Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA at 2019 FOOD FOR KIDS summit in Chicago last month, co-founder and co-CEO of Tiny Organics Betsy Fore said, "We believe by being savory forward, with over 70 of our 100 ingredients, that we can really change the palates of a generation to eat and want savory, more adventurous foods."
The theory, backed by nutrition research by Tufts scientists and based on the baby-led weaning feeding style that originated in Europe, is that early exposure to natural flavors, textures, and smells, helps shape healthy eating habits in young kids and develops more adventurous eaterd who are as open to eating oatmeal and blueberries as they are to eating Valencian paella and coconut curry.
According to a 2018 review published in the Italian Journal of Pediatrics -- which included analysis of 12 articles, 10 observational cross-sectional studies, and two randomized clinical trials -- baby-led weaning promotes infant self-feeding from six months old and is becoming more popular among families. However, the review cautions that "parents should receive proper nutritional education to make their diet healthy and adequate for the infant."
Fore added that it can be a struggle for many parents to fully follow the baby-led weaning approach as many questions pop up around what types of food and ingredients are appropriate to introduce to your infant at six months old.
"I struggled with this too where I didn't know what to make for my son when, in terms of which flavors to introduce to him and even being able to cook foods from other cultures in an authentic way," she said.
Taking the guess work out of meal planning
Tiny Organics takes a lot of the guess work out of meal planning, because unlike the jars of pureed vegetables and pouches of blended fruit that line the baby food aisle, its products are made with real whole ingredients and its recipes are formulated to support healthy brain, gut, and immune development as well as finger dexterity and jaw development from infants handling the finger foods themselves.
As an online direct-to-consumer business, Tiny Organics has parents or caregivers complete a brief survey asking about their child's developmental phase (newborn, sitter, crawler, toddler, etc.) and their biggest feeding priority for their child (e.g. feeding on the go or at day care/making sure their child eats high quality ingredients). From there, Tiny Organics suggests several options and has parents select an order frequency for their meal delivery: 12 or 24 meals ($5.49/meal) shipped every one, two, or four weeks.
"What Tiny does is deliver that to you in the most convenient way possible by making the foods fresh and shipped frozen," added Fore.
Tiny Organics started shipping nationwide last month and will be adding new recipes and flavors to its menu on a bimonthly basis in 2020.
Bringing back family meal time
Fore noted that the beauty of Tiny Organics foods is that adults love them as well and it encourage parents to eat with their little ones.
As part of its offering, Tiny Organics introduced its Family Time meal plan option which includes three adult-sized 8-oz portions of its meals for an additional $14.99.
"We wanted to make this really about bringing back the meal time, because when children actually see a mother or father eating the foods themselves, then they are more keen to also enjoy the food," said Fore.
"It’s just real, whole organic ingredients that adults love and enjoy as well," added Fore.