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Solving the weaning challenge: Mum and dietician launch Tots Table baby food delivery service in Cambridgeshire

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Tots Table, a new baby food subscription service based on a novel ‘cube’ concept, has had a soft launch in Cambridge.

Sam Cooney, co-founder of Tots Table at her home in Hemingford Grey. Picture: Keith Heppell
Sam Cooney, co-founder of Tots Table at her home in Hemingford Grey. Picture: Keith Heppell

The concept introduces babies to vegetables and bitter tastes right from the start and provides parents with ‘home cooked’ quality food prepared in small batches, by hand, avoiding the hidden sugars that can be found in commercially prepared baby food.

Recent studies have encouraged the early introduction of vegetables and home-cooked meals for babies.

Tots Table has also launched a crowdfunding campaign, through the Natwest ‘Back Her Business’ Campaign, supporting women entrepreneurs.

The company was co-founded by Samantha Cooney – a barrister who trained at Fenners Chambers, Cambridge, who lives in Hemingford Grey – and her business partner, Victoria Bittle, a paediatric dietician who started her career at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The pair met in Cambridge while both were training for their respective professions.

The concept exposes babies to a huge variety of big flavours from the outset of their weaning journey, which is scientifically proven to improve their acceptance of a range of flavours as they grow up.

Sam told the Cambridge Independent: “It was when I was thinking about weaning my little girl, who’s now nearly 16 months. I had spent hours scouring the internet for help with what foods I should be introducing when, and hours in the kitchen preparing the ‘right’ foods for her, following guidance from my friend, Vicky [Bittle], who is a paediatric dietician, when we decided that parents need help and to have some time back to spend with their babies.

“We were trying to work out how you know as parents what different food types children need to have, what they need nutritionally, and how to get them off to a really good start. I was ver to hy conscious of not just giving her anything and making sure I was doing it in a research-backed way.”

On the cube concept, Sam says: “Parents are encouraged to batch cook and freeze individual ice cubes of ingredients or meal portions for their babies, but it is just so time consuming. Our concept is an extension of that idea, providing everything parents need for weaning, from the cubes to the expert guidance parents crave. We want to be a one stop shop for weaning.

“Our concept also gives flexibility, so that in the early stages, when individual flavours are introduced, it gives parents the option of just taking out one portion of each individual flavour, to enable them to easily follow a plan of introducing the right foods in the right way and it also provides a combined approach to weaning, providing both finger foods and purees.

“Then, as children get older, it means you can introduce a huge range of different flavours using our cubes, rather than buying a ready-prepared meal. You buy the cubes and that allows you to make any number of meals, because you have a number of vegetables, a number of carbs, a number of proteins and several different sauces, which you can combine in any way.”

The amount of sugar found in ‘mainstream’ baby food was also a factor: “Lots of the big brands put apple and sweet flavours in their food.These products develop children’s sweet tooth, so they never really become accustomed to savoury taste, and it can therefore be trickier to get them to enjoy those flavours later on.”

Sam and Victoria aim to launch the business fully in the new year.

Visit totstable.co.uk, follow #totstable on Instagram and Facebook, or view the crowdfunding campaign.

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