See Catherine’s Fantastic Recommendations on Momstamp!
Catherine McCord and the website she founded, Weelicious, have come to my rescue more meal times than I care to admit. Making my three boys balanced healthy meals every night is it’s own special challenge. Weelicious and Catherine’s cookbooks are a personal go-to for recipes and inspiration. Catherine focuses on quick, easy, nutritious recipes, made using fresh, and minimal ingredients and her weekly menu planning service offers parents one more bit of meal time piece of mind.
Catherine will be rounding out her full kitchen support system with a meal delivery service called One Potato launching at the end of August. When we spoke, she was two weeks away from giving birth to her third child and one month away from beta launching the new venture. With a new baby and new business both on the way, it was a perfect time for a Momstamp chat. Catherine and her husband live in Los Angeles with their eight year old son and a six year old daughter.
– Julie Hermelin, co-founder Momstamp
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BIRTH OF WEELICIOUS
I’d always been searching for what I wanted to do. I feel like I’ve had a job since I was 14. I started modeling at a young age, hosting TV shows, acting. I had gone to culinary school and worked in restaurants, catering companies, just trying to figure it out but Weelicious started as something that was just fun.
When I had my son, Kenya, I went online to try to figure out how to make him a good eater. At the time there was so little information. My husband and I always bought our food at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market. I took my little camera and started taking pictures of homemade baby food puree that was kind of like barf when you really think about it, I was not a trained photographer or anything like that. That’s how Weelicious started.
I sent the posts out to friends and tried to get people to follow my little blog. I posted a different recipe every day. It just grew pretty quickly and I realized other families had the same need as us. It was really organic and I was just so passionate about it.
First and foremost, Weelicious is all about seasonality so whatever is in season is what I’m making. My son is hyper creative and when it comes to food, he’s a big driving force. I always try to just listen to my kids. I learn so much through them. A lot of the recipes in Weelicious comes from their inspiration. They’re my first test audience. I don’t know how conscious they really are about that, though.
Anything that’s happening in my life is what’s happening on Weelicious. It’s gone from baby food to toddler food to family food. It really is the progression. School lunch is a big thing now. But I don’t want to alienate my audience either. I had to go back to the beginning. That took me a second to realize because at first I was thinking, “Well, I’m out of baby food, why would I want to go back there?” But I realized it’s family food so I began going back to why I started the site in the first place.
THE ART OF FAMILY COOKING
People are more conscious now. This generation of kids knows what organic is. At my house we don’t really go to the doctor much and I truly believe that’s because we eat a balance of good food. There’s no bologna, it’s all organic.
Kids want to cook more now, too. Cooking is an art medium that results in instant gratification. You get in the kitchen and start, and two hours or even 20 minutes later, you’ve got something beautiful. Last night, my son asked to make something. I was exhausted from a long day but I washed his ingredients. He sat and chopped away and made something he was really proud of. Even as busy and tired as we can be as parents, if you want kids to eat and who are excited about food, you have to let them take charge sometimes.
DIFFERENT KIDS, DIFFERENT EATERS
My son became an adamant vegetarian last year. I love that he made that choice for himself, but I need to make sure his body stays fully nourished. He has to have his protein. He could literally live on fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates if it was up to him. As a cook, vegetarianism can be more difficult to plan meals for, even more than food allergies. I need to make sure he’s not carb-loading.
My daughter is the opposite. She’ll say, “Oh I love meat.” He’ll say, “You’re eating meat,” she’ll respond with, “I know. I love it.” It’s kind of funny to watch and makes dinner a little more interesting. We definitely eat a lot more vegetarian food. I try to be equal to make sure that everyone gets what they need.
A LITTLE SUGAR, SUGAR
My kids know junk food isn’t good for their bodies. We drink water, sparkling water, and tea, and they’re good with that. I think they see Coke and they’re like “Ugh.” The only thing that they don’t eat by their choice is dyes. They know that food dyes aren’t good for their bodies. We eat plenty of sugar, we have dessert almost every night, it’s mostly fruit or ice cream. We’re big ice cream, and popsicle people. I make cookies, I try to make them a bit more nutritionally sound. I just feel like if you don’t let kids eat a little of everything, that’s just what they’re going to want.
It’s funny, some of my girlfriends, that have different types of jobs, are more verbal about food and parenting than I am, they’re tougher and more “tiger mom-ish.” I love that.
I had two people contact me. Jenna Stein was at Disney in marketing and Chris Hayman had been in the food business. They had been using Plated and Blue Apron. Both were really frustrated when their kids wouldn’t eat and when food prep was taking over an hour. There weren’t many family-friendly options. They were both Weelicious fans. It’s always been one of the things highest on the list of priorities for Weelicious readers, getting feedback like, “I’ve got the cookbook. I’ve got the website. I got it all. Just give me the food.” So we started working on it. I insisted we do organic. The other companies in this sphere aren’t. We’re family-friendly and organic and the meals take 30 minutes or less. We launch in the next month and by the end of August, we should be going full on.
I love that I’m about to give birth to a new baby and I’m about to give birth to a new food business. I’ve got the best of both worlds right now.
I try to think ahead of time. Whether it’s meal prep and making my life that much easier keeping the freezer stocked with good stuff or keeping the house organized. I just feel like you get to that point where things fall apart because you weren’t thinking ahead a little bit. Life’s busy so cooking ahead, planning ahead and staying organized in general is a huge help.
I take afternoons off to spend with my kids, I’m always with them from three to bedtime, that’s the priority. Then I go back to work once they are asleep. It’s not always practical, most parents get to work until like five or six, but my choice is that I’m with my kids every afternoon.
My daughter once said, “You don’t really work.” I was like, “Huh?” It’s funny that I’ve over-protected my kids from my work. Now I’m going the other way because I want them to know that working hard is important and to be a working mom especially feels great.
THE FAMILY BABY
This new baby is not just my husband’s and my baby, this is definitely our family’s baby. When my son was two and we had my daughter, it was like our baby. It’s such a different experience having two much older children when you’re having a baby. They’re so invested and so excited.
It’s amazing. I had my first birth at a hospital and I love my doctor. It has nothing to do with him. My experience of having my second baby at home was profound. It was really peaceful for everyone involved. I felt in my power. Also, home births are a lot less expensive than having a hospital birth.
I was six months pregnant with my daughter when I saw The Business of Being Born, it’s a documentary by Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake. It was a game-changer for me. I’d never thought about home birth before and then in that moment, we switched.
My doctor was not so into it at first, I think he wondered why. But now he knows. I still see him and he’s supportive. In the medical community, it’s slowly becoming more acceptable. Cedar’s finally accepted their first midwife two years ago. It’s been a long time coming. In medical school, doctors don’t learn much about midwives and midwifery. Sometimes it’s just learning and understanding.