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Meet Yael Friedman of Kitch’N Giggles in Carthay Circle

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yael Friedman.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Yael. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started as a pastry chef. I spent years working my way through some of LA’s great restaurants. I finally decided to leave that world when I was pregnant with my 3rd child. That was when I changed my focus from cooking to nutrition. I’m a big believer in the impact that diet has on physical and mental health, especially once I became a parent. So, I went back to school to study nutrition education. My goal was to help people make better food choices, specifically when it came to their young children.

As a parent of young children though, I know the struggle. Feeding young, picky eaters takes a lot of patience and energy. I was lucky to have years of working in restaurants with over 400 covers each night, but I wanted to use those skills to help others. So, I started Kitch’N Giggles, which is a meal kit for busy families. I create kid friendly, healthy, vegetarian recipes. Then I prep all of the ingredients in a very easy to use meal kit. My goal is to bring families together in the kitchen.

I’d love to see the next generation have a strong foundation for cooking, and an interest in exploring in the kitchen. I believe that that more confident you are in your cooking skills, the easier it is for you to make healthy choices. And the healthier choices we all make, the better off we are as a society.

Has it been a smooth road?
There have been many bumps along the way. Like many people who come up with a new, exciting idea, I really thought that families would LOVE to get their hands on a meal kit. I thought that parents were desperate for a tool to get their kids engaged in healthy eating. But that actually wasn’t the case. I was and still am, met with a lot of resistance. I’m asking people to change their behavior and their attitude toward feeding their kids. And that’s a lot to ask. So, it’s really been a struggle for me to connect with the people whom I’d most like to help.

As a parent myself, I understand the pressure to feed kids well, while working with limited time and energy. As a former kitchen professional, I’ve learned all of the tricks to make dinner service go smoothly. So, I know first hand that it is possible to cook healthy food with your children.

With the Safer at Home measures, it’s also become difficult to get my message out. I had to postpone so many of my hands-on workshops. But I’m still cooking every day. My young daughters and I make lunch and live stream it. We’re trying to show the world that cooking healthy meals with preschool aged children is possible. And once you can get your hands on the meal kit, it’s also easy.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My business is still growing. Right now, we’re not offering our meal kit service, but our fully illustrated recipe cards are available.What we do is help busy families teach their young children the skills necessary for a lifetime of healthy eating. The best way to do this is through hands on engagement, especially in the food preparation. So, all of our recipe cards are completely illustrated, since the majority of our audience can’t read yet.

Giving kids more control in the kitchen, is what makes us different. This isn’t a meal kit with child friendly foods. And it’s not something you can throw in the microwave and serve as a healthy snack. These are super fresh ingredients that your child can actually turn into a meal. We also emphasize working on fine motor skills, learning to wait your turn and practicing following directions. These are all important life skills that young kids can master through cooking.

Since our recipe cards are all illustrated, kids aren’t helpers. They’re actually in control. They can figure out what they’re supposed to do without waiting for instructions for an adult. That’s really what sets us apart from other nutrition education systems, or meal prep companies. This is all about getting the kids involved and giving them more choice and more control in cooking.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes! LA is full of chefs, fresh produce and people looking for healthy living. But it’s also a huge city, where it’s overwhelming to set yourself apart from all of the other exciting, creative and new ideas. That’s really the double edge sword of living in such a large, vibrant city. There are so many opportunities for you, but there are also a lot of people looking for opportunities.

I often wonder if this business would do better in a smaller city. It would probably be a lot easier to grow an audience, but it would also limit your ability to grow. I feel that in LA, anything is really possible, you just have to keep trying for it.

In business, it’s really all about connections. If you have the right connections in LA, or you’re willing to do the work and make those connections, then they sky is really the limit for you.

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