I’m a mum of three children aged seven, five and three. These days you’ll mostly find me hunting for socks under the sofa and wiping toothpaste off the walls, but before I was a mum, I was a super passionate primary school teacher with a degree in nutrition. Primary teaching is the kind of job that turns you into a Jack of all trades, so I have found myself using more and more of my teacher background as I’ve navigated life as a stay-at-home working mum.
Feed the Brood started as a weaning blog and workshops in 2016 after my third baby was born. I quickly realised people also wanted me to share how I plan my meals and deal with fussy eating. Feed the Brood is ever changing and evolving. I have big plans for the future, but while my children are young I’m keeping my plans quite simple so that I can keep all the plates spinning with busy family life.
Any busy parent will relate to the daunting feeling of feeding the family every day. Add to that the constant pressure that a conscientious parent feels about both nutrition and sustainability, and it’s enough to give rise to a lot of guilt! Thankfully, I really love finding ways to shortcut cooking times and make my life easier, because I definitely do not have the time for Cordon Bleu chef-style meals on a Tuesday night when I need to get the eldest out of the door by 4.45pm for Beavers! So I started writing down my recipes and formulating meal plans, and hence The MasterPlan was created which other families can now follow.
My key aim with The MasterPlan is to save parents’ sanity by providing them with an eight-week cycle of delicious and easy meals that are easy to order and quick to cook.
This year is shaping up to be extremely exciting, as in addition to The MasterPlan I have two other major projects I am hoping to get over the finish line. The first is a ten-day meal plan in collaboration with a very big nutrition blogger. It’s perfect for vegan and veggie familes who are weaning babies, and it will include beautifully illustrated recipes.
My other big project is an online programme for fussy eaters. I have completed all the prime content with a dietitian and have some stunning illustrations for the visuals, but I am in the process of approaching people to provide video content to accompany each segment. This is a really big undertaking for me, but it’s the sort of project management I love. I’m really hoping that the fussy eating programme will be ready for some beta testing by Easter, so I can reach people as soon as possible. A lot of people have been asking me for help, and I’m really confident this programme is going to be incredibly helpful.
Social media has played a big part in establishing and promoting my business. It’s a big priority for me to grow and get more visibility. I’m moving more towards Instagram now, and my content is a mix of food, lifestyle and feeding a family. People love seeing time lapses of our family mealtimes or me cooking – or when I mess up!
I really love the idea of using social media to help people in a time when it gets a bad rap for being detrimental to mental health. I’m really passionate about ways to make social media a positive influence in the way it has worked for me. But I’m working hard to establish boundaries, too. This means I generally don’t go on social media at the weekends, so that I can reduce my screen time and give plenty of undivided attention to my family.
I joined the Tunbridge Wells branch of Mums in Business (MiBs) network when I started this four years ago. I have developed so many great friendships and supportive partners through it – we’re like a little family. I’m such a social person; I find working on my own can feel lonely and isolating if I’m not careful, so having lots and lots of friends in the same boat sailing alongside can really help keep me going!
For more information follow Alex on Facebook and Instagram @Feedthebrood or visit www.feedthebrood.com/masterplan
The MasterPlan’s key master strokes
1 There are meals for the whole family to enjoy, so there’s far less cooking and washing up needed.
2 Whenever there’s time to cook a big meal, I always cook a double batch so that there’s another family meal stashed in the freezer.
3 I plan to use each freezer meal the following week, and thereby alleviate cooking – The MasterPlan includes this twice a week.
4 I have included a variety of frozen essentials like frozen onion, garlic and ginger, so that batch cooking is really easy and super quick.
5 All the ingredients for a whole week are easy to order online in a few clicks through my website. Now the food shopping for the week will literally take you five minutes!