Early Foods- Nutrition in every bite
Most of the time, we mothers are locking our imaginary horns with our kids over battle of wills. Sometimes it’s about the TV, Other times it’s the homework. But there’s one thing that is a constant ongoing battle. And that is of food. We are constantly on our toes to get the right amount of nutrients in our kids’ bodies and they, being the born smart generation that they are, are constantly finding new ways to dodge us.
Our woes don’t end here. Planning a balanced diet which is fresh, home cooked and tasty too is a head banging exercise. Here is where Early Foods steps in. I came to know about Early Foods through a Mommy group on Facebook. People were praising the products lavishly and that made me curious enough to check it out. I contacted Shalini, who is the brain behind Early Foods. She came across as a real genuine person and this is what she had to say about her venture- ‘’When I became a mother, I was kind of overwhelmed by the advice I used to get about how to take care of my baby, especially what to feed the baby. In spite of the advises being genuine, it was confusing for me as a new mom. I went with my gut instinct and fed my baby simple home cooked traditional recipes passed down to me over generations. Later I thought these traditional recipes should reach other new moms as well who might face the same dilemmas. I made the products packaging friendly without altering their natural goodness. Packaging was also designed in such a way that it keeps the freshness intact without being too cumbersome to handle or store.’’
Shalini sent some products for me to review and I couldn’t agree more with her. The first few things that I noticed when I received the products was 1. The packaging was not unnecessarily fussy but was good enough to keep the products fresh and 2. When I opened the pack- ahh the whiff was so good as if the powders were freshly made and packed. I tell you, I never even sniffed yet the aroma reached my nostrils and one word that flashed in my mind in BIG capital letters was- HOMEMADE. Yes the products smelled exactly like the way our traditional dry fruit laddus and panjiris smell. But who was I to decide. The final verdict was in the hands of my minions.
These are the three products I got and here’s my observation and my minions’ verdict on them-
- Badam and Dates powder– Getting my kids to finish that one cup of milk is a pain. Even if they finish it somehow, I am not too happy adding the famous, branded, so called health drinks, which if you read the label are nothing more than flavoured milk solids and sugar-lots of it. The main ingredients of this Early Foods drink powder brought a big smile on my face- Badam- full of protein and dietary fibres, dates- a known powerhouse of iron, also brings the required amount of sweetness to the drink without adding artificial or refined sugar, cardamom and saffron- the natural taste enhancers too. Now the minion’s verdict- I did not replace their usual health drink outright else they would have revolted. I sneaked the almond-date powder in their cup of milk. Though this powder does not dissolves in the drink and you have to keep stirring it so that it is not left behind as a residue, they had no issues in finishing it in no time. Since then, I have been adding it to not only milk but to kheer and halwas as well. I even made a sweet parantha using this powder. Stuffed a tablespoon of the powder and a teaspoon of sugar inside the dough and rolled it out like a usual parantha. Cooked on the girdle with ghee. It was an instant hit
- Whole Multigrain Cereals porridge– to be honest, I did try to feed porridge to my kids and they rejected it outright (speaks highly of my cooking skills!!) so I was sceptical. My son is beyond the age of powdered stuff but I tried it on my daughter and surprise! She loved it!! In fact is insisting on eating porridge only every single day. The grains used in it are not only organic but sprouted as well. We all know that sprouting any grain increases its good properties by tenfold.
- Dry fruit laddus– These little brown devils made me use all of my self-control to not polish them off in one go. They are oh so yummy. Made from coconut, dry fruits and jaggery, these laddus envelope you in a wave of flavour as well as nostalgia. They are as good as our grannies make. One more thing, these laddus were liked not only by my babies but also my septuagenarian father in law. So we have a product which is appealing to three generations. A complete win-win.
What I liked about Early Food–
- It’s a venture by a mom for the moms. She has been there and done that. And after some of the health scares from big names, I am going to be more careful and place my trust in mommy entrepreneurs who at least have their ethics in place unlike these profit making giants.
- The research that Early Foods has done before launching these products is incredible. Their expert panel has Mrs. T.J. Padmini, an ob-gynec with ten plus years of expertise in pre and post pregnancy care. The quality assurance of Early Foods comes from Mrs Vanitha Krishnan, a masters in food technology and quality management from BITS Pilani. With years of quality control expertise under her belt, I am ready to place my trust in a brand she is associated with that is Early Foods.
- Early foods has a philosophy of using traditional recipes which are tried and tested and fine-tuned over generations. Their benefits need no certification. They use whole and sprouted organic grains like fox tail millet, ragi and bajra, nuts and dry fruits like almonds, pistachios and walnuts. They avoid artificial or refined sweetness from sugar and instead opt for dates and jaggery. The products are not processed much. Just the roasting and grinding which anyways enhances the flavours. No artificial colours and tastes- five stars for that.
- Early Foods has a wide range of products that cater to expecting moms, breastfeeding moms and babies and toddlers as well. They have various powders, panjiris, laddus and even vermicelli.
- They are a life saver for working moms. It saves all the hassles of preparing baby food from scratch. No pressure cooking, mashing, blending, sieving…phew. And no junk food feeding either. Home cooked goodness minus the huffing puffing. Another thing, these foods will also be great while travelling. Easy to carry and ready in an instant.
- They have an easy to navigate website, an interactive Facebook page and Shalini Santhosh Kumar, the lady herself is easily approachable through phone calls and messages.
- Pricing- I found the products to be very reasonably priced. They have a good shelf life but are not as long standing as the mass produced baby products which is ACTUALLY good because this shows that they have no preservatives added. Other products have a longer shelf life because of the high amount of preservatives. Follow the handling and storage instructions given on Early Foods cartons and be at peace. You are feeding your baby homemade products full of natural ingredients and zero preservatives.
Overall Verdict– after a long time, I am writing about a product for which I can find no cons. I searched with a microscope to find something which is not so good about the products and I came up with nothing. Being a mother myself, I highly recommend Early Foods to breastfeeding mommies, mommies and mommies who have a tough time worrying if their babies are getting the right kind of nutrition.
Disclaimer– Though I received these products free of cost for review purpose, the views and observations are all mine and hundred percent honest. A mother’s verdict.