Paleo puree from Serenity Kids claims to be higher in fat and protein than any other baby food.
Baby’s first grass fed steak.
The Paleo diet will soon be available in the baby aisle thanks to a new pureed meat based baby food that claims to be higher in protein and fat than its competitors.
Austin-based Paleo lovers Serenity Heegel and her fiance Joe Carr created Serenity Kids, a baby food product line out this September — an ode to the ubiquitous diet that eliminates foods like grains, processed foods, sugar and starches and replaces them with fresh fruits, grass fed produce and veggies.
“We wanted to create new baby food that’s higher in fat with meat in it,” Carr tells Moneyish.
The recipes are low in sugar, and claim to mimic the macronutrient balance of breast milk, to give kids a properly balanced diet. The products are also allergan-friendly and certified as grain, soy and gluten free.
The four-ounce pouches come in three flavors: free range chicken with peas and carrots; grass fed beef with kale and sweet potato; and uncured bacon with kale and butternut squash.
A case of six pouches costs $26.95, and will retail for between $4.50 to $4.99 per pouch. That’s a couple bucks more than other organic products like Once Upon A Farm ($2.99; $23 for eight); and HappyBaby ($1.39; $22.24 for six).
The growth of Paleo products is not slowing down. The Paleo industry is estimated to reach $300 million by 2018, according to Nutrition Business Journal, so it’s no surprise that the market is expanding to the organic baby food space. Organic baby food made up about 10% of the $1.4 billion U.S. baby food market in 2011, according to consumer market research firm Mintel. And by 2013, sales increased by 63% the same study found.
Carr says costs are higher because meat is grass fed and pasture raised at small family farms in Missouri. Then it’s cooked and pureed.
“Organic veggies are more expensive than fruits. We’re not using any fruits or fillers like rice and oats and having really high quality meat drive up the cost,” he claims.
Each Serenity Kids pouch contain between 80 to 110 calories with four to five grams of protein; between five to eight grams of fat; up to 11 grams of carbs and three grams of sugar. In comparison, organic baby food brand HappyBaby has fruit and veggie purees around 70 to 90 calories with up to 13 grams of sugar and one to three grams of protein.
The brand is hardly the first to make pureed meat for kids. Ella’s Kitchen has a chicken casserole variety with four grams of protein, but just one gram of fat. And Gerber has a beef and gravy product with 8 grams of protein with 2.5 grams of fat, however the meat is not grass fed. Both also have less fat than Serenity products.
Nutritionists say it’s okay to sub in the protein packed pouch for some meals, but don’t advise putting your baby on a “Paleo Diet” by any means.
“There’s no research that shows a child needs a high protein diet,” Stephanie Di Figlia-Peck, a registered dietitian at Northwell Health, tells Moneyish.
“A child who’s growing and developing needs a balance of carbohydrates that come from fruits, vegetables and grains; protein and healthy fat. There needs to be a balance so you get the correct nutrient profile,” she adds.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, infants 0 to six months need at least 9.1 grams of protein per day to help build vital organs like the heart and lungs in addition to developing muscles and the brain and repairing skin. Older babies between seven and 12 months need at least 11 grams. And infants 0 to 6 months should have 60 grams of carbohydrates a day while infants 7 to 12 months should have 95 grams of carbohydrates per day to supply energy for growth.
While the diet has many merits for adults, it can be dangerous for babies. In 2015, a controversial Paleo baby book was pulled in Australia before it’s release for featuring DIY infant formula made with ingredients like bone broth, oils and probiotics. It contained 10 times the safe amount of vitamin A for babies, which can cause toxicity.
Di Figlia-Peck says the new Serenity baby food products are fine if you let your toddler consume in moderation, and in addition to other table foods.
“This could be one thing that you feed your baby with a variety of other foods that you have in your day or in your week,” she suggests.
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