Vanessa is wearing the 'Casual Tank' in peacock and the 'Classic Maternity Leggings - Full Length' in black.
Vanessa Rehm’s awesome blog is one of our go-to destinations for family-friendly recipes, as well as life advice and general laughs! We were thrilled to chat to this fabulous mum-of-three about food, pregnancy and parenting.
What are your favourite freezer-friendly recipes for busy or expecting parents?
Funny you should ask, I have a sister-in-law due any day and my younger sister is due in a month, both with their first babies and I was just thinking last night about getting in the kitchen to make some food for their freezers. I remember how amazing it was to have these stockpiled in my own freezer when each of my babies arrived. My go-to meals for new arrivals and busy parents are:
I put together this blog post after having my third child. Doing this crazy amount of prep was so helpful when he arrived.
You’ve been busy with kids/errands/chores all day, but you’ve got friends coming over for dinner. You have an hour to pop to the supermarket and throw something on. What do you cook?
If it was summer I would make a variation of this Thai Beef Salad, or my favourite Soba Noodle Salad. In winter when you crave something a little heartier, I would make Teriyaki Salmon – quick, easy and absolutely delicious.
Pregnant women often find it hard to buy on-the-go lunches that are deemed ‘safe’ to eat. What are some easy and nutritious lunch recipes that expecting mums can make and take to work?
Working and being pregnant is especially difficult when it comes to lunch. There are so many things you just can’t eat, and not a lot of options you can enjoy. We're always watching out for too-long-left out sushi rice, cold meats, bagged salad ingredients that could contain listeria and so the list goes on. I love meals that are filling, with the benefit of fibre and flavour. Adding chickpeas and lentils to anything helps to flesh it out...meaning you avoid the empty carbs of bread options like sandwiches or wraps. I love Yotam Ottolenghi for his take on vegetarian meals that are completely satisfying. This is my favourite. I make a double batch and keep it in the fridge. Reheat and you’re good to go.
Speaking of expecting mums, when you’ve got a baby on the way, it’s hard to know what you will and won’t need. What are your baby essentials?
My baby essentials were:
- The Tui Bee Balm for baby massage and nappy balm.
- PureLan for nipple care.
- Woollen breast pads (mine lasted through three children and still going strong so buy good quality).
- An ear thermometer – an investment but lasts forever and gives complete peace of mind.
- A good quality baby sleeping bag.
- Also – sleep, supportive partner or family, some good quality lavender oil, lots of water to drink and almonds to snack on to boost milk production and a freezer stocked with nutritious food.
We also think it’s essential that new mums get a few pamper treats for themselves. What are the best (non-baby) presents to gift new parents?
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about parenting and who gave it to you?
I don’t remember who told me this, but it’s been the one thing that has stuck and carried me through my parenting journey. Everything is a phase. The difficult periods, the sleeplessness, the teething, the tantrums. Just as the wonderful moments are also a phase – the first giggles, the cute new words, the sleeping through the night, eating all the vegetables. Don’t stress the hard parts and cherish the best bits because all of them are fleeting.
Written by Nikki Clarke.