Name: Annabel Karmel
Never be short on food ideas for your little ones with Annabel’s Baby & Toddler Recipe App. With over 350 family recipes (and counting!), as well as a host of features, this is the must-have app for delicious mealtimes. Available via the app store or visit www.annabelkarmel.com for more information.
What is your favourite way to spend a Sunday?
I like spending time with my three dogs; a Samoyed puppy, a Spaniel and a Maltipoo. I like to go away with them to the country. Last weekend we went to a lovely hotel Bishopstrow House which has fantastic grounds. We arrived on Saturday and on Sunday I took all three dogs to Julia’s House a hospice for children with life limiting diseases in Wiltshire and we spent time with the children playing with the dogs. For me it’s such a pleasure to see the children’s eyes light up when they see the dogs. I think animals are amazing at helping children who are unwell by bringing so much joy into their lives.
Could you have pursued a different career?
Yes, in fact I did pursue a different career for about 10 years. I was a professional musician. I played the harp and I sang. Whilst studying I got jobs in London hotels playing the harp at teatime and I was talent spotted playing at the Savoy Hotel. I went on a big chat show playing jazz on the harp with a band and that led to an incredible career travelling around the world playing the harps and singing. I was even Cinderella in Pantomime with a harp in the kitchen! I loved my career but it came to an abrupt end when my first child Natasha died, which inspired me to start writing books on feeding babies as an ode to her. I felt very vulnerable as a mother who had lost a child and with a very fussy eating second child so I started compiling recipes together which ended up become my first book The Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner – I never could have imagined it would have gone on to sell six million copies worldwide!
Favourite wow moment in the last 10 years?
I think creating my app and seeing it become the bestselling Food & Drink app in the UK is my favourite wow moment – and that just keeps on giving! I put a huge amount of work into creating the app and it gives me so much joy to know that so many people are using it to help them feed their babies and children. We are constantly updating it and a brand new version will launch later this year which will be even bigger and better than ever!
One thing we didn’t know about you?
I gave birth to my second child on the staircase with my husband delivering him! My doctor had told me I was only in the early stages of labour, but he was clearly very wrong! We rang for an ambulance but no one came for over 2 hours and I was still attached to the baby by the cord by the time they did arrive. Luckily my second child Nicholas was fine but it was pretty stressful at the time to say the least!
Who is your favourite celebrity and why?
Sir David Attenborough. I am fascinated by nature and animals, and no one has explored these fields quite like him. I think it’s so crucial that mankind rediscovers how-to live in harmony with nature. Attenborough has made a huge impact on making us more aware of how to build a better future for our planet, for the sake of our children and our children’s children.
Favourite achievement to date:
Getting an MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2006 for my services to children’s nutrition.