- Name: Tom Redwood
- Where: Babease HQ
Congratulations on the launch of Babease, what made you start Babease?
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Thank you! I have always been fascinated by fussy eaters and what makes someone become fussy. I am especially interested by the psychology behind it all, weather its overcooked broccoli as a child, bad school dinners or grandma’s trifle; good or bad, its often experiences of food that shape what we like or dislike later on in life.
It wasn’t until my friends started having kids around me that I first tasted commercial baby food, and I was so surprised to find that it all seemed to taste the same... I really couldn’t believe how sweet they all were, being made up of mostly fruit. When I asked my friends if they had tasted the food, I was surprised to hear their answer “it's not very nice, its baby food”
I stopped for a moment and thought ‘why should we except that baby food doesn’t taste nice?’ This surely is the time to start expanding your pallet, not limiting it. So I got researching.
After researching to see if it was possible to make exciting savoury baby food, I soon realised that it was. So I gathered together a team of experts and started experimenting in the kitchen. We came up with a collection of delicious recipes based around vegetables, grains, seeds and pulses; real food for little ones. Food for babies, not baby food.
Can you tell us more about the brand and what makes you different?
We’re the first vegetable-led baby food brand on the market. In a market dominated by fruit-based baby food, Babease stands out with its vegetable-based recipes and we never use fruit fillers. We take pride in our honest and transparent approach, which means that the ingredients are listed on the front of the packaging in order of proportion, as well on the back. We also use every ingredient for a reason and we do not dilute with too much stock or water. Because of this, our food is as close to home made as possible.
We are made in the UK in small batches, and try to source our ingredients as locally as possible. We even manage to source our quinoa from a British farm and we also grow our Kaffir Lime leaves in a green house in Kent!
We also have set ourselves some internal guidelines. For example we are the only baby food brand to make sure that all of our stage 2 recipes have at least 65 calories per 100g. This is important, as it’s the same amount of calories per 100g that both breast and formula milk have to help your little one to continue to grow and learn.
Also, when using meat, we have set a rule that we will never use less than 20%, which is in line with what a Dietician or Nutritionist would recommend.
At Babease we passionately believe that the exciting journey of food starts from the very first mouthful, which is why we are so devoted in helping parents develop their little ones pallets right from the very start. and to encourage little ones to enjoy the wonderful world of real food.
What is vegetable-led weaning meaning for Babease?
During the first year of life, babies are receptive to all five basic tastes to differing degrees, preferring those that are sweet or salty. At Babease, we believe that when you start to introduce solid foods, it’s really important to start with vegetables in as much variety as you can manage. Introducing the more bitter-tasting vegetables such as broccoli or kale may need more perseverance than the easily accepted sweet-tasting vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potato, or fruits such banana and mango but it’s definitely worth the extra effort. In fact the governments latest research shows that you should hold back from fruit for the first 2-4 weeks of weaning to try to start the development of more savoury pallet first.
There is a lot in the press at the moment about the impact Sugar is having on our children with campaigners such as Jamie Oliver campaigning for a comprehensive childhood obesity strategy in addition to the sugar tax. Can you tell us a bit about the impact you feel a vegetable led weaning plan can have on a child’s palate in relation to sugar, both during the taste window but also the more long term effects it can have on a child’s relationship with sugar?
Studies have shown that babies who eat a wide variety of vegetables during complementary feeding eat more vegetables in later childhood (up to 7 years) than those that don’t. We feel that eating a wide variety vegetables early on and offering as many healthy taste experiences as you can will help develop a life-long love of vegetables and foods that will nourish throughout adulthood.
What are your top 3 tips for successful weaning?
Introduce a range of vegetables right from the start with as many different flavours as you can to help develop your little one’s taste buds and broaden their tiny palate right from the start
Be patient! It can take up to 10 tries before a baby likes a new flavour!
- Try to relax and enjoy. Your little one receives all of the nutrients it needs from their milk in the first few weeks of weaning, which should take of the pressure of feeling like they need to eat everything that you introduce to them. It will come!
Weaning and feeding a family can be tricky with all the puree and then also cooking for the rest of the family, what are your top 3 family friendly recipes you could recommend suitable for the whole family?
We always say that its best to try and remove some of the pressure by having a few meals that can be for all of the family. Here are a few simple recipes that with a few simple tweaks they are suitable for everyone! recipes below
- Pea fritters
- Muffins using our vegetable puree pouches
- Lentil tikka masala
Do you have any plans to bring out a range of food for older children?
We are always working hard in the Babease kitchen, so you never know!
What are good alternatives to biscuits and cakes when trying to get children interested in cooking?
We think its great to get children cooking from as early on as possible! Try our savory muffins or fab No Fuss Oat Cake, which is a recipe handed down from my Gran! You can also try adapting traditionally sweet recipes to make them less sweet by removing the sugar and adding dried fruit, and or vegetables. Pasta can also be fun to make, and rewarding to!
The Up All Hours community are a nosey bunch so we like to end each interview with the Up All Hours quick fire round…….
Up All Hours watching... Cooking shows sadly
Up All Hours reading... As I’m dyslexsic sadly again cook books! (addicted!!!)
Up All Hours wearing... Not much?
Up All Hours eating... That’s tricky…something spicey!
Up All Hours listening to... Tenderfoot
If you could be Up All Hours with anyone who would it be? My amazing wife, Ioanna….I cound’t have done half of it without her!!!