The recipe and inspiration blog Matkoma.se is a lifesaver for many Swedish families with young children. The blog has inspiring recipes for everyday food, weekly menu plans and amazing pictures. It’s the brainchild of parents of twins, Joacim and Karolina Winqvist.
Since its launch in 2012, their blog averages 400-500 unique readers per day and was recently nominated for one of Sweden’s most prestigious food blog awards. Half of their readers are almost certainly parents of young children searching for inspirational life hacks and a quick-fix evening meal.
Less and less meat
The Matkoma philosophy is wholesome, everyday food cooked from scratch. The food is mostly vegetarian, with some fish. The blog is full of Matkoma original recipes, as well as links to other food bloggers and sources of inspiration. A unifying theme is the love of good produce. Nourishing for kids, simple for parents.
Nourishing for kids, simple for parents.
“It all started when we wanted to jump on the Meat Free Monday trend,” Joacim explains. “Then we tried out a vegetarian weekly menu plan with meat only on weekends, but we soon gave up meat on the weekend too. The more vegetarian food we eat, the less we feel like eating meat.”
“But we’re not total abstainers,” Karolina interjects. “The twins aren’t too excited about soy hot dogs, for example, so we buy meat hot dogs for them when we barbecue.”
From two to four
Joacim and Karolina met in an online hip hop chat room when they were both 16. Fast forward 17 years and they’re the annoyingly perfect family, with an active lifestyle and incredibly cute twins.
The twins are called Klara and Sixten. The fair-haired duo came as a huge shock to their parents.
“I had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), meaning I had many fluid-filled sacs on my ovaries that made ovulation more difficult,” explains Karolina. “There’s a pill you can take to help you ovulate.”
One of the side effects is a greater chance of having twins. So an extra ultrasound scan is carried out early on in the pregnancy.
One December morning in Week 29, the twins suddenly wanted out.
“Although we always knew why we were having the scan, somehow it still managed to slip our minds. When the midwife very confidently exclaimed ‘Yes, I can see another heart, congratulations!’ I had no idea what she was talking about. Another what? This is impossible, how will I manage? I can’t say I was exactly thrilled at first.”
But Karolina and Joacim got used to the idea and had a reasonably uneventful pregnancy. Until one December morning in Week 29, when the twins suddenly wanted out. Six hours later, the Winqvist family had doubled in size with the addition of two gorgeous 3lb 5oz babies. After a challenging start, with four weeks on the neonatal intensive care unit, the family was allowed home just after New Year’s.
The twins thrived and, with twice as many mouths to feed, Matkoma’s recipes for everyday food were a great help.
Weekly menu plans for easy everyday food
As the parents of young children – especially with twins – Joacim and Karolina understand the importance of planning. The weekly menu plans on their blog have been a popular and constant feature from the very beginning.
“But we’re really not one of those super families,” Joacim assures us. “Like all parents of young children, we get exhausted sometimes. The kids refuse to eat. One of them develops a sudden aversion to pasta. The other declares in a loud voice that mushrooms are yucky.”
Let your baby ‘bake’ with you.
“Our motto is ‘they must eat what’s on offer’ and we do our best to stick to it,” says Karolina. “They aren’t always great fans of our food, but I expect this will change as they grow older. If we make something that I know they don’t like – bulgur salad springs to mind – I make sure there’s crispbread on the table. Then they’ll eat something, at least, and no one has to nag. This makes a more pleasant mealtime for everyone.”
Don’t miss Part 2 next week, when the Matkoma Family from Sweden takes a trip and shares tips for fun food in the forest.
Text: Katarina Gröndahl
Tips for kitchen bliss
- Let your baby ‘bake’! Mixing flour, baking powder, milk, sugar and eggs in a bowl is great fun. You can bake the mixture into a kind of muffin! It may get a bit messy, with flour on the floor, but it will all be worthwhile when you see how proud your little one is of their cake.
- Put out a little plate of snacks. Klara learned to like carrots by crunching carrot sticks before the meal was ready.
The Matkoma Family
Joacim, 34, art director at an advertising agency. Likes baking bread, cycling and music. Karolina 33, professional communicator at a public transportation company. Likes coffee, DIY and yoga. Klara & Sixten, 5 years. Like popcorn, bathtimes and pretending to be cats.
When you don’t have much time: My best tip is to have grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. Tell the kids it’s a breakfast dinner – that sounds amazingly mixed-up! And you can smuggle all kinds of veggies into a grilled cheese sandwich.
Blog matkoma.se Instagram @matkoma.se