NurturMe makes organic baby food convenient

NurturMe_Large Box SetThe idea for many of the innovative “green” products I write has many times sprung from an unmet consumer needs or problems faced by a parent. Parents often breathe a sigh of relief when they discover these simple yet effective solutions.

Such is the case of NurturMe.com and its line of quick-dried organic baby food.  But don’t think that this kind of baby food is tasteless. Far from it!

I enrolled a great taste tester – Ross and Bruce Ross’s 9-month old daughter Lucia. Both Mom’s and baby’s opinions were valuable in determining the quality and “likeability” of these products.

Both liked these dried fruit and veggie products, which come in six varieties: Plump peas, Hearty Sweet Potatoes, Scrumptious Squash, Crunchy Carrots, Crisp Apples and Sweet Bananas. As a Mom, Ross liked these products for a number of reasons.

“They’re really convenient,” she said, noting they’d be much easier to travel with than conventional jar baby food. Ross was also surprised with their look and smell.“When you buy peas in baby food jar,” she said, “it smells disgusting! This was pleasant looking and nice tasting.”

NurturMe Crisp ApplesRoss said these had “a powdered dried food. Interesting smell.” “But,” she said, “it’s not a big deal. In some ways that’s preferable to some of the baby food from jars!”

These award-winning organic baby food products were the inspiration of Austin, Texas-based mom Caroline Freedman. As a young mom in 2008, she researched what was appropriate to feed her new infant. She was stunned to discover how old fashioned it was – mostly pureed fruits and veggies in bulky glass jars.

“It was really out of sync with trends towards organic foods and convenient packaging and sustainability,” she said.

Since launching the company in 2009, she and her partner have been helping to educate people about the benefits of drying fruits and vegetables. “The drying preserves the nutrients and phytochemicals in the food,” said Freedman. The nutrients aren’t being broken up as much, she said, because there’s not as much heat applied in the processing of it. Also, the flavor is preserved and the color is more vibrant.

Ross’s baby Lucia likes them. “Especially the Crisp Apples,” said Ross, “which taste like apple cobbler,” along with the Plump Peas and the Sweet Potatoes, which she liked the best.

The package says to use each one completely as a full serving, but Ross says you probably can use less. Just fold the unused portion over and store it safely for later. Each packet, when reconstituted, is equal to a 2.5-ounce jar of baby food. “That’s a lot,” says Ross. But to her surprise, she never had leftovers.

“The baby liked it all,” she said.

Preparing the baby food is easy, although the packets don’t state how much water to use. “You can add as much as you want so you can make it thick or thin,” said Ross. “Baby food in a jar comes “as it is.”’ Ross likes it thicker. “It’s less messy,” she said.

NurturMe Sweet BananaFreedman says these organic products offer moms another added benefit – versatility. Nursing moms have the option to add breast milk to the mix for added nutrition. That’s important to moms, said Freedman. “It’s another trend that’s on the rise,” she said.

Adding to the green factor, NuturMe products are more sustainable and come in more environmentally-friendly packaging that’s more sustainable.

Freedman says they’re currently working on expanding their product line later this year with two new offerings – a toddler’s snack for older children and a combination meal. She said these will hit the shelves later this spring.

NurturMe is also working to expand their distribution into more retail stores. Available in Texas at some Whole Foods and Central Markets and at Babies “R” Us nationwide, they’re available at a number of online retailers including NurturMe.com, AbesMarket.com, BabiesRUs.com and Target.com.

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