Baby Food So Good You’ll Want It for Yourself
Plus tips for making your own.
Published Jul 31, 2017 4:30 PM
Subscription boxes are everywhere, for everything. Makeup, vegan meals, healthy snacks, kids’ clothes, rosé wine—if you can name it, you can find a service that will deliver your choice of curated goods to your door every month. In such an oversaturated market, it takes a lot for a new subscription to stand out. But with a few celebrity endorsements and a holistic approach, chef and nutritionist Marissa Lippert hopes to corner an overlooked market: baby food.
Olivia Wilde and Alexi Ashe Meyers (wife of Seth Meyers) and their children are already going nuts for Nourish Baby, Lippert’s new baby food subscription service. “Market offerings are primarily pureed foods in jars and a whole slew of squeeze pouches and packaged items,” says Lippert. “We investigated dozens of items and tasted quite a few and many of the items were lifeless and extremely bland. Pureed items lacked a variety in texture—texture actually aids development as babies grow.”
Lippert wanted to avoid those sugary, fruit-heavy mixes which can build a sugar-craving palette from the get-go in infants. “We questioned the actual nutrient-density and developmental benefit of pureed items,” Lippert explains. “With pouches, we feel it’s really important for a child (or an adult) to see what they’re eating so they can connect to food.”
Available in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Nourish starts with a weeklong trial, and then moves to a month subscription (from $475) with weekly pick-ups, like a CSA, which provide enough food for five days of the week (bonus: many of items are perfect for freezing so you can save some for later). The packaging is eco-friendly, the ingredients are organic and non-GMO, and the company is providing select scholarship subscriptions to underserved families via the Harlem Children’s Zone’s Baby College.
And discerning mothers are raving about the service. “My son Ashe loved the food so much,” says mother Alexi Ashe Meyers. “He finished 95 to 100 percent of every meal.” Favorites included the chopped chicken salad, the pork and eggplant, the falafel, the kebabs, and the meatballs.
“The borscht was out of this world,” Meyers adds. “All breakfasts were so great and a really delightful change from the oatmeal I feed him every other day. I will definitely use the service again and again. It made meals exciting and incredibly easy not just because I didn’t have to prep them but because he loved eating them.”
We chatted with Lippert about this new service.
What void did you see in the market?
We found that most infant food brands overlook the very ingredients that are most important for new eaters—healthy sources of fat, protein, cholesterol, and iron like egg yolks and bone broth and liver—crazy as it may sound.
We really wanted to give baby food a fresh perspective and build a healthy foundation for babes from the very start weaving together core nutrients that aid development, interesting flavors and textures that encourage adventurous tastebuds. And we wanted to provide moms some health-supportive nurturing, because they often put themselves last.
How can parents prepare healthy baby food better themselves in their own homes?
Don’t overthink it if possible. And don’t stress if your kid throws food on the wall the first 10 times he/she tries something. Sometimes it takes 20 tries for a child to like something.
In terms of preparation, keep it simple, seasonal, and sustainable when possible. It’s perfectly okay to give your child the same (or a texturally appropriate version) of whatever you’re eating. Focusing on fresh produce that’s in-season, and ideally locally grown, is another pro tip to up the nutrient-density, and flavor in your and your baby’s food.
How can parents elevate their at-home ingredients and make better baby food?
A few interesting spices and ingredients go a long way—cumin, coriander, curry, toasted nori, and tahini to name a few. And it’s ok to use the tiniest bit of salt when preparing baby food to simply bring out flavor. Just remember if your child hasn’t eaten something before to be extra watchful for an allergy that first time they dive in.
What are some baby food cooking hacks?
Frozen fruit is awesome for teething or dip it in melted coconut butter for a fun and healthy snack.
No matter what you’re making, make extra and freeze it. Pureed items can be perfectly portioned for young eaters in ice cube trays.
What are your most popular dishes with babies?
We keep getting rave reviews about our hand-held morning egg roll-ups with wild arctic char and veggie cream cheese. Kids also love little meatballs and kofte (even the ones with liver), and omega-3 packed salmon roe has been a fun favorite given its texture and shape.
Our raw energy truffles with turmeric-cashews-golden raisins and vanilla are also big. And with moms, our restorative bone broth and gluten-free lactation cookies are sought after.
Recipe: Chia Pudding & Fruit Swirl
For those parents outside New York City or unable to check out the service, Lippert has shared one of her super-easy-to-replicate recipes with us.
“It’s crazy easy, you can make a big batch of it for a few days and your kid and you can eat it,” says Lippert of this mainstay. “We skip any extra sweetener for the babe version to keep sugar content low, but if your fruit is at peak season, it’ll be perfectly, naturally sweet enough. Chia is rich in omega-3 fats, fiber, plant-based protein, and antioxidants. And it’s incredibly filling. It’s one of superstar ingredients. Coconut milk is also rich in healthy fats and is awesomely aromatic giving texture and flavor.”
- 1 16 oz. can coconut milk
- ½ cup chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
Seasonal Fruit Compote
- 2 cups any seasonal fruit, cleaned and roughly chopped or left whole if berries *choose fruit that nice and ripe and really delicious so it’s naturally sweet
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice