We had the pleasure to chat with Sarah Blackwood and Gianni Luminati from Juno Award-winning band Walk Off the Earth, to talk about their life as band mates, parents to Giorgio and Luigi, and balancing their busy lives at home and on the road. Here’s what they had to say!
Talk to us a little bit about what band life is like these days, and how it feels to be new parents.
Sarah: We love playing in a band, and we’re so happy to do what we love. I guess we’re still new parents in a way, but I feel like we’re finally getting into the swing of things now, especially with a third baby on the way.
How do you balance work life and parenting life?
Sarah: I think it’s just about experiencing everything, and then deciding what works and what doesn’t work for you, for us. Without having to stop doing what we do, we made decisions based on what worked for us and what didn’t and I think that’s something every parent needs to go through.
With such a busy life on tour and on the road, how do you maintain healthy eating habits?
Gianni: It’s kind of tough to do on the road since there aren’t a lot of opportunities to get your hands on fruits or vegetables, it’s mostly pizza and what the venue (we’re playing at) has on hand. There are ways around it, and it’s not as easy as when you’re at home, but you do your best because your body needs those nutrients from healthy foods. And our kids are following suit, drinking plenty of water before pop or juice and eating plenty of greens since we tend to choose the healthier options when we can.
What types of eaters are your kids? Are they picky or do they love to try new foods?
Gianni: They’re kids so their taste buds aren’t as developed as ours, but they do like different foods. Right now, they’re both obsessed with olives for some reason and there have been times we’ve had to cut them off.
Sarah: Our youngest son, Luigi, is great and he’ll eat anything you put in front of him. Giorgio is a bit more picky and he’ll often just want to eat one thing for dinner.
Gianni: A good way to get them both to eat something is to just put it in front of them and say nothing – don’t try to force them to eat it and eventually they’ll grab it and eat it themselves.
So what are some of your favourite meals to cook at home?
Sarah: Gianni is more a cook then anyone else. I love it when he cooks for us.
Gianni: Lots of people have this misconception that cooking your own meals takes a long time, but there are so many high quality recipes out there that you can make in 15 minutes or so. I like meals that are fast and tasty. The kids love our homemade pita pizzas – whole wheat pitas, I’ll make a big batch of tomato sauce, add some vegetables, pepperoni, cheese, and whatever else the kids want. Throw it in the oven and it’s ready in 10 minutes. Our fridge is always empty when we get home from tour, so that’s when I head to Metro and stock up on a bunch of ingredients we know we can throw together for quick meals. And I really do love Metro – they’re great because they’re open 24 hours, and I find that it’s the one supermarket in the area that has more eclectic and ethnic choices. When it comes to a grocery store, it’s definitely our first choice.
Do you have any cooking tips for parents that may have kids who are picky eaters?
Sarah: There are so many things you can hide in food for kids, but just putting stuff in front of them and seeing what they’ll eat is what we’ve found works best.
Gianni: Any time you can hide extra vegetables into their food, it works because they don’t not like the taste of them, they just don’t like the look of certain veggies. Your kids are always going to want to be like you, and if they hear that you don’t like certain foods then they won’t like them either.
Why do you think meal time is important for family life?
Sarah: It’s such a great thing to do as people, and to give kids that experience from a young age is important, since that’s one of the things we all remember from our own childhoods.
Gianni: I grew up in an Italian household, so it was a big deal to sit around the table as a family and share a meal together. We don’t always have the time to do it, things can get hectic and chaotic every now and then, but we really try to say, ‘Ok let’s all sit down for dinner, talk and hang out.’
How are you guys celebrating Canada150?
Gianni: There are so many things going on. We’re going to be playing some celebratory shows (that we can’t announce just yet) and we’re also involved in another campaign called Canada Sound 150, where a bunch of different Canadians are collection sounds and samples from nature and from city life and making songs out of it, so that’s something we’re really looking forward to.
For the latest from WALK OFF THE EARTH, visit www.walkofftheearth.com.