So, you’re too tired to cook a full meal and the kids are left with chicken nuggets for the third time this week? Save your money, and your self-conscious mind, and invest in a new meal that is not only tasty but also organic and nutritional.
Founded in 2005 by mom and entrepreneur Gigi Lee Chang, Plum Organics is now the leading frozen organic baby food brand. Building on the core values of “healthy eating for life” Plum Organics has created a line of culinary inspired fresh-frozen baby foods in three stages and fortified with DHA for optimal nutrition.
From ingredient sourcing to packaging choices, the company also strives to reduce their carbon footprint and ensure that their product line is pure and clean from the inside out. Using recyclable packaging products for the baby food items.
“The idea really came from my own experience with my son when he was just starting with solid foods,” said Lee Chang. “I made homemade food for him and realized how his interest with food was different from other babies who ate already made baby products. I discussed it with my friends and later found research that the food children have at that age affects the habits they adapt to as they get older.”
With the craze about healthier school lunch reforms just starting four years ago, as the founder remembers, Lee Chang noticed there was no focus on baby food. Noticing her son’s development with homemade meals she decided to provide better, nutritious options for this demographic. Her idea was well received and further developed into another line of toddler food products, Plum Organics Kids.
“The kids line was an extension to reinforce their eating habits the children develop as babies. To have a love for different tastes and foods is necessary so that as they get older they can appreciate other foods,” she said.
The meals are available in four varieties, Bowtie Pasta with Creamy Sweet Potato Sauce, Rainbow Pasta Shells with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Cheese filled Spinach Tortellini with Marina Sauce and Italian Sausage Marinara over Multigrain Pasta. Each meal includes a healthy portion of organic vegetables in a kid approved 2-compartment tray so the veggies do not touch. The USDA-certified organic ingredients are flash frozen to retain the most nutrients, enzymes, flavor and texture with no artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors added.
In continuing the company’s mission of helping the environment too, Plum Organics Kids uses a newly developed biodegradable and compostable serving tray, a first of its kind. The trays are made from annually renewable resources and are both oven-able and microwavable. The outer carton is a unique paperboard that is not only recycled, but made using clean energy and anything left over is given back in carbon credits. As a result, this board is 100 percent carbon neutral. Not bad for your kids meals, right?
But apparently it all sounded too good. I decided to put the product to the test by grabbing my godson and letting him try one. The meals, available at SuperTarget and Whole Foods stores nationwide, have simple yet appealing designs for little ones. The back of each meal comes with “farm-to finger fun facts” that educate parents and their children on green living. These facts include food puzzles, health tips and eco-tips.
This offers a satisfying way to entertain children rather than sitting them in front of a television to watch more cartoons. The meal itself was also satisfying. The veggies were colorful, the sauce in the pasta thick but not filled with flour, and the portions were right so that everything could be eaten by a 3 year-old. The verdict, these kids meals are good, and adults may enjoy them too.
“The meals in particular have been extremely well received an consumer feedback has been very positive, I know within my own parent community there’s this big lack of options and its one of these things that people want an alternative to pizza and Mac and Cheese for. A lot of consumers are looking for meals and so generally the line has been received very well because of that,” Lee Chang, who tastes every product and asks neighborhood children for their opinion, said.
The mom turned businesswoman is looking into new ways to offer snack foods with the same qualities her foods have. There are a lot of supposedly organic products that are still highly processed, Lee Chang said, so she is hoping to bring more toddler snacks that are minimally processed and high in nutrients but also fun for kids.
“I would reemphasize that our message and what we’re trying to do is provide better options for parents that they can feel good about and be reflective of the lifestyle they lead. I hope our attitude reflects that more than the product and I understand as a parent that we are busy, so if we can help get them closer to their preferred solution to feeding their children we have achieved what we set out to do,” said Lee Chang.