This Liverpool Mum is putting kids nutrition back on the menu with her own range of baby foods
3 years ago
As a nutritionist for more than 20 years, Sarah Griffiths has always been interested in food, specialising in intolerances and allergies, especially in children.
But it wasn’t until the 37-year-old from south Liverpool had her own son Jaxon a year ago that she decided to turn her business into a brand and launch her own baby food range.
“I’d always been conscious of what I ate but when I was pregnant I became even more aware that what went into my body was going into my baby’s,” she says. “Good food habits start in the womb so your baby’s nutritional wellbeing begins before they’re even born.
“Then as soon as I started weaning Jaxon at four months, and I was making meals for him at home, I looked more closely at what was in all the off-the-shelf meals which were available.
“It made me realise – how much do we really know about where most big brand baby food is cooked, how it’s made or exactly what goes into it? How can food which claims to be so good for your baby, sit on a warm shelf for months on end and not go off?
“If we can’t be certain of all of those things then it’s impossible to decide what’s best for our babies.”
Using her own little boy as a mini tester, Sarah created a range of pureed savoury meals and desserts which were all organic and gluten-free, nut-free and with no stabilisers or preservatives.
“I’ve been working in nutrition for my whole career, but I’ve never seen so many children suffering with food intolerances as I have recently,” she explains. “For the past five years I’ve been looking at the triggers and problem foods which are causing problems with children’s guts.
“90% of the children I’ve dealt with in that time have had diary, wheat and gluten intolerances and that’s something which just seems to be getting worse.
“I believe a lot of those reactions are being caused by what goes into food behind the scenes, either in farming practices or production methods. That was what gave me the foundation for my new business and Jaxon was the perfect guinea pig because he loves his food!
“Parents at the moment are very conscious of the source of their children’s food – they want to know exactly where it’s from and what’s gone into it and I’m exactly the same. It’s important that parents have that complete transparency, so they know every aspect of what their child is eating.”
Sarah, who’s also a fitness model, spent months perfecting ingredients and combinations, trying out each one at home.
“The first one was a baby porridge, because there’s a lot of discussion about that amongst new mums at the moment,” she says. “There are so many different options available, but I made a really simple one using organic wholemeal porridge mixed with strawberries and bananas.
“It full of oats and fruit, all natural, and Jaxon loved it. Then I made a coconut soup, with lots of fresh veg, coconut milk and turmeric and that was another favourite.”
With seven baby food purees, aimed at four months-plus, Sarah completed her range with fruit infused waters.
Her brand, Super Cool Food, launches this week and in addition to mail order deliveries through her website, she is already supplying nurseries and play centres in Liverpool with meals and drinks.
Food prep has now moved out of Sarah’s own home and into a five-star industrial kitchen in the city, where all the veg is steamed to lock in goodness before being blended and sealed into pouches which have a seven-day shelf life to ensure freshness.
“I know all the nutritional values and benefits of every meal, I’ve written them myself, and we use an organic farm supplier near Manchester so there’s a clear trail from farm to table with everything we produce.”
All but one dish in the baby range is meat-free, but Sarah says there is one grass-fed chicken meal in there and a toddler range, currently in development, will include meat and fish because that’s a decision she feels is up to each individual family.
“We’re working on organic scouse and fish pie, so we can take babies on to the next stage,” she says. “As a mum myself I know how busy life is – you want the best for your baby but it can take so long to shop, prepare and cook healthy meals.
“That’s why I wanted to create a brand that did all of that, using my experience as a nutritionist. I wouldn’t give any child something I wouldn’t give to my own son so that has to be the best guarantee you can get.”