Cooking for a Niche Audience


Photo of baby eating by CaitlinatorThere are some really amazing baby foods on the market--with flavors like Basil/Apple/Kale and Peach/Sweet Potato/Dill. A friend of mine and I joke about opening up a soup restaurant called Baby Food and simply pouring the purees into bowls for our customers--straight from the package. 

First Bites

Jokes aside, feeding your baby his or her first bite of something is momentous. Initially, lacking any experience in this field, my husband and I decided we would embark upon a baby led weaning adventure.

It's not exactly what it sounds like--it is a process of allowing your baby to feed herself regular food, rather than beginning with a rice cereal or single fruit or vegetable puree.

One of Many You-Tube Examples

The books to read, if you're interested or care to evaluate the approach for yourself, are Baby-led Weaning: The Essential Guide To Introducing Solid Foods And Helping Your Baby To Grow Up A Happy And Confident Eater (the American version) and Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby To Love Good Food (the British original) by Gill Rapley.


Baby-led weaning, or BLW, as the insiders call it, has all sorts of purported benefits, from fostering independence to creating an adventurous eater. I still love the idea but it turned out to not be an ideal match for our baby. 


Baby food isn't hard to make--you just have to make it. This is an area of interest for both parents and entrepreneurs. There are a couple of fresh baby food businesses in San Francisco (including a truly exemplary one in Bernal Heights that makes food out of local and humane food sources) that are quite successful and have served as inspiration for such recipes as a current favorite in our house--Organic Mashed Pinto Beans with Stewed Blueberries and Coconut Oil. For intriguing recipe ideas, check out The Baby & Toddler Cookbook by Karen Ansel.


We also rely on store-bought squeeze pouches--though we've never considered using them once our child can eat regular food at meal times (at least not yet)!. A recent article in the New York Times, "Putting the Squeeze on a Family Ritual", raises thought-provoking questions about issues surrounding extended implementation of the ubiquitous Plum packets and the like. 

Photo credit: Caitlinator


Author Bio:

Carine Risley is the chef and mastermind behind such edible delights as Fruity Chickpeas. Recipe available upon request.


baby food

I've made my fair share of baby food and it's delicious. I would often end up scraping the bowl of blueberry, pear, (fill in the blank) puree. It's so good, especially when it's warm. Chewing is overrated.

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