A Quick Bite With Catherine McCord

A Quick Bite With Catherine McCord

We first met Catherine McCord on Goop. One of her adorable cooking videos was featured just before American Thanksgiving and starred Catherine and her kids making a batch of sweet potato biscuits. After spending some time on her site, Weelicious, we were hooked. An ex-model and chef, Catherine now dedicates herself to teaching families how to cook easy, healthy meals and encourages them to do it right along with their kids. Despite the fact you could easily mistake Catherine for Cameron Diaz, she plays every moment for laughs against the tiny straight men in her kitchen (son, Kenya and daughter, Chloe) who make regular cameos. It’s full of great ideas and recipes but most importantly, Catherine’s infectious encouragement that you can actually meet this whole feeding-the-kids-healthy-meals challenge with a smile on your face.

We caught up with Catherine this week and talked with her about trying new things, getting kids in the kitchen and, above all, going with the flow.

SPC: What is your first food memory?
CM: Pulling the ends off of sugar snap peas with my grandfather

SPC: How did you learn to cook?
CM: In a way I was self taught. My mother has an arsenal of stories of coming into the kitchen and me “cooking.” Butter melting in a pot with flour everywhere. Basically a mothers worst nightmare, sorry mom!

SPC: What was your favorite food as a kid?
CM: Sauteed mushrooms and shrimp cocktail (not great for parents who were on a budget going out to dinner).

SPC: Do you still cook any of your family’s recipes?
CM: We have a family cookbook that has grown over the years. We all send recipes in to add to it every year. There are so incredibly delicious recipes. I still cook recipes from it like grits soufflé.

SPC: Do you cook differently now that you have kids?
CM: I cook differently, but still similar. We always had a vegetable, carb and protein on our plate every night and that’s something I still try to remember when cooking every night. Balance!

SPC: How do you handle pickiness in your kids (if it exists)?
CM: I have to say my kids will try and eat almost anything. My husband and I really enjoy food, going to our local farmers market, picking it in our garden, etc.. so I think they have an appreciation for fruits, vegetables and trying new foods.

SPC: You’re known for encouraging people to get their kids in the kitchen – what do you think the benefits are?
CM: The earlier you get your kids in the kitchen the easier it is to get kids to eat an array of foods because they have a hand in making the foods they will put in their bodies. The more you can empower you kids to cook and be a part of the cooking process the easier it is to get them to eat nutritious foods on their own.

SPC: What do you wish your kids would eat that they reject?
CM: My daughter still won’t eat white cheese (unless it’s melted, although she loves orange cheese) and Kenya will eat almost anything, although there are definitely foods he prefers.

SPC: What’s your go-to recipe on a busy weekday night?
CM: Roast vegetables, grilled or broiled fish or chicken and roast potatoes or coconut rice. I’m big on cooking a bunch of foods on Sunday’s so that during the week I don’t have to stress about cooking at the last minute because I know there’s pasta, rice, etc.. in the fridge or freezer.

SPC: What are the rules at your table? (Clean your plate? Eat your veggies or no dessert? Elbows off the table?)
CM: Honestly, there really aren’t any rules. I feel like every day is so individual and as a mom I just do my best to survive through every meal!

SPC: Do you like to cook alone or with others?
CM: I like to cook with whoever wants to cook with me. Personally, I find it easier to get the kids involved doing something for dinner then having them playing elsewhere. This way I can keep an eye on them and know that they know what to expect on the table for dinner.

SPC: Do you feel any pressure to have “foodie” kids because of Weelicious?
CM: No pressure at all. I have no idea how they will turn out in terms of food, but when we’re at the farmers market and my son can name all the vegetables or my daughter is in the garden eating garlic chives like they’re candy it does make me smile.

SPC: If you could tell parents one thing about cooking for kids, what would it be?
CM: Take a deep breath and know that even the smallest task you offer them will get them excited about the food they will eat and make meal time a little bit easier.

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