When I reflect on what runs through my mind during those moments I have passed by the aisles of baby food at grocery stores, I realize that I usually take in the rows of mass produced jars but then move on from the aisle. It wasn’t until recently that I began to wonder how many healthy options of baby food are available. While we continue to be progressive everyday in creating fresh, healthy, and local foods, in so many ways the options of baby food for the little ones, lack sufficient nutrients and ingredients for baby’s diets. However, after visiting Big Dipper Baby Food, a organic baby food company located in Bernal Heights and created by CEO and Mom Claire Hoyt, my eyes were opened to an alternative healthier way to feed your baby that needs to replace the conventional baby food that is stocked on the shelves of many markets.
If you were to ask Claire if she saw herself owning the business Big Dipper Baby Food, the answer would be yes to seeing herself owning a business; she just didn’t know owning a business would come in the form of a baby food establishment. For a woman who tried her hand at a number of diverse careers before finally settling with Big Dipper, owning a business was something she always wanted to do. Claire considers a number of happenings to be the reason why Big Dipper was created. These include the passion she had for food that came from growing up with a Mom who was a Chef, the birth of her first son Forrest, and the realization that the market for baby food lacked fresh and healthy alternatives.
Currently Big Dipper offers 11 pureed items on the core menu,which include 5 vegetarian options and 3 single ingredient options. With unique product names like Baby Dahl (roasted bananas, lentils, blueberries, coconut oil) and Baby’s First ABC’s (baked apples, roasted beets, braised carrots, ginger), I couldn’t help but be curious as to what ingredients were contained in each. Costumers seem to agree, as Claire mentioned that the general reaction from parents of her baby food is overall excitement curiosity and enthusiasm. Claire believes in only finding the freshest and most local ingredients. Places Claire obtains ingredients from include Three Stone Hearth and Earls Organic Produce, and the freshness of her ingredients is evident, as only the brightest of colors and richest of textures can physically be seen in her baby food. To add to the effective presentation of the baby food is the fact that mason jars are used as packaging for the baby food, in which costumers can bring back their used jars and get them refilled again.
At one point during my interview I asked Claire what advice she would give for other mothers who might be looking for healthier baby food options. She smiled, and said, “Try making it yourself. Baby’s like what you like, so instead of being intimated by making it, try it”. I believe this rings true to the overlying message that while we are consumers by nature, we can also be creators, and come up with our own food creations, like baby food.
To add to this truth that we have the potential and resources to create our own healthy foods, Claire stated, “its a way of eating we have let go of. I am trying to get back to that”. Big Dipper Baby Food is definitely a powerful outlet for this change to occur. After all, even the tiniest ones deserve healthy food options too.
For more information visit http://bigdipperbabyfood.com/