I love following family food Instagram accounts to give me quick easy inspiration for healthy food I can make for my family. One of the accounts I really like is London based Stay-At-Home-Dad Paul aka Daddelicious. I also love that he states “I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a professional cook, nutritionist, or any type of food expert, so please take everything I write with a pinch of salt (no pun intended). I am simply a dad wanting to cook some decent grub for my family” My kind of guy! So today I get to ask Paul about his best recipes and what it is like to be an Instagram dad.
Hi Paul, welcome to No Mum Is An Island. I am a great believer that no mum and in this case dad, should have to do everything her/himself, we can’t possibly know it all, and we need all the support we can get, there is a wealth of information out there to help us upgrade our parenting experience, to make our lives easier and this website is a hub for just that! We love that you have upgraded your life by embracing your love of healthy food and documenting it to inspire others too.
Can you tell us why you started Daddelicious and what sort of recipes you share?
I started Daddelicious the day after my eldest son’s first birthday. My friends know I’ve always loved cooking and started asking me for some kid-friendly recipes, so it was a way of sharing them with my family and friends who had children and were lacking food inspiration. We all get stuck in a food-rut at times (including me!), and people just found it helpful for me to give them a few quick and easy ideas. I’d run my own marketing company for 10 years and sold it before Teddy was born, so decided to take the opportunity to be a stay at home dad for a couple of years. The blog was a way for me to stay sane and keep the creative cogs whirring! Everything I share is totally family friendly, refined sugar free, and most recipes can be eaten from the weaning stage onwards.
How important is healthy eating for you and your family?
Food provides the raw materials for our energy and growth, and good nutrition is essential for our development, especially for babies and children. I think it’s incredibly important to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet from the off, as well as setting good eating habits for the kids. Healthy doesn’t have to mean boring though – quite the opposite in fact! It’s about using proper, wholesome ingredients and bringing out their naturals flavours with additions like herbs and spices. The first 6 months of weaning is the time to get your little ones to try as many fruit and veg as possible, as well as introducing them to different flavours and taste combinations! I love this stage of feeding the family and am pretty enthusiastic about it – as you can probably tell!
What is your go-to recipe when you want something quick and easy for you all?
Pasta, pasta, pasta! My family are all total carb lovers! One of my favourite easy go-to meals is a simple spaghetti pomodoro – basically just a tomato sauce with lashings of garlic and basil, but I love to add a big chunk of creamy burrata on top. So easy to make, but tastes incredible!
Do you have a good recipe for a healthy treat that you can share with us?
As every parent knows, you tend to spend your life making snacks and treats for the kids. My best healthy treat tip is actually the easiest of them all and involves no cooking whatsoever! Get some Medjool dates, slit the sides, take the stones out, and add a teaspoon of peanut butter in the middle of each one. You could grate some chocolate over the top or sprinkle some freeze dried berries to make them fancy, or just eat them as they are. I always keep some in the fridge for a quick snack. Plus you feel good that they’re packed full of fibre, iron, magnesium, protein and vitamins, so you don’t feel bad about having one more.
More dads are taking shared responsibility for cooking – what advice would you have for dad’s who want to cook more?
If you’re not particularly confident in the kitchen I’d say definitely get yourself some good cookbooks for recipes to follow, or food magazines to cut out some recipes you fancy trying. Don’t try and be fancy with food, just start with simple dishes because these are often the best! It’s good to experiment with food but don’t be afraid to fail – I’ve made some absolute clangers of dishes before, ones the dog wouldn’t even touch. Places like Instagram, Pinterest etc are great places for inspiration, and lots of food bloggers (such as me!) include the recipes and make them easy to follow. Just get in the kitchen and have some fun. Try not to do it when you have time pressure though, as that’s when panic sets in and things can go wrong!
You have a growing Instagram following, have you found the dad community of Instagram #dadlife?
Instagram has been a fantastic place to meet new people – some I would now call good friends! Both dads and mums, but mostly parents living the #parentlife (if that’s a thing?). When people comment or message to say they’ve made my food and enjoyed it, it really spurs me on to share more recipes and help people. I have a particular interest in the early baby weaning stage which can be quite daunting at first, especially for us dads! But I hope I can help others who are in the same boat as me, and give them some insights and inspiration.
Is there anything else you want to share with parents that may want to upgrade their family meals?
Having some store-cupboard dry ingredient essentials is really important and allows you to not only whip up some quick and easy meals but totally change the flavours of simple dishes. A good variety of herbs and spices, sauces and condiments, grains and pasta, as well as tinned goods like legumes, tomatoes and coconut milk, all can make some good ingredients turn to amazing meals.