Momma Stories featuring Leena Saini
A self professed foodie and former lawyer turned lemons into lemonade. Leeni Saini, took her family gift and created a beautiful cookbook that is sure to turn picky eaters into foodies. Each recipe has it’s own unique flavor profile that tells one well crafted journey of the impact of her families cooking had on her. I was inspired by her determination to redefine her mother role. As she faced the problem of bland baby foods head on while turning it into a mission for her to explore the world of flavors. Listen as she turned a problem into purpose…
Without further ado, I introduce Leena Saini…
1.) Tell us a little about yourself? And, what inspired you to begin your blogging career? What PUSHED you to write your fabulous cookbook?
I am a lawyer turned mother turned cookbook author. Prior to motherhood I practiced civil defense litigation and government prosecution in upstate New York. The career, however, slowly munched away at my soul and I knew I needed to switch gears. I moved to New York City, took a job at a law school, and discovered my inner foodie, slowly eating my way through all the diverse cuisines NYC had to offer.
After getting married and having my daughter Kirina (now age 5), I discovered that she refused to eat bland foods. I was disheartened that she wasn’t enjoying the eating experience as I had hoped. I then tapped into my love of food and started using spices, seasonings and diverse ingredients from around the world in cooking for Kirina. The well-seasoned meals were a hit and nurturing tiny taste buds became an obsession!
I began researching cookbooks and scholarly articles and interviewing parents from around the world about what they feed their babies. I also searched for multicultural baby food cookbooks, but there were none, so I simply started creating diverse meals for Kirina on my own. Nearly 100 recipes later, a book was born! “Around the World in 80 Purees” features world recipes and ideas for incorporating herbs and spices into homemade baby food. It’s the first book of it’s kind on the shelves.
Raising an adventurous eater and making baby food taste better is a topic I am most passionate about. I have finally found my life’s calling and I hope to enliven little taste buds one bite at a time!
Check out these FREE downloadable recipe cards!
2.) What obstacles have you overcome to launch your book? What keeps you going at the end of the day?
As a stay-at-home mom, it’s always a challenge to write/cook/blog around two energetic children. Often you are just trying to keep up with the busy routine of the day. You have to be creative with your time, as a parent, when working on your own projects. Waking up before my family in the morning and also naptime were essential, quiet times of the day to be productive. The passion you have for your project, finding something you truly love doing, will keep you driven and motivated to get out of bed in the morning. As for life in general, the love of my family will always keep me going. They come before anything else.
3) How many children do you have? What lessons has your child (ren) taught you? How has it impacted/ changed your life?
I have two sweet children, Kirina, age 5, and Ela, age 2½. I’ve learned the importance of parental influence on young children. You, as a parent, are entrusted and in charge of introducing them to the world, everything from manners, to values, to food habits. Children are like sponges and absorb everything, so it’s important to be a great role model for them. When it comes to food, I am happy that the constant exposure to diverse, cultural cuisines and flavors, has had a really big impact on their eating habits. I have two children who are adventurous and enjoy eating diverse food.
4.) What’s the BEST part about motherhood to you?
Definitely the joy, giggles and cuddles I get from my little ones. At the end of the day we all snuggle under a blanket and read books together. They, along with my husband, have given me a sense of family again, something I never thought I’d be able to find again after my mom passed away 11 years ago. Children are so trusting and unconditional in their love and it means a lot to me when they call my name looking for a hug or some comfort.
5.) What’s the HARDEST part about motherhood?
The biggest adjustment is not always having time to yourself, whether it is to just rest when you want or work when you want. Being responsible, 24/7, for a little one’s life, can be pretty stressful and scary, especially with your first child. I think the transition from working outside the home to staying at home was also an adjustment for me, especially in terms of losing the regular adult interaction I had with my peers in an office setting.
6.) Any advice for Moms (or soon-to-be-Moms)?
Be patient with yourself and expect things to move a little slower. The chores (laundry, dishes, etc.) will always be there and eventually get done. It’s not worth stressing over the little things. As long as your children are loved and fed, you’ve had a successful day! It gets easier and you become more confident in your parenting abilities as your little ones get older.
7.) Any words of wisdom that you would leave to mothers that have a dream but, a little too afraid to step out and start it?
Life is short! Do what you love! I’m of the firm belief that having a passion in life and pursuing that passion makes your soul happy. Don’t give up until you find what that is. I’ve practiced law, worked as a law school administrator and not until I had my children did I discover just how passionate I am about food and children. It might take several tries and ideas, but once you find what you love doing, everything falls into place. As much as possible, be patient and optimistic. It’s certainly harder when you have little ones, but absolutely possible to find your own work bliss.
It doesn’t matter when you start to step out in your own work bliss. What excuses are holding you back? As Leena said, “Life is too short!” If you are afraid of taking that step and finding your getting in your own way. Please do not hesitate. There is no time like the present for you to walk into what God is calling you to become. Someone out there is desperately waiting to hear the voice and you are remaining silent.
This book will propel you to take the leap! Around the World in 80 Purees is the ideal cookbook for parents who want to prepare nutritious and flavorful foods for their baby and raise more adventurous, less fussy eaters. With it, infants and toddlers alike will be able to travel the world without ever leaving the comfort of their high chair. As the flavors from around the world will awaken the inner foodie in your own child. Order your copy today here! Click the picture below….
You can catch up with Leena Saini as she is a lifelong foodie and has written about global baby foods for the “Baby Center” and on the food blog “Eat, Drink, Better”. She is a contributor on masalamommas.com and Sally’s Place. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children. Find her online at masalababyfood.com.
Oh, you don’t want to miss out on these FREE downloadable recipe cards. So, please download them today to try out these delicious recipes. Give your little one the taste of these extraordinary enticing recipes that are inspired by dishes across the globe. You can get it here today!
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About Syreeta Gordon
Syreeta Gordon is a mom blogger, virtual assistant, freelance content writer and social media strategist. Her hope is to guide women and families by educating, inspiring, and guiding mothers to make sound decisions in their life’s journey. Where they will receive assistance in guiding them to attain their life’s goa