Tantalizing Tiny Taste Buds
Inside an industrial kitchen in Downtown Los Angeles, Kerstin Kühn and her assistant have just finished blending fresh peaches, pears and organic vanilla. The blend looks like a tasty and creamy bright-colored smoothie.
“We poach the pears and the apples a little bit, just to get them nice and soft before pureeing,” explains Kühn.
She then scoops the mixture carefully into individually labeled cups and weighs each one. She seals the cups, arranges them on a tray and places the tray inside a walk-in freezer where rows of other small food containers will be stored for a few days before they’re delivered to clients around Los Angeles County.
“It’s not easy running a business,” says Kühn. “But moms email me and say: ‘thank you so much…my baby is such a great eater.’”
Kühn is the owner of Little Foodie Club, a Los Angeles-based baby food delivery service that aims to train a baby’s palate by introducing early foods made with a unique combination of flavors.
Parents who purchase a Little Foodie Club subscription can expect a monthly delivery with small batches of handmade purées made from organic, local, preservative-free ingredients. Little Foodie Club flavors include Lentils with Rainbow Carrots & Thyme; Brown Rice with Zucchini; Peas & Mint; Broccoli & Apple with Quinoa; Baby Beef Casserole and Lamb with Potatoes, Spinach & Rosemary, among others.
“We’re always trying to improve things,” says Kühn.
Before Little Foodie Club
Kühn moved to Los Angeles from Europe in 2013 when her husband accepted a job relocation.
Prior to moving, she had spent a decade in London working as a food journalist often traveling around the world tasting innovative cuisine and interviewing world-acclaimed chefs.
When she moved here, Kühn continued working as a freelancer writer. The British publications she had worked for wanted content about the Los Angeles food scene and Kühn was happy to provide it.
“The thing that blew me away the most was the quality of the fresh produce,” says Kühn describing her early culinary experience in LA. “Here…everything tasted sweeter and more flavorsome and fresher. That was a real revelation which then inspired me to cook a lot more again.”
Motherhood and the Launch of a Brand
A year after arriving in LA, Kühn and her husband had a baby girl named Maxine.
When it was time to begin introducing Maxine to solid foods, Kühn realized rice cereal wouldn’t necessarily give her daughter the nutrients she felt were appropriate for a baby.
“From a nutritional point of view (rice cereal) is fortified with iron, which is important for babies from six months… but apart from that, it’s a refined starch… it’s basically just empty carbs,” she explains.
Using her food knowledge and research on ingredients suitable for healthy digestion in young babies, Kühn began experimenting in the kitchen with fruits, vegetables and certain light spices.
The result was a variety of flavorful purées that Maxine started eating without hesitation.
When there was a flavor combination that Maxine wasn’t approving, like avocados and bananas– Kühn would simply try again until the baby allowed her tiny taste buds to accept the flavors. Kühn learned palate-training was possible for babies.
Then she started sharing her homemade baby purées with fellow mom friends who were also introducing solids to their babies but felt unsure about what to feed them.
“I thought, ‘let me give them some of the foods that I make’ and their kids loved the foods! That’s when I came up with the idea of Little Foodie Club,” she says.
Together with her husband, Kühn developed a business plan, made a personal investment and launched the company. Almost instantly, families approved of the brand. Moms were happy to give their kids healthy, nutritious meals without the hassle of having to prepare them.
Today, Little Foodie Club continues growing its clientele base. While her husband takes care of the company’s marketing, design and financials, Kühn does all the shopping and cooking. She shops at local farmers markets making sure all ingredients are locally grown and organic. Then she heads to her cooking space, an industrial kitchen she leases adjacent to the LA Arts District and prepares the baby recipes before they’re frozen and shipped.
Most recently, she developed a “21 days to solids” pack, which gives parents an opportunity to introduce a different food every day to their baby, for 21 days. From there, parents can move to the meal plan for 6-9-month-olds that features 12 different purees, with menus changing seasonally.
Kühn’s concept has already gained national attention and parents around the country have inquired about subscribing to Little Foodie Club. She’s working on ways to ship her products to families outside of Southern California in a way that’s cost-efficient.
“It was not easy to get this brand off the ground,” says Kuhn. “But I’m very passionate about it.“
“Little Foodie Club takes babies on a culinary journey through flavors, tastes and textures. Our baby meals nurture growing bodies, stimulate developing minds and tantalize tiny taste buds.”
Mommy In Los Angeles® Magazine spent time with Kerstin at a local Farmer’s Market and then reunited at her kitchen space. We witnessed the way in which she artfully hand picks fruits and vegetables and we enjoyed engaging in conversation as she neatly prepared meals inside the kitchen. We commend Kerstin for her unique and flavorful course of action in offering babies nutritious meals while training their palates to love food. We wish Kirsten and her husband continued success! #LAMomsRock | Every Mom Has A Story.