Welcome to BING KIDS And Their Parents, a new series where we’ll share the real, human stories behind raising children (with a healthy dose of style, of course). Whether the topic is healthy living, fostering a love of art, or teaching kids how to find their own identity in a media-driven world, we seek to explore the many facets of childhood and parenthood in the modern world. This is a destination for connection and inspiration.
In the unofficial health capital of the world (we’re looking at you, L.A.), phrases like superfood, plant-based diet, chickpea pasta, and macadamia matcha are about as commonplace as breathing. There are countless cafes dedicated to the cold-pressed, organic, gluten-free, and vegan way of life. And while it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of this, filing it away as a lifestyle choice you’ll make one day, we’re here to show you how to make it happen now. Enter, Marita Karlson.
A former model-turned-cookbook author and mother of two, Karlson is from Sweden but has lived in Los Angeles for the past eleven years. Despite looking like an amazon, standing at six feet tall with glowing skin, her approach to healthy eating is laidback and delicious. She emphasizes, “There’s no need to sacrifice taste when eating healthy.”
We recently spent a relaxed morning with Karlson in her airy, Venice Beach bungalow where we chatted about motherhood and making choices that impact her entire family.
Karlson’s story is one many immigrants to the United States can relate to. “I grew up with a mom who made everything from scratch, so when I came to the U.S. in my twenties, I was completely overwhelmed with the fast food options.” Intrigued by the exotic, she ate the typical American diet (McDonald’s and all) until her now-husband changed her outlook. “He was really into green juices, coconut water, all the healthy stuff that’s popular in Venice, California. The ingredients were colorful and looked fun to play around with, not restrictive, so I started making my own smoothies and experimenting with flavors.”
Several smoothies later, Karlson had found her calling. “Simple, yogurt-based smoothies made me feel great, and when I began incorporating superfoods, I felt even better. My energy level was so high.”
When a group of Swedish photographers came to L.A. to learn about the health food trends taking hold in California, Karlson collaborated with them on some recipes and got the idea to write a smoothie and juice book, “not a cookbook because nothing is cooked!”. Three books later, she’s a bonafide smoothie chef.
And while the former is her speciality, Karlson also loves the creativity and flexibility of plant-based cooking. “It feels so much better than over indulging on heavy meat dishes and gives me endless options to choose from. There’s so much you can do with nuts, seeds, and raw food,” she says. Her passion is palpable, convincing us that even the most health-averse would be excited to get into the kitchen after spending a day with her.
As for her children (son Kalle, 2, and daughter Anje, 6 months), Karlson is intent on making food choices that will develop their palates so they’ll naturally crave healthy food. “I started Kalle on avocados as soon as he began solids,” she says, “and Anja just ate her first one the other day. They both love them. If I can provide my kids with good nutrition from a young age, I believe it will help them make healthy food choices later in life. I just want to do my best,” she says.
The one thing she’ll never give up? “Cheese! I love cheese and no one can take that away from me, or Kalle, for that matter” she laughs. “Vegan cheese is pretty good, but there’s nothing like the original.”
Karlson is proof positive that living a super healthy life can be, well, totally organic.
A day in the life
We asked Karlson to share a typical “menu” for herself and her kids:
“We start most days with a smoothie, to get good things in our bodies.
Then, we eat either oatmeal that I make with homemade nut milks, or I make an avocado toast and homemade granola with yogurt, berries, and superfoods: bee pollen, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.
For lunch we love acai bowls. We go to the park with the dog for a long outing and end up at the juice bar for a loaded acai bowl.
After the kids have a nap, it’s snack time which is half an avocado, fruit, homemade crackers, and some cheese.
For dinner, Kalle loves pasta, but I get red lentil pasta or chickpea pasta. I’ll make some homemade tomato sauce or coconut stew and ladle this over the pasta with vegetables and chicken on top.
And then we end the day with a snack before Kalle goes to bed, something simple and sweet like an apple.
We try to eat very simple, easy food. We shop at the farmers’ market once a week to get all the fruits and vegetables we need for the week. I think it’s good to support local farmers and eat local and organic when you can!”
Strawberry Chia Seed Smoothie
This is a simple recipe that boasts a plant-based source of protein and healthy fats:
2.5 cups strawberries
2 Tbsp chia + hemp seeds
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp vanilla plant-based protein powder
4 cups nut milk
1 inch ginger
Blend all ingredients until smooth
There’s something hopeful and fresh about a crisp, white denim jacket for spring. It’s the perfect piece to lighten up your wardrobe as temperatures rise and colors brighten.
Our Caroline Jacket in classic blue denim is an ANINE BING staple, and this past fall we released a charcoal update for an edgier vibe. Now, we’re excited to launch Alex —a white denim jacket with a cropped shape and closer fit than the Caroline.
Thrown over a billowy, floral dress, it’s the perfect layer; and the cropped length looks sharp with high-waisted pants. Bright, light, and full of potential, just like this season should be.
To stay up-to-date on all of our new launches, follow @ANINEBINGOFFICIAL on Instagram.
Stumped on how to style the little ones?
Here are 3 outfit ideas for effortless vibes all season long.
For the kid with a rock sensibility who loves texture, playful prints, and a retro graphic.
Which look is your favorite? Share your BING KIDS picks below.