Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'How to Feed a Family' Cookbook Arises out of Sweet Potato Chronicles Website

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'How to Feed a Family' Cookbook Arises out of Sweet Potato Chronicles Website

Article excerpt

Cookbook grows from Sweet Potato Chronicles blog


TORONTO - The relentlessness of daily meal preparation, along with a thirst for nutritional knowledge to boost their children's health, led two urban moms with successful careers in the fashion industry to launch a website to help other parents with the same challenges.

Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh had children at the same time. As journalists at Fashion magazine, they found themselves researching topics surrounding children's nutrition and lamenting the fact the information was not all in one place. This led to the establishment of The Sweet Potato Chronicles website, where they could pass on recipes and food facts to other parents.

"It was a way to take our professional skills and life stages and marry them. We thought, 'We have something that we can bring to this conversation about food,'" says Marsh, 45.

"You know, there's so much stress around food, what we're feeding our kids, not just the health form which is obviously important, but how am I going to do it? How am I going to get home from work, make dinner and then get them to eat it?

"So we just thought there was maybe something that we could bring to the table. And then coming from the world that we did we always wanted it to look amazing too, so that was always a huge priority for us, the design of the site and the quality of the photography," which is done by Maya Visnyei.

"The Sweet Potato Chronicles" went live in spring 2010, and they were approached by Appetite by Random House two years later about writing a cookbook. In the just-released "How to Feed a Family: The Sweet Potato Chronicles Cookbook," they provide more than 100 of their favourite family-friendly recipes.

There are sections on breakfast, brunch, lunchbox meals, snacks, dinners and desserts, all of which have been given a healthy twist. They also provide tips on picky eating and nutrition.

The best advice the two can offer other parents is to get kids involved in meal prep and planning at an early age, something they have practised with their own children. Keogh's daughter Scarlett is six, while Marsh has two children -- Esme, 6, and Julian, whose fourth birthday is Oct. 1.

"If you take the job on as the sole cook for the family, you're going to burn out, you're going to be exhausted, you're going to feel resentful," says Marsh.

"It's important for kids to learn about food. It helps them be better eaters and also it's just a really great way to be together, so we really, really encourage people to take kids to the market, get them to choose a vegetable, something new, get them in the kitchen doing whatever they can."

Turn a blind eye to the initial mess, she adds. "It will be slow and messy, but it really pays off."

Even when your children are too young to take part, talk to them about what you're making. …

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