before I typically plug in and do a few more hours of work...).
What’s the best advice your mom ever gave you?
I can hear it as though she's standing right next to me, "Heather, dear, you have to remember to take care of yourself."
What’s the funniest thing your child said to you recently?
The other day my son who's 8 was playing on the iPad, sitting on the couch right next to me as I was reading a book. I asked him for the iPad for a minute so I could look something up quickly. I opened google and saw that he had just looked up "prettiest lady alive" in google and he'd clicked on images. Yes, just google that quickly, folks. It was one of those moments when I not only found myself laughing but also taking a big gulp because it was time for us to realize he's growing up much too fast and we need to get a handle on internet security, among other things. Oh the joys of parenting...just when you think you've got it figured out.
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