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Sage Spoonfuls


December 13, 2011

Interview with Liza Huber and Recipes

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Liza Huber has been both a busy working mom and a busy stay-at-home mom taking care of her 3 children. She has been making homemade baby food for many years and has seen the enormous benefits it has given her own children. This inspired her to create a system that gives moms all the tools they need to make fresh, healthy and delicious food for their babies. Drawing from her own experiences and the guidance of a leading pediatrician, she designed Sage Spoonfuls to fit the needs of all moms and their busy schedules.

In addition to launching Sage Spoonfuls, Liza has been appointed an Ambassador Mom for March of Dimes and will be raising awareness about premature birth. The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Before creating Sage Spoonfuls, Liza starred on the NBC daytime drama Passions. She also had the honor of being Miss Golden Globe in the year 2000. Her mother is Emmy-Award winning Susan Lucci of "All My Children". Liza and her husband, Alex, have been married since 2004. They have 3 children, Royce 4, Brendan 3, and Hayden 7 months.

Liza took the time to answer a few questions and also provide two Fall inspired baby food recipes!

Did you make baby food from the beginning with your 1st child or did you try purchasing it first?

Yes, I have been making homemade baby food from the beginning. When I had my 1st child, I had never cooked a thing in my life, but I knew I wanted to make his baby food. Through just a little trial and error, I figured it out and realized how incredibly easy it is. I also noticed that there were no products on the market that offered moms a complete system that allows us to make homemade baby food with ease, that is when I had my initial idea for Sage Spoonfuls.

Why do you feel it is important to make your own baby food?

There are so many benefits to making your own baby food. As a mom, these are my top 5 reasons.

1. Homemade baby food is the most nutritious

Store bought baby food, including the organic brands, has a shelf life of about 2 years. In order to achieve this shelf life, the food needs to be sterilized. This is accomplished by heating it to very high temperatures to ensure food safety. While sterilization is necessary to achieve shelf life, it kills vitamins, nutrients, taste, color and aroma in the process. Homemade baby food is higher in nutrients, tastes much better than store bought and has the enticing aroma that will make your baby excited about eating. It can retain most of its nutritional value, taste, color, texture and aroma because it is only lightly steamed and not overcooked. In fact, once your baby is 7 months old, most ripe fruit can be pureed without cooking,leaving all of the precious nutrients intact. Babies grow the most during their first year of life – let’s give them the healthiest start possible!

2. Homemade baby food is the most economical

Depending on the brand, store bought baby food can cost up to 3 times more than homemade! Not to mention the dollars wasted when you throw away a jar or pouch of half eaten food. When you make your own baby food in large batches and store it in the freezer, you are saving money while giving your child the very best nutrition. What could be better than that?

3. Homemade baby food leads to more adventurous eaters!

Babies do not need to eat bland food. They are far more adventurous eaters if given the opportunity. Commercially prepared baby food is usually bland in color, taste and texture. Additionally, the smell of store bought baby food is rarely as enticing as homemade. Babies who are fed a consistent diet of this food have a much higher chance of becoming picky eaters. They become so accustomed to eating bland food, which they don’t enjoy very much, that they are less eager to try new tastes and textures. Unfortunately, this pattern often continues into the toddler years and well into childhood. How many young children do you know who won’t eat anything other than processed chicken nuggets? 

On the other hand, babies who are fed a consistent diet of delicious homemade baby food often grow to become adventurous eaters who make healthy choices for themselves without even realizing it. This is not to say kids who are fed homemade baby food won’t go crazy for ice cream,cookies and chicken nuggets on occasion, it’s just that getting them to eat well isn’t a daily struggle. 

4. Homemade baby food is the “green” choice

With commercially prepared baby food, there is the constant purchasing and discarding of jars, lids, and pouches. About 4 million babies are born in the US every year. On average, by the time each of those babies turns 1, they will have eaten 600 hundred jars of store bought baby food. That equals about 2million tons of baby food packaging waste. Unfortunately, only about 15% gets recycled, leaving the rest to be incinerated or placed in a landfill.

5. Homemade baby food puts you in charge!

You know where the food came from, because you bought it and you know what’s in the food, because you made it. You are also able to expose your baby to the widest variety of flavors. Your baby’s taste buds and palate are developing during her first year of life. The more tastes, textures and yummy smells you can expose her to, the better. With store bought baby food, we are only given a handful of choices for each stage, usually whatever the manufacturer thinks is the most popular. With homemade baby food the yummy flavor combinations are almost endless!

Is making baby food more or less expensive than buying it?

Homemade baby food is much less expensive than store bought. In fact, it can be 3 times more expensive to buy your baby food than to make it! That’s not even factoring in the lost money when you throw away a jar or pouch of uneaten food. 

The website states that it only takes 1 hour every 2 weeks and you can have a freezer stocked with healthy and delicious baby food. Is it really that simple?

Yes, it really is that simple! When you have the right tools, homemade baby food is quick, easy and convenient. In each of our Sage Spoonfuls kits, we include 12 BPA free 4 oz jars. That equals 48 oz of food storage! By spending only 1 hour every 2 weeks preparing fresh, whole foods in bulk and storing them in Sage Spoonfuls jars in the freezer, you will have a constant available stock of healthy baby food. It’s minimal effort for maximum benefit!

I have to ask, what is the biggest difference from starring on daytime television to being a work-at-home/stay-at-home mom?

For me, there is a huge difference. When I was on Passions, we worked hard, but when the work day was over, it was over. While that was nice, I hated being away from my son. Now,being an entrepreneur, running my own business and having 3 kids under 5, it is exponentially more work, but the benefits are also worth it. Not only am I working on something I am passionate about, but I get to work from home and be there for my children at the same time.

What would you like parents to know about Sage Spoonfuls?

Sage Spoonfuls is a brand new line of products that gives moms all the tools they need to make healthy, affordable and delicious baby food with ease. We are a complete grab-and-go system fortoday’s busy moms. Sage Spoonfuls is also beautifully designed, we believe that just because a product is functional, doesn’t mean it can’t be cute! 

The Sage Spoonfuls system includes my book, Sage Spoonfuls-Simple Recipes, Healthy Meals, Happy Babies. It is full of recipes, information and ideas from one busy,on-the-go mom to another! My book includes everything you need to know about introducing and feeding your baby solids, including bonus family favorite recipes the entire family, babies and toddlers included, can enjoy together. You will also find the most up-to-date information on food allergies, nutrition,foods to avoid, no-cook purees, infant CPR, organics and much more. There is even a journal section after each age group to keep track of your baby’sfavorite foods.

Sage Spoonfuls also includes a user friendly immersion blender with food processor, 4 oz baby food storage jars, stackable trays, labels, a handy pocket guide, an insulated cooler bag with a reusable freezer pack, and a large multipurpose, insulated tote. All Sage Spoonfuls products are BPA free and made of non-toxic materials. Additionally, our baby food storage jars, freezer pack, storage trays and labels are all Made in the USA!

Recipes from Liza:

Parsnips

4 Medium Parsnips = 10 oz puree

* Wash parsnips thoroughly under cold running water, peel and chop.
* Place in steamer basket and steam for 8–10 minutes until tender.
* Puree until smooth using an immersion blender or food processor. Add purified water, breast milk, or formula, as needed, to thin puree.
* Let cool and serve or store.
* Parsnip puree can be stored in Sage Spoonfuls jars for up to 3 months in refrigerator and up to 3 months in freezer.

Serving:
Parsnip puree tastes best warm, but can also be served cool. For a creamier consistency with added nutrition, mix puree with a little breast milk or formula and a baby cereal (rice, barley, or millet) and serve warm. For extra flavor, add a pinch of cinnamon.

All About Parsnips:
Parsnip puree makes a delicious food for your baby. It is easy to digest, is non allergenic, and tastes great. Parsnip puree has a hearty, earthy, yet sweet taste and aroma that babies love. It is not only delicious on its own but is a nutritious base to mix with other foods. Parsnips look like big white carrots, but have the consistency of potatoes. Choose parsnips that are firm and not rubbery. Whole parsnips will stay fresh in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Butternut Squash

1 Large Butternut Squash = 25 oz puree

* Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
* Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers with a spoon and discard.
* Place squash cut side down on the baking sheet and place in oven on the middle rack.
* Roast for about 45 minutes, until squash is easily pierced with a fork.
* Let cool for 5 minutes then scoop the squash out of the skin with a spoon or just peel the skin right off. It’s best to use an oven mitt when handling the roasted squash so you don’t burn your hand.
* Puree until smooth, using an immersion blender or food processor. Butternut squash is naturally juicy, so you won’t need additional liquid for thinning.
* Let cool and serve or store.
* Butternut squash puree can be stored in Sage Spoonfuls jars for up to 3 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Serving:
Butternut Squash puree tastes great both warm and cool. For a creamier consistency with added nutrition, mix puree with a little breast milk or formula and a baby cereal (rice, oatmeal, millet, or barley) and serve warm. For extra flavor, add a pinch of cinnamon.

All About Butternut Squash:
Butternut squash puree is a wonderful first food for your baby. It has a mild sweet taste, is easy to digest, and is not allergenic. Butternut squash are full of nutrients, especially disease-fighting carotenes. This puree can be soothing when your baby has an upset stomach. Look for butternut squash that are firm to the touch and heavy for their size. Whole butternut squash are hearty and have a long shelf life. They will stay fresh at room temperature for about one month.


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