Navigating parenthood means making a million and one decisions about what is best for your little bundle of joy. But making the right choice isn't always straightforward or easy.
Organic baby food company Little Spoon wants to take the pain out of one particular decision: what food is best to feed your baby to help them grow from an infant into a healthy kid. The company has launched a personalized nutrition platform and subscription meal service for busy parents who want to make sure their tiny treasures always have healthy food to chow down on.
From Wednesday, Little Spoon will deliver meal packages starting at $34.50 to all 50 US states, with each meal customized to your baby's developmental stage, tastes, allergies and needs.
What each meals contain is worked out according to your baby's "Blueprint", a profile on Little Spoon's online platform which includes information like your baby's date of birth, allergies, sensitivities, height and weight. Little Spoon uses the data to cook up the meals to meet the needs of your child as they continue to grow.
like Blue Apron, which delivers ingredients and recipes for you to cook yourself, and Freshly, which provides ready-cooked meals for you to reheat, have become increasingly popular over the past five years with people who want to come home to a healthy dinner at the end of the day. While those are aimed at adults, there are meal services, such as Yumi and Nurture Life, that deliver organic baby food. Little Spoon is taking the concept one step further by personalizing meals based on baby's tastes and development.
The obvious benefit of the service is that it saves time, but it is also designed to make it easier for parents to know what to feed their children in order to optimize their health and development. "The first two years of a child's nutrition affect their health and microbiome for the rest of their life," Angela Vranich, Little Spoon co-founder and chief product officer, said in an interview.
As well as being organic, Little Spoon meals are packed with fashionable "superfoods" like quinoa, turmeric and spirulina. The true benefits of these ingredients are frequently debated by scientists and other experts, but Little Spoon is keen to point out it has devised its meals and the Blueprint platform with the input of its own Pediatric Nutrition Council, made up of pediatricians and experts. Little Spoon introduces its young customers to a whole range of tastes in the hopes of helping them develop a healthy appetite for a variety of foods.
"There is a growing body of research that suggests repeated exposure to varied foods helps children develop a taste for them," said Vranich. " At Little Spoon, the concept of 'palate training' is important to us."
Throughout the introduction of solid foods, the company also provides parents with help and advice to navigate this new territory and know what to expect.
With prices starting at around $140 per month to feed a tiny mouth, a Blueprint subscription isn't going to be an affordable option for every parent out there. But it does offer busy, exhausted parents some time back, which could be especially invaluable if you juggle raising your baby with a full-time job.
For that price tag, you also get access to a platform for helping you understand your child's nutrition, said Vranich. "In our opinion, [it] is worth it to have the assurance you're feeding a variety of foods with the right nutrients at the right time."
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