As a mom of three kids with picky palates, Joanna Parker knew there had to be an easier way to get nutritious meals meals that her kids would actually eat on the table. She created Yumble, a meal delivery service for families, which went national after Joanna and her husband appeared on Shark Tank. We spoke with Joanna about the tips for dealing with picky eaters, her kids’ favorite Yumble meals and a parenting hack you might need to try.
Congratulations on your endorsement from Shark Tank! Tell us what inspired you to create Yumble.
Yumble was really born out of my own personal pain point. I have three young kids and I found it really challenging, time-consuming and frustrating to get a healthy dinner on the table every single day! I couldn’t believe that there wasn’t a service available to help parents serve nutritious meals to their kids easily, so I decided to start one!
You have three picky eaters— do you have any tips for other parents of picky eaters?
Yes! Parents should relax because picky eating is a phase that the majority of kids go through at some point. Just like with other milestones, such as toilet training and sleep training, parents have to help teach their kids and guide them to healthy eating habits. It’s crazy, but over 70% of parents would describe their kids as picky – to me that shows that it’s really a common phase kids go through (usually around age two). So my advice is to stay calm, remember it’s a phase, and retain control at meal time because the earlier you develop healthy eating habits in your kids, the longer they will last.
What are your kids’ favorite Yumble meals?
My kids love the Pizza Pocket, Mac N Cheese, and Cheesy Omelet. I always keep some of those in the house so they can enjoy them any time of day!
Which Yumble meal did you find the most challenging to get the recipe right?
Definitely Quinoa Pizza Cups. When I make them in small batches at home, they are so delicious and perfect – we can eat the whole batch before they ever make it to a plate! But scaling them up to a version that works for our numbers today has been challenging operationally.
If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?
Cleaning the dishes after dinner! I’m always so tired by that point in the day that I just want to go upstairs and get into bed. So if someone could magically clean the dishes and kitchen for me that would make me very happy.
What is your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?
In the mornings, I love going to the gym before anyone else in my house is awake. It’s always really hard to get up, but when I get back home and have a cup of coffee before my kids come downstairs, it allows me to start my day with the right energy. A nice glass of wine at the end of the day while I make dinner for David and I is also always helpful.
What is your best parenting hack?
What is the best white lie that you’ve told your child?
I may have changed their clocks once or twice to convince them it was bedtime even though it was an hour too early!
If you could describe motherhood/fatherhood in one word, what would it be?
What’s one moment in your motherhood journey that has made you proud?
Just this past week, David and I were away for business and my parents were taking care of the kids for us. My mom kept telling me how polite and well behaved they were, how kindly they treated each other and took care of each other. I felt so proud – I think kids tend to put on their more challenging selves for their parents and it was so nice to hear that in our absence, some of our parenting had rubbed off on them!
What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to your children?
It’s hard to pick just one, but I guess I’d have to pick, “When you fall, get back up.” Life is never going to be easy and I think learning how to cope with and overcome the challenging parts of life is really important to living a happy and successful one. It’s also important to believe in yourself even through the trying times! The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that the successful ones didn’t give up.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
You’re doing a great job! I think moms are unfairly hard on themselves. In fact, I just read an article about how most moms work the equivalence of 97 hour work weeks – or 2.5 full-time jobs, considering all the parenting that is required of them. Moms also carry an emotional load that is draining and intense. I think moms should give themselves more credit and be less hard on themselves!
How do you tackle the work/life balance?
One day at a time. It’s a never-ending process of juggling and balance, so I try to stay organized and use my weekends to prepare for the week ahead. I also make sure that when I’m home, I am really present with my kids so that even if the hours I’m with them are few, they are filled with substantive and quality time. I also remind myself that the struggle to balance it all is normal – that definitely helps remove some of the stress and guilt around it all!
What was the last book you read?
I just finished Small Great Things. It was quite upsetting but really fascinating and a fabulous read. Oh, and Pinkalicious. 🙂
Favorite Beauty Product:
Lancer Skincare products.
Favorite Form of Exercise:
SLT (Strengthen, Lengthen and Tone).
What is on your DVR?
My kids’ shows!
Waze. It saves my life every day while commuting.
Favorite Kids Store:
Target – the one stop shop!