A Conversation With Miriam Cooper: Mimi's Bowl

I discovered Mimi’s Bowl when my youngest child was born in 2019.  Having two older children I thought I was pretty clued up when it came to what and how to feed my children, but after quite a big age gap I wanted some up to date tips on feeding babies.  Miriam’s account has since become one of my go to Instagram accounts for food inspiration and guidance.  Miriam founded Mimi’s Bowl after her daughter was born in 2014 and it has a wealth of brilliant family friendly recipes and cooking tips.  I’m delighted that Miriam has taken the time to answer a few questions.



Thank you so much for the lovely intro and asking me to take part in this Q+A for Littlest Luxuries. One of the great joys of being online and sharing food ideas, has been connecting with other like-minded parents to try and tackle the problem of “what’s for dinner tonight” … If that is bringing you out in a panic for this very evening, then I hope I can tell you more about Mimi’s Bowl and why I wanted to build an online community, around sharing recipes and ideas for family meals.  


 Lucy: What are your go to family meals?
Miriam: This is a hard one as because of the nature of what I do no two weeks are the same – I am constantly testing recipes on my family. The benefit has been that there is plenty of variety in our weekly meal plans and we haven’t ever really got stuck in a “food rut”. I always recommend trying one new recipe a week for parents looking to add variety into the weeks’ meals.
Some of our most popular recipes on the website:
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Mimi’s Leek and Fish Pie
Lentil “Bolognese” and Spaghetti
Turkey and Apricot Burgers
Healthy Baked Beans on Toast


I love cooking especially for my family, but I find deciding what to cook every night quite a chore.  Do you plan out your weekly meals in advance?  Any tips?

I do. Dedicating 30 minutes to a weekly meal plan, from Monday-Friday is a must for me. On the weekends I am a lot less structured, as I have more time. I think that approach of 5 planned days and 2 more spontaneous ones is a good one. I always try and include one new recipe. A seasonal chart, or seasonal veg box is a great way to find inspiration and plan some fun twists on favourite family recipes.



Do you do an online weekly grocery shop?  If so, what do you always add to basket?
Yes, for convenience. For me it’s the best way of sticking to a meal plan and keeping control of our food budget. Prices have increased so much generally for food I am conscious of planning our meals carefully to prevent over-spending. I always try and check what we have in the kitchen already. I like to keep a cupboard of good quality jarred beans and lentils, pasta, tinned tomatoes, rice, noodles, oats, nuts and seeds.
In my food cart at checkout, I always have plenty of vegetables (cucumbers, peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green beans), good quality Greek yogurt and whole milk and organic eggs. My splurges are usually artisan bread, and fermented foods (like sauerkraut or kimchi).



It’s hard when you have younger children to eat evening meals together as a family as the little ones often eat very early.  It can be exhausting to have to cook twice.  Do you have any suggestions? 

It really is, I try to plan recipes (and write recipes) that I can serve for an earlier/ and later sitting. My children are always hungry and ready for supper at 5pm and we eat at around 7.30pm. On the weekends we eat together and enjoy that extra time we have as a family.



How do you come up with your recipe ideas?

I truly love cooking and food, so for pleasure I am always reading cookbooks and saving recipe inspiration online. Seasonal food has a big sway on how I cook.

I get a lot of ideas at my late mother’s house in Kent. She planted a beautiful orchard and vegetable garden, there are poly tunnels for growing tomatoes, peppers, chillies, grapes and citrus. I am in awe of what a beautiful garden she created. I get great comfort being there with my children in the wake of her death.  I can’t help but be inspired by the ingredients grown there and there is no greater pleasure then spending weekends, or holidays there and cooking food picked straight from the garden. For me that is real luxury.



My first baby was born in 2010 (pre Instagram!) and I followed a traditional spoon fed weaning approach with purees.  When my youngest was born in 2019 I tried a combined approach of baby-led weaning and traditional purees.  She is a good eater, but I have to admit I found the levels of mess quite stressful!  Do you have any tips on managing this for those starting on the weaning journey?

For me the laundry (after the mess) was the mountain to climb! It is hard one to answer as babies are naturally curious with food, it is sensory process and mess is part of it. Getting a good wipeable chair, handheld hoover and embracing it are the best tips I can offer. It is a short window and I now sort of miss the mess and my children’s feeding journeys.



Which are your favourite London restaurants for family meals out?

The River Café has been the scene of so many beautiful memories, the food speaks for itself.

One of my mother’s favourite restaurants was Sally Clarkes, so that holds special memories of her.


And finally for date nights?

My husband and I are homebodies by nature, so we’d be at home. Good food and red wine for me, a chance to catch up. He has a great sense of humour, so we’d probably be laughing at our own jokes. A great movie and an early night!


Thank you so much Miriam.








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