We'd like to introduce you to Katie - food lover, mom, photographer and blogger at Eat Pretty Darling. We discovered Katie on Instagram with her visually stunning food posts that are fun and appeal to young eaters. We love a momma who shares the same mission as Pleni Naturals - to inspire kiddos to eat healthy foods! So without further ado, let's get to know Katie a little better - and enjoy some adorable photos of Katie's boys using the Pleni Naturals products during bath time!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you started your blog.
I have a degree in Commercial Photography and have been a professional photographer for 10 years! I've gotten to travel the world photographing weddings and meeting some really awesome people along the way. I run my photography business from home with my two boys (and baby #3 on the way!) and it's pretty much chaos! I have always loved cooking and exploring new foods but I married my husband who is insanely picky. Our oldest son is super picky too, and luckily our little one is currently a human garbage disposal :D I was already trying new recipes and tricks to get both my adult and kid picky eater to eat, so I thought I'd share what worked for us with other families that have the same problems.
How do you balance work life with family life?
During my busy photography season (June through November here in Ohio) it can be totally overwhelming. With working from home and kids there with me all day, working throughout the day is nearly impossible! I do most of my photo shoots on nights and weekends (when my husband can hang with the kids) and then I edit and do all the management of my business after the kids go to bed. Lot's of late nights for me! I have learned that it's okay to ask for help when you need it and I am so fortunate to have family close by. My parents and in-laws both help us out so much with watching the boys. But no matter what, we always eat meals together. Even if my husband's working late, the boys and I are at the table chatting and eating. Sometimes if we know Dad won't be home for dinner, we plan a special family breakfast so we get that time together. Meal time is a really special time for us!
We found you on Instagram. How could we not? Your photos are so visually stunning! Which of your posts get the most attention?
My picky eater tips are definitely the most popular. I think that's because they are the most helpful to other moms out there struggling just like me to get their family to eat a meal. I try to keep my recipes simple and easy so it's something doable for a busy mom but still yummy looking enough for a picky eater! My food art gets lots of smiles and laughs too. It's a fun creative outlet for me.
If you had to pick one kitchen gadget that you couldn't live without, what would it be and why?
Hmm... This one is hard because I cook almost every day and own pretty much every kitchen gadget out there! Currently, I couldn't live without my immersion blender. Our actual blender broke 2 years ago and we never replaced it since I had an immersion blender. We use it for smoothies, baby food, hiding veggies in sauces, and pretty much anything else that needs to be pureed! I use it almost daily, smoothies (aka milkshakes according to my toddler) are very popular at our house!
Can you share your favorite meal to cook for your kids? I know mine would be something that can be prepared in 20 minutes! :)
Convenience it totally key! While I do cook most days, I never make elaborate meals. Usually because my kids can barely wait the 20 minutes it takes me to cook, and chances are it it's fancy, my family won't eat it. These Turkey Burger Pops are a favorite at our house! It's quick to mix up (we even make them smaller and into meatballs to bake in the oven during the colder months!) and I really just serve most meals with fresh fruits and veggies. They don't always get eaten but exposure is helpful for my picky eater. I personally throw the burger on a bun, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, ketchup, and pickles.
What are some favorite veggies in your home and how do you prepare them for your family?
Carrots are the all time favorite for my whole family. Ironically, both of my picky eaters prefer them plain and raw! My little one and I both love cucumbers! I love to put them on sandwiches to add some yummy crunch. We also eat them plain often too. I try to keep it pretty simple in the kitchen so it's less work for me!