This is a guest post by Kiran, our Sales Manager and mom of four…to learn more about Kiran check out our team page!
It’s no secret that good nutrition starts from the very beginning. Many moms take a good look at their own health habits upon learning about their pregnancy and even take steps to improve their well being for the health of their baby. But often times after baby is born, moms go back to their pre-pregnancy habits for themselves and for baby. It’s often unintentional but more due to lack of time or lack of understanding what foods to buy, while sometimes it’s due to dealing with “picky” eaters.
Understanding how to rid your child’s life of processed food is just as important as ridding your life from processed food. And it could actually be even more important. Keeping in mind the idea of little organs growing and maturing, it’s a wonder that the idea of helping children maintain a “real food” diet isn’t always one of the most important things to parents.
To help mothers and fathers (whether you are expecting or you have a 2 year-old, whether your child might be labeled a “great” eater or even a “picky” eater), I’m excited to introduce three products/resources from our sponsors, including a great video with tips, that can make it that much easier to make real food a part of your child’s diet.
Over the past few years, food pouches have taken the baby and child market by storm. Pouches packed with with fruits, vegetables and grains? Yes, please! How about organic? Pretty please with sugar – or make that honey – on top. Sure, the ready-made pouches are ideal for those on the go or those in a pinch. But with prices that range from $1.40 – $2.00 a pop, almost double that of baby food in jars, they pack a pricey punch. And so entered an even greater product: reusable pouches that you can fill yourself.
Squooshi was inspired by a mom herself whose son favored the pre-made pouches. “I loved the playfulness and on-the-go convenience, but I felt awful giving him packaged food when I was preparing fresh nutrient-dense, homemade food at home daily.” The cost didn’t help, either. And so, the designer and longtime foodie teamed up with her father who had a manufacturing background. And after two and a half years of R&D, Squooshi was launched.
The pouches come in two sizes – 2.5 oz and 4.5 oz – and are BPA-, Phalate-, PVC- and Lead-free. What I love about these pouches is that the smaller ones are suitable for the littlest ones, but the larger ones are also great for your growing kids. I even sent the larger ones with my elementary school-aged kids in their lunchbox. The outsides depict fun animals (a lion, penguin, panda and walrus), which my kids thought was the coolest. The pouches open up so many new ideas for foods that you can pack to take on the go, in the car, in your kids’ lunches, on bike rides, to soccer games, etc. As a parent, you know the drill: have kids, will travel. With food. Think applesauce, fruit/grain or veggie purees, smoothies, yogurts, oatmeal; did I say smoothies?? My only recommendation is to make them a little bit thicker than a completely pureed food, as to try to overcome a leaking possibility once opened.
To fill, you simply open up the bottom of the pouch (which has a zipper – like a baggie with a “zipper”) and fill. I initially used a spoon, but ended up just pouring in my smoothies. A funnel would also work, I’m sure. When it comes to cleaning, you can put them on the top rack of your dishwasher or wash by hand. I opted for the hand washing. And no, it was not difficult to get them clean. A pack of 4 Squooshi’s starts at $16.99, but can be reused over and over and over again.
Squooshi is offering the readers of 100 Days of Real Food 10% off of your entire order with the coupon code 100DRF.
Not long after the introduction of the food pouches, another nifty invention was introduced. Pouch Pop™ was created by a dad (love this) after he and his wife had their third child. Now, anyone with multiple children knows that convenience is key, and thus, the pouches were desired by this duo. However, around the time his new son was transitioning from bottle to solids, he witnessed his son having a difficult time feeding himself with the pouches (hence the inspiration for PouchPop!). Sure the pureed foods are great for babies and toddlers, but the plastic feeding spout is not ideally designed for baby’s mouth and is just one of several “ouch points” on most pouches. After lengthy R&D, Pouch Pop™ was introduced to the market, being created with clinical input from top pediatric specialists.
High quality (hospital grade) silicone creates a soothing, comfortable barrier for little mouths, protecting them from plastic. As this animated video shows, there can be “ouch points” for babies that were sore spots for this creative dad. The Pouch Pop™, which is naturally BPA and Phthalate free, allows babies as early as 4 months old to self-feed (score!). And this smart invention makes for a much smarter decision vs. the plastic spoons that you have to hold. Which supermom or dad out there couldn’t use free hands during busy feeding, travel, and on-the-go time?! For those who have “problem” feeders, perhaps this can be of some assistance to your sensitive ones. And when coupled with a product like Squooshi (you can attach the Pouch Pop™ to all pre-made pouches as well as most reusable pouches), it creates the perfect solution for a comfortable and happy feeding experience!
If I’m looking for a downside, the only thing I can come up with is that it’s another piece to buy and wash – the latter probably being the more important. But really, for baby’s comfort, that’s a small price I’d be willing to pay. Speaking of price, they come in packs of 4 cute colors and retail for $9.99 (for a set of 4). This would make a fabulous baby shower gift!
Real food lovers are keen on stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. But how about a store filled with real foods that has your baby and child in mind? Living in Charlotte, we are really fortunate to have The Baby Grocery Store right here in our neck of the woods (for those not in our area, they also have a great online presence). What started out as a simple kiosk in (Charlotte-based) SouthPark Mall turned out to be such a hit, with such a high level of demand, that the owners opened a 6,400 square foot space. The store houses all natural, organic and non-GMO food products, including both frozen and fresh meals for little ones. You can pick up necessities like diapers and wipes as well – but as far as food, The Baby Grocery Store completely fits the ideals of a real food lifestyle. They host classes and stand as a resource for those with similar ideals wishing to learn more.
The Baby Grocery Store carries fresh organic foods like avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, pears, squash and other in-season fruits and vegetables that can be pureed into baby foods with easy-to-use baby food makers like the Beaba BabyCook. They also carry many of the baby food pouches from HappyBaby, Oh Baby Foods, Earth’s Best and more. NurturMe dried foods is a product line they recently added – great for growing with your child and adding into foods for extra nutrition.
Even if you don’t live in the Charlotte, NC area, you can still find a majority of their products on their website. And the really cool news is they are looking to expand – so there may be one in a town near you soon! In the meantime, doing what they do best, they’ve provided a short video to show how easy it is to create purees – a great way to introduce real food to your baby.