Made With Love: Healthy, Kid-friendly Meals By Yaya Lola
loader image
Made With Love: Healthy, Kid-friendly Meals By Yaya Lola

Made With Love: Healthy, Kid-friendly Meals By Yaya Lola

Parenting | July 22, 2021
  • 0

Struggling to get your kids to eat fruits and vegetables? These yummy, kid-friendly dishes by Yaya Lola are your healthy answer.

As a mother of a three-year-old picky eater, I’m always on the lookout for reputable brands that can help me make sure my daughter is fed well. So when I came across Yaya Lola on Instagram, I was immediately intrigued by its claim that they make it “easy to fill your little ones’ bellies with tons of nutritious veggies”. 

Teaching my daughter to make healthy choices as early as now is important to me because I only became a more mindful eater much later in life. And I wish I had known better when I was growing up.

Me and my daughter Iris

Making Healthy Choices

I was always skinny as a child—all the way until maybe my early 20s—so I got used to being able to eat anything I wanted. Greasy food, chips, instant noodles, candies, unli-desserts… you name it! I never had to worry about the consequences. I never gained weight and my friends would always say that I was so “lucky”.

But not really. That all eventually caught up with me later on.

As I got older, I felt a lot of the repercussions of eating junk food. I developed hormonal imbalances that caused recurrent adult acne, bloating, sluggishness, brain fog, and even infertility. Thankfully, I’m doing much better now. But these are definitely struggles I don’t want my daughter Iris to ever go through—especially since avoiding them can be easy when you make better choices early on.

With that being said, I also don’t think kids should be deprived of the fun stuff. When my daughter is offered some candy by a friend, I let her have it. And for me, that’s okay because I know she doesn’t have it often. After all, we don’t have a lot of those things at home.

Yaya Lola’s Plant-Based, gluten-free and Soy-free Veggie Nuggets

Adding Fruits and Vegetables in the Diet

Feeding her vegetables and even some fruits can be challenging, however. When Iris sees anything green on her plate she says, “I don’t like the green, mommy,” and it’s terribly frustrating. She used to eat a lot of veggies and fruits when she was a baby. But now, I have to “trick” her into eating them.

Thankfully, I’ve found some creative ways to do that through Pinterest. We’ve made pink pancakes using beets and I’ve even hidden carrots and broccoli in some pasta sauces. We also made “ice cream” using fresh fruits and yogurt and I’ve sprinkled Moringa powder in some of her dishes. But on some days, we don’t have enough time to come up with new ideas—let alone make them happen.

And this is where Yaya Lola comes in.

When I spoke to Katrina Guidotti-Stehmeier about her brand, I loved hearing the passion in her voice. Katrina has made it her life’s work to help other mothers by coming up with delicious and nutritious food that their children will be happy to eat. She does this by using good quality ingredients and by “hiding” the good stuff. For instance, she’d add some minced vegetables into classic kiddie favorites such as Chicken Nuggets and classic Beef (Grass-Fed) Spaghetti.

Yaya Lola’s Chicken Nuggets
Yaya Lola’s Grass-fed Beef Spaghetti Sauce

The Story of Yaya Lola

“Yaya Lola” was what Katrina’s children called her beloved Yaya Rosie, who spent 57 dedicated years with the Guidottis and helped raise Katrina and her five siblings. It was Rosie’s cooking that inspired Katrina to start a business with her long-time nanny.

“My Yaya—she was a really good cook,” Katrina shares.  “When we were all older, she became the house cook. Every time we had family parties and get-togethers, everyone would be like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s so good!’”

“And it was just basic—like baked spaghetti or potato salad,” she adds.

Rosie, her loving nature, and her food were a cherished presence in the Guidotti household. Katrina is quick to share stories about how Rosie would wait up for her sister and her sister’s husband if they spent a late night out, or how Rosie was happy to let her sleep in her bed when she wanted to. She was, in many ways, a third parent to Katrina and her siblings.

The grown-up Guidotti siblings with their beloved Yaya Rosie

In her later years, unfortunately, Rosie was diagnosed with kidney disease, which took an emotional toll on her. That’s when Katrina came up with an idea that would have the two spend more time together. How? A food business using the family’s heirloom recipes—guided by Rosie’s skillful hands in the kitchen.

“She was feeling a bit down. That’s actually when I started the business, thinking ‘Okay, maybe if we do this, it will lift her spirits up,’” Katrina says. “So I said, ‘Yeah let’s do this! Partner tayo!’”

From Family Recipes to a Business

“We would cook together [and] we would try recipes together. We did experiments and stuff like that—measured the recipes.” It was a wonderful way to be able to spend more time together, as Katrina was already married and had children of her own by then.

Katrina Guidotti-Stehmeier with her husband King, and their daughters Natalie and Cassie

The two started out selling food trays of family recipes like paella, fabada, and callos. But later on, Katrina wisely made a shift to developing food products using healthier ingredients. She did this because she became more aware of the importance of eating well—not just for herself, but also for her loved ones. Most especially for her children, who were picky eaters, too.

She then began to develop new, kid-friendly recipes that would use vegetables in ways that her own children wouldn’t find “icky”. Yaya Rosie was her flavor advisor—telling her what adjustments needed to be made to make the food taste better. As Katrina would learn more about healthy cooking, she’d teach Rosie about it too. And Rosie would always appreciate all this new information.

It was, in many ways, a continuation of the very unique, mother-daughter dynamic they’d shared since Katrina was born.

Katrina Guidotti-Stehmeier with her Yaya Rosie during her first Holy Communion

Kid-friendly and Healthy Meals

Today, Yaya Lola is a big hit for very busy mothers who are looking for better options for their children. With more than 20 products on their website, bestsellers include hidden-veggie treats like Mac and Cheese Bites (made with squash and carrots) and gluten-free Mini Pizzas—secretly topped with zucchini, carrots, celery, and even psyllium husk.

Yaya Lola’s Mac and Cheese Bites
Yaya Lola’s Gluten-free Chicken Patties

These favorites would bring smiles to hungry kids’ faces. And while Yaya Rosie has already sadly passed on, her love stays alive in the recipes that she developed with Katrina.

Listening to Yaya Lola’s story made me realize that at the end of the day, the food we share with our kids is all about love. I want Iris to eat nutritious food because I love her. And I want her to grow up more healthily than I did. Similarly, Yaya Rosie fed Katrina and her family well because she genuinely cared about them and wanted them to be happy.

Looking at it that way, I guess I can fully understand now what people mean when they say, “Cooking is love made visible.”

Indeed, nothing could be truer.

Yaya Lola’s Mac and Cheese Bites

Photos from Yaya Lola


How My Family Made Celebrations at Home Special

Lockdown Recipes: Comforting Food To Soothe Both Spirit And Soul

Diving into a New Way of Life: A Vegginning

With Celine’s trusted eye for the chic, unique and stylish, it was only natural for her to dabble in modeling, TV hosting, being a newspaper columnist and PR director. She transformed her very diverse background into several growing enterprises, namely Mullenlowe Marc (formerly known as ARC Public Relations), a healthy snack brand called Honest Junk and anti-mosquito cologne cult classic, Kiele Naturals. But nothing gives her more fulffillment than her greatest accomplishment — being a mom to her daughter, Iris. This mompreneur is excited to share tips, advice and all around good vibes on all things parenting.
More from Celine Gabriel Lim
Check them out is your all-in-one access pass to exclusive content from a wide variety of lifestyle experts, thought leaders, influencers and leading content creators here in the Philippines and around the world. is a prestige media brand of One Mega Group, Inc.


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Marga Medrano-Tupaz


FASHION Amina Arañaz-Alunan Jojie Lloren Robby Carmona Patty Ang Candy Dizon Francis Libiran | BEAUTY Dr. Vicky Belo Kim Reyes-Palanca Marie Lozano Firas Abboud Jude Hipolito and Rose Velasco (JuRo) Jigs Mayuga | LUXURY Bianca Salonga JP Tuason Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason Marlon Stöckinger | TRAVEL Vern Enciso Ferdi Salvador Marie Field-Faith | TECH & GADGETS Carlo Ople Enrique Miranda Gerry Sy | HOME & DESIGN Geewel Fuster Kitty Bunag Tessa Alindogan Vianca Favila | BUSINESS & CAREER Franco Saycon Venus Navalta Eric Dee Dr. Z Teo Pinky Tobiano Atty. Connie Aquino | ENTERTAINMENT Girlie Rodis MJ Marfori G3 San Diego Georcelle Dapat Sy / G-Force | FOOD & ENTERTAINING Aüa Chino Hernandez Happy Ongpauco-Tiu Nina Daza-Puyat Robby Goco JJ Yulo | PARENTING Cat Arambulo-Antonio Paulyne Fermin Michelle Aventajado Jerika Ejercito Aguilar Celine Gabriel Lim | FITNESS & WELLNESS Nadine Tengco Harvie de Baron Sara Black Arnold Aninion Teresa Herrera Anthon Tanya Aguila Simon Greatwich | WEDDINGS Marbee Shing-Go Amanda Tirol Charisse Tinio Jason Magbanua Gideon Hermosa Robert Blancaflor | YOUTH Chris Nick Milka Romero Miko Tiu Laurel Janeena Chan


SALES DIRECTOR Maureen Alexis Busto
Chloe Tapucar, Jasmine Co Leng, Ivan Panganiban,
Anna Chua, Lexi Malongga


Marketing Communication Manager Pam Rodriguez
Ad & Promo Manager Brent James Castro
Copywriter / Social Media Associate Rowan Palomares
Social Media AssociateKyla Nicole Taal
Multimedia Artist Agatha Romero
Producer Elishua Balinton
Video Editor Andrew Ciudad


Sr Video Editor Jasper Bermejo
Video Editors Kenneth Dimaano
Video Editor / Producer Regina Aceron
Audio Visual & Technical Assistant
Andrew Ciudad


Creative Services Supervisor Kristoff Sison
Multimedia Artists Gari Rivera, Elmer Pereira,
Niel Jhed Ibay
Copywriters Peaches Garcia, Althea Villanueva,
Roanna Alonzo,
Chad Losanta, Christina Zabat


Production & Logistics Manager ERICA LUNA
Booking Associate Mae Talaid, KZ Francisco
Pull Out Coordinator & Production & Logistics AssistantMJ Almero


Production and Studio Manager Ed Simon
Photographer Kieran Punay, Excel Panlaque
Final Artists Eric Gallego
Cameraman JR Ramirez


Sr Video Editor Jasper Bermejo
Video Editor / Producer Regina Aceron


AVP for MARKETING & PUBLISHING Marga Medrano-Tupaz
VP for CONTENT Peewee Isidro


PRESIDENT Suki Salvador
CHAIRMAN Archie Carrasco


AVP - Business Development Carmelli Daet


Head of Consumer Marketing and Circulations Arriane Sanchez
Consumer Marketing Associate Champ Bersales
Multimedia Artist Hilrey Batolan


HR Manager Mairen Buan
Organizational Development and HR Tech Supervisor Lorenzon Miguel Barbeyto
HR Supervisor Vanessa Orpilla
Sr Payroll Associate Angielica Baril
Recruitment Associate Michelle Grace Flores


Web Development Manager and MIS OIC  Carlo Tumaliuan
Web Developer Supervisor  King Villarta
Jr Web Designer  Jen-Lyn Dumlao
Senior IT Associate  Jomer Calleja


Admin & Purchasing Manager Avy Lagarto
Office Support Associate Jorean Ann Flores
Company Driver Bernard Dela Cruz


Legal Counsel Atty.   Homer Alinsug
OIC-Corporate Legal   Avy Lagarto


Finance Manager Rachel Cabagua
Finance Supervisor Janin Tabora
Credit & Collection Supervisor Nainine Buenaobra
Senior Treasury Associate Maileen Capilitan
Senior Accounting Associate John Dela Torre
General Accounting Associate Ruffa Dela Pena
Accounting Associate Zarah Mira


Head of Corporate Affairs and Business Expansion Rodolfo Palanca Jr.
Copy Chief Andrea Eliza Santos
Corporate Affairs Associate Margaux Pua
Creatives Associate Alecs Beltran


Chief Operating Officer Ma. Cecilia Ngo
Executive Assistant to the COO Thea Pamela So


Chairman & President Archie Carrasco