Lanai's family

Love … these two make me happier than the earth.

Not many people get to say that food delivered them a family, but for me that’s my absolute reality.

I didn’t grow up the way most kids did. With family dinners around a table and a mum and/or a dad talking about how their day went with the whole family.

I spent most of my youth in foster homes and, sadly, my biological mum committed suicide when I was seven and my biological dad — who I had long been estranged from — died when I was 16  (you can read more about my story here).

I’m now adopted, but as a teenager life was tough. Creating and cooking delicious food was my escape.

I first met my adopted family at the age of 14 while living next door in a foster home on Sydney’s northern beaches. They didn’t adopt me until later on but our relationship first blossomed over food. They were so kind to me, and as a teenager would often let me cook delicious dinner parties for all their friends.

I’m telling you all of this, not to get your sympathy, but instead to show you how important food really is to me. For most of us food is where many of our best family memories are made. For me, food delivered me a family.

A bit sleepy ... family breakfast cooked by all the kids.

Today I’m a mum, political journalist and lover of good food.

Like the rest of us I’m just trying to keep up with the drum of daily life. Learning how to be the best mum I can to our precious little Molly (who we welcomed on my birthday in 2014) and keeping up with the piles of washing that seem like they came direct from the NeverEnding Story.

But despite the hectic pace of motherhood, when we first started solids with Molly I wanted to give her all the things I didn’t have as a child.

I wanted family dinners around the table. I wanted her to have delicious tasty food that was sugar-free, low salt and easy for me to make in the craziness of getting everything done. I also wanted meals we could all eat as a family without having to necessarily make separate baby-specific meals for Molly.

On top of all of that, right from the beginning Molly was fiercely independent (a bit like her mum) and wanted to feed herself from a pre-loaded spoon rather than being spoon-fed so I had to try and come up with easy finger-food options as well.

So creativity kicked in and I started coming up with a bunch of my own recipes. After initially sharing them with my mothers’ group and friends and being given an amazing opportunity to road test them at Molly’s childcare centre with more than 100 kids aged two-months to five years, I’m now bringing them direct to you.

I’ve never been one for living in the slow lane and while life gets pretty hectic sometimes, I’m living life the best way I could imagine. Creating and cooking recipes and bringing families delicious, easy, healthy options that work from the littlest to the biggest members of the household.

Yours in messy goodness,
Lanai xx

Lanai's family

Happy bunny … our vivacious little girl.