Any busy parent understands the need to embrace routine. And yet there’s the less virtuous corollary — falling into habits. Because feeding ourselves and our families is a particularly vulnerable area, I’ve added improving the healthy food situation in our own kitchen to my list of new year’s resolutions. OK, so there are far worse things than cooking eggs for breakfast and dinner. But I want to get my act together, get organized, and get the kids eating better when we’re behind the stoves. The tools to do so are much easier thanks to all the easy recipes and useful tips at Weelicious. The website’s founder, Catherine McCord, simultaneously develops the Weelicious content and encourages her own two kids’ love of eating, cooking, and overall appreciation of food. (And the recipes don’t just have to be for kids. I routinely eat an entire batch of kale chips all by myself.) While McCord is mostly known for her in-home cooking know-how, she also loves to eat out.
Out of the hundreds and hundreds recipes you’ve shared at Weelicious, which would you say are your kids’ top favorites?
I would say the favorites would be Miso Salmon, Rice Pilaf, Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese (always a crowd favorite), Oatmeal in a Crock Pot, Baked Ziti and PB&J Breakfast Cupcakes. It’s tough though, they’re my best testers, so they love trying new recipes all the time!
Which places outside of your home (restaurants and farmers’ markets, etc.) do you like to go as a family?
We buy 80% of the food we eat in our house at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market. We’re there every Sunday morning for hours shopping, visiting with the vendors, friends and sampling all the goodies! The kids LOVE going to Mexico City restaurant, Gobi, En Sushi, Hugo’s, Aroma and of course, Pazzo Gelato and Gelato Bar.
Do you tend to relax about food rules or habits at all when eating out?
Oh yes. My feeling is that at home you do your best to eat healthy balanced meals as a family, and when you go out, you splurge.
Have you traveled with your kids a lot? If so, which cities and any particular restaurants elsewhere have proven to be super family friendly and high quality? How does LA compare to other cities in this department?
We go to New York City often and the kids love it. They would eat salads from Chop’t all day. They love Il Bagatto in the East Village because they have incredible pasta (my kids would eat pasta for every meal if I let them)!
Where in L.A. do you and your husband like to go for a kid-free, grown-up date night?
Hubby and I are really into trying a new restaurant on our date nights. We’ve had two great meals at Rivera, Reservoir is delicious for fresh foods with a great atmosphere, I devour the octopus salad at Angelini Osteria every time I’m there, Gingergrass for lovely food and a great bottle of wine across the street at Silverlake Wine to BYOB. Bombay Cafe for Indian Food, and Sushi Ike has been incredible lately.
How do you manage kid restaurant/public restlessness?
We really enjoy eating out with our kids, but we try to get there right when they open to avoid the glares and stares. Being prepared, ordering in a timely fashion, bringing some books or crayons and paper always help in having a peaceful meal — for everyone!