Remember when people were upset that dogs were being carted in strollers? Well, it seems we really do treat our dogs better than we treat our own babies. As Little Spoon, a company that has pioneered organic and plant-based baby food, points out, we feed our dogs better, too. Dog food has gotten so gourmet that it’s more expensive than many human groceries — and yet baby food has remained uninspired by nutrition and innovation to create better products.
“The baby food industry is so far behind in innovation that dog food has become healthier than the existing baby food on the market,” said a representative of Little Spoon to The Daily Meal. “If parents don’t make [the food] themselves (and who has the time?), we currently feed our future generation highly processed, nutritionally insufficient food that contains preservatives and high levels of sugar.”
Their criticism of the baby food industry is harsh, but warranted. Many brands sell meals made from ingredients that are actually older than the children who eat them.
“Once my son was starting solids, I took a look at what was available in stores, and it was dismal,” Little Spoon co-founder Michelle Muller told The Daily Meal. “Food that is scorched at over 500 degrees, that can basically survive the apocalypse. I remember thinking ‘This isn’t food!’”
This is what inspired Little Spoon to make strides to serve fresher foods to babies and toddlers, food that’s not only unprocessed and nutritious, but that doesn’t sit on the shelves for years and years before being consumed. They’ve created fresh blends of plant-based baby foods called Babyblends. The blends are flavorful, organic, and have enough variety to entertain even the most adventurous eaters.
Now, Little Spoon is taking babies’ nutrition to the next level with the debut of Blueprint, a customizable baby food tool kit designed to help parents serve their babies the healthiest, most nourishing diet possible to help them grow.
The concept is simple: Babies all have different dietary needs, and parents are often confused as to how to meet them. Little Spoon doesn’t leave it up to parents to make nutrition mistakes. Blueprint begins with a quiz, querying parents on the age, routine, dietary preferences, and allergies of their child.
The online platform then uses your individual information to create a customized meal plan of Little Spoon’s Babyblends, which are then delivered to your door.
“Some five-month-olds may be ready for solids while others may not. A six-month-old baby may already have a noted iron deficiency,” Little Spoon stated in a press release. “When a baby has to take antibiotics, it affects their microbiome at a crucial point of development.”
Babies have very specific and very variable needs — needs that change as the baby grows older.
“The Blueprint continually evolves and changes with the baby, taking into account new information at every month milestone,” the press release explains.
Along with the meal plan, parents receive explanations as to which foods are recommended and why, providing specific nutrition information catered to the needs of their child. For instance, a child’s Blueprint might address the need for vitamin K at a particular stage of development, pinpointing which foods in the meal plan were selected to address the need.
The blends themselves are packed with nutrients — 24 macro and micro nutrients, to be exact — to ensure optimal nourishment for the babies who eat them. All of their ingredients are non-GMO, organic, and plant-based, using nutrient-dense foods such as spirulina, quinoa, and turmeric. All of Little Spoon’s recipes are crafted with the advisement of their “Pediatric Nutrition Council,” which includes a physician, a pediatric gastroenterologist, and a nutritionist, all dedicated to approving only the best foods for kids.
“Little Spoon (and Blueprint) is a game-changer,” said the council’s nutritionist, Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN. “Not only can parents trust they’re giving their children the absolute best fresh, organic, and quality foods, but they’re also setting the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating and wellbeing.”
While Little Spoon might be an extra expense for busy parents, it takes much of the guesswork out of early-life nutrition.
“We were constantly receiving questions from concerned parents. Things like, ‘My baby started solids three weeks ago, what should I order?’ or ‘My baby loves all things sweet, how do I get her to eat more varied foods?’” expressed co-founder Lisa Barnett. Busy parents can now quit the blind selection and know they’re definitely feeding their loved ones some of the healthiest foods for growing babies.