Laura Fuentes remixes the old American school lunch

Laura Fuentes had something good going when she created MOMables, a healthy alternative to all the junk out there parents seeking the easy method give their children.

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When you were first married, what foods from Spain did you introduce to your husband?

Extra Virgin First Press Olive oil, Manchego cheese, and Bonito. We went to Spain to visit my family, and I told him that a good Spanish house should never run out of those three basic things. To this day, I bring 5 liter cans of olive oil made with grandfather’s olives and several 1kg cans of Bonito del Norte. The quality is second to none and it doesn’t compare to what I find here in the US.

What part of Spain are you from, and what is unique about the food in your area?

I was born and raised in Madrid but I discovered my love for Spanish food as an adult in my many trips to Spain with my husband and kids being a tourist. Madrid hosts some of the best tapas bars in the country and I love the variety of food they offer. Some of my favorite dishes are Gambas al Ajillo, Jamon Serrano, Tortilla Española, and Gazpacho. Madrid, being the capital, perhaps offers the most diverse and varied dishes from the rest of Spain. I love being able to find everything in one place.

What is the most annoying thing you’ve heard people say about Spanish food in the USA, other than the number of people who confuse it with Mexican food?

“Is your food spicy?” No, Spanish food isn’t spicy. The food in Spain is often minimally seasoned so you can taste the freshness of the ingredients. People in Spain pride themselves of how fresh the food is.

A common misbelief is people don’t have time to cook for their families. I disagree; you do it, and people did it for many years just fine. There is more to life than frozen food, but people are afraid! How are you working to change the American attitude towards fresh cooking for their loved ones?

I believe that food marketing in America reinforces the belief that “we are too busy to cook” and thus it’s ok to sacrifice the quality of the food we eat for convenience. In America, people associate “fresh food” with “made from scratch” and therefore, they think making fresh food will take a long time.

As a full time working mother of 3, I know how difficult it can be to cook every meal at home. My mission is show people that real food can be convenient. With MOMables, I help parents feed their families fresh (and real) food. I initially began encouraging them to make their school (and office) lunches homemade, but now I cover all other meals of the day including snacks. The recipes I develop for my websites and meal plans, my cookbooks, my videos on youtube, and even podcasts are all designed to empower parents to cook more fresh food for their families. When we feel good about the food we eat, our health and our attitude towards food changes.

Somewhere out there, someone wants to create a food business such as yourself. It could be a young single father. Anyone. What are the steps to forming a successful food related business?

Whether it’s food or any other type of business, I believe you have to be passionate about what you do. My passion for feeding our children fresh food ignites creativity and it also energizes me to work an insane amount of hours. When I’m not focused on work, I’m 100% focused on my family.

I’m not sure if I took the “right steps” to grow my own business. It’s not like I told myself to “apply everything you learned in your MBA program.” What I have done is shared my vision with everyone I’ve met.

Do your MOMables meal plans take other concerns into consideration, such as gluten free, vegetarian, diabetic, children’s cancer or other needs, in a different newsletter?

Both the Classic and Grain Free Meal Plans address specific dietary needs like gluten free, nut free, dairy free and other dietary needs. Their purpose is to gradually introducing new foods into a family’s tried-and-true recipe rotation. By doing it slowly and methodically, kids become more open to trying new things, one is able to minimize potential allergic reactions, and keep food costs to a minimum. The meal plans are delivered via email to our paid members.

What do your children love the most out of all your MOMables meals?

They love that most meals are pictured. This helps them visualize a new food and they often go through the archives to find new favorites or suggest ingredient substitutions.

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