Little City Kitchen Co. Blog

My stories about local food, fermentation, and formerly organic baby food
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Introducing Solids and Adding Spices to Baby Food: The Scoop on Starting Solids series by Little City Kitchen Co.

Our Scoop on Starting Solids blog series kicks off today with two questions from readers pertaining to introducing solids and cooking with spices.  I’ve enlisted the help of one of our favorite guest bloggers, Dr. Julia Getzelman, founder of  GetzWell Pediatrics, to provide her perspective on these topics.

A reminder to all readers – submit your baby food-related questions by posting a comment on our Great Baby Food Giveaway blog, and if we feature your question, you win a free pack of baby food from Little City Kitchen Co.!


Question from Lisa M: I have heard conflicting opinions on when the best time to start solid foods really is – is it early or is it later? I think this relates to allergies. So I am trying to understand what solid foods to start in addition to breast milk and when.

Dr G: My belief, and the research is beginning to support this, is that babies are good at deciding when they are ready to begin eating solids.  Sometime between 4 and 6 months most infants will become interested in food.  They will watch intently as mother eats, get excited when they smell food cooking, and may even mimic chewing as they observe others at meals.

When you see these signs, you may begin feeding your baby.  A minority of babies won’t be interested in solid foods until later than 6 months and in those cases should continue to breast feed until they are ready.

Feeding should be a fun process of introducing solids to your baby.  You may begin with any vegetable (or combination of vegetables—think lots of different colors!), steamed, pureed, and combined with a little breast milk or formula to get to a smoothie-type consistency.  The first few times a baby eats, he/she may make funny faces, and may only take a bite or two of what you have prepared.  Don’t let this discourage you.  Just forge ahead and continue offering healthy, organic vegetables to which you might consider adding a little olive oil and fresh herbs.  Most babies like flavor as much as we do!


Question from Jen A: I am curious about adding spices to my baby’s food, but I am worried that not all are safe for him.  Are there some spices that I should avoid?

Dr. G: Spices contain important antioxidants and other benefits, and babies like flavor.  The more variety you provide to your baby from the get-go, the more adventurous eater your baby will be in the long run.  Other than salt, there is no spice, that your baby may not try.  And keep in mind that a funny face doesn’t mean a rejection.  Furthermore, some babies/kids need to try a certain flavor over a dozen times before liking it.  So don’t give up!


Julia Getzelman is the founder of GetzWell Pediatrics, and is the only board certified, primary care, integrative pediatrician based in San Francisco.  For more information on GetzWell Pediatrics, check out their website here.

Join Little City Kitchen Co. and GetzWell Pediatrics for free workshops at the San Francisco Birth & Baby Fair on Saturday, June 25th.   Dr. Getzelman will be leading a Vaccines Q&A, and Jill will be leading a cooking demo for parents wishing to make their own organic baby food.

Tips for Starting a New Business – Part 1: Tales from Food Entrepreneur Blog Series

I received some great advice when I started this blog: be consistent, be brief, and be authentic.  Of all of these, the last one about being authentic is the most important one to me.  When I find myself struggling to write, typically this means I’m trying too hard or it’s not the right topic for me.  I then find something else to write about.

Today I find myself in an uncommon (and thankfully infrequent) place.  I’m down.  I mean really buried in one of those annoying valleys I’ve often described to you guys.  I considered either skipping this week’s blog, or writing about a different “happier” topic, although both of these seemed inauthentic to me.

So instead, I decided to channel a little of piece of my funk into some advice I’d give to a new entrepreneur.  Here’s the beginning of what will probably turn into a long list in the coming months:

Get Advice

Surround yourself with free or low-cost talent: Places like the SF Small Business Development Center (SBDC) were/are extremely helpful to me.  Thanks to them, I have a business coach, a marketing coach, help with my bookkeeping, not to mention the various classes I’ve taken on tax laws, social media, accounting, and other relevant topics.  If you don’t have a local SBDC, check the surrounding community colleges or even the city planning offices to see what assistance classes are offered, for example the Oakland BAC.

Get Support

Develop a “tribe” of both personal and professional contacts: Starting a business can be grueling, so having a support system in place makes it a little easier.  It can be as simple as a group of girlfriends getting together for a wine club (shout out to my wine gals!).  On the professional side, seek out other small businesses in your field.  There is typically some partnership opportunity, and at the very least, someone who can relate to what you’re going through.

Get Money

Save a bunch, borrow if you need, and plan for the unexpected: Money is a constant source of concern for any new business owner.  The reality is that you need 1) start-up capital to invest in your business, 2) living expenses for around two years, depending on the business, and 3) some cushion money for emergencies.  Use the Rule of Three; it takes three times as long, and costs three times as much than you originally expect.

Get Happy

Create a “happy folder” and fill with anything that makes you feel good: When I get really down, I open my happy folder and re-read emails that I’ve saved over the years: accolades I’ve received, heartfelt emails from friends, encouraging comments from clients, etc…  Sometimes I have to read for 30 minutes, but I always feel better afterwards.  It’s a way to keep things in perspective and remind myself of what’s important.

Reminder to everyone that I will be launching the Scoop on Starting Solids Q&A blog series next week.  Dr. Julia Getzelman of Getzwell Pediatrics will kick off the series by answering a few questions submitted from readers.

Win a free pack of baby food if we feature your question.
Just post a comment on our Baby Food Giveaway page to submit.

The Scoop on Starting Solids: Win Free Baby Food from Little City Kitchen Co.

Winning a pack of handcrafted, organic, frozen baby food from Little City Kitchen Co. has never been easier!

We have just launched the new “Scoop on Starting Solids” blog series, a place where readers can ask any baby food-related question to be answered by experts in the field. A broad range of topics will be discussed…anything from infant nutrition to introducing solids and allergy concerns.

How do you win?  We’re looking for your questions…

Submit a question in the comments section below, and if we feature it in the blog series, you win a free pack of baby food.  It’s that easy.

Choose from flavors like:

  • Cuban black beans with roasted plantain, mango & coconut
  • Jewish potato latkes with caramelized onions, apples & parsley
  • Chard & kale with onions, apple & and white sweet potato
    …or any baby food flavor made my Little City Kitchen Co.

Good luck and submit your questions below!

For selling locations and information about organic baby food from Little City Kitchen Co., visit our website or Facebook page.

A Change is Coming: Introducing the Little City Kitchen Co. Blog Series

The Little City Kitchen Co. blog is changing!  In the beginning, I focused my blog posts on the process of starting this company.  The good, the bad, and the ugly…you guys read it all.  The first 150 readers were, as usual, a combination of family & close friends interested in keeping up with my progress.

Now that Little City Kitchen Co. baby food is for sale (and my readership is at 500 and growing – yay!), I’m receiving requests to blog about topics a little more relevant to baby food. I’ve always wanted the blog to be interesting, informative, and fun to read, so I’ve decided to break down the blog into more topic-specific “series”.

More details coming in the next week, but here’s an example of some of the series I’ve created:

The Scoop on Starting Solids: Readers will be able to submit common questions that will be answered by me or by a guest blogger.  I’ve done a lot (let me repeat: a lot) of learning about which foods babies should be eating.  At the farmers market, I find myself answering questions about nutrition, when to introduce certain foods, concerns about allergies, etc… so I’ll be sharing this information with other interested parents.

Tips on Making Your Own Baby Food: Hints on from the Little City kitchen about how any home cook can make their own organic baby food.  The aim of this series will be to demystify the cooking process and provide tips for busy parents who want to feed their kiddos the healthiest food around.

Tales of a Food Entrepreneur: My crazy stories about starting and running this company…mostly the format of the blog up until this point.  You guys know, I’m a first-time food entrepreneur and am learning so much along the way.  This is my way of documenting the building of the business, one success and mistake at a time.

You’ll be able to subscribe to each series individually, or all of them, depending on what content you find most relevant.  This way you get to read the information that you really want, and not necessarily every topic I write about.

Baby Food Giveaway

What would a new blog format be without a new contest?  I’m currently seeking your questions to kick off the “Scoop on Starting Solids” series…and I have no problem resorting to bribery.  Send me a baby food-related question on your mind, and if it’s picked to be featured in the blog, you will win a free pack of Little City Kitchen Co. organic baby food.  It’s that easy.

To enter: simply type your question in the comment section below, email it to me directly, or post it on our Facebook page.  If I select your question for the blog, then you’re a winner!

That’s it for me this week.  Had two great cooking demos this week, one at GetzWell Pediatrics and one at Monkey Bars.  Another great day at the Burlingame market and things are starting to click in Alameda as well.  Hope everyone has a great week!


The Rule of Three: Realistic Expectations from a Food Entrepreneur

As many of my long-time readers know, the process of starting Little City Kitchen Co. (and I imagine any new business) has been the roller coaster ride of my life.  One week I’m on the top of the world filled with boundless excitement and momentum…and then there’s the inevitable valley where I take what feels like a zillion steps backwards.

Two things have helped me somewhat adjust to this pattern, the first being repetition.  The up-and-down game has occurred 50+ times so far, so it’s a little less shocking to the system now.

The second is a perspective I’ve come to refer to as the “Rule of Three”.

Everything will take me three times as long (and cost three times as much) as I originally expect.

For example: I thought it would take three months to get baby food to market; it took me nine.  Six weeks for a small business loan; yeah, try four months and counting.  Product liability insurance premiums, okay, let’s not even go there…

The good news is that I now have a more realistic estimate of time and expense, not to mention that I start projects much earlier now!  This way there are fewer surprises along the way, and even the occasional “Yippee!” when things take less time to accomplish than I expect.

Kickoff Day in Alameda

I promised to be honest with you guys, so while I wish I could report that Little City Kitchen Co’s first day at the Alameda farmers market was excellent, that was not entirely the case.  I’m not sure whether my expectations weren’t realistic (because of how well the Burlingame market has been going), or if it’s not the right place for me…it’s a little too soon to tell.

Even though the sales were weak, the interest was definitely there, so hopefully I can gain some momentum over the coming weeks.  Figure I’ll give it a good 6-8 weeks and see what’s what after that.  I’m still really enthusiastic about the market and the charming Alameda area.  The peeps were fantastic, I just wish there were a few more of them!

The Scoop on Starting Solids

Excited about two baby food demo events I have this week: one on Saturday morning at Monkey Bars in Alameda, and one on Tuesday night in partnership with GetzWell Pediatrics.  It’s going to be a beautiful weekend, so come out to the Spring Festival in Alameda and join me!

Cooking up the Goodies

This has been a fun week in the kitchen.  As most of my farmers market customers know, the flavors rotate every week depending on what’s in season (and what I feel like cooking).  This week I’m working on an Ethiopian spiced red lentil dish called W’at, and my baby version of Broccoli “Au Gratin” with some roasted cauliflower and a hint of parmesan and cheddar cheese.

Hope to see you at one of the farmers markets or at the baby food demo events!