A lifetime of food fun begins now...!
It's often those first stages of solids where parents need most help. Sleep deprived, still navigating the whole newborn thing and then BOOM! You gotta introduce solids.
Enter Nourishing Bubs, a range of individual portions of single-variety fruit and vegetable purees made from pure 100% Australian produce, snap-frozen to lock in nutrients.
Based on the concept many parents had been doing at home for decades, it's much like a simple ice cube tray with fruit and vegie purees. But with Nourishing Bubs, you save endless hours of peeling, chopping, steaming and pureeing.
Try different combinations for your baby - carrot, pea and parsnip; beetroot, cauliflower and sweet potato. It's fun to mix and match flavours. Babies are conservative creatures - keep persevering if they don't like one flavour. You need to try it ten times before their taste buds acclimatise! You can also add a cube to other dishes to up the vegetable content or mix with something neutral like rice cereal to extend it and make it a bit blander.
Want to know more? We chat to Nourishing Bubs founder and paediatric dietitian Olivia Bates to delve deeper.
What inspired you to start Nourishing Bubs?
I started Nourishing Bubs in 2016 after completing an additional certificate in paediatric nutrition. I had been working for an almond milk start up and had experienced the opportunity to influence the food supply by advocating for healthier products as a dietitian working in industry.
With experience in the food industry under my belt, I was interested in what was on offer for infants commencing their solids journey. When I visited the supermarket, I realised there was a lack of convenient AND healthy products. While a squeezy pouch was convenient, it failed to tick the boxes I would be looking for as a dietitian. The concept of a product which sat on the shelf for 2 years while containing meat didn’t quite sit right from a nutrition perspective or as a lover of food. If they weren’t adding preservatives, they had to be doing something to the product to give it that shelf life. I realised the means of processing that would kill any potential bacteria, also will kill most of the nutrients. This leaves little more than a bag of empty kilojoules for our precious babies. In addition, I found that more often than not these pouches and food options were over sweetened with fruit and fruit juice (even the savoury ones), ultimately creating future generations hooked on sugar and inevitably growing up to be overweight and obese children and subsequently adults. I strongly felt there needed to be a change and we needed to get back to basics by creating a range that made it easier to make healthy choices from the first mouthful, thus Nourishing Bubs was born.
Tell us about your background as a paediatric dietitian and nutritionist.
I became a dietitian and nutritionist because I wanted to combine my love of food and cooking with my desire to be a doctor. Put simply I think of a dietitian as the doctor of food and through my work as a dietitian, I can help people heal through food. Growing up, I always wanted to be a paediatrician, so when I became a dietitian, I always had an interest in specialising in paediatrics.
During my university placement and as a new graduate I had the opportunity to explore working as a dietitian in industry, as opposed to the more conventional option of working in a hospital or private practice. I realised I had the ability to influence the food supply and potentially influence a greater number of people by improving the nutritional composition of the food products available on the market. Since graduating, I have done various things including recipe development, writing of nutritional blog content, facilitating nutritional seminars and talks and of course most recently developing my range of baby (and kids products launching soon) food products. As part of this I have worked on labelling, which involves ensuring products meet food guidelines, as well as developing the products in line with recommended nutrient levels. There are more and more people graduating as dietitians and nutritionists so it is essential to explore work opportunities beyond the more traditional roles. I am so proud of what I have been able to do with my degree and grateful to be able to encourage healthier choices for infants and toddlers growing up today.
What makes Nourishing Bubs different?
The Nourishing Bubs Solid Starter Pack (now available through Dinner Ladies) is the first of its kind. It’s a unique concept designed to take the hassle out of introducing solids to your baby. The Solid Starter Pack contains ten 100% pure vegetable purees, in small easy to use portions, appropriate for those ‘first tastes’. There are four of each individual vegetables (a total of 40 portions per pack) so each vegetable can be tried multiple times to increase familiarity over a number of days. Of course, each vegetable can then be mixed with others to great delicious combos for your little bub. It is a super easy way to expose your bub to a variety of interesting and colourful vegetables and ensure they get a range of different nutrients and tastes and hopefully prevent fussiness in later life. Furthermore, Nourishing Bubs is 100% Australian owned, produced and packaged, using ONLY Australian fruit and vegetables, unlike so many other baby food companies.
What’s your favourite hack or recipe using Nourishing Bubs purees?
I love turning the purees into fritters or using the sweeter vegetable purees such as sweet potato and pumpkin to turn into muffins, biscuits and cakes without needing to add sugar. I think we so often forget that babies have very neutral palettes and don’t need the level of intense taste that we have come to expect after years and years of over exposure. They are like a blank slate and can taste more subtle flavours far more clearly.
What’s next for Nourishing Bubs?
Grow up with us…the Natural progression and extension of the Nourishing Bubs offering is to expand our offering to include a range of toddler and kid’s meals. Through the development of the brand over the past few years, we have developed a passionate consumer base who trust Nourishing Bubs to provide their infants with healthy meal options and so naturally they are asking, “what’s next after baby’s first purees?”
We are proud to be able to expand our offering and continue to cater to this under – developed space which is really lacking high quality, nutrient dense, wholesome and real food options. It is our passion to continue to foster future generations who love their veg!
The Nourishing Bubs Starter Pack is on The Dinner Ladies menu now.