Children's Health Features

Tummies Full of Love: Marita to the rescue for moms and tots

Owner of homemade baby food range
Written by Pamela Madonsela

First-hand experience served as the perfect  motivation for mom-of-three Marita Bezuidenhout who launched her homemade baby food range Tummies Full of Love seven years ago.

The range was designed to help moms who don’t have time to cook these healthy meals themselves. Having ‘been there and done that’ Bezuidenhout has seen her kitchen develop into a small factory space and now offers working mothers a perfect solution when it comes to their little ones and healthy food options.

The sooner, the better

Bezuidenhout says it’s crucial to introduce babies to healthy food from a young age.

“I definitely see a big gap with regards to healthy baby food education. Sometimes, moms think that because their babies aren’t reacting towards sugary treats, it doesn’t do any harm,” explained the mom of three busybodies Christelle, Hendre and Janko.

“The problem sometimes comes in with development later in life. Childhood obesity, diabetes and refusing to eat healthy vegetables can be a result of bad eating habits. Your baby is fighting the battle inside his or her body and you won’t always see it. But it does play a role in the future health of your child.”

It all started in 2014 when Bezuidenhout decided she wanted to help mothers feel less guilty about not always having time.

“I literally started in my own kitchen with a few tubs a month and it has grown into a small factory space. I saw the opportunity to provide moms with a “homemade” baby food range because so many moms work fulltime and don’t have the time to do it themselves.”

The Tummies Full of Love range includes tubs of homemade baby food.

The Tummies Full of Love tubs come in a variety of flavours including ‘minty mashed peas’. (Photo: supplied)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She told Health-e News that having her own children triggered the idea.

“With all ‘mom-entrepreneurs’ it usually starts when you have children of your own. You then get to identify the needs of other moms,” said Bezuidenhout.

The need for “homemade” baby food and being a stay-at-home mom allowed her to take her passion further which has grown into a successful business years later.

All about flavours and textures

The Tummies Full of Love range is really focused on individual flavour introduction and the true textures of food. Children are less likely to be picky eaters if the introduction to solids is fresh food with real food flavours.

“We don’t add any salt, sugar, preservatives or starches to our tubs. All the ingredients are freshly bought. Our baby food resembles the taste of “real” food. Most people’s perception of baby food is jiggly food. We have changed that into a delicious adventure, where moms and dads actually eat the leftovers, and request bigger tubs for grown-ups. We love hearing that we can change that perception in regards to healthy baby food,” added Bezuidenhout.

Bezuidenhout emphasises the importance of the ‘The first 1 000 days of life: the brain’s window of opportunity’ which refers to the period between conception and the child’s second birthday.

“If you are not willing to eat it, how can your baby build a reference on that. Their preferences for healthy food will be determined by the amount of effort you put in while you are building the foundation. They are eager to go through the phase of introducing solids- use that to your advantage. Be patient and just enjoy this phase,” she said.

Laying a good foundation

She is encouraging moms  to make their own baby food.

“We understand that life is busy and for those moms we want to be their extra pair of hands to make your life a little easier without compromising the healthy food you can introduce to your baby. Use this valuable time of introducing solids to your advantage and lay down a good foundation.”

“It’s not easy, and I do get my days where I wish I could go back to being a stay-at-home mom, but I love this business as if it was another child that I have raised from a baby into an independent adult.  Having a business is hard work – there is no denying it – but at the end of the day, hard work is rewarded and my children can see that hard work is part of life,” said Bezuidenhout.

“It just takes extra dedication to make sure you keep a balance between work and your personal life. My husband and kids will always come first and they will be first in line if I have to prioritise.” – Health-e News 

About the author

Pamela Madonsela