Canberra parents Katie and Sam Croser learnt the hard way about feeding babies and toddlers when their first-born, Reuben, turned out to be a picky eater.
"When he began eating solids, we fed him pureed foods with little flavour variations for too long." Sam said. "We didn't provide him with the opportunity to try new flavours and textures. Now as a toddler, he refuses to try foods that aren't shaped like a dinosaur or don't look visually appealing in some way."
When their daughter Adaline was born and started eating solids, they knew they had to start offering her variety.
"This meant spending valuable time in the kitchen creating flavour combinations which met her nutritional needs," Sam said.
" As working parents, we don't always have the time to do this, and refuse to buy highly-processed jars and pouches from the store."
Little Adaline, now 16 months, has, as a result, turned out to be a champion eater.
"She eats everything," Sam said. "Tomatoes, roasted cauliflower is a favourite. Literally anything. We'll be eating our dinner and she'll reach out and snatch it out of our hands."
And that was the beginning of Gobble Guts, their new food delivery service for toddlers and babies, which aims to provide nutritious and flavoursome meals for little ones, while giving some peace of mind to time-poor parents.
Each night when we put the kids to bed, we'd sit down to watch Netflix, but after a while you think, 'We should be doing something more productive with our time'.Sam Croser, on starting the business
The very cutely-named business was launched just over a week ago, the meal recipes created by clinical nutritionist Kara Moore and prepared in a commercial kitchen in Canberra, initially overseen by a chef. The meals are delivered to the door, the Crosers passionate about creating food that is beneficial to children, easing stress on parents, and freeing families up for more time together.
The Gobble Guts meals are free from the eight common allergens (dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy), are gluten free and contain no added sugars, additives or preservatives. They are tailored specially for children aged from six months to toddlerhood. The meals are made fresh and delivered frozen, able to be pureed, mashed or eaten as is.
"No one else is doing this in Canberra and no one, really, nationally. The others provide mini-adult meals, like a small lasagne," Sam said.
Katie and Sam, both public servants, always wanting to create a meaningful business.
"Each night when we put the kids to bed, we'd sit down to watch Netflix, but after a while you think, 'We should be doing something more productive with our time'," Sam said.
Katie said, at the end of the day, there was nothing more satisfying for a parent than watching their child eating a healthy meal.
"It's satisfying and also so much easier, it's one less thing you have to stress about, you don't have to make separate meals for the kids, three times a day," she said.
The couple took the leap of faith to launch during the coronavirus pandemic, experiencing some issues such as delays in supplies and produce price increases, but also pluses in that home delivery was an attractive option for many people during this time.
The response had been "so far so good". "When people come back to buy again, that's when we know, 'Okay, we're doing the right thing'," Sam said.
More details are at gobbleguts.com