Moms know how to get things done, and that’s especially true for getting their kiddos to eat. When we can’t get our own picky eaters to finish their plate, we can rely on fab mom inventors who have crafted sneaky smoothie blends, gourmet baby food and plant-based kid-friendly foods. Keep scrolling to see some of our fave mom inventors who are ruling the kitchen.
Vegan Smoothies: Sweet Nothings
When mom Beth Porter and her seven-year-old daughter went vegan, they struggled to find meals that were packed with nutrients but still tasted good. After experimenting in her kitchen, Porter developed the perfect amount of organic fruits, nuts, and seeds that resulted in frozen ready-to-eat organic spoonable smoothies. Sweet Nothings was born! Now, the delicious cups are available for purchase online, in 1,500 grocery stores across 10 states and include flavors like Strawberry, Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Coffee and Blueberry Beet.
Zero Sugar and Healthy: KidsLuv
Ashi Jelinek was at the beach with her three-year-old when she realized that the only options for beverages were packed with sugar. After that day, she set out to create a healthy kids drink that had tons of nutrients and zero sugar. KidsLuv launched in 2017, and now the brand sells their vitamin enhanced beverages that are vegan and contain Vitamins A,B,C and more! Jelinek's products are now sold at over 2,000 locations and at Thrive Market and Amazon.
Goodbye Plastic: SuperBee Wax Wraps
Australian mom, Antoinette Jackson grew up with a deep respect for sustainable living and respecting nature on her family's rural farm. After touring the world, she settled with her husband and children in Chiang Mai, a mountainous area of Thailand. To help find per place in the Thai culture and combat the feelings of depression from the loss of a few friends, Jackson founded SuperBee Wax Wraps in 2016. Gleaning the process from her paternal grandmother, the eco-friendly product replaces plastic wrap in the kitchen. It's naturally antibacterial and handmade in Thailand by women in the mountains, providing jobs in the community and a sense of empowerment.
No More Picky Eaters: StickyLickits
As a child, Linda York didn't entertain an interest or love for veggies. It wasn't until she became an adult and mom that she finally started to enjoy them. When she became a grandmother, she saw her grandkids express a waning interest in all things green, and she knew that bribery wasn't the way to help them become adventurous eaters. That's where the idea for "eat-able" stickers came in: using a kids love for stickers as a way to make fruits and veggies exciting. York created StickyLickits, all natural, food-based edible stickers that contain no sugars or dyes. After years of testing, StickyLickits now has their own original characters and licensed Nickelodeon and Sesame Street options, too! Kids just lick, stick to fruits and veggies and eat StickyLickits: healthy eating accomplished!
Perfectly Balance Meals: Square Baby
In 2008, Registered Dietician Katie Thomson became a mom. After becoming fed up by what she found for baby food options, she set out to create a better solution for parents. She met her future business partner Kendall Glynn at their children's elementary school where they worked together in volunteer roles at the school over the next few years. They created Square Baby® as a solution to feeding kiddos. Their program offers handmade meals made with whole, organic foods and the Square Meal System,™ which is made up of balanced meals with organic veggies, fruits, whole or sprouted grains, and various protein sources. Parents can rest easy knowing that meals have half the sugar and twice the protein and healthy fats as most pouches. Square Baby is also the fresh baby food company that offers a comprehensive allergen introduction option for each of the Top 8 Allergens.
As a new mom, Betsy Fore's main goal was making sure her son ate healthier early in life. With a decade of experience as an inventor, product founder and CEO, she and cofounder Sofia Laurell decided that the world needed more healthy, flavorful and textured food options for little eaters and Tiny Organics was born! The company's products helps introduce babies and toddlers to their first 100 flavors that will build adventurous eaters, are all 100 percent organic, fresh-frozen, plant based and built on essential fruits and vegetables.
Ready-to-Eat Meals for the Entire Fam: Nurture Life
When her son started eating solids, Jennifer Chow started making all of his meals from scratch. When he started eating foods beyond the easy-to-make purees, she found she was spending hours making "mini adult meals," like many of her friends. Wanting to avoid fast and frozen foods and provide fresh, nutritious meals Chow and her co-founder Steve created Nurture Life. The company provides freshly made and ready-to-eat meals that are balanced and made from antibiotic-free meats, whole grains and organic produce. Parents can choose from baby, toddler, kid, teen and adult meal options which are then made from scratch, delivered to your door and ready to eat in two minutes or less.
Gourmet Dessert Sauces: Somebody's Mother
Lynn Lasher grew up in a home of entrepreneurs so when she lost her job one year, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Founded on the premise that when something is "homemade," it tastes better, Lasher started Somebody's Mother, with her first product inspired by her mom's own chocolate sauce. Now, almost 15 years later, Somebody's Mother sells a variety of dessert sauces, with every lid sharing a quote about mothering or parenting. Lasher says of her business, "I started Somebody’s Mother’s in April 2005 to teach my 3 children how to start a business and, more importantly, how to take matters into their own hands and to assume responsibility for their own financial well being."
Simple Smoothies: Bumpin Blends
As a registered dietitian, Lisa Mastela was overwhelmed by amount of nutritional needs that need to be met while pregnant and how on earth she was going to fit them all in. While a smoothie lover, she found it even more challenging to get all the ingredients she needed safely into the blender (an ER-worthy carrot situation really set things back) while navigating the kitchen with a belly. She set out to "help other soon-to-be mamas meet their baby’s nutritional needs and nurture their pregnancy symptoms in an easy, fast, and delicious way.” Bumpin Blends offers total customization based on your taste preference, dietary restriction and food aversions. In addition, customers have access to a Nutritionist around the clock via text message! Smoothie cubes come in 22 blends that support 22 symptoms, including morning sickness, heartburn and fatigue.
Cooking School, Cafe & Event Space: Haven's Kitchen
In 2012, Alison Cayne founded Haven's Kitchen, a cooking school, cafe and event space all in one. Mom to five kids, Cayne set out to make cooking at home more fun––and delicious. In 2018, she launched Haven's Kitchen Sauces, globally-inspired sauces with all natural ingredients inspired by recipes from her student's favorite classes. Now the mompreneur's products are available at over 300 locations, including Whole Foods Market.
Plant-Based Meals That Actually Taste Great: Splendid Spoon
Splendid Spoon was founded by Nicole Centeno, a mom who realized how difficult it was to attain a healthy-minded lifestyle with a 9-5 job and demands of family life. With Splendid Spoon, she’s made it her mission to make vegan plant-based meals accessible, nutritious and a daily habit that’ll power your day (no need to reach for that protein bar to get you through the mid-morning hangries) through a food subscription box. All meals come ready-to-eat, which is ideal for families on-the-go or new moms who may not have the energy to even boil water for pasta. Bonus: as of Jan. 2020 all of Splendid Spoon’s packaging is 100% recyclable.
Gourmet Baby Food in an Instant: Bon Petit
Chef Kathy Fang, new mom and two-time CHOPPED champion, just launched, an innovative, freeze-dried, gourmet baby food line designed to provide busy parents a solution to feeding their children healthful, nutritionally rich, balanced meals. If you have ever traveled with a baby, you know what it's like to have to lug around tons of tiny jars of baby food. Bon Petit solves this problem as the baby food comes in freeze-dried packs that are liquid free, shelf stable and TSA compliant. They include whole food-based ingredients with protein, complex carbs, fiber and more. With options like Under the Sardinian Sea which contains Wild Dover Sole, Italian butter bean, oregano, tomato, olive oil and basil, tiny palates will be awakened.
Eat Your Veggies for Dessert: Peekaboo Organic Ice Cream
With flavors like mint chocolate chunk, cotton candy and strawberry, you may think that a scoop of Peekaboo Organic Ice Cream is just another sweet treat. But like most moms, founder Jessica Levison had a few tricks up her sleeve when she developed this line of ice cream that features secret spinach, cauliflower, beets and carrots in every bite. As a mom of picky eaters, Jessica knew first-hand what a struggle it was to get kids to eat enough vegetables. She put her ice cream skills to good use as the owner of Miami's Serendipity Creamery and developed this line of ice cream with hidden veggies. Look for it at a grocery store near you!
Necessity Is the Mother of Invention: Real Food Blends
When Julie Bombacino, an Indiana mom of two, found out that her six-month-old baby boy would need a feeding tube, she didn’t just sit idle. She began researching and discovered quickly that nearly half a million people in the U.S. alone rely on feeding tubes. The tube formulas made her son very sick, and Bombacino knew there had to be a better way. She began to experiment with real foods, pureeing things like carrots, chicken and sweet potatoes, to put in his tube. It wasn’t long before AJ stopped vomiting and began to improve. That’s when Bombacino knew she could not only help her son, but thousands of people like him, and Real Food Blends was born. Designed for people with a feeding tube, Real Food Blends comes in six flavors and each one has just five to eight ingredients. There are no preservatives, corn syrup, dairy, soy or nuts. Not only is it made and manufactured in the U.S., but it is also covered by home health companies and insurance companies.
Eating the Best at Any Age: Harlow's Harvest and FarmBox Direct
Ashley Tyrner, founder of Farmbox Direct, and her 8-year old daughter Harlow, CEO of Harlow’s Harvest, are bringing families together through food. Farmbox Direct is a door-to-door service that brings the freshest vegetables and fruits directly from organic farms. Harlow, a self-proclaimed vegan since she was two years old, wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps and pass on what she has learned to bring the same quality product as FarmBox Direct to other kids in the hopes of them taking better control of their nutrition. She founded Harlow’s Harvest with Ashley so that parents and kids can make cooking together fun, interactive and educational. Harlow’s Harvest is a monthly subscription box that comes with recipe cards, a science project, background on the dish your child would be making and an online game they can play that is connected to that month’s theme.
Healing from Within: Bonafide Provisions
Bonafide Provisions was founded in 2011 by Sharon Brown, mom and clinical nutritionist who used bone broth to heal her son’s chronic illness. After her son suffered through years of sinus infections, ear infections and respiratory infections that resulted in numerous rounds of antibiotics, Sharon knew there had to be another way to heal him. That's where Bonafide Provisions was born. Sharon started making bone broth in her home and it is now available to purchase online. Bone broth is rich in minerals, collagen, gelatin, amino acids and other nutrients which detoxifies the body and heals the gut and joints.
Farm Fresh Baby Food: Once Upon a Farm
If you want to feed your baby the best, but time isn't on your side (we hear ya, Mom!), turn to Once Upon a Farm. Their organic, cold-pressed blends are designed to enhance kiddo's nutrition and expand her palate without YOU having to shop, chop, blend and puree. The ingredient list is simple (never anything artificial or processed). In fact, many of the ingredients are sourced from farms the company knows and trusts. If Once Upon a Farm's mission sounds familiar, you might have heard of this beloved brand from Co-Founder and Chief Brand Office, Jennifer Garner. Garner, along with mom Cassandra Curtis, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, are bringing farm fresh baby and kid food to high chairs everywhere. These two moms are making it their mission to become a leader in the organic family food space, fighting for and supporting efforts to drive positive social change and food justice for families.
The Future of Healthy Food: AccelFoods
Lauren Jupiter and Jordan Gaspar started AccelFoods to help smaller innovative food startups make it to mainstream, with a specific mission—insure a healthier future of food. They raised the $40M venture fund in just four years and have helped over 30 brands like Kidfresh (all-natural kids meals with hidden veggies), Rethink Water (kid-friendly flavored boxed water), and Brami (plant-based protein snacks) grow their businesses. Not only are these moms inventors and entrepreneurs, but they’re also helping other moms find success as well.
Check it out at accelfoods.com
Sweet Success: Vermont Nut Free Chocolates
In 1998, Gail Elvidge co-founded Vermont Nut Free Chocolates after her son was diagnosed with a life-threatening nut allergy. It was difficult for her to find nut-free baking products, chocolates, sweets, and products, so she and her husband Mark started the company to help families like theirs! What started as a small chocolate company in Vermont, has grown to nearly 40 employees, offering products like trail mix, gift baskets, fudge, truffles, baking essentials, hot cocoa, and much more. The company is proud to offer 100% peanut and tree nut free gourmet chocolates and products for those with or without allergies to enjoy.
Check out their yummy selection at vermontnutfree.com
Superfoods for Everyday Babes: Raised Real
When Dietician Dr. Michelle Davenport became a first-time mom she wanted to find (and make) easy, simple meals for her new eater that were big on nutrition and hadn’t sat on a shelf for months (or years). So, she co-founded Raised Real, a subscription-based meal service designed specifically for growing babes featuring organic baby food. The company uses superfoods and nutritional expertise to create each recipe—each one integrates fruits, veggies and micronutrients that are crucial for a child’s early development. They are delivered in pre-portioned, ready-to-steam packages that cost less than $5 per meal. You can opt to have meals delivered every two or four weeks, and you can skip or cancel at anytime.
—Kate Loweth, Amber Guetebier, Erin Lem and Karly Wood
All photos provided by companies