We’re thrilled to introduce Eastside Mama Emily Dupuche. Emily is a busy mum who has written a cookbook, Food Babies Love: A guide to introducing solids. We all know how challenging this phase is, but her lovely book offers yummy and nutritious meal ideas for children, as well as practical advice. Emily understands that a lot of parents are time poor, so she has also created a delicious new range of natural, healthy fresh pots for babies and toddlers!
Hi Emily, can you tell us a bit about your children, and what you love doing as a family?
I have 3 children – 8 year old twins Sophie and Louis, and 4 year old GiGi. They are the light of my life! Each one so different but all share a gorgeous gentle side with great empathy. Our favourite thing to do as a family is go camping – we love heading to the Murray River and hanging out in the bush. It’s our Happy Place.
How would you describe the recipes in your book, Food Babies Love? What made you decide to write it?
The recipes are all baby-friendly versions of well-known family favourites. I am a firm believer that babies don’t need, or like, bland boring food. As a keen home cook I wanted to share my love of food with my babies, and way back when I was introducing Sophie and Louis to solids I started experimenting with ways to make delicious food they would enjoy eating. The book evolved from there – I was creating all these great meals that my babies were loving, and sharing the recipes with my Mothers Group and other friends. The feedback was great and with a little encouragement from others I decided to write the book.
We would love to hear about your exciting new range of Fresh Pots. Where can we find them?
My new range of Fresh Pots by Food Babies Love is a direct response to the positive feedback to the book. I know parents want to do the right thing by their babies and cook fresh real meals, but life can get in the way. We only need to look at the huge range of heat-treated shelf-stable baby and toddler meals to know there is a market for convenience meals for our littlest people. Yet what is on offer has a poor taste profile, offers little sensory stimulation (you can’t see, smell or touch the food), and due to the extreme heat treatments they have poor nutritional outcomes. Our children deserve better.
So for 3 years I have been working on developing a range of FRESH, delicious, and nutritious meals for babies and toddlers offering parents a better choice – all the convenience with none of the compromise. They are available in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, and very soon, Adelaide. There is a full list of stockists on my website.
Have you always had a passion for cooking and nutrition? What were you doing before you had kids?
I’ve always loved cooking and creating delicious food. Since I was tiny I would run restaurants at home: draw up menus, take orders, cook, and serve the food….and then flake out with exhaustion and leave the cleaning up to mum and dad! I think the family dinner table is most definitely the hub of the family, and should be fostered and treated with respect. My professional background is in marketing but this is what I love doing.
How do you juggle running your own business with motherhood? What is your favourite part of what you do?
Juggle is the right term. My family are first and foremost and that is why anything I do takes longer than it probably needs to. I’ve been lucky to work from home mostly, which has allowed me to be available for kinder and school runs. But it does mean that my work is constantly in front of me and the to-do list is ever growing.
I do make exercise a priority in the mornings and go to the gym at 5:30 so I can be home before my husband leaves for work. When I don’t go my brain is definitely foggier – I need the me time I get at that ungodly hour of the day!
My favourite part of doing what I do is hearing from parents how much they love my book and how it is a permanent fixture on their bench top. And now I am hearing that Fresh Pots are a permanent on the shopping list, to help out on the busy days.
What other advice would you give mums who are considering starting a business?
Plan on it being a lifestyle choice, not a lottery win. Starting my own business has enabled me to be around for my kids which is priceless and I love that I have done it, but as a small business the last thing that gets attended to is my wage and most definitely my super.
But if you have a passion for something and can see a business idea in it, I think the rewards both emotionally for you and for your children are huge. The lessons they learn about having a ‘can do attitude’ and going after things can be very powerful.
Can you give mamas who are about to introduce solids to their babies a few quick tips please?
Use a smock, a bib and a drop sheet – they will save you countless hours of cleaning and washing
Don’t offer your baby choices – if they don’t like what you’ve cooked then take it away but DO NOT bring them something else. You will be come a short order cook in no time. In most cases fussy eating is a behaviour, not a disease. How you react and parent that behaviour will determine how severe it gets.