As a child I grew up on fresh organic foods taken from our own gardens or purchased raw and fresh from the local markets. Meals at home were always prepared with the freshest ingredients; fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, etc. Our use of the refrigerator was mainly limited to the conservation of beverages and the occasional leftover.
When I first moved to the United States in the early 90’s, I was determined not to follow the culture of processed foods with their inherent package of pesticides, hormones and other additives that we now all know are not ideal for human consumption. I have been cooking since the age of 9, so it was consequently easy for me to alter recipes, incorporating the freshest ingredients in order to provide safe and healthy meals for my family, my friends and myself. In very little time I became the “go-to” person whenever a friend, relative or coworker was looking to convert their current recipe into a more wholesome recipe. My dinner parties soon became the hottest events in our community. To this day, friends often have me prepare food for their special events and provide recipes to allow them to prepare healthy versions of some of their all time favorite foods.
When I became pregnant, I knew for sure that I was going to feed my baby nothing but organic food. About six months into my pregnancy, I started scouting around for the best organic baby food on the market, and faced my first major challenge. I had always taken it for granted that organic baby foods, largely advertised as having NO ADDITIVES, NO FILLERS, NO HORMONES, NO PESTICIDES, NO ADDED SUGAR OR SALT, etc. would look completely different than the conventional baby foods. However, something was fundamentally wrong with what I saw. None of the foods were easily recognizable. Peas were a brownish green, and, carrots had a dusty color to it, to name just a few. While still pondering the color issue, I picked up a jar of peas to verify the ingredients listed, as well as the production and expiration dates. The ingredients listed were just peas and water, but that could not explain why the food looked nothing like uncooked peas. I looked at the expiration date on the jar and was completely shocked. The baby peas had an expiration date a year and a half away!
This meant that the food my six month old unborn child would be eating when he is ten months old was already cooked and sitting on the shelves in the supermarket waiting for him. I was sick to my stomach thinking that any parent would knowingly feed their child such garbage! I could not visualize myself eating food that was a week old, let alone 2 years. I called my husband and told him that we would have to make food for our child when the time comes since there was really nothing on the market suitable for babies.
So I started doing some serious research on commercially prepared foods, and what babies in America are really eating. First, I needed to understand what was causing the foods to change color, texture and taste so unappealing. The results were terrifying! I was shocked to discover that commercial brand baby foods are heat-treated in order to maintain their two year shelf life, and in this process the taste, vibrancy, flavor and nutrition are all significantly diminished; thus the reason for the dull colors. It was clear that it was up to us to make our own baby food.
However, I soon found out that making pureed baby food was not as easy as I initially thought it would be, even for a seasoned cook such as myself. We had to look for special processing and storage equipment for baby food to avoid any type of commingling. Sitting in my kitchen looking at all the gadgets and knowing how much time it would take to shop for, cook, puree, and sift the food to take out any lumps etc., I looked at my husband and told him “making baby food is a time consuming effort that would drive anybody crazy”, let alone a working parent who is still trying to understand the intricate nature of their new baby. I did eventually persevere and make every morsel of food for my baby, but WISHED sometimes that there was a company out there that could provide this type of food so I could take a much needed break from all that cooking. Making baby food is A LOT OF WORK. I also saw the challenge that most parents face in today’s society that makes them end up feeding their children the rubbish that we have out there on the baby food market.
THAT was the genesis of Yummy Spoonfuls Baby Food, geared towards providing fresh organic baby foods to all of those parents who, like me, truly want the very best for their babies. Our goal is to change the way we feed our babies and to help parents to understand that better eating habits truly start with the very first spoonful. I am a very strong believer in the adage that “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT”.