This week for Mama Monday I have the lovely Jenna from Radiant Sprout. I first connected with Jenna over on Instagram and we both share very similar values when it comes to feeding our families, particularly our little girls. She has some seriously drool worthy recipes that she shares over on her social media pages and I highly recommend you go and check her out if you’ve got little ones.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family
First and foremost, I am a wife and mother. I live on the Gold Coast with my husband, Mitch, and our one-year-old daughter, Violet. For years I’ve had a curiosity for what personally makes me feel well and good and now that I’m a Mama, few things thrill me more than feeding my little family meals made from real, whole and nourishing foods.
My career background is in journalism, PR and corporate communications and while I am home full-time with Violet, I am studying to be a Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I use Radiant Sprout as an outlet for me to share family-friendly meal ideas and inspire other Mamas and their tribes to radiate wellness from the inside out. I will also be launching the Radiant Sprout website in 2015.
What is your food philosophy?
These days, I don’t like to align myself with any particular diet or dogmatic way of eating — I just eat what makes me feel good and avoid what doesn’t. For my family and I, this means eating real, whole and nourishing foods that are as close as possible to the natural source or the way Mother Nature intended. We tend to only eat meat once or twice a week, so our meals are mostly plant-based and incorporate a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. We prepare most of our meals from scratch at home and steer clear of processed foods.
While we do the best we can to eat what makes us thrive, I think it’s also important to mention that we’re not perfect. Sometimes, we skip our morning green smoothie, enjoy greasy fish and chips at the beach or a decadent dessert that isn’t hash tag sugar free. And that’s OK.
What do you love most about raising a healthy family and why is it important to you?
I just love to see my little family thrive. When you’re healthy, you feel good, and when you feel good, you’re happy. I know how good I personally feel when I eat nourishing meals, move my body and prioritise self care — so it’s important to me that I do the best I possibly can to help my husband and daughter feel the same way. I genuinely enjoy pottering around the kitchen and we love to sit around our dinner table and eat together as a family. It’s incredibly satisfying to watch Violet enthusiastically explore new foods and say, “Mmmm, YUM Mum!” and know the food she is enjoying is also supporting her growing body.
What’s your best tip for getting kids to eat healthy?
As parents, we play a crucial role in how our children learn to perceive food and their bodies. I believe wholeheartedly we need to practice the very habits we hope to instil in our kids. Having my daughter has inspired me even more to become the healthiest version of myself possible, so that in turn she will want to nurture herself in the same way. My best tip is to set an example – you can’t expect your child to want to eat vibrant, nutrient-dense foods if you don’t do the same.
Another way to cultivate healthy habits is by encouraging their participation in preparing meals from as early as possible. Give them a chance to get join you in the kitchen, get their hands dirty and learn. Whether it’s tossing a salad, chopping ingredients with a blunt knife, stirring, mixing or joining you at the Farmer’s Market, give your child a sense of responsibility, pride and understanding about what they’re eating and where it comes from.
What’s your advice to other mamas on the best way to feed your family healthy food on a budget?
Preparation is key. I have never been the most organised person in the world, but since becoming a Mother I have learned that feeding your family does not have to be overwhelming or expensive if you take a little time at the start of every week to plan some meals. Choose simple, healthy recipes and snacks and include only the required ingredients on your shopping list. You’ll only buy what you really need and will avoid the risk of having to rely on takeaway or less healthier options. Although I resisted it for a long time, I learned the art of meal planning from my own super-organised Mother!
If you’re fortunate to have one in your area, buying your produce at your nearest Farmer’s Market is another cost-effective way of gathering some beautiful seasonal, local and fresh produce for the week ahead.
Finally, meat can chew up a good chunk of your grocery budget, so consider introducing even one or two vegetarian meals per week. High quality plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils and whole grains are inexpensive and can form the base of some beautifully nourishing meals.
What’s your favourite thing to do to relax?
Downtime with my family is almost always spent at the beach – stand up paddleboard, bucket and spade in tow. As a mother of a busy toddler, moments of relaxation in solitutde can be fleeting but I have learned that prioritising self-care is incredibly important for my own wellbeing. I like to spend the quiet moments I have to myself relishing the simple things – a book, a coffee at my favourite café, a bubble bath or a swim in the ocean.
This week Jenna is going to share her family recipe for Lentil Crusted Coconut Vege Frittata
- 1 medium sweet potato, sliced thinly
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
- 1 cup broccoli florets, roughly chopped
- 1 handful spinach or kale, roughly chopped
- 100g feta cheese, crumbled
- 8 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups coconut milk
- 1 cup cooked brown or green lentils, drained well to remove as much moisture as possible
- ½ cup almond meal
- 1 Tbs coconut or olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and coconut milk.
- Cover the bottom of a baking dish with a layer of sweet potato.
- Pour a thin layer of egg mix over the sweet potato, until just covered.
- Repeat this process with layers of zucchini, broccoli and spinach until all of the veges and egg mix are used up.
- Sprinkle with crumbled feta.
- In a separate bowl, combine lentils, almond meal, coconut oil, salt and pepper.
- Spread the lentil crust mix evenly across the top of the frittata.
- Bake in oven for approximately one hour, or until crust is golden and no liquid appears on the surface when a skewer or knife is inserted into the middle.
- Allow frittata to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.