Learn to make healthful meals and treats; balance life, family and fun; and how to enjoy the process!
Q: What was the inspiration behind the launch of Sage Spoonfuls, a healthy, homemade baby food system?
A: I had the idea after my first child, Royce, was born. At the time, I was on NBC’s Passions and didn’t have the desire or time needed to start my own company. When my second child, Brendan, was born 2 months premature, that was my game changer. He spent over 6 weeks in the NICU and fought for his life the first 2 weeks. I knew then and there that I didn’t want to go back to work and leave him in the care of anyone else. He needed me not just for love and comfort, but for survival.
After Brendan was home for about 6 months and really started to thrive, I began thinking about work again. I never forgot my idea for Sage Spoonfuls and had been thinking about it a lot. I decided to make a total career switch from actress to entrepreneur so I could be home with my kids. The two years I stayed home with Royce and Brendan are when Sage Spoonfuls was born. It’s one of the best decisions I ever made.
When we first launched, I thought it would be a small boutique brand, but it took off very quickly and has become a major national brand. We’re now going international as well. It’s an amazing feeling. I’m very proud of Sage Spoonfuls and what I’m building with my team.
Q: We know, first-hand, the challenges and the triumphs that come with running one’s own business. What, to you, has been the most exciting part? What about the most challenging?
A: For me, the most exciting part is the amazing feedback we get from our customers. When a parent tells us that they never thought they could make their own baby food, but took a chance because Sage Spoonfuls makes it easy and now they cook for their kids all the time. That’s the greatest compliment we could ever get.
The most challenging part of running my own business is staying focused. I work from home, because I want to be with my kids as much as possible, but it’s very hard to stay on task with constant interruption. It’s so difficult to stay focused when you wish you could be in two places at once.
Q: What is the best advice you received when you were launching Sage Spoonfuls?
A: During our first year, I had the great fortune to spend some time with one of my idols, Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. She told me the most important thing as an entrepreneur is to not be afraid to fail. Failing is how we learn and get better. If we don’t fail, we don’t grow. I’ve never forgotten that amazing piece of advice and I am forever grateful for the time I got to spend with Sara. What she has accomplished is truly inspiring.
Q: Many of our readers know you and your mom from your acting and television careers. Your mom, Susan Lucci, is so beautiful — and she truly is the “Queen of Daytime TV.” We love her! Will you share a favorite lesson you learned from growing up with a famous mom who had such an important career that you are now applying to your own life?
A: She always said, “Find something you love to do and make it your life’s work.”
Q: You seem fearless and confident and so unfailingly positive in your outlook. How would you complete this sentence: Never be afraid to….?
A: Never be afraid to make a mistake. Just don’t make the same mistake twice. Learn, grow and move on.
Q: When other moms ask you how you do it, how you balance family, work, and mange to prepare healthful, delicious meals, what is the best “quick” answer you can give?
A: I truly believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Q: You exude positivity and love. We want you to know that we are also inspired by your son, Brendan, who has Cerebral Palsy and whom you call “your little warrior.” What life lessons have you learned from him?
A: Thank you so much. Brendan has taught me a lot about life. His level of strength and perseverance inspire me every day. This child never gives up and he has no fear. He just does what it takes. I couldn’t be more proud of him.
Q: You recently moved to New England, what inspired this change of pace and place?
A: Moving to New England has probably been the best decision we've ever made for our family. We had been back in our hometown for 9 years and as much as we love our family and friends, it was time for a change. None of us were really happy there anymore. While so much of what we love was there, at the same time, so much of what we love was not there.
Lakes and mountains are our happy place. I can feel the stress leave us when we’re in that environment. Our oldest is 9 years old, he’s halfway through his time with us before going off to college. Time is flying and we want to try and slow it down. We want our kids’ childhood to be as stress free as possible. There was a lot of noise in our lives and not enough quiet.
Since we moved, we have all felt happier than we have in a long time. It was the right choice for us and I’m so incredibly grateful to be in this beautiful environment every single day.
Q: You are an ardent advocate for organic, green and non-toxic living. What is another favorite way for you to express this, beyond the way you feed your family?
A: As important as organic food is, green living really goes beyond food. It’s an overall lifestyle. It’s your cleaning products and your beauty products as well. They can be full of chemicals that cause many adverse effects on our bodies over time. It’s also making the choice to turn off the devices as much as possible and get outside.
Q: If you were to pack a family-picnic and head to the beach this weekend, what would be on the menu / “in the basket?”
A: Whenever we pack up for a day at the lake, I always pack fresh fruit, cheese sticks, some organic crackers and homemade smoothies in our Sage Spoonfuls Sage Squeezes. Of course, there’s also usually a beer or two for me and Alex as well. We love Peak Organic Citrus.
Q: What is your family’s favorite recipe? And, do you have any advice on how to get picky eaters on board?
A: My family loves my roast chicken and veggies. It’s probably their favorite meal. As far as picky eating goes, I have always found that it’s not really about the food. It’s about control. Keep persevering, they’ll eventually grow out of it. Try and find 3 healthy things that your picky eater will actually eat and sneak some veggies in.
For example, if it’s pasta, try blending some broccoli, cauliflower, peas or butternut squash into the sauce. Or, if your little one loves yogurt, try blending some fresh berries into vanilla yogurt rather than buying yogurt with the fruit already in it.
Veggies like sweet potato and butternut squash are also yummy mixed into yogurt. For protein, try blending hemp seeds into their yogurt, smoothies or pasta sauce. They won’t taste it and it’s an excellent source of nutrition. Most kids will eat anything in popsicle form too, so making homemade popsicles with fresh fruit and veggies can also be a home-run. I have lots of great homemade popsicle recipes on our website as well as on our Facebook and Instagram.
We love what we have learned from the beautiful - inside and out - Liza Huber. Stop and smell the roses, live authentically, love your family, try new things, experience nature, go for happy. And all the while, maybe try some Sage Spoonfuls for you and your family along the way!