I write a lot about bringing kids into the kitchen. It isn't always easy or convenient, but it's SO important (here's why), and the good news is it can be really fun. Actress, entrepreneur, former vampire slayer, and mom Sarah Michelle Gellar agrees. She bakes frequently with her kids Charlotte and Rocky and says, "I know that when I spend time in the kitchen with my kids we are creating a lifetime of memories. While we are having a good time, I also know my kids are learning valuable life skills that will stay with them."
Sarah Michelle recently launched a baking business called Foodstirs with her friends in an effor to share the love with families across the country. She talked to us about mom friends, Pinterest, and the dreaded clean-up.
Tell me how Foodstirs works...is it a subscription?
Foodstirs is lifestyle culinary brand, encouraging families to create meaningful experiences through cooking. We developed our own original baking mixes that are made with higher quality ingredients and taste great. While we do sell our mixes individually, we also offer our Bakers Club that delivers a monthly foodcrafting project using our signature mixes. I love yummy brownies but I love a beautiful brownie Popsicle even more. Our Bakers Club kits are holiday-based, offering a themed project each month to celebrate that holiday.
You started Foodstirs with your friends Galit and Gia. How did you all meet, and how was the idea for the company sparked?
Galit and I met when our daughters became friends in preschool. As "time impoverished" parents we were always looking for activities we could do with our children that would make the most of the time we were spending together. Activities where we could really "unplug" and connect. Both of our kids showed an interest in cooking (specifically baking), but neither of us was particularly skilled. In fact we were intimidated. We combed the Internet looking for cool recipes and projects but they seemed impossible and required many ingredients that we didn't have. But, when we went to the store to buy a packaged mix I was shocked at the ingredients. They were certainly not anything I wanted my family to be eating. That's when Galit and I wondered why there was not a convenient delivery box that would send us better baking products and projects made with better ingredients right to our doorstep. And the idea for Foodstirs was born. While Galit and I had all these great ideas, we knew we needed more help, especially when it came to product. Luckily Mom friends always come in handy. Gia, another "mom friend" of ours who had worked with Martha Stewart (and been on Oprah as an expert), came onboard.
You talk about wanting these baking projects to be achievable... so they actually look like the photos on Pinterest. Why is that important to you?
As a parent I am always reading up (pretty much on everything) and all the studies show that not only does time in the kitchen help kids with fine and gross motor skills, math, science, and vocabulary, but it also lowers the rates of diabetes, drug use, and depression. One of the best ways to get kids in the kitchen is through baking. (Who doesn't love the smell of cookies in the kitchen?) What I began to notice with the rise of Pinterest and similar social sites was a definite gap between inspiration and execution. We all have great intentions of making these beautiful projects, but let's be honest, what are the odds we can actually accomplish it? We made our kits simple to follow--six steps or less, with results that look like a professional did it. There's nothing better than the look of satisfaction and pride when kids complete a kitchen project. I also love the focus that kids have in the kitchen. It really hits the lesson that if you focus and work hard you can accomplish anything.
What are Charlotte and Rocky's favorite things to cook?
I am lucky that my kids are sponges in the kitchen (well except for the cleaning part of the sponge lol). They love to learn new recipes and especially love when they get to experiment with an existing recipe. I always use my kids as the unofficial testers when we try new product ideas.
Any tips for how parents can deal with the mess of baking (or at least not worry so much about it)?
I may not be the person to ask, as I think the mess is part of the fun, but that is one of the best parts of Foodstirs. All you need to add to our mixes are the perishable ingredients and all the decorative supplies come individually packaged and ready to use, which definitely cuts down the mess.
Sarah Michelle is offering a 20% discount to Parents readers. Click here to get cooking and use the code Parents20. The offer expires at midnight on November 25, 2015.