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How to make Amara organic popsicles to soothe teething pains!
No chopping or blending necessary

 

Things you’ll need:
- Pouch of Amara baby food

- Bowl
- Ice cube tray
- Feeder (We recommend the Moss and Fawn feeder)

  • Start by emptying your baby's favorite Amara organic baby food into a bowl, mix in breastmilk, formula or water, and stir until smooth.
  • Then partially fill an ice cube tray with the Amara purée and place into the freezer for about 25 min. or until frozen.

  • Simply fill the feeder with the frozen Amara purée and give to your baby as a natural and organic way to soothe sore gums from teething.

The cold helps alleviate the pain and swelling caused by teething in your baby meanwhile getting loads of nutrients from the Amara organic baby puree keeping your baby happy and healthy! The fruit flavors like applesauce or tropical mango are a delicious treat in the feeders and really help ease baby teething pains. 

Make yummy popsicles out of veggies, fruits and cereals with rich textures and the best ingredients for your baby!

 


You can grab your feeder from Moss and Fawn by visiting www.mossandfawn.com and use code: AMARA for 15% OFF!

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Interview with celebrity fashion stylist and interior designer
Jada, Founder of Jada Naeoni Kids
Mini-series on Mom Entrepreneurs

Hi! I’m Jess. I’m CEO and cofounder of Amara and those who know me best probably know my parents too. Those who really know me well may even know what my college thesis was about. Ok, so how do these two relate? Entrepreneurs. My parents are both entrepreneurs and my college thesis was about entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Nerdy right? That’s why here at Amara, we decided to dig a little closer and bring you a mini series of interviews with moms that are running fantastic companies, while raising little ones. Because let’s be serious, #momboss is akin to superhero in our book.

I’m here today to talk about when “entrepreneur” meets the word “parent”. Growing Amara has allowed me to meet the most amazing moms and dads that every day, bend over backwards to make the impossible possible for their kids. Through social media, I’ve had the unique opportunity to get to know a few of you, and to admire even more of you from a far. I started interviewing you because sometimes starting something seems like a big goal, sometimes starting something feels like something “other people” do. At Amara, we interview founders of these companies so you can see that Mia from Snuggle me, Kristy from Oat Mama and all of these mamas that started their amazing companies are just people. Just like you and me.  

You didn’t get a manual when you became a parent, and you don’t get a manual when you’re running a company – so, we’re here to show you - whatever you are dreaming of doing, whether it’s the next million-dollar business or starting the blog you’ve always dreamed of -  it’s possible.

One of the companies we’ve admired is @jadaneonikids - a home décor platform started by celebrity fashion stylist & interior designer Jade Neoni. She not only has a stunning feed, but she also has these pillows and throws that are beautifully made and perfect for any little corner in your house. 

First, how did you go from a celebrity fashion stylist to having your own company?

I was always involved in designing spaces for kids, I designed my 1st collection when I was 19 years old in Brooklyn and just kept going since then. Then, I started designing nurseries and spaces for Courtney Cox and Gwyneth Paltrow. 

 

That’s amazing, tell me more about why these famous moms were trusting YOU for their choices?

I’ve always been known for having an eye for detail and really deeply understanding the trends and what they wanted. Creating beautiful spaces takes a million tiny miracles, tiny elements that you love – that then, put together create a cool space that they are going to call home.

 

So how did you go from designing other people’s spaces to launching your own products?

I wanted to create products that were attainable for every day real moms but still gave them that luxury feel. Whether you have a $5 budget or a $200 budget, I want to show moms that they can create spaces in their homes today that are what you have always dreamed of. The pillows and the blankets are just the first products. My ultimate goal is to create a home décor brand everything in that space but you have to start somewhere.

 

“You have to start somewhere” - that’s such a good line, what words of advice would you have to someone that is starting their own business or idea?

Start. There were always be obligations or things you have to do; the hardest part is to get started. You might not be able to do it at the level you want to, or with all the products you wanted to but just start. And then once you start, don’t quit. In today’s world everything seems so instant and you forget that people spend years building it to get to what you see today. So, wherever you are, start that one thing you’ve always dreamed of. It might not work, and it might not be where you will be in two years; but start it, wherever you are.

 

So you’re a mom - talk to me about that balance between work and raising your little, how did you make it work?

I think the most important part is to honor who you are. Part of who I am is an entrepreneur so when I had a baby, I couldn’t separate being a mom with who I am. I wanted her to be a part of it. When I was designing the nursery of a famous celebrity, my daughter was on the rug eating cheerios. When I was doing a photo shoot, she was with me.

 

That’s great, your daughter’s older now, does she talk about it?

Yes, now she is thinking about starting her own restaurant one day. I believe you get the kids you need. Sometimes I would feel guilty, like maybe I should be playing barbies with her or out in the yard catching butterflies – but now I see that I taught her, I taught her to dream big. That dream doesn’t always look the same for everyone, but live the dream. 

Your Instagram feed is so inspiring, what do you hope people will leave with after seeing your website and feed?

I don’t want to just sell you a blanket or a pillow, I want to inspire you to live your most beautiful life today, wherever you are. Whether you’re in your dream house or in a tiny apartment, create those spaces today, don’t wait.

A lot of times starting a business can seem like a far out dream, but Jada is just one example of the supermoms we admire. The best part of this all is getting to talk to each founder and hearing the passion they have behind what they are doing. Don’t forget to support her on Instagram – her feed is just stunning!  

For all you parents out there trying to make the impossible, possible – we know that homemade baby food is often times more of a dream than a reality, right? For those times, Amara is here to bring you the next best thing to fresh homemade baby food. Because you CAN get all the benefits of fresh homemade, anytime, anywhere.

 

xoxo

Jess

 

 

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PRESS RELEASE

AMARA BABY FOOD named winner of the “best baby food” in the bump best of baby awards

Sixth Annual Best of Baby Awards Honor the Top Fertility, Pregnancy and Parenting Products

San Francisco, CA January 1, 2019 – Amara is pleased to announce that they have been selected as a 2018 winner of The Bump Best of Baby Awards for the category "Best Baby Food". This prestigious awards program by The Bump, the definitive voice for millennial parents, honors excellent achievement in fertility, pregnancy and parenting products, and has quickly become the go-to list that every expectant and new parent consults when registering for baby. The editors of The Bump tested hundreds of products to identify the top 60+ award winners across nine categories: Baby Tech, Baby Eats, Diapering, Healthy Baby, Baby Safety, Baby-on-the-Go, Maternity Basics, Nursery and Baby Learn & Play. This year’s winners feature perennial favorites, plus cutting-edge tech-enabled gear. The complete list of winners for The Bump Best of Baby awards can be viewed here

 

Amara baby food is radically changing the baby food category by bringing the benefits of fresh, homemade baby food to parents – without starting from scratch. Parents deeply want the best for their babies, but often times making the baby food themselves becomes more of a dream than a reality. Now, parents can have homemade baby food, where and when they need it.  

 

“We saw such a gap between the fresh food you would make at home and what you would find on grocery stores shelves that we knew we had to bring parents a better option that was easy to make, but didn’t compromise on all the benefits that fresh baby food brings you” says CEO and cofounder, Jessica Sturzenegger. “Amara actually has the texture of food, not the apple sauce like mush you find in jars”

“Every year we make it our mission to find the coolest, most innovative and practical baby and pregnancy gear to make parents’ lives easier,” said Lauren Kay, deputy editor of The Bump. “Whether an established brand or entrepreneurial startup, we take the work out of researching and testing products, so parents can feel confident about the choices they’re making for themselves and their babies.”

Find Amara at your local grocery store or on Amazon and follow along on Instagram @amarababyfood and #tastethedifference with their unique approach to baby food.

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Interview with Mushie of @Bibs_usa
Mini-series on Mom Entrepreneurs
 

Hi! I’m Jess. I’m CEO and cofounder of Amara and those who know me best probably know my parents too. Those who really know me well may even know what my college thesis was about. Ok, so how do these two relate? Entrepreneurs. My parents are both entrepreneurs and my college thesis was about entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Nerdy right? That’s why here at Amara, we decided to dig a little closer and bring you a mini series of interviews with moms that are running fantastic companies, while raising little ones. Because let’s be serious, #momboss is akin to superhero in our book.

E N T R E P R E N E U R. Now the word is pretty trendy but I lived with “entrepreneurs” before we even put a name to it. Both of my parents worked around the clock – so much so that when I was filling out my college applications I decided to put my parents were “un-employed”. Needless to say my dad was LIVID but my 17-year-old self didn’t know the difference between “un-employed” and “self-employed”. Now a few years later, “self –employed” comes with a more glamorous title – “entrepreneur”. 

I’m here today to talk about when “entrepreneur” meets the word “parent”. Growing Amara has allowed me to meet the most amazing moms and dads that every day, bend over backwards to make the impossible possible for their kids. Through social media, I’ve had the unique opportunity to get to know a few of you, and to admire even more of you from a far. You are all truly super parents. And if that wasn’t enough, there companies out there that are run by entrepreneur parents. That’s parents, being super parents, AND running awesome companies. And that my friends, is what we are here to talk about today.

 

At Amara, we do these interviews because a lot of times starting a business can seem like a far out dream, but companies are just people like you and I, determined to bring their visions to the world. Whether you’re building a blog, an Instagram following or even just starting a family, we hope that these stories help to inspire you to bring your visions into the world and make them realities.

   ------ 

Pacifiers, you didn’t think twice about them until you saw the bright colors and modern look of the @bibs_usa pacifiers and you decided you needed them in every color, right? We interviewed, Mushie, the mom behind this brand’s US presence and were captured by her honesty and her story. Mushie’s story is bit different than other founder stories we’ve had on our series but she is proof that there is not just one way to start a company and is an inspiration to hear from.

 

Tell me first about how you got started?

I was a teacher before I was pregnant with my second child but in my pregnancy I had hyperemesis gravidarum and my body just couldn’t function. I was sick all the time and was sensitive to light, standing long periods of time, it was awful. I had to stop working and it was a really hard time for me, both physically and emotionally. The minutes couldn’t go fast enough. 

At around 7 months of being pregnant I had a small relief from feeling sick and I was ordering pacifiers so I could be ready when he was born. I had found this company from Denmark that had cute pacifiers and had ordered them from Denmark because I couldn’t find them in US stores easily.

When we got them I loved the modern colors and the fact they were toxic free. I never thought I would do anything that is a business style kind of thing but I loved them so much that I looked at my husband and said, let’s start selling these in the US. My husband is an Amazon expert and it took a bit of convincing but eventually we approached Bib Denmark and became the US distributor and Amazon distributor of Bibs.

"I never thought I would do anything that is a business style kind of thing..."

Tell me more about your Instagram, @bibs_usa  - what has it meant for the business and you?

Well, they first asked me to do an Instagram two weeks after having my son, and I didn’t know anything about Instagram. But, now that I finally wasn’t sick anymore, I had my baby, I decided that it was time to say “yes” to things. So I started the Instagram. The community it’s created has been a such a pleasant surprise. You start to realize with the product that we are really part of people’s lives.

Can you share a word of advice for someone that is looking to start a business?

Doubt less and do more. Part of the process is to fail and not have something go your way. Don’t be embarrassed, the worst that can happen is that you’re going to get a “no”. I think that after you have a baby; after living through the sleepless nights and going through the process of pregnancy and childbirth, you’re left with a kind of confidence than you’re unbreakable. If you went through that you can go through anything.

 "Doubt less, Do more." 

What’s one of the big differences between your job as a teacher and now?

As a teacher I always had someone to ask if I didn’t know how to do something, I always had someone that knew. Now it’s a lot of asking others that have done it, or trying to see what works. You have to learn to be less scared of changes, less scared of failure.

 What does your team look like?

My husband and I started but now we have people that help. We have Alyssa that helps us with Instagram. The cool thing is that we actually met through the Instagram community and now she works with us at Bibs. We also work with my brother in law and sometimes more when we are really busy with packing!

Any tips on moms using Instagram as a means to share?

Instagram is really about relationships and community. Here are the things that have been most helpful for us in growing @bibs_usa

  • Sending product for free or with a discount in exchange for tags
  • Giveaways with other brands and shops
  • Relationships with other shops

Some people find that sharing personal stories also on Instagram is helpful, that doesn’t come as naturally for me but we are starting to. In the end, it’s getting your product out there and creating a community.

 

You have two kids, a running business and I am sure lots more on your plate. What’s your top tips for productivity as a busy mom?

Gosh, I wish I knew haha. I would say stop feeling guilty about “me” time. Know that everyone has a different way of doing it and it’s okay. When you have kids I feel like you can’t hope for it to be perfect because it never will be. I find that the mornings that I wake up and put on sneakers and workout clothes are my best mornings. Starting the day active even if I am working for home just changes my mindset.

 

You had a really hard pregnancy, can you share how that experience has changed you, or how it affects your day to day business struggles and life?

After making it through the sickness, my perspective on life changed. I felt grateful for every day, for my health. For my family. I realized that if you’re dealing with something that in 5 years won’t matter, don’t be upset about it for more than five minutes.

 

------ 

A lot of times starting a business can seem like a far out dream, but Mushie is just one example of moms working to build their business. Mushie didn’t have an MBA or a curriculum of business experience, she just decided that she would say “yes” to opportunity and dare to dream.

 

For all you parents out there trying to make the impossible, possible – we know that homemade baby food is often times more of a dream than a reality, right? For those times, Amara is here to bring you the next best thing to fresh homemade baby food. Made fresh, anytime, anywhere.

 
xoxo
Jess

 

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Interview with Founder Plum & Sparrow, Dianna on a Mini series with Mom Entrepreneurs

 

Hi! I’m Jess. I’m CEO and cofounder of Amara and those who know me best probably know my parents too. Those who really know me well may even know what my college thesis was about. Ok, so how do these two relate? Entrepreneurs. My parents are both entrepreneurs and my college thesis was about entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Nerdy right? That’s why here at Amara, we decided to dig a little closer and bring you a mini series of interviews with moms that are running fantastic companies, while raising little ones. Because let’s be serious, #momboss is akin to superhero in our book.

E N T R E P R E N E U R. Now the word is pretty trendy but I lived with “entrepreneurs” before we even put a name to it. Both of my parents worked around the clock – so much so that when I was filling out my college applications I decided to put my parents were “un-employed”. Needless to say my dad was LIVID but my 17-year-old self didn’t know the difference between “un-employed” and “self-employed”. Now a few years later, “self –employed” comes with a more glamourous title – “entrepreneur”.   

I’m here today to talk about when “entrepreneur” meets the word “parent”. Growing Amara has allowed me to meet the most amazing moms and dads that every day, bend over backwards to make the impossible possible for their kids. Through social media, I’ve had the unique opportunity to get to know a few of you, and to admire even more of you from a far. You are all truly super parents. And if that wasn’t enough, there companies out there that are run by entrepreneur parents. That’s parents, being super parents, AND running awesome companies. And that my friends, is what we are here to talk about today.

 

For those of you who haven’t seen these beautiful baskets all over Instagram, Plum & Sparrow is a product and accessory lifestyle brand that makes hand-made moses and market baskets. They work with a community of weavers in Africa and every basket is truly one of a kind. Behind this company with a mission is Dianna, mom of three boys and one girl. We had the chance to talk to her about how she grew Plum and Sparrow to what it is today. 

 

Tell us a bit more about how and why you started Plum & Sparrow. 

I had just had my fourth kid and someone had gifted me a moses basket and I thought it was great, it allowed me to take her everywhere I wanted to have her. I would have used it for every kid if I had had one. They are really popular in Australia but in the US not really so I wanted to bring the moses basket to parents so that they could also have their babies close.

First, I started looking to find sourcing and someone that could do bold, bright colors but basket weaving was kind of a dying art because they weren’t teaching it anymore.

Finally, a year later I finally found the right people to source with and started. My first stock of moses baskets was only 8 baskets! 

Why the name Plum and Sparrow?

"Plum" because when the company was started my fourth daughter was just born and as a baby she had the cutest little plum butt, it was adorable. "Sparrow" because my grandmother was obsessed with birds and would always talk about how sparrows fly together and work together as a community. That’s how women should be, working together in community and kindness. So I combined both the inspiration from my daughter and the love for community and working together of my grandmother. That's how I decided on the name "Plum and Sparrow", it's from the women around me. In whatever you do, it really takes a village to build it.

Being an entrepreneur can be a long road – can you tell us a bit about when you started and the moment you knew it was “going to work?”

I hesitated for a while because you want to have all your ducks in a row and everything perfect before you launch. Finally, I was talking to some girl friends of mine and they encouraged me to just take the jump off the cliff. When I started I was hand making everything myself, the pom poms, the bed, everything. Then it just started getting so much traction so fast, I couldn’t get the orders done fast enough! 

How do most parents find out about you?

Most parents find out about us on Instagram. We sell mostly online and ship worldwide. We really have a global impact when you think about it; the basket starts  in Africa with the weavers but every basket touches my hands here in California. It takes a village to make it all work.

What does your team look like?

At the beginning it was really just me doing everything myself, and it’s so hard to delegate at first. Now, we have Amber in social media; Perry in customer service and my mom works in shipping! 

If you had one recommendation to someone starting their business, what would it be?

Looking back now 3 ½ years since we launched, I think it’s important to realize that where ever you are in each moment of starting your business is great and exactly where you should be. Whether you’re navigating Instagram, or figuring out the product – you are where you’re supposed to be at that moment. Every step is there for a reason. Even when we were just at 500 followers, I wanted it to go faster but it was at that moment when I realized I was starting to build something that was larger than myself. And of course sometimes you fall down and there is a rollercoaster of moments that are totally overwhelming, or heartbreaking or rewarding. But you learn from them and you navigate it all. Just know that where you are is okay and that every step has it's own pace. 

You have to be willing to reach out to people, there is a whole community of women that want to help each other. We really are our best ally and our best asset.

Where do you imagine Plum and Sparrow to be in 5 years?

Of course I would love to see the product lines growing but maybe most important to me is seeing it be more of a community, building out the non-profit aspect of Plum and Sparrow and giving back to amplify our impact.

Dianna has built this beautiful brand that is connecting the designs of African weavers with moms and dad's all over the world. Make sure you check her out at PlumandSparrow.com and on Instagram!

At Amara, we do these interviews because a lot of times starting a business can seem like a far out dream, but companies are just people like you and I, determined to bring their visions to the world. Whether you’re building a blog, an Instagram following or even just starting a family, we hope that these stories help to inspire you to bring your visions into the world and make them realities.

About Amara baby food:

When it comes to baby food, a lot of parents have a vision of making all their baby food from scratch homemade, but more often than not, when baby is here – homemade baby food seems more of a dream than a reality, right? Amara is here to bring you the next best thing to fresh homemade baby food without you having to start from scratch.

 

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Food Allergies and my Baby

What, how and when to introduce allergens with your 4 to 6 month old baby

Food allergies are a major concern for new parents. Going from formula and breastmilk to actually feeding your baby real food is scary enough, but watching your baby get a strong allergic reaction to food is a terrifying experience that no parent wants to go through. Here, we will dive into what an allergy actually is and what today’s studies are showing about allergies and your baby. Food allergies is a complicated and multi-factorial disease that is still not yet fully understood. We’ll talk about why food allergies develop and what foods are most likely to cause allergic reactions in infants. That being said, this is meant for informational purposes and is by no means a pediatrician’s recommendations (yes, we have to say that). Just remember to discuss all of your food choices with your baby’s pediatrician as you both know your child best.

What is an allergy?

Allergies are quite common, but the range of reactions to an allergic substance can vary from the mildly annoying to the life-threatening. The most typical allergic reactions in your baby can be seen in the form of sneezing, coughing, and itching. An estimated 5% of children under the age of 5 suffer from food allergies. Today food allergies are increasingly discussed in relation to child care and daycare with your baby so we decided to dive a bit more into what an allergy is and what you can do about food allergies with your baby.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening when you or your baby has an allergic reaction. When you eat something that could make you allergic (an allergen), your immune system makes an antibody called immunoglobulin E, or IgE. Like all antibodies, it tells the rest of your immune system that there’s something in the body and it needs to be attacked. That attack is the allergic reaction.

The strange part is that in some people, IgE is made in response to an allergen but there’s no reaction. Weird, right? Plus, the amount of reaction from your body can vary so much. Science is still trying to discover why this is and why some people are “more allergic” to certain things than others.

Also, people can become allergic to foods later in life that they had no problems with when they were young. This is believed to happen due to the antibody IgE exposure to that food over time. 

Most common food allergies

So, obviously, we don’t want to give our children something that could trigger a reaction. While there are more than 160 foods that have been identified as allergens, eight of them cause 90% of the reactions according to the FDA. These are:

* Milk

* Eggs

* Fish

* Shellfish

* Tree nuts

* Peanuts

* Wheat

* Soybeans 

Allergens & Breastmilk

Before you panic about breastmilk, a baby is usually not allergic to their mother’s own breastmilk. There are still a lot of open questions surrounding this topic as the composition of human breastmilk can change within and between mothers. Breastmilk may actually have the potential for preventing allergic reactions in infants. That being said, the composition of breastmilk varies over time as well as during the feeding period itself. Breastfeeding in and of itself is quite complex and many factors may influence the immunologic reactions in infants such as duration of breastfeeding, when you introduce solid foods; family history with allergies; etc.

In most cases, if a baby seems to be allergic to their mother’s breastmilk, it may be if a baby might be sensitive to something that mom ate that passed into the breastmilk. Interestingly enough, seeing a mild allergic reaction in your baby through something that you ate while breastfeeding may be the first sign of a food allergy.

Peanut allergy and your baby 

Allergies in general are becoming more and more prevalent in the past 2-3 decades and of all the allergies, the peanut allergy is one of the most difficult to avoid for children. It develops early in life and is rarely outgrown.

Studies around peanut allergy and how to prevent it in your baby are still very varied. There are some studies that suggest that the elimination of the allergen from the diet prevented the development of IgE-mediated food allergy. Paradoxically others show that an early introduction to peanuts may actually reduce the risk of developing a severe peanut allergy than avoidance. This is still being studied but a UK study called the LEAP study tested hundreds of infants between 4-11 months to see if early introduction reduced the chances of allergies later on. The study strongly suggested that it did. While not right for every family, it’s worth mentioning and discussing with your doctor and pediatrician. 

Should pregnant mothers change their diets?

To date, there has been no scientific evidence that avoiding allergenic foods during pregnancy will prevent allergies to your children. After birth, mothers may want to watch their diets during breastfeeding, especially if an allergy has been identified.

Reducing the chance of an allergy in your baby

The recommendations from doctors about the introduction of allergy-causing foods have changed over the years. The current recommendations from 2008 are that allergy-causing foods can be introduced into the diet once solid foods are introduced, but that cow’s milk should not be fed to infants until they are 12 months old. As shown with the peanut allergy study, early introduction may be key in preventing some food allergies. However, the prevalence of food allergies for the main allergy-causing foods seems to be increasing in the Western world over the past 2 to 3 decades. Here at Amara, we do not include any of the top 8 FDA allergens in our baby food nor can we make any recommendations for how your family decides to navigate allergens with your baby. Every case is different and it’s important you discuss with your pediatrician what is best for you and your baby.

There have been a number of hypotheses about how we can reduce the chance of allergies in your baby that are worth mentioning. The hypotheses range from early supplementation of fish oil and vitamin D to change the gut microbiota; to avoiding cesarean delivery among other hypotheses. Once a food allergy has developed and been identified, one of the most common things to do is to avoid the allergen and get your baby tested every few years to see if the sensitivity to the allergen has reduced.

Each family is different and each family will make the choice that is right for them. Some want to avoid the possibility of allergens with your baby and chose to avoid the foods entirely, at least until your baby is old enough to deal with the consequences or voice their discomfort. Some food allergies do get outgrown after childhood. Every family has a different situation and some families have a family history of allergies for a particular food, especially a dangerous one, and chose to avoid it entirely until you can get your child tested. Whatever your choice is, it is yours to make (with the help of your pediatrician of course!).

Navigating allergens is scary for most parents introducing solids to your baby. Studies show that diets rich in fruits, vegetables and less processed foods also appear to be associated with less food allergies in your baby. At Amara Organic Foods, we offer an introduction to solids that includes both fruits, vegetables and root vegetables to kick start your baby’s first step to solid foods. We know that you don’t always have the time to make homemade food so we carefully pick every ingredient and use a propriety technique that locks in the nutrients, tastes and textures of the fruits and vegetables. This helps your baby recognize the taste, smell and texture of the real fruits and vegetables so that when they are growing they easily transition to healthy whole meals.  

 

 

Citations:

https://www.cdc.gov/

https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/food-allergy-causes-prevention

https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/UCM265446.pdf

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarcives /030413p14.shtml

Greer et al Effects of early nutritional interventions on the development of atopic disease in infants and children: the role of maternal dietary restriction, breastfeeding, timing of introduction of complementary foods, and hydrolyzed formulas, 2008 

Sicherer et al Food allergy: a review and update on epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, prevention, and management, 2018

www.todaysdietitian.com; Allen et al Prospect for prevention of food allergy 2016

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1414850

 

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Gerber Baby Food announces launch of new baby food line Freshful Start

Manufacturing giant reacts to recent innovations in baby food category 

With today’s innovation being led by hot new startups like Amara and Once Upon A Farm, legacy baby food brand, Gerber, is starting to wake up. Baby food traditionally has been sold in jars and pouches, using high levels of heat and processing to get baby food to supermarkets across the nation. 

But, in the past two years, startups have led the change in the baby food category as parents are asking for a healthier alternative to traditional jars and pouches. Amara’s CEO, Jessica Sturzenegger, states “Consumers today are educated, whether you’re in the middle of nowhere or right in San Francisco, moms today know that the high heat jars and pouches are a far cry from the fresh baby food they would prepare at home”. While most parents aspire to make all their baby’s food fresh, homemade baby food is time consuming and parents are often time both working. Today chopping and blending baby food ends up being more of a dream than a reality for most parents. 

On Monday, Gerber announced the launch of Freshful Start a “make it yourself’ baby food in 50 Walmart stores in Texas, Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas. According to the Baby Center Food & Nutrition Report, 75% of parents are avid label readers when shopping for food for their child and the number of parents leaving the supermarket shelves to make homemade baby food themselves is only growing. The Gerber Freshful Start line will have 15 choices – priced from $3.98 to $5.98. It is unclear yet if they are organic. The concept will include purees, bowls and entrees that can be blended by parents. It is designed for babies and toddlers of 6 to 12 months. Gerber joins the many brands, like Amara and other cold pressure brands, that are providing a viable alternative to homemade baby food for today's busy parents.

 

 

 The baby food shelves are starting to provide subcategories of nutrient protected brands, like Amara and HPP brand Once Upon A Farm. 

Parents deeply want what is best for their kids, especially their babies. As natural and “better for you” food brands shift from small local grocery stores to mainstream grocery chains, legacy brands are starting to wake up.

From granola bars to baby food, startup food brands have been quick to respond to the ever changing demands of today’s consumers. Their nimble structures allow them to create products based on actual consumer problems and needs – filling in the white spaces that larger, corporate brands struggle to capture. 

The baby food category has seen startups lead the innovation by offering “better for baby” options that are easy for mom too. Amara, a company bringing parents a promising alternative to fresh baby food, is leading the way by offering baby food that locks in the tastes and textures of fresh homemade – allowing moms to bring their babies fresh baby food, where and when they need it.

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Corn Myth: vegetable or cereal?

You know we love diving into food and while preparing for our new plant based protein baby food flavors (more on that soon!) we ran into a question. When you talk about corn to most Americans, they consider it a vegetable. You can find corn in the vegetable aisle in most supermarkets and corn is a popular baby food to first feed your baby. When we were deciding on how to label “corn” on our baby food, we debated at the office whether it was a vegetable or a cereal and dove into the facts to find out what you’re really feeding your baby when you introduce corn into their diet.

 

Corn is a weird plant if you think about it. It’s not quite like other vegetables and fruits, but it’s not quite like grain either. There’s a lot of debate online on how it should be classified. Here are the facts about corn and feeding corn to your baby. 

When you buy corn on the cob, the kernels are full of sweet and tender liquid. This pushes it more into the vegetable category and that’s how the FDA and the USDA classify it. Corn on the cob is picked before it is completely dry on the stalk which is one of the reasons why frozen and prepared corn is considered a vegetable.

For all other grains, including corn for feed, the grains are dried completely before harvesting. This extra drying time converts the seeds from a vegetable to a grain. Corn is the only plant of this kind that we pick early to enjoy fresh.

Corn is often times used in baby food as a first vegetable because corn is full of a lot of fiber, minerals, and vitamins like A, B, and E. It also contains many antioxidants. Even better, it even contains protein. For babies that can’t chew meat yet or vegetarian families, corn can help your baby get some of the protein they need as they start to wean off of breast milk. Corn is also high in calories; which babies need for growth! Corn contains amino acids that are often times paired with other higher quality proteins to give your baby a completely balanced meal. More about pairing protein with corn for your baby here.

Feeding Corn to Your Baby

The decision of if corn is a vegetable or a grain when you are feeding your baby depends on the form that you give your baby the corn. At Amara, our sweet corn is considered a vegetable. The main difference is our corn is harvested as a food, we start with sweet and tender kernels before we use our unique technique. Other corn cereals are dried as a kernel and then milled to a particular size.

At Amara, bringing you the closest possible alternative to fresh remains our priority so we start with fresh corn, like you would eat it at home. Try our plant based protein vegetable blends for your baby that combine fresh veggies for your baby – without the fruit usually used in baby food pouches!

 

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Blog Founder Oat Mama
Interview with Kristy, Cofounder of Oat Mama
Mini-series on Mom Entrepreneurs

Hi! I’m Jess. I’m CEO and cofounder of Amara and those who know me best probably know my parents too. Those who really know me well may even know what my college thesis was about. Ok, so how do these two relate? Entrepreneurs. My parents are both entrepreneurs and my college thesis was about entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Nerdy right? That’s why here at Amara, we decided to dig a little closer and bring you a mini series of interviews with moms that are running fantastic companies, while raising little ones. Because let’s be serious, #momboss is akin to superhero in our book.

E N T R E P R E N E U R. Now the word is pretty trendy but I lived with “entrepreneurs” before we even put a name to it. Both of my parents worked around the clock – so much so that when I was filling out my college applications I decided to put my parents were “un-employed”. Needless to say my dad was LIVID but my 17-year-old self didn’t know the difference between “un-employed” and “self-employed”. Now a few years later, “self –employed” comes with a more glamourous title – “entrepreneur”. 

I’m here today to talk about when “entrepreneur” meets the word “parent”. Growing Amara has allowed me to meet the most amazing moms and dads that every day, bend over backwards to make the impossible possible for their kids. Through social media, I’ve had the unique opportunity to get to know a few of you, and to admire even more of you from a far. You are all truly super parents. And if that wasn’t enough, there companies out there that are run by entrepreneur parents. That’s parents, being super parents, AND running awesome companies. And that my friends, is what we are here to talk about today.

 

One of those companies is Oat Mama. Oat Mama brings lactation bars and treats for breastfeeding moms. We interviewed Kristy, one of the founders and also one of the first companies we reached out to as we started Amara’s ecommerce journey. If you haven’t tried them yet - the Oat Mama bars are not just great for breastfeeding but are also just generally delicious. They taste just like something you would make at home, but come to your doorstep beautifully wrapped without you having to lift a finger! We interviewed Kristy to hear a bit more about Oat Mama.

Being an entrepreneur can be a long road – can you tell us a bit about when you started and the moment you knew it was “going to work?”

One of the first places we sold Oat Mama was in a book festival in Tucson. Eliza and I made up a few test batches in our kitchen and we went with some pre-order forms we printed out on a clip board. We put the bars out for tasting so we got great feedback from moms. We also got a bunch of pre-orders - so right away I felt like it was going to do something.

 

Why do moms love Oat Mama? 

On the product side - The product tastes freshly baked and you can see all the ingredients so you really get that homemade taste. It’s also a lactation bar that is developed by foodies, so it actually tastes good. We want to make a bar that is just as delicious as it is useful for helping moms with milk supply. It’s really a bar that you’ll want to keep eating even after you are breastfeeding because it’s so nutritious and delicious!

On the brand side – I think moms really like the community in the brand. One of our first flyers said “You got this”. We speak from the perspective of you’re enough. Eating lactation snacks is not a negative thing, mom’s come to Oat Mama because they are part of a community; part of a group of other moms that chose to breastfeed and through us have a space to talk about the ups and the downs of motherhood.

 

How do most moms find out about you?

Mostly through Instagram and influencers. We also have a Facebook moms group and publish some great content on our blog.

 

Where can moms find Oat Mama?

Oat Mama is almost exclusively online and can also be found in some brick and mortar stores in the big cities. We also sell online through our website and on Amazon.

 

What does your team look like now?

Eliza and I (Kristy) are the founders. We also have a team of 6 bakers and social media manager that helps us with content.

 

What recommendations do you have for other moms starting their businesses?

When I first started the company I thought I was going to have more time at home with the kids but then quickly realized it’s far from that. I don’t feel like I can give advice to moms because most are probably feeling like they aren’t doing well at either (being a mom and starting a business).

In my case, it was at least a solid year of being fully “in” the business and having less time with my kids. I think it’s important for anyone starting a business to keep in mind the value in starting it to make it worth it. For some people it’s financial; for others it’s because you love it; for others it’s setting up a career for yourself for when the kids don’t need you anymore; or being a role model for your kids. Whatever reason or mix of reasons, I wouldn’t do it just to have more time with your kids because often times that’s far from the reality of starting a business. 

My advice for moms starting a business is to build a routine and time to be with your kids that your kids can count on. It can be something like quality time at dinner so they have time to talk about their day and tell you what is going on. There’s a certain flexibility in having your own business but the most important thing is having the communication with your loved ones to be able to do both.

 

The funniest story/mistake you want to share and why you can laugh about it now?

Oh, that’s a tough one. I guess one of my biggest mistakes early on would be not delegating things that I didn’t enjoy or wasn’t particularly good at. I think I spent too much time in the day to day operations instead of looking at the big picture. Sometimes you end up doing those things for too long instead of focusing on things that you really like and are valuable.

 

If you had no obligations and could spend a month somewhere, where would it be and why?

Probably Korea – that’s where I met my husband and where my son was born. I lived there for 10 years before starting Oat Mama. That experience really developed my culinary horizons and taught me a lot about food and different combinations.

 

 

A lot of times starting a business can seem like a far out dream, but Kristy is just one example of the supermoms we admire. We’ve watched her grow and it’s been amazing to see a mom run company blossom with such an amazing product. Don’t forget to support her on Instagram and social media!

For all you parents out there trying to make the impossible, possible – we know that homemade baby food is often times more of a dream than a reality, right? For those times, Amara baby food is here to bring you the next best thing to fresh homemade baby food. Mix fresh, anytime, anywhere.

xoxo

Jessica 

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Blog Founder Snuggle Me
Interview with Mia, Founder of Snuggle Me

Mini-series on Mom Entrepreneurs

Hi! I’m Jess. I’m CEO and cofounder of Amara and those who know me best probably know my parents too. Those who really know me well may even know what my college thesis was about. Ok, so how do these two relate? Entrepreneurs. My parents are both entrepreneurs and my college thesis was about entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Nerdy right? That’s why here at Amara, we decided to dig a little closer and bring you a mini series of interviews with moms that are running fantastic baby and mom product companies, while raising little ones. Because let’s be serious, #momboss is akin to superhero in our book.

 

E N T R E P R E N E U R. Now the word is pretty trendy but I lived with “entrepreneurs” before we even put a name to it. Both of my parents worked around the clock – so much so that when I was filling out my college applications I decided to put my parents were “un-employed”. Needless to say my dad was LIVID but my 17-year-old self didn’t know the difference between “un-employed” and “self-employed”. Now a few years later, “self –employed” comes with a more glamorous title – “entrepreneur”.  

I’m here today to talk about when “entrepreneur” meets the word “parent”. Growing Amara has allowed me to meet the most amazing moms and dads that every day, bend over backwards to make the impossible possible for their kids. Through social media, I’ve had the unique opportunity to get to know a few of you, and to admire even more of you from a far. You are all truly super parents. And if that wasn’t enough, there companies out there that are run by entrepreneur parents. That’s parents, being super parents, AND running awesome companies. And that my friends, is what we are here to talk about today.

One of those companies is Snuggle-Me. Snuggle Me is the dream child of Mia Carr. Mia not only runs an incredible company, but also does so with 7 kids AND while homeschooling them. We feel in love with her products a while back but when we realized who was behind it, we knew we wanted to interview her about Snuggle Me sensory lounger and a bit more about how her company grew into what it is today.

 

Being an entrepreneur can be a long road – can you tell us a bit about when you started and the moment you knew it was “going to work?”

We started our business in 2007.  It has been a long road! We learned so many lessons and it took a while to really mature enough as people to be able to make our business work. I would say, I always knew it would work, from day one I knew it would.  It didn't start really taking off until after I established a hardworking, supportive team around me.  That was when the magic started happening.

You’re in a competitive space – why Snuggle-me?

Snuggle Me is the first ever sensory lounger for baby and no other lounger is designed to hug baby.  We are committed to making all of our products in the USA with the highest quality organic materials, yet keeping all of our products affordable.  We are also all about community and support for new families and give value back to our customers in every way we can. 

How do most parents find out about you?


Parents have always found out about us by word of mouth.  We now are much more visible so parents are discovering us from many external avenues, but the message is always the same, Snuggle Me is THE best.

I remember seeing that you set a goal for yourself a year ago and you brought your following from 13k to over 393k today. What do you attribute that to? 

Our Instagram growth has been from myself taking over that space and studying how other large accounts have grown.  I saw quickly that influencer marketing was the fastest way to grow and I literally put all of our marketing eggs into that basket. I stopped all other advertising efforts and put all our time and efforts into it.  I am not kidding when I say every marketing dollar went into influencers.  We are now just starting to put money back into a secondary area, which is facebook/instagram ads.  But that is number 2.  We are a direct to consumer business and we are laser focused on doing only effective activities and dropping all other distractions. 

Secondly, I created a space that was more than just an advertising platform.  People follow our IG page and stay because we are giving our followers value, advice, and community which is why people go onto social media in the first place. 

What does your team look like now?

My team now consists of some of my most favorite people and trusted friends.  I have my own mom, step-father and husband as my closest circle.  My mom manages our customer service, my stepfather is our COO and my husband is our CFO.  I then have a good homeschool friend of mine as our Sales Director and one of my favorite former customers and friends as my content creator.  We then have a team of very positive and upbeat people who come in to build product and get our daily shipping out the door.  It is a busy, busy warehouse, but everyone is so excited and happy to be a part of what we are creating.  I cannot tell you how many people walk in there and stare wide eyed at what is going on in our little warehouse!

What recommendations do you have for other moms starting their businesses?

I would honestly tell them to study the emerging direct to consumer methods.  You can explode into a market with

  1. influencer marketing and an amazing IG page.
  2. A beautiful, optimized Amazon listing
  3. a shopify website that is focused on beautiful imagery.
  4. Facebook/Instagram ads directed at sales. and if I had to add one more, I would say
  5. a retargeting strategy  

Honestly, you can skip all other advertising and wholesaling altogether and create a multi-million dollar business in a few years time by doing the above.

With 7 kids and a booming business – can you share your top two tips for productivity?

This is the ever looming question for all working women, how do you "balance" being a mom and building their dreams out. We homeschool, so that adds another layer of craziness to the mix!  My biggest tip is to block your time and reduce the number of times you need to "switch brains".  For us, we are home and kid focused until about 1pm.  Then we change gears and are all business until nearly bedtime.  I used to go back and forth between school, work, cleaning throughout the day and that just made me super irritable. Now, we wake up, focus all on kids, school and house, close that down and focus all on business through the rest of the day.  This gives me permission to ignore phone calls and emails during the first part of the day and doesn't make me feel guilty for tell our kids, "no I can't play right now, I'm working" in the afternoon. Everyone has their time with me.  When I am in the kid zone, I go all in and vice versa.

If you had no obligations and could spend a month somewhere, where would it be and why?

I have no idea where we would go, but I love travelling around and seeing new places with our children. I just love the adventure of it.  I cannot even image going somewhere for a full month because as much as I like seeing new places, I also like being home! Maybe a week in a tropical place would be my first choice!

 

A lot of times starting a business can seem like a far out dream, but Mia is just one example of the supermoms we admire. It’s been amazing to see her grow – don’t forget to follow and support her company. Stay tuned for more interviews with amazing moms and dads building businesses, while building a family here on our blog. And, for all you parents out there trying to make the impossible, possible – Amara is here to bring you the next best thing to fresh homemade. Taste the difference, I dare you.

xoxo

Jess

 

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