Lucky Things Inspire: Interview with Milly Cundall, founder of Kidchup

Well, one of my career mantras is that one connection always leads to another. You may have seen the recent Daddy Cool interview with Rod “Spin Doctor” Gilmore. Rod talked about how his wife Milly is a cool cook. Guess what, Milly is also launching Kidchup, a new healthy ketchup for kids (and grown-ups if they’re happy to share it). So I had to do a Mummy Cool interview with Milly. Here’s what she had to say to Lucky Things blog about family life in Highbury, fussy eaters and success…

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetWhat do you love about where you live? I live in Highbury in London. I’m a bit of a home bod so, sad but true, one of my favourite things about our flat is having a decent sized kitchen to potter about in. We have a great garden which although small is the perfect space for our two-year old son Archie to let off steam. He loves using the garden hose to put out the imaginary fires that seem to constantly break out on our lawn. We’re also lucky enough to have two decent sized parks within walking distance which Archie loves tearing around with me chasing behind.

 

Apart from being a mummy, what’s your day job? I’m a Social Media consultant for chefs and food brands.

So what’s Kidchup all about? Kidchup came about because I wanted to create a guiltfree, 100% natural ketchup for Archie. He was going through a particularly fussy eating stage when he was one-ish and meal times had become a daily battle. Nothing was working. We were on a weekend away and he was refusing to eat. I ordered a plate of chips for myself and, next thing I knew, he was leaning over helping himself happily dunking them in ketchup. I quickly saw the merit of ketchup but was also well aware the high levels of sugar in it. When we got back I couldn’t find a ketchup with no refined sugar or sweeteners that tasted good so I set about trying to create my own.

Why do you feel passionate about creating Kidchup? I’m passionate about kids eating well and having healthy options. I’m a mum, I know only too well the daily pressure to do what’s right for them whilst juggling everything else and inevitably feeling guilty about some of the food choices you may have to make on the fly. Meal times aren’t always easy and as a parent in order to stay sane you often have to compromise on your idea of perfect and do what you gotta do to make it through the day relatively unscathed. There’s no getting away from the fact kid’s love ketchup. Once I’d created my own a friend then suggested other parents maybe interested in actually buying Kidchup and the journey began. My hope is it offers an alternative to the often sugar laced stuff currently on shelves but equally helps make meal times tasty, enjoyable and fun for all involved. It’s also my hope that in it’s small way Kidchup helps encourage more dialogue around what our kids eat and the amount of sugar still being peddled to them in various ways by major brands.

What challenges did you have to overcome to get Kidchup going? I wanted to create a great tasting ketchup that contained no added salt or refined sugar which flies slightly in the face of convention. It was a real challenge finding a way to sweeten it naturally without syrups or concentrates and it took months of experimenting but I got there! The other challenges have been finding the time, making ends meet and battling self doubt. Taste is a massively subjective thing and it’s impossible to create something that everyone will universally love which as a feeder proved tricky to initially wrap my head around but I get that now. Also, putting something out with your name on it and opening yourself up to criticism is a real test of your grit.

What is the inspiration for your new Kidchup adventure? Archie and my husband Rod. Archie was the reason this whole thing started, he loves Kidchup which has spurred me on in the hard times because it truly is my hope that other little ones love it too.

What’s your top tip for parents and carers when it’s mealtime for the little ones? I learnt this the hard way but if your kid is being fussy don’t react. Don’t get into battle mode. Feigning indifference is the key. I spent months locking horns with Archie, close to tears after cooking another meal from scratch he point blank refused to even try then offering alternatives and it was awful. Now I don’t, if he doesn’t want what I’ve cooked or plays games there’s no option B.

What’s your favourite recipe for your son? These corn flake crumb fish fingers are a firm favourite. One for the weekend when you have a bit more time and little ones can help out… 

What has your son taught you about life? I’m a complete control freak. Archie has, thankfully, forced me to see that not everything can be planned for. Rather than constantly planning life in minuscule detail I now allow myself, most the time, to get lost a little more in the moment. He’s also taught me the need for a lot of patience.

You recently got married (congrats!) What’s your top tip for organising a wedding? Pay someone else to do it. We did it all and we were lucky enough to be able to rope in some great mates to help and thankfully the day went seamlessly but it was incredibly stressful in the lead up especially with a two-year old in tow.

What’s your favourite childhood memory? There are many but one is the big family Christmases we used to have at my grandma’s house.

What’s your motto when things get a bit tough?  You fail your way to success – failure is an important part of life’s learning curve but if you don’t give it a go you’ll never know and what ifs are worse.

What’s one of your favourite me-treats? I don’t do this enough but I would say seeing mates for dinner which always helps top up the sanity levels.

What would your dream weekend be? Eating great tapas in Barcelona.

What music and tunes are you listening to at the moment? I’m listening to a lot of Drake, The Roots, Nas and some Erik Satie (of course!)

What are your three lucky things? My family, my friends and my health.

Thanks to Milly who made time for Lucky Things considering she must have been busy with their recent wedding celebrations!

Don’t forget to sign up here so you don’t miss out on the latest launch news about Kidchup. Don’t forget to check out the rest of Milly’s food and lifestyle blog. You’ll be able to buy Kidchup through Milly’s website in the near future.

millycundall.com

Instagram: @millyskidchup

If you’re around London on August Bank Holiday, Kidchup will also be launched at FUN DMC at Cargo, Shoreditch EC2 on Monday 29th August 2016. FUN DMC is the daytime hip hop party for kids and grown-ups. It’s organised by Milly’s husband Rod “Spin Doctor” and their talented friend Charlie Dark. Get your tickets online here.

There will also be a BBQ at FUN DMC so we’re looking forward to trying some Kidchup with our burgers whilst hearing some of our favourite 90s hip hop tunes. If only Big Munch knew that her Daddy named her old comforter bunny Big Poppa after a favourite hip-hop artist. The mums at her nursery have recently joked about how the three-year olds’ Stretch’n’Grow class has turned out to be a mix of story time lyrics and breakdance moves. So maybe FUN DMC will also be a good opportunity for Big Munch to show off her latest dance moves (and for me to dust off mine if I’m not too busy at the FUN DMC colouring-in table).

So Lucky Things crew, what did you like about the interview with Milly? What are your favourite foods for dipping into ketchup?  What’s your favourite recipe to accompany some Kidchup? If you’ve struggled with mealtimes for toddlers and children, do you have any other tactics for helping with little fussy eaters?  Leave a comment below and share some Kidchup love…

I can’t wait to introduce Kidchup to Big Munch, I’m sure she will love it. Enjoy Lucky Things crew, thanks for stopping by.

x Sunita

Photo featured in this post has been provided by Milly Cundall and published with permission.

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