How many of you readers are parents? Raise your hands please. Oh you are? Well, today’s topic should be of particular interest to you, I’m sure. If you are not, well then, hang in there, there are still a few valuable nuggets you can get from this article. We here at Get Fit KL took a little detour from our usual hangouts to visit an unusual enterprise selling, of all things, baby food, at Squeeeze Me Baby!
No wait, don’t go yet, we haven’t gotten to the best part! (Which is all the way at the bottom, so keep scrolling…) Let us introduce to you Squeeeze Me Baby! This is an establishment that takes away the stress of preparing quality food for your precious little one, and makes feeding them a breeze. How many of you mothers have headaches from trying to plan what to feed your children? And how many of you fathers have spent countless hours trying to put flying airplanes of bland broth into your children’s mouths?
The Pains of Baby Feeding
The very basic responsibility of every parent is to provide for their children, to nurture them physically, at the very least. From the very moment they enter the world, children are dependent on their parents for sustenance. The first few months isn’t difficult to figure out; they can’t take anything other than milk and most new mothers have that in abundance. What happens though, when the time comes to wean them off the breast? Do they take solids immediately? Is rice a safe choice for them? Should I give my baby raw fruits?
These are the questions that every parent asks and worries about. Every parent wants to provide the best for their children. The only issue is, most don’t know how or what constitutes ‘the best’. Twenty years ago, parents thought steroids and baby formula were the answer to healthy babies. This generation, parents have gone back to the basics and are now seeking for fresh, natural foods without preservatives, flavourings or anything artificial.
However, with the industrial boom that happened in Malaysia, anything natural is becoming scarcer and scarcer, especially if you’re living in a hectic city like KL. On top of that, there are so many things to consider with natural foods. Vegetables and fruits are often heavily sprayed with pesticides. Some fruits can’t be digested properly by infants. How does one avoid the many pitfalls to provide their children with ‘the best’? This is exactly what Ann Yeap set out to answer when she began her own journey into parenthood.
How Squeeeze Me Baby Began
Ann’s journey was particularly trying. Her son had lactose intolerance and could only consume soy milk, which was, as Ann eloquently puts it, ‘really yucky’. She had to find alternative sources of nutrients: chick peas, spinach, etc. Also, her son was a finicky eater with a tiny appetite so she had to be careful with what she fed him and make sure every mouthful was nutrient-rich. A lot of time was spent researching suitable food alternatives for her sons and creativity was often needed to trick their taste buds into eating the healthy greens.
Ann was lucky because she was a housewife then and could afford the time to do her research. However, she stresses, many women out there have to juggle their children with work and cannot really spare the time to research and carefully plan their children’s entire diet as she had. That was when the idea for Squeeeze Me Baby was born.
Squeeeze me Baby is only slightly over a year old, but it has already garnered interest among the parenting community in KL. The first outlet opened in One Utama on August 2016. All year round, parents will drop by these outlets to pick up pouches of baby food.
Squeeeze Me Baby One Utama
Designed with bold, fun colours, Squeeeze me Baby is the perfect place for mothers to rest their feet in the middle of shopping. It is a kid-friendly place, with rounded corners, a mini toddler’s playpen and cute vegetable plushies. Instead of rotating stools at the counter, they have rotating baby chairs. Ann, the owner, is also there on weekends, expertly handling the parents and their fussy children, and giving motherly advice and recommendations to the patrons.
As a mother of two healthy, rambunctious sons, Ann is a vast well of information and baby-related facts. “Children with eczema should be given foods containing oil”, “Did you know that strawberries can cause diaper rash for babies below six months?” and “Chia seeds can only be introduced to babies twelve months and older” were just some of the fun facts that she sprung on us. We were seriously impressed by her wealth of knowledge. All this isn’t just based on Internet hearsay, rather; Squeeeze Me Baby has the help of a consultant dietitian, Ms Rozanna M. Rosly, who is currently the head of dietitians in UM.
Squeeeze Me Baby’s Epic Offerings
With all her knowledge, Ann has devised a menu of specific, dietitian-verified foods for children as young as 6 months to children over a year old. Mothers and older children aren’t left out, as Ann assures us that all items on the menu can also be consumed by adults. In fact, adults would benefit from these foods as each item is carefully designed to include as many nutrients as possible in the tiny space of a baby’s stomach.
As of right now, the menu is arranged by the baby’s age. In the near future, the menu will be divided into three general categories: baby, toddler and adult. Babies will be fed solely on fruit and veggie smoothies, like pumpkin and chick peas, which are flavourful and have special cooling properties. All baby foods are in smoothie form, packaged in cute little squeeze pouches for easy consumption by your cuddly bundle of joy. Parents can choose from a menu of different flavours, all with quaint, pun-heavy names (Katy Peary! Get it?)
For toddlers, there are additional items: Organic pasta with pasta sauce made from real puree, and a whole range of savoury soups made from vegetable stock. However, these will not be watery, heavily seasoned concoctions. These soups are unique because they have no added salt. They are proportioned 60% raw ingredients to 40% water, so no salt is ever needed to flavour this already rich soup, instead, the flavours come directly from the natural ingredients added in the soup.
Adults have an interesting option called oatmeal jars.
These jars contain an amalgamation of different foods that health enthusiasts will surely enjoy; Overnight oats soaked in yogurt, a suspension of chia seeds, a layer of dried fruits and nuts, and of course, a topping of your own choice. Overnight oats are gaining popularity among fitness circles as the healthiest source of carbohydrates. They are good for the heart, more digestible than regular oats, and being resistant starches, they can even boost your metabolism. These oatmeal jars are suitable for breastfeeding moms, because they contain ingredients such as almonds, soy, oats and brewer’s yeast, which promote lactation. Gym-goers should also consider oatmeal jars as a post-workout snack, as overnight oats are really effective in restoring depleted energy and preventing muscle breakdown.
Squeeeze Me Baby’s Transparency and All-Natural Policy
Squeeeze Me Baby prides itself on its clean, transparent image. All the baby food pouches are made from transparent, BPA-free material (you wouldn’t want mould to grow without you noticing!), and even their kitchen has an open, transparent design. This really shows how much they value their customers’ trust and they take steps to maintain it. To top it off, all their ingredients are also fresh, clean and responsibly sourced. Their ingredients are a mixture of local and imported, all of premium quality, no compromises. In fact, Squeeeze Me Baby takes this so seriously that one of their biggest challenges has been finding sources in different countries to supply their fresh fruits all year round, as fruit seasons differ from place to place.
Squeeeze Me Baby also prides itself on its all-natural policy. This means there are no artificial flavourings and preservatives used whatsoever, and this includes crystallised sugar! Ann boldly challenges her customers, “If you can find one grain of sugar or salt in this place, you can have everything in this shop for free.” We were quite surprised and a little disbelieving at that, as her products tasted really delicious! Ann claims that the sweetness of the baby food pouches comes solely from ripe apples and pears, nothing else. Naturally-occurring sugar from fruits is just as sweet, but a way healthier option than the heavily processed, white sugar that all of us are familiar with.
Taste Testing Squeeeze Me Baby’s Products
Now that we have covered the goodness of Squeeeze Me Baby’s products from the nutritional aspect, we shall now move on to the fun part – the taste-test! It is often said that “If it tastes bad, it must be good for you.” Wise words, and usually true. Not in Squeeeze Me Baby, however. This establishment firmly upholds good taste along with its nutritious contents. After all, if the food tastes bad, how will you get it in the baby? So we here at Get Fit KL were given the opportunity to try out their products. If it can please fussy adult tastebuds, then surely it can please fussy baby tastebuds too.
The first we tried was the oatmeal jar for adults with Ginger Ale as the flavour of choice. Overnight oats may not sound very glamorous, but don’t let that discourage you from trying this out. It truly is a feast for the senses. Burst of flavour, savoury ginger notes, sweet cherries and salty nuts; That was my first impression of this jar of heaven. We truly did not expect overnight oats to taste so good! The oats and yogurt achieve incredibly creamy consistency after overnight soaking, and the layer of chia seeds above it gives a slightly gritty texture that teases the senses. The Ginger Ale layer consists of sweet apple puree that is laced with ginger, adding just a barely-there hint of spiciness over the sweetness. And on the top, we have the zing of tangy chunky apricot and cranberries. Toasted coconut gives this layer an exciting crunch, and a sprinkling of seeds dot the surface: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins and black sesame. Eaten together, all the layers blend into a truly unique experience. And now, this is a new favourite for us.
Next we tried the famous squeeze pouch smoothie from the Yogurt Series.
It was quite a sight. Two grownups solemnly guzzling from colourful squeeze pouches that would look more suited dangling from a baby’s mouth. Despite the ridiculous image we projected, we quite enjoyed the contents of those pouches. The GO Banana pouch was delicious! A thick, rich, creamy blend of banana goodness, filling the mouth with an explosion of startling sweetness and sliding down the throat with silky smoothness. Absent of artificial ingredients, the smoothie tastes so natural, it’s as though we were sucking up juice from the actual fruit itself. The caps on these pouches are little sources of wonder as well. With a big enough collection, you could easily construct an Eiffel Tower from these stackable, yellow, building-block caps. Fun for both you and your kid.
We also tried many smoothie flavours, – the cherry series, Monday Blues, Ella’s Dragon, etc. – all of them really good, but these were the ones that stood out with their amazing flavour. Of course, the rest of the menu is yet to be explored and I’m sure mothers would love nothing more than doing just that while providing their children with nothing less than ‘the best’.
Squeeeze Me Baby’s Future Plans
Squeeeze Me Baby’s founder is not one to stay idle for long. When asked about her future plans for the company, Ann was one step ahead of us, having already mapped out the new directions that the company would undertake in the next few years. One thing really worth noting is her plan to come up with food remedies for common baby ailments such as cough, flu and gout. If this is realised, then parents no longer have to subject their babies to medicines and injections, but can rely on the power of a good diet and tender loving care.
All things considered, Squeeeze Me Baby is truly a wonderful start up, nurtured from its very beginning with careful dedication. And at its centre is simply a mother who loves her children, and wants to spread this love with the world. That’s why parents can trust that with every pouch their baby slurps up, they are also getting a dose of love and care along with all that nutritious, yummy goodness. We have high hopes that Squeeeze Me Baby will continue to flourish and become central to the nurturing of young seeds in KL.
Address: Lot S211A, Second Floor, Bandar Utama City Centre, No. 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, 47800, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Phone: +60 3-7627 1022