The mother of the mommy websites

For those of us obsessed with parenting sites and blogs, it’s impossible not to know about Yoyomama. She’s got a massive following, rock-solid family wisdom, and a contagious passion for sharing everything she learns with her audience. So, we thought you’d appreciate it if we got a little personal with the mother of all mommy websites. Here’s everything you need to know about Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit, the mama behind Yoyomama.

BT: Explain the evolution of yoyomama. How did you get started?

AM: I launched yoyomama in 2007 because I had a baby and a preschooler and I couldn’t easily find local information on products and services for mums and their babies. I wanted to create something fun for mums that was quick to read, and helped keep them get connected to their communities, as new motherhood can often be lonely or isolating.

BT: It seems like there is a real community around yoyomama. How did that happen?

AM: I think it has a lot to do with the communities mums naturally create at mums' groups, play gyms and the coffee shop when they have young kids. Mums trust other mothers more than anyone else when they need advice on the best stroller or how to help your baby with teething pain. Our readers trust our content because we're honest and review every product, place and service we cover in our editorial. I think the age of social media has helped us as well because it’s now much easier to connect and stay connected.

BT: You’ve also written a book for new mothers. What was the impetus behind Healthy Mom, Happy Baby?

AM: I was a new mum with a one month old and after the baby would nurse and go back to sleep I'd be roaming the house at 3:00am, desperately trying to find something, anything, to eat that wasn't cookies or yogurt. There's lots of advice on eating for two when you're pregnant but not much info out there for nursing mums who are learning to cope with their new, harried schedules while being solely responsible for the nourishment of another little person.

BT: Can you share one of your fave recipes from the book?

AM: Tina’s Hummus was one of the first recipes to be included in the book and it’s still one of my faves! Tina and I gravitated toward each other in a prenatal yoga class because our due dates were one day apart. We both went hugely overdue and our kids were born two days apart (and two weeks late). Her big fear was of tearing during labour, mine was having a C-section. She tore, I had a C-section, we both survived…

  • 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) chickpeas
  • 6 tbsp virgin or extra-virgin olive oil (with olive oil the more virgin the better!)
  • 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (or concentrate is fine too)
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • cayenne to taste
  • 1/4 cup water

Method: Drain and rinse the chickpeas (apparently with tinned beans when you rinse off that gloopy, opaque liquid they’re packed, in you’re also rinsing off a lot of the salt, which is good). Place the chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin, salt and cayenne, and process until smooth, adding water until you reach your desired consistency. Makes 3 cups. 

Variations: You can totally adapt this to your taste. We’re big garlic fans in our house so I’ll often add extra. You can also try a splash of hot pepper sauce or substitute black beans for the chickpeas.

Hummus is super versatile. Use it as a dip for baby carrots, celery, pita bread or corn chips. Try it as a sandwich spread, or spread inside a pita bread stuffed with cucumber, tomato and lettuce. I also like dipping cheese toast into hummus.

BT: Now lets get personal! What does the typical family meal look like in your home and what motivates you to make meals special at home? Any tips to share with busy parents?

AM: It's really important for us to eat dinner together as a family. We love Ellyn Satter's books and philosophy towards feeding your family. In a nutshell she says your job is to provide nutritious food and their job is to eat it. Or not. It's about not making mealtimes emotional when you have a picky eater (which we do) and not forcing your children to try something or use dessert as a bribe. I can't say we always succeed but we do try.

We eat all sorts of food, although the variety and spiciness has changed a bit since we had the girls. We try and eat at least one meat-free meal a week and we avoid processed foods whenever possible. We're part of a fruit and vegetable co-op through a local store, which definitely helps us expand our repertoire and this year we joined a local flour co-op as well.

My husband and I share the cooking. He's best at comfort food recipes whereas I'm more likely to experiment with a new recipe.

Hmm, my best tip. Honestly I think it's to give yourself a break! Serve breakfast for dinner (our kids love this and have a delicious oatmeal pancake recipe) if you're stumped on what to make. Serve the same meal two nights in a row if you've got leftovers. And we do find that menu planning for the week saves us a lot of time and money. It's half an hour of hassle on Sundays for way less hassle during the week.

Excellent advice, thanks Annemarie! You guessed it, we’ll be giving away a copy of yoyomama’s Healthy Mom, Happy Baby this week in our FB draw! Visit us here and whether you're a mom, dad or sibling, we want to hear your tips on eating well when there is a new baby in the family!  

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