Today I am honoured to have Renee with us for our very first in the series 'THE MEALTIME JOURNEY with HNK'. This series is dedicated to honest conversations about the ups and downs of meal times with kids, family friendly recipes and parenting tips. I hope you love the series as much as I've loved bringing it to you!
Tell me about your family:
I have a beautiful little family which consists of my two munchkins, Georgia (almost 4 years old )and Luca (18 months,) and my husband Matt. We live in Auckland, New Zealand are right in the middle of that crazy busy but super fun stage of parenting.
Who does the shopping and cooking at your home?
I do all the meal planning, supermarket shopping, and kids' food, and Matt and I cook our meal together in the evening which is a nice break and fun way to catch up on the day.
I love planning my family's meals, trying new recipes, and making the kids beautiful plant-focused, whole food plates. It's such a passion of mine and brings me so much joy, especially when they love it.
Tell me your go-to family favourite meal
This is a hard one as I have so many favourite recipes that I would love to share but since the weather is warmer now and I’m a huge believer in the power of starting your day with a big green smoothie I thought I’d share our daily go-to green smoothie.
It's perfect for the whole family, my kids adore this one, and is such a great way to get in a bunch of greens and veggies at the start of the day. It makes enough that you can all enjoy a big glass or you can save the leftovers for an easy afternoon snack (perfect for us busy mama’s).
Tropical Green Smoothie
Makes enough for 4-6 serves
2 cups of coconut water or water
1-2 big handfuls of baby spinach
2 frozen banana’s
1 cup of pineapple, chopped
1/2 cup of cucumber
1-2 celery stalks (no leaves)
Juice from one lemon
Big handful of mint leaves
1-2 tbsp of hemp seeds
Handful of ice
Place all the ingredients into your blender and blitz on high for 60 seconds or until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses and enjoy right away or store the rest in an airtight jar in the fridge for 1-2 days.
What’s a food you’re surprised your kids like?
Lentil pasta always surprises me haha. I think it’s the texture that I find slightly strange but my kids love it which is so great. I’m also surprised that both my kids love broccoli as much as they do but it could be because I cover it in lemon juice, olive oil, and a little nutritional yeast. It’s my secret to getting them to eat so much of it.
What’s something about mealtimes that you wish was easier/ different/ less stressful?
I think just the general prepping and making meals with busy kids running around the house. Some days it’s easy and other days it’s chaotic and I’m having to cook with one hand while holding Luca and dealing with meltdowns. Not the easiest which I’m sure you are well aware of being a busy mama to three kiddies.
If you could share one tip about parenting, what would it be?
Focus on your self-care and prioritize it every day. You can’t show up and best the best version of yourself if your cup is empty. I love starting my day with little beauty rituals like dry body brushing and Gua Sha so that I feel like I’ve given myself a little time and love before it’s all go. As busy mama’s it’s so easy to put everyone else’s needs first and then fall into bed at the end of the day completely and utterly exhausted.
I want to change that and make it normal for mamas to look after themselves, to fill their day with little wellness rituals and self-care acts, and to know that by doing this they are then able to be the best version of themselves and mama.
What do you share and where can we find you online?
I love to share easy and delicious plant-based recipes for the whole family, bite-size nutrition tips and tricks that are easy to add into your day (I’m a qualified Nutritionist), daily wellness and beauty rituals, and mum life on my blog, Instagram, you-tube and weekly newsletter.
I have a book called ‘My Plant-Based Family’ which you can purchase on my website in either hard copy or an instant e-version. It’s a collection of my family's tried and true absolute favourite plant-based, whole food recipes (50 recipes to be exact) as well as information on creating a balanced plant-based plate, supplements, fussy eating recommendations, 7-day meal plan, and more.
Instagram: @wellnessbyreneebrown https://www.instagram.com/wellnessbyreneebrown/
You-Tube: Wellness by Renee Brown