Half-Pint Photography More Than Mommy series features Q&A sessions with some of the inspiring moms among us. These moms will share what defines them outside of being “mommy”, their thoughts on balancing work and home life, the rewards and challenges of motherhood, and much more.
If you would like to be featured or know of another mom with an interesting story to tell, please tell me more by clicking here.
I am excited to introduce Nicole Jurick, owner and founder of Peasful Kitchen, a parent-focused cooking school with roots in Hoboken, New Jersey. Nicole and I were introduced by one of my lifelong friends, who at the time had just had her first child and was going through the mommy struggles of trying to find good-for-you foods that her young son wouldn’t immediately spit out. Enter Nicole, fellow Hoboken first-time mom friend, who had found the answer by making her own organic baby food purees and decided to share her recipes through her baby food cooking classes at Give Peas a Chance Cooking School. I can without a doubt say that Nicole’s two boys are proof positive that her homemade healthy eats are doing the trick. While photographing Nicole and her boys for this feature I witnessed the usual begging for snacks, except instead of begging for goldfish and cookies they begged for (and devoured!) bananas, oranges and other healthy bites!
Be sure to enter Peasful Kitchen’s giveaway at the end of the interview!
Welcome, Nicole! Let’s get started by learning more about you and your business, Peasful Kitchen – how it was born and how it has grown in just a few short years.
Thank you, Christine! I’m a mom of two boys, William (4 years old) and Nolan (2 years old) AND baby #3 due April 2017!
One Sunday night in 2012, I found myself alone in my kitchen pureeing baby food for my son. After an hour spent peeling, chopping, steaming, and pureeing–and then realizing I only had carrots and still had dozens of other veggies to eventually get through— I knew there had to be a better way. I started Peasful Kitchen as a social place for parents to connect, learn, and enjoy making food for their babies.
We’ve since grown from a baby food company to a cooking school that covers every stage of a family’s growth–from freezer meals for expectant moms, to baby and toddler food, to family dinners that bring smiles (and sanity!) to your table. We have various locations throughout New Jersey and in Boston, MA and Houston, TX. Most recently, we launched an online baby food cooking class (http://peasfulkitchen.
Our goals, too, have become greater than a moms’ night out. We want parents to see how fun and easy it is to cook wholesome and delicious meals for their families from the start–from baby’s first puree through toddlerhood, and beyond. As I learned, research shows that families who prepare home cooked meals eat more nutritiously and have happier, well- balanced children. Many parents site lack of inspiration and time as what stops them from getting dinner on the table. We’re working to change that.
Parents who’ve taken our classes have said that they never went back to jarred baby food–or that they make our hidden veggie meatballs for their whole family at least once a month. For us, that’s the greatest compliment and also shows that when given the tools and confidence, parents can make their families healthier little by little!
Are your boys interested in helping you out in the kitchen?
My kids both love to cook, and it’s so much fun to have them help me in the kitchen (albeit MESSY!). But getting them involved is a win for both of us, since when they help prepare the food that we make, the usually end up eating it.
As a mom and business owner, I know it is not always easy to find time to devote to work while raising young children. How do you make it all work?
Balance is always tough, but I’m lucky to have a nanny to help me two days a week so I can devote those days to business. I also do much of my work at night after the kids go to bed. My husband too is especially supportive and always lends me advice and is happy to help me set up for community events that I’m attending.
What do you like to do in your “me” time?
There’s not much of it, but when I get an hour to myself I head right to my favorite kickboxing gym. Most of my “me” time is family time, and there’s nothing better than spending time at the beach with my family or taking the boys on many adventures: farms, play spaces, train rides–whatever!
What is your favorite thing about being a mom to two boys?
It’s ironic because I always wanted girls, but now that I have two boys, I wouldn’t change I thing. I love seeing the world through their eyes, and I’m always shocked at myself how I notice things I never would have: construction sites, trains, airplanes. They’re non stop and that keeps me going, too. Plus, boys love their mama, I love getting smothered in their kisses–and their tackles!
Any words of wisdom to pass on to other moms?
Relax about what your kids eat. It sounds counterintuitive, but kids can sense your pressure and that’s not helpful for anyone. Keep trying to serve them healthy things, and don’t give up, but also don’t get too emotionally attached to whether or not they eat it. They’ll get there eventually.
Now for something a little fun…You are stuck on a deserted island by yourself – what three items would you bring with you and why?
- sneakers to run around the island
- the stack of New York Magazine sitting in my house that I haven’t read since 2012
- a chefs knife to cut through those stubborn coconuts
Thank you so much, Nicole. Such great advice to just chill about what our kids eat and not get emotionally involved. I need to work on that one!
You can connect with Nicole and learn even more about Peasful Kitchen at:
Nicole and Peasful Kitchen are awarding 3 lucky winners with the Peasful Kitchen’s Ultimate Baby Food Cooking Class. This awesome package includes: a step by step cooking video about how to prepare baby’s first foods, an exclusive membership to Peasful Kitchen’s Closed Facebook Group that features live Q&A sessions for you to get answers to your baby food feeding questions in real time, exclusive downloadable recipes and resources from culinary instructors, nutritionists, and chefs that you won’t find anywhere else (Value: $47 each)! Enter to win below by signing up for Peasful Kitchen’s newsletter. Bonus entries for following Half-Pint Photography on Instagram and telling us in the comment section below why you’d like to win this awesome prize.
The contest begins today and ends at 11:59 EST on January 30, 2017. Winners will be randomly selected and notified via email on January 31, 2017. Good luck!
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