A Day in the Life of Michelle Stern

April 15th, 2011 at 12:12 pm
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Last week I launched a new series of posts called “A Day in the Life of…” and we kicked things off with Kelly Brozyna from The Spunky Coconut. In case you missed it, check out the fun interview here.

The Whole Family Cookbook by Michelle Stern

This week I’m happy to give you a peek into the life of Michelle Stern, founder of What’s Cooking with Kids, a certified green children’s cooking school in the San Fransisco Bay area. Michelle is the author of The Whole Family Cookbook: Celebrating the Goodness of Locally Grown Foods. My copy arrived last weekend and I’ve quickly fallen in love with her friendly writing style, tasty recipes (with the cutest names!), and overall nutritious approach to feeding and raising a healthy family. Watch this wonderful video to learn more about Michelle and her book.

Michelle Stern, author of The Whole Family Cookbook


What Michelle Eats

My/my family’s breakfast is usually something along the lines of: Fresh eggs, from our backyard hens, granola, yogurt or cereal.

If I’m hungry for a mid-morning snack, I usually reach for: A handful of nuts, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks or a cucumber.

I load my lunch plate with: Leftovers from dinner last night.

I never go a day without eating this: A cup of coffee…or a piece of chocolate.

In the afternoon, I nibble on: Whole grain crackers, cheese, nuts, a piece of fruit.

Dinner is usually something like: Something fresh and seasonal, based on a veggie that I picked up at the farmers’ market.

My 3 “desert island” foods (foods I couldn’t live without): Chocolate, a crunchy veggie (that I can eat raw) and chips.

A food that I used to not like but have grown to love: Brussels sprouts.

My ingredient obsession these days: Coconut oil.

How Michelle Lives

Location: San Francisco Bay Area.

My days start out with: Running around getting the kids ready and then taking them to two different schools.

An average day for me looks like this: Kid chauffeur, e-mail/social networking, writing, promoting my new book (via phone and email), scheduling cooking classes, dog walker, kid chauffeur, snack maker, dinner maker, homework helper, more writing/emailing/ then falling into bed.

When I’m feeling stressed I: Try to go walk the dogs longer…and breathe in the fresh air. Or eat chocolate.

Top 3 healthy habits I try to keep every day: Eat real food for snacks, walk the dogs, eat dinner with my family.

In my spare time I like to: Work in the garden, spend time with adult friends.

Michelle’s Favorites

Favorite food: Mexican.

Favorite book: The Secret Life of Bees.

Favorite cookbook: Can I say my own? The Whole Family Cookbook???

Favorite place to visit: I love driving through West Marin, although I love to travel to exotic locations (and the rainforest!).

Favorite pastime: Cooking, photography.

Favorite form of exercise: Hiking with the dogs.

Favorite quote: It’s better to try and fail than to fail to try.

Favorite song, artist, or type of music: I love the Indigo Girls, James Taylor.

Favorite color: Green.

Other Stuff About Michelle

When I’m in need of recipe inspiration I: Go to my friend’s websites/blogs.

When I don’t feel like cooking I: Whine…

My favorite place to pick up plates, napkins, and other fun tableware is: I am too cheap to buy new things, but I like second hand stores, Cost Plus or Anthropologie (if budget were not an issue).

To treat myself I: Spend time with a friend or go out to lunch.

To relax I: Read or flip through a cookbook or magazine.

Michelle’s Tips & Tricks

Time-saving kitchen tip: Wash and dry all of my lettuce right after I buy it, so it’s ready to go.

Top 3 ways to eat well on a budget:

  1. Eat in season
  2. Buy in bulk
  3. Plan meals in advance and only buy what I need

My motto for when life is busy and stressful: I have the power to make things better.

My advice for those just getting started on the path to healthy eating: Don’t be too hard on yourself. Pick one or two things to change and work on those. Don’t add more “to your plate” until you are comfortable with what you have already started.

My motto for life in general: It’s up to us to teach our children how to care for their bodies and the planet.


  1. Hi Michelle,

    My name is Grace and I am from Australia. I read your story of how you were previously a biology teacher and then you started your own cooking school consequent to your passion for food and kids and I have to say I was truly inspired. For a long time I was confused with what I wanted to do for my career but after reading your story I realised that’s exactly what I want to do. I’ve always loved kids and I also have a passion for food. You have truly inspired me to want to be like you. I am a student who is about to commence a teaching degree. I would like to finish this degree but my long term goal is to open up my own cooking school for kids just as you have. I was just wandering where would a person like me start and what skills would I need to acquire??should I gain a stable job before working towards opening my own cooking school? what would you reccommend….Is it all worthwhile….what are your tips and advice??I thought you would be the best person to ask, hope you don’t mind me bombarding you with questions.

    Kind regards….
    Grace. :)

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I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.