She’s a mother of four, a medical doctor and a food blogger who’s garnered a huge following on social media thanks to her scrumptious lunchboxes for her daughters.
Dr Philile Mdletshe from Johannesburg can do it all!
Her creativity has captured the hearts of many parents and she’s been generous about sharing her ideas and knowledge with her thousands of followers on Twitter and Instagram.
So when did her passion for food begin?
Philile, who’s originally from Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal, says she fell in love with cooking because of her late dad, who was a school principal.
“During the week my dad would cook us nice meals and I’d always be the one assisting him. My love for cooking grew from there,” she says.
She then became a boarder when she started high school and would always look forward to going home so that she could cook and try new dishes.
Little did she know that her passion would attract so much attention.
Philile, who goes by the name DrMomCooks on social media, began sharing a lot of food posts on Instagram and people kept asking her for recipes. So she decided to start her parenting, food and lifestyle blog, DrMomCooks.com.
Finding a balance isn’t only always easy, especially as a mother of four girls, twins Kea and Rea (7), Bokang (5) and Singethwe (3).
“It requires a lot of love, support, and patience. Fortunately, I have a great support system at home. My husband is a hands-on dad and my kids’ nannies are simply the best,” she says.
She blogs about a variety of meals and also hosts dinner parties, but her girls’ lunchboxes are always a winner.
She describes them as healthy, nutritious, filling and exciting. “My kids eat what we eat in the house. Most of their lunchboxes are a reflection of my household taste,” she tells us.
And because kids often get bored easily, she’s always coming up with new and exciting ways to package their meals in interesting and inviting ways.
Philile also finds that kids often gravitate to things that look cool and exciting. “To be honest, I just come up with the ideas as I go.”
She doesn’t keep track of how much she spends, but she does use less expensive alternatives. “And because the lunchboxes are an extension of what’s already in the house, it doesn’t feel like an extra cost.”
Her girls do finish the food except during those odd occasions.
“And because I’ve started involving them in the process of preparing these, the novelty has worn off a bit and under my guidance they’re slowly starting to be in control of what we pack for lunch,” she adds.
She says the response she’s received for her children’s lunchboxes have been overwhelming and unexpected.
“I was just going about randomly posting my everyday kid’s lunchboxes and the next thing I have so many people appreciating and loving what I’m doing,” she says.
“I love that a lot of parents are now starting to pack water or milk for their kids instead of juice and for me that’s been the greatest success story of my lunchbox series, also known as #TwinLunchBox.”
Tips for other parents who probably think they don’t have a lot of money to spend on the kids’ lunch:
Find and do what works for you and what you can afford. There are always reasonable alternatives and my ideas just serve as a guide.
Advice for parents whose kids don’t like eating their lunch at school or finish it:
Pay attention to what your kids’ habits are at home when it comes to food.
If they’re more fruit-inclined, pack more fruit while still keeping the balance. Not all kids like bread so find alternatives and involve them in the process by asking what they want to eat.
What you must always pack for your children:
Water, fruit and a healthy starch to sustain their energy levels throughout the day.