Julia Bailey, like most new mothers, wanted to feed her children healthy, organic, nutritional food that they also actually liked to eat. She perfected her recipes and started Julia’s Child, a health food company that provides snacks and meals geared toward toddlers. Along with her only employee, Marta, Julia shares office space with other small business owners, rents an industrial kitchen to cook the food at night, and pounds the pavement in Brooklyn to get her product on shelves. When she’s not working, she tries to spend time with her husband Luke and their boys Jasper and Wylie.
After Julia appears on a nationwide talk show – think The View – she catches the attention of Whole Foods, who wants to stock her muffets (as in Little Miss, who sat on her tuffet) on a trial basis. She starts spending more time and money trying to meet their demands and begins to wonder if she can really handle a large distribution. Her partnership with Whole Foods also gets her into an organic trade show where she’s approached by a corporation that purchases small brands with potential. Julia realizes it’s all or nothing – sell her business to this corporation, or throw in the towel.
Author Sarah Pinneo is also a cookbook author and certain chapters of Julia’s Child end with a recipe, usually one that’s related to what happened in the chapter. When the talk show host proclaims her daughter loves the apple and cheddar muffets, the recipe is provided. Instructions on how to make gingerbread play-doh follow Julia keeping her toddler busy while she made dinner. The recipes are easy to follow and are tailored to a mom trying to cook with a toddler underfoot, so include ways the toddler can help.
There are a few minor plots that have potential but kind of peter out – a hypocritical neighbor who has banned food in the playroom, the Italian man who rents Julia freezer space has more influence on the stores that carry her products than she realizes. While Julia is well developed, I’d have liked to learn more about Marta and how she came to be a welfare mom before Julia hired her. Luke is a bit too perfect and supportive of Julia, always ready with a glass of wine but not much in the way of helpful advice. Her kids are well aware that Julia works too much but when Jasper starts refusing to eat the muffets, Julia misses the obvious reason that he’d rather have his mom than the muffets.
Julia’s Child is a fun fictitious look into the life of a “mompreneur” and I think most moms will relate to her – if you don’t agree with her strict organic, natural attitudes toward food, I’m sure you know someone who does.
Nancy isn’t much of a cook but she sure likes to eat. She writes about her 2 boys, books and life in Colorado at Life With My Boys and Books.