Little City Kitchen Co. Blog

My stories about local food, fermentation, and formerly organic baby food
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Just Say No…to Rice Cereal: The Scoop on Starting Solids Blog Series by Little City Kitchen Co.

Our Scoop on Starting Solids blog series kicks off today with three questions from readers about when to introduce common food allergens and why baby rice cereal isn’t the best starter food, contrary to mainstream thinking.

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 Amanda P: Do I have to keep feeding baby that bland rice cereal?

Dr. Getzelman: I joke with my patients that the rice cereal box probably has more nutrients than the contents!  The iron in rice cereal and other fortified products is very poorly absorbed and often constipating.  Meat and eggs and dark greens and legumes/beans are far superior sources of iron!


Question from Karra S: My question is regarding when to introduce potential allergens such as strawberries, blueberries, and tomatoes. Due to some food sensitivities my older kids two had to eggs and cow’s milk, our pediatrician said to hold off on peanuts, eggs, and shellfish until 1 year.  I hate to withhold these delicious foods unnecessarily….what is your recommendation?

Dr. Getzelman: The most recent research supports introducing any and all foods as soon as infants begin to eat solids.  We have discovered we may actually be encouraging the development of food allergies by coaching parents to hold off on giving certain foods until after a year of life. In my practice, I encourage parents to prepare a wide variety of tasty and whole foods for their babies from the get-go.

No processed rice cereal or bland foods are necessary for infants.  My advice includes having parents look to the baby for cues about when to begin to give solids (baby gets to decide when he/she is ready!) and to start with savory things like veggies, meats and eggs, including stews and flavorful recipes.  Fruit can be part of the mix but giving too much fruit may encourage a preference for sweet things.

The main goal is to have fun with this process.  Most babies love to try new things, enjoy a diversity of food colors and flavors, and given opportunities to try a wide variety of things become fantastic eaters!


Question from Christine T: For food introduction, I’ve read that solid foods should be offered to the baby after milk has already been consumed, as the milk offers more essential nutrients than that one serving of solid food. I can do that, but how will I know and when will I know the priority to change?

Dr. Getzelman: I think this is only true for breast milk and until 6-7 months of age.  By 9 months a baby may be getting half of their calories from solid foods and if they are eating whole organic foods, not processed white/grey ones, they will be taking in lots of important antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in addition to calories.  Be sure to make meals using good fats like olive oil, coconut oil, or some butter so that what baby is consuming is not too lean.  Babies need lots of fat to stay healthy and grow well.


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 at the San Francisco Birth & Baby Fair this Saturday for a baby food cooking demo and discussion about introducing solids.


A Guide to Best Baby Food Storage Containers: Homemade Baby Food Tips blog series

So…you’ve started to make your own organic baby food for little one.  Congratulations!  Now the question is how do you store all this delicious food you made?  We kick of today’s Homemade Baby Food Tips blog series with a few different storage methods and a review of the best baby food containers available today.

Shout out to Nicole L. for submitting this question for the blog series!  She wins a free pack of frozen baby food for her little one.  Enter your questions here for a chance to win.

Freezing in Ice Cube Trays

Using this method, you spoon your homemade baby food into ice-cube trays, freeze it, and then transfer the cubes into a zipper-top bag.

Value pick: So Easy Covered Ice Cube trays

These are similar to traditional ice cube trays, with the added benefit of a snap-on cover that protects the baby food as it freezes and allows you to stack multiple trays in your freezer. $10 for 2 trays.

Wanna Splurge: Orka Cubes

Love these…same concept as above except the bottom of the ice cube tray is made of food-grade silicone.  Instead of twisting and fighting to get the cubes out, you just press the bottom and “pop” each cube goes.  And to boot, they come in super-cool bright colors. $10-$15 each.


You spoon your baby food into these containers and the whole thing gets frozen.  No transferring, just take one out of the freezer, thaw it, and take it wherever you want.

Value Pick: Fresh and Freeze

Easy to find and inexpensive.  These guys come with special trays to stack containers nicely in your freezer.  They come in a few sizes 1, 2, and 4 oz…don’t get the 1oz because your little one will outgrow in a month!  $10 for 12 containers.

Don’t Recommend: Baby Cubes

This is the only product on here that I don’t recommend buying.  Feedback is that the tops (while conveniently attached) are constantly popping off.  Green peas leaking in the diaper bag…enough said.

Food Grade Silicone

Moving up the scale, food-grade silicone is a great way to store food.  It’s safe for baby, flexible for easy removal, and is pretty much indestructible.

Value Pick: Tovolo Perfect Ice cube trays

A great silicone tray, and they form these perfect little squares of goodness.  The downside is that there is no cover, so use parchment paper or plastic wrap.  They’re easy to find in 1oz size, and a little harder to find in the 4oz larger size.  Use them also for regular ice cubes…they won’t melt for over an hour in your drink!  $8 each.

Wanna Splurge: Beaba Mulit-portion Freezer Tray

We’ve all seen them at Williams-Sonoma, and I must confess that even I lust a little after these because they’re just too cute.  Aside from the cool-factor, they’re crazy expensive so maybe it’s a great gift from mom or the in-laws! $20 each.

I’m hearing rumors that one of my fav brands Lifefactory is coming out with an individual silicone baby food storage container.  More to come on that, but something to look out for.

Freezing in Glass Containers

Even with BPA-free plastics out there, I try and use glass as much as possible.  The most important thing to remember about using glass: check to make sure your glass container is safe for the freezer…it will say on the packaging.
(Note: old baby food jars are NOT safe for the freezer, so toss them in the recycle bin and don’t be tempted to reuse).

Value Pick: Ball 4oz Jelly Jars

The best kept secret…Whether your canning or not, these freezer-safe jelly jars are an excellent option to freeze baby food if glass is your preference.  I picked up a dozen for under $9.00 at my local Ace Hardware.

Wanna Splurge: Wean Cubes

My all-time fav splurge pick are these adorable glass baby food cubes from WeanGreen.  Definitely on the pricy side ($25-$30 for four, 4oz cubes), but again, what a great extravagant gift to have your mom buy!  $25 for 4 containers.

Come visit Little City Kitchen Co. at the Burlingame Farmers Market this Sunday…got some yummy flavors for the kiddos!


Know When to Adjust Your Course: Food Entrepreneur Blog Series by Little City Kitchen Co.

Little City Kitchen Co. turns one.  Can you believe that a year ago, literally to the day, I blogged about my very first day of being an entrepreneur.  In the last 12 months, I’ve learned more about myself than perhaps any other time in my life.   I wrote blogs until my eyes were blurry, handled an 8-inch chef’s knife long enough to get calluses, and somehow managed to get this company off the ground.

At the time I decided to sell baby food, I had no idea what would be involved, much less that it would take me nearly 10 months of planning to sell my first pack.  It’s been a period of dreaming and scheming, along with a lot of trial-and-error.  And I learned one of the most valuable lessons along the way:

Know when to adjust your course.

Adjusting your course may mean big changes, or little ones.  My biggest one came three weeks into my self-employment when I decided to abandon the idea of being a personal chef/caterer and turned this into a baby food company.

I find that the world sends little messages of validation when you choose the correct course of action.  A week after I decided to make baby food, I met a lovely woman in the baby food aisle of Whole Foods that turned out to be the owner of one of the most prominent baby resource centers in San Francisco, Natural Resources.  Through them, I found my Baby Tasters which propelled me into the next chapter of R&D, and so on…

My latest course adjustment came after a six-month process applying for a small business loan.  In the end, I decided to do something unconventional, maybe even slightly renegade-like, and turn down the loan.

The very next day I had coffee to brainstorm business ideas with a new friend who would eventually turn me one to peer-to-peer lending sources like Slow Money and Prosper.  Who knows what will come of this newfound knowledge, but something tells me I’m on the right path.

The point being, that this process is all about trying new things, constantly evaluating what works (and doesn’t work), and making an infinite number of adjustments along the way.  Sometimes your adjustments are based on facts, sometimes they’re based on your intuition…either way, they help shape what your company will look like.

Next week we’ll have another installment of the Scoop on Starting Solids with guest blogger Dr. Julia Getzelman of Getzwell Pediatrics.  The Birth & Baby Fair is also just around the corner on Saturday, June 25.  I’ll be doing another baby food cooking workshop, but RSVP fast because the 50 seats are going fast.  For some fun stories about my first experience at the B&B Fair, check out Part 1 and Part 2 from last year.

So, it’s been a whole year since Little City Kitchen Co. was born.   I wonder what the next year will look like??


Optimism is Only A Comment Away: Bouncing Back after a Tough Week


I’m happy to report that this week has been considerably better…  Still an uphill battle, but I’m back on track and my sense of optimism is slowly returning.

Sometimes it just takes one comment to turn things around.  This past Sunday at the Burlingame farmers market, one of my regular customers said that comes to the market specifically to see me, and that she felt I was like her own personal baby food chef.  Big shout out to you Jill…your comment really made my day!

I also really enjoy the conversations and the relationships I’m building with my best customers.  It’s so much fun interacting with everyone on our Facebook page and seeing the same faces week after week at the markets.  That’s one of the fun parts of the job…

On Camera with Little City Kitchen Co., Take 1

In case you missed it last week, Little City Kitchen Co. was featured on PenTV’s “Talk of the Town”.  You can view the interview here (hint: I’m at 1:30 and 4:25 if you want to cheat and skip ahead to my part…I won’t tell). I hope this is the first of many TV appearances, leading up to a future spot on my fav TV cooking show, Foodcrafters, which I wrote about in my past blog, Dream a Little Dream.

Back at the Birth & Baby Fair

I’m excited also to be attending the San Francisco Birth & Baby Fair again this year on Saturday, June 25.  I’ll be leading another cooking demo on making your own organic baby food.  I can tell you that it will NOT be hands-on like last year…you’ll understand why if you re-read my blog post from the last show.

I can take a max of 50 people for the cooking demo.  Half of those spots are already filled, so don’t delay in pre-registering if you want to attend!  Excited also that Dr. Julia Getzelman of GetzWell Pediatrics will be doing a quick introduction to the group this year.

In general, the cooking demonstrations have been a ton of fun for me.  I love watching parents get inspired to make their own food, and knowing that their kiddos get to eat the healthiest of food make me feel great.  Stay tuned for more nutrition & cooking workshops in partnership with GetzWell Pediatrics, Kaiser hospitals, Monkey Bars, and a few other places in the upcoming months.

There are a few other big things in the works…one in particular that will get me one step closer to seeing Little City Kitchen Co. baby food in retails stores around the Bay Area.  No details now, but it feels good to have some forward progress!

So…that’s it for now.  As I said, I feel like I’m getting a little bit of my mojo back, and things are looking up.  Thanks to everyone for the nice emails and comments after such a difficult week.