New mom Catherine McCord didn't set out to become a food blogger. But after her son was born she had a hard time finding healthy homemade baby food recipes. So she started doing research and recipe testing and began posting her own creations on the web. Fast forward five years and McCord is the voice behind the popular site weelicious, which focuses on family-friendly dishes that are quick and easy to prepare, nutritious, and packed with flavor too.
"Even though I'd been to culinary school, worked in restaurants in New York, and cooked for myself and friends from a young age, when I had my son I wasn't sure where to start," says the Institute of Culinary Education graduate who has a crew of in-home taste testers: son Kenya, 5, daughter Chloe, 3, and husband Jon. McCord, who recently taught a "picky eater" cooking class for Sur La Table in Palo Alto, plans on returning to the Bay Area in early 2013.
McCord's food philosophy is simple: She favors recipes that use just a few wholesome, fresh ingredients and can appeal to a range of ages -- from toddlers to teenagers -- and adults as well. "As a parent you don't have to be a short-order cook preparing four different meals for four different family members," says McCord, 39, who lives in Los Angeles and is the author of the new cookbook Weelicious: One Family. One Meal.
McCord, a contributing editor at Parenting magazine, advises that one of the best ways to raise an adventurous eater is to involve children in all aspects of the meal-making process. Go food shopping with your kids. Farmers' markets are a great place to take young ones to learn about smart food choices, she says, and there are plenty of healthy, free samples to savor.