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I’m a working mom. In fact, I’m a female entrepreneur, having left my founding team role at a rocketship startup to build my own consulting business. It’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve done with my life thus far, second only to the ‘mom’ part of ‘working mom’. Together with my husband, I’m the proud mom of Alexander, 3, and Leia, 11 months. It’s not easy juggling it all, and as much as I wanted to be one of those Pinterest-perfect moms creating 12 ingredient, perfectly balanced baby food blends for my children every day, I needed help. Enter Yumi, the prepared meal delivery service for babies, toddlers, and busy moms like me that was so incredibly convenient and helpful with Alexander that I’m now on my second subscription with Leia.
No Gerber Babies Here
Let’s take a few steps back. I recall distinctly at about 5 months Alexander started to show genuine curiosity about food during my own mealtimes with him. His curiosity was peaking -- and I had been contemplating adding in solids to supplement my breastfeeding regimen. A friend told me to look-up Yumi, which was just getting off the ground at the time. Founded by Angela Sutherland and Evelyn Rusli out of frustration with their own lack of quality, nutrient-dense baby foods during their own pregnancies, Yumi was seeking to reinvent the category altogether.
While I’m no food purist, you may catch me frequenting the Santa Monica farmers market from time to time, and yes I brunch at farm-to-table buzzworthy restaurants. I’m hardly a food snob, but I do aspire to make conscious consumer choices in all aspects of my life. And so when I was getting ready to onboard solids with Alexander, I couldn’t stomach feeding him grocery store baby food that may have been on the shelf longer than he was alive.
Real talk: shelf-stable baby food is stable for a reason. It’s filled with junk, high in sugar, and low in overall nutritional value. According to the Mayo Clinic, organic produce carries significantly fewer pesticide residues than does conventional produce. Some people buy organic baby food to limit their babies' exposure to these residues — since infants might be more susceptible to harm potentially caused by pesticides than are adults. Hence Angela and Evelyn’s desire to bring a fresher, more nutritious product to parents shipped directly to their door.
The ‘Golden Opportunity’ of Real Food
Yumi starts from the premise of seizing on what’s known by PhDs as the “Golden Opportunity” -- the three variables widely known to contribute to early brain development -- reduction of stress, the presence of a strong social support and secure attachment, and the provision of optimal nutrition, all within the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.
This was a key unlock for me -- outsourcing the research and decision making to experts instead of frantically calling my pediatrician to ensure I was tracking to expectations. Yumi employs Doctors and Nutritionists on staff to take on the heavy-lift around nutrition and development.
When you sign up for a Yumi subscription, they ask for your baby’s birth date and walk you through a clean onboarding process to build-out your child’s meal plan. You pick up to 3 meals a day, selecting from over 70 flavors in an ever-changing menu featuring blends and purees optimized to meet your child’s needs at each stage of development. This was a key unlock for me -- outsourcing the research and decision making to experts instead of frantically calling my pediatrician to ensure I was tracking to expectations. Yumi employs Doctors and Nutritionists on staff to take on the heavy-lift around nutrition and development.
If you’re curious to go deeper on the R&D side of the house, Yumi offers free Guide Calls with a dietitian who’ll guide you every step of the way as you introduce solids to your little guy or gal:
Yumi also keeps the total amount of fructose as low as possible while combing blends with fiber, helping to slow down the absorption of sugar. They like to say that in the long term, you're setting your kiddos up to reach for veggies over candy.
You can feel the founder’s passion for nutrition throughout their menu and ingredients. It’s why their team has selected real foods rich in vitamins and minerals like Lutein, Selenium, Choline, and Iron which all help build healthy brains. Good luck finding those in your supermarket baby food aisle! Each blend has at least 20% of the recommended daily amount in 5 key nutrients or more. It's like a multivitamin, but with real food. Yumi also keeps the total amount of fructose as low as possible while combing blends with fiber, helping to slow down the absorption of sugar. They like to say that in the long term, you're setting your kiddos up to reach for veggies over candy. A proclamation I can stand behind!
Perishable, in the Best Way
Yumi is made fresh daily, so your purees are shipped chilled. Ours arrived in an insulated box with ice packs to keep the food from spoiling. Once opened, you’ll store in the fridge where they recommend consuming within 24 hours. You can also freeze any unused food for up to 2 months to always have supply on hand in a pinch!
There’s something really reassuring about how fresh (and therefore perishable) Yumi is. The ethos tied to feeding our children fresh foods helped justify the higher price point -- Each meal is $4.30 for the 1 meal per day shipment, but you’ll see economies of scale as you increase meals per day: $4.06/2 meals per day or $3.75/3 meals per day.
Leia’s (and Mom’s) Favorites
Leia’s particularly fond of mangoes, peaches, and the peach cobbler. She’s even starting on some of the finger foods, which Yumi refers to as “Stage 4” items including bites and puffs: nutrient-dense meals and munchies for 10+ months. She loves the Cubano bites, beet puffs, broccoli lentil bites, and the cauliflower puffs.
As a working mom with two kids under three, I simply can’t beat the convenience of Yumi. It comes once a week and saves me so much time in the kitchen. I don’t have to think about what I’ll be feeding Leia next, I just look in the fridge and grab and go knowing that she’s going to have a satisfying and healthy meal that fills all of her nutritional requirements, building strong bones and supporting brain development. If you’re considering giving Yumi a try, I can’t recommend them more!
5 More Reasons To Love Yumi
- Yumi is Organic, GMO free, Big 8 Allergen Free, and freshly made in California every week.
- For the Foodies out there, Yumi has the Chef Series, pairing award winning chefs with the Yumi test kitchen, yielding such treats as Chef Malcolm Livingston II’s Sweet Potato Cheesecake!
- Each blend has at least 20% of the recommended daily amount in 5 key nutrients or more.
- Celebrity Mom fans include Whitney Port, Jessica Alba, and Molly Sims to name a few.
- Yumi makes for a perfect gift to new parents -- you can gift weekly shipments via their registry.