FQ’s commercial director Vanessa Bathfield on why coming together to cook as a family on Sundays is so important

4 July 2024
By Fashion Quarterly

"Don’t expect the final product to be perfect, but the memories will outweigh the mess and the imperfections."

Influenced largely by her French heritage, there was a lot of family time centred around the kitchen. Vanessa shares why it’s so important she passes down these traditions with her young family – including having son Jack involved in the process! 

Commercial director Vanessa Bathfield on motherhood:

What has been the most rewarding aspect of motherhood for you?

To experience another world of love and the constant joy of surprise as my boy learns and grows each and every day.

How do you balance the demands of parenting with your personal and professional life?

My partner and I heavily lean on each other as we are without family here in Auckland, however we have an amazing network of friends who assist us wherever and whenever they can. Multi-tasking, being efficient with your time and being organised is key! 

What advice would you give to new mums who are just starting their parenting journey?

Don’t have any expectations, always accept help and make time for yourself.

How do you handle the challenges and stresses that come with being a mum?

TLC. Whether it’s taking half an hour to go for a walk by myself, treating myself to a massage, shopping and splurging on the credit card, running a bath and reading a book – alone time is everything. Otherwise, for a quick fix – wine!

Do you enjoy cooking?

Cooking and baking is my therapy. Stemmed from my French heritage, I have always had a natural love for all foods. My parents have always made a big fuss about Sunday family dinners and spending the day cooking up a storm. We would always finish dinner on a Sunday with a cheese board and dessert, of course. I want to carry this tradition in my household with my family as they are some of my best childhood memories and the Ninja Foodi Smartlid Multi Cooker is the perfect appliance to recreate these memories.

Do you prefer cooking by yourself or with your kids?

I prefer cooking by myself as I never really follow a recipe and love how creative I can get with it. Baking on the other hand requires a recipe so I tend to do a lot of baking with my son as it’s easier to involve him, plus he’s a sucker for sweets!

How do you involve your children in the cooking process?

My son and I will go to the shops to buy the ingredients, then I’ll talk him through the process and ask him to get involved in the making by mixing the ingredients together, decorating the final product and of course, licking the spoon and cleaning the bowl!

What are some of your favourite recipes to make together as a family?

I love that I can whip up a cake in the space of minutes and let the Ninja Food Smartlid Multi Cooker work its magic on the steam setting, or airfry some chocolate chip cookies or entertain with a Sunday roast. It really is an all-in-one appliance.

What tips do you have for parents who want to start cooking with their kids but don’t know where to begin?

Give your kids options of what they’d like to cook/bake because they’ll likely be more interested and involved in the process and don’t expect the final product to be perfect, the memories will outweigh the mess and the imperfections.

Ninja Food Smartlid Multi Cooker

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