Catherine McCord Is Making the Kitchen a Family Destination
Weelicious Is Kid-Friendly, Parent-Approved
Busy parents around the world can now rejoice. Weelicious (www.weelicious.com), the brainchild of actress, model and mom Catherine McCord, provides a solution to parents’ hectic lives by showing them how to cook recipes that are kid-friendly, quick and nutritious. Since Weelicious launched in October 2007, Catherine has been offering innovative ideas and instructions for delicious meals that are “easy, fresh, and fun.” Bolstered by a culinary background and a passion for food, Catherine makes cooking accessible using few, but fresh ingredients. Recipes appeal to a range of ages – from infants starting on solid foods to school-age kids and adults. “As a parent, you don’t have to be a short-order cook preparing four different meals for four different family members,” she says.
Taking her inner ‘mom-ologue’ from the web to the page, Catherine published her first book, Weelicious: One Family. One Meal., in 2012. Starting out as an inspirational feeding guide, Catherine cleverly weaves together first-hand experiences with factual evidence, then naturally progresses into 140 of her own can-do recipes. The book not only offers realistic solutions to the daily challenge of feeding children, but also offers ways to inspire kids to be great eaters. Her second book, Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunchbox published September 3rd, 2013 and continues to inspire at-home cooks. With more than 160 recipes for extraordinary meals, Catherine acknowledges the redundant nature of creating lunches for children and provides a variety of realistic solutions to help think outside the box, and beyond the standard PB&J.
Through Weelicious and her growing international audience on Facebook and Twitter, Catherine is sharing what she’s learned through extensive research and experimentation in her own family kitchen. With a new recipe or tip debuting daily and how-to cooking videos posted every Tuesday, Weelicious is a wealth of information for parents, and a visual delight for foodies of any age.
NO NEED TO SNEAK
Weelicious is a realistic approach to quick, nutritious eating with unedited videos of cooking demos featuring – who else? – Catherine, her 6-year-old son, Kenya, and 4-year-old daughter, Chloe. Unlike other kid-friendly cooking sites, Weelicious focuses on educating kids and involving them in the process. No cheap tricks, sneaking or hiding pureed veggies into the usual kid-fare like mac and cheese – a trend that has become popular and concerns Catherine. “Our philosophy is to be honest, and include and engage your kids in the kitchen,” says Catherine. “Do this, and you will undoubtedly see a change in their eating habits, particularly if they are picky eaters.”
Catherine’s kids aren’t the only family members on board. Her husband, Jon, a film producer, “didn’t know how to cook a thing when we met,” Catherine says only half jokingly. He now credits Catherine with instilling in him a passion for cooking and a desire to treat food as an art medium. “Painting can take weeks,” she laughs. “Food is instant gratification.”
In addition to its growing library of over 700 original recipes and 130 videos, Weelicious, provides resourceful information about organics, food groups, vitamins and minerals, potential food allergens, and tips on engaging reluctant eaters.
FOCUS ON FAMILY
Growing up in Louisville, KY, Catherine credits her parents and grandparents for her early understanding of the impact food has on our health and well-being. Cooking and enjoying healthy, delicious food was a priority for Catherine’s mom, as was sharing this philosophy with her children. “I also learned a lot from my grandparents about respecting food,” says Catherine. “Gardening, composting, canning, shopping at farmer’s markets; these are traditions I’m now passing along to my children.”
FROM MODEL TO MOM
A born athlete, Catherine excelled at running and basketball, and was working towards an athletic scholarship when she sustained a devastating hip injury. Soon after, when a friend signed her up for a local modeling contest, little did Catherine know that this would be the first step on the path to a successful modeling career.
Discovered by Elite Models Management at 15, Catherine went on to win “Look of the Year,” Elite’s premiere and prestigious modeling contest. From there, she spent her summers in New York or Paris, modeling for Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and other prestigious designers in the fashion industry. Catherine soon ventured into television, as well, landing roles as reporter on Extra!, Dick Clark’s Rocking New Year’s Eve, and a run as co-host on MTV’s Loveline with Dr. Drew and Adam Corrola.
Fortunately, Catherine avoided the pitfalls many young models find themselves in, such as drug abuse and eating disorders, attributing her success to a strong sense of family values, and an understanding about what she needed to give her body in order for it to function properly. Her parents supported her modeling career and grounded her with guidance. Catherine’s dad encouraged her to save her money so that she could one day afford to focus on her true passion – cooking and food.
That time came in 2002, soon after the devastating attacks of 9/11. Impacted by the tragedy, Catherine decided to finally follow her dreams and enroll at the Institute for Culinary Education in Manhattan. She modeled during the day and went to school at night. “It was a juggle,” she says, but powerfully fulfilling.
In hindsight, that juggle was nothing compared to balancing work and family. Now, a wife and mother, Catherine strives to find solutions to the challenges of busy life. After having her children, Catherine realized she wanted them to delight in fresh, seasonal food the way she did as a child. Observing a lack of resources for other parents to do the same, Catherine created Weelicious as a platform to show parents around the world how easy and beneficial it is to expose children early on to whole, delicious, homemade food. “Involving kids in the process,” Catherine concludes, “will help lead them to make healthier choices as they grow.”