10

A Baby Food Adventure At The Gerber Babies Event

_1120889

It’s not often in my adult life that I walk away from an experience and actually think to myself “Wow, I learned something new today that I wasn’t expecting.” A few years ago, before children, I went on a fun trip to Spain with a girlfriend of mine and we rented those little audio tour headsets at an amazing museum. After a truly enlightening couple of hours, I remember walking away thinking that I had actually learned something new that I could share with others. That was about modern art and sculpture. But… baby food? I didn’t expect to be so blown away by baby food!

Eva Amurri Martino of lifestyle and motherhood blog Happily Eva After at the Gerber Babies Event in NYC, picking an apple off of a tree in the event's orchard

_1120908

Eva Amurri Martino, cradling her 37 week baby bump in a black Isabella Oliver maternity dress at the Gerber Babies event in NYC

I was really flattered and excited to be invited to the Gerber Babies event in NYC the other day. It was explained as an opportunity to get to know the behind-the-scenes workings of the Gerber brand a little more deeply– and as the decades-old leader in the baby food space I was fascinated to see what they meant. Everyone on planet Earth has heard about Gerber (or eaten or used Gerber baby food), and every Mom on planet Earth thinks her own baby is THE perfect “Gerber Baby”…I mean it’s become synonymous with “cute” in our Pop Culture vernacular. I was really excited to actually hear a little bit about what makes the company tick– and what exactly is important to the men and women who end up nourishing our kids.

My Gerber Adventure started with a lot of intrigue: the doors swung open…and revealed an orchard! Trees were dotted with Apples that came from a farm in Michigan that grows Gerber apples. After picking a few, I proceeded along the path until I was met by a farmer who grows for Gerber and a Gerber farm expert. They had come in from Michigan, and they are both dedicated to providing Gerber with delicious fruits and veggies to use in their baby food. It’s not uncommon to have two, three, or even four generations of the same family growing the crops that become food for our babies. Hearing these farmers talk about what the company and the farmland means to them was really moving. One just about had tears in his eyes as he spoke about how important it was for him to know exactly where his children’s food is coming from and the pride he has in his role in that process. Apparently many crops that are made in to Gerber baby food can be traced back to their original farm, field, and even row. I found this type of care and attention to detail to be astonishing– especially considering what a huge company Gerber has become. I also learned that Golden Delicious apples are one of the special (and baby taste-test approved) variety that is used to create Gerber Apple purées!

The Gerber "test kitchen" at the Gerber Babies event in nyc as photographed by Eva Amurri Martino on her lifestyle blog Happily Eva After

The Gerber "test kitchen" at the Gerber Babies event in nyc as photographed by Eva Amurri Martino on her lifestyle blog Happily Eva After

A closeup of the Gerber Baby Food-inspired Snacks at the Gerber Babies event in NYC

_1120915

Next up was a look at the Gerber baby food cooking process. We went in to a “test kitchen”, where one of the women instrumental to choosing new baby food flavors was there to walk us through the process and explain how much thought and planning goes in to making the perfect pairings. It’s also of utmost importance to them that the fruits and veggies in the baby food retain their natural goodness. One of the ways they do this is by blending many of the raw fruits and veggies before cooking them– they call this “Cold Purée”. Their final step is to “Flash Cook” the purées. This last move is actually unique to Gerber’s – they’re the only baby food company in the country to use this technique. Using indirect steam heat (much like a double boiler), they quickly cook the purées, without cooking them so much that they lose their nutritional value. Then the food gets packaged in their little containers! We got a look at some of the new flavors, and even had a little gourmet snack of grown up food that had been inspired by the Gerber purées!

Sitting around the taste testing table at the Gerber Babies event in NYC where a baby tested out new Gerber flavors, as photographed by Eva Amurri Martino for lifestyle blog Happily Eva After

Sitting around the taste testing table at the Gerber Babies event in NYC where a baby tested out new Gerber flavors, as photographed by Eva Amurri Martino for lifestyle blog Happily Eva After

A Gerber representative feeding baby food to a child at the Gerber Babies Event in NYC, as photographed by Eva Amurri Martino of lifestyle and motherhood blog Happily Eva After

_1120942

Eva Amurri Martino of lifestyle and motherhood blog Happily Eva After taste-testing new flavors at the Gerber Babies event in NYC

The last stop on our adventure was definitely the cutest– we got to meet one of Gerber’s real baby food Taste Testers. And no surprise here– she was a baby! Sweet little Baby Emma was just hanging out in a high chair ready to give her seal of approval to some new baby food. With every new flavor Gerber comes out with, Babies from Gerber’s panel of 2,000 tiny taste-testers test the Gerber foods before they can be found on shelves to make sure they’re certifiably delicious. Gerber also provides different “stages” of baby food from a super smooth purée all the way to ones with chunky bits in them to ensure that they’re appropriate for all stages of a baby’s development. It was absolutely adorable to hear how much effort and care is put in to making sure that babies are safely and appropriately enjoying every bite of Gerber baby food. It reminded me of the Willy Wonka candy factory in a way– it was so amazing to see a group of adults care so much about what a baby thought about something! It really showed me that even though the Gerber company is big, at the end of the day we are all parents who want the best for all children everywhere.

Eva Amurri Martino of lifestyle and motherhood blog Happily Eva After speaking on camera at the Gerber Babies Event in NYC

Eva Amurri Martino of lifestyle and Motherhood blog Happily Eva After doing an on camera interview in a black maternity dress at the Gerber Babies event in nyc

As a first time Mama, I experimented a lot with making Marlowe’s baby food. I had way more time (and energy) on my hands back then. This time around with Baby Boy, I had been stressed worrying about the fact that I just won’t be able to do the same for him. I’m so relieved that after attending the Gerber Babies Event I can truly say that I have a wonderful, nutritious option that I feel great about when the time comes. With so much on our plates as Moms, it’s comforting to know that Gerber takes such care in nourishing our kids as if they are their own. I can’t wait to see which purée Baby Boy Martino takes to first! And I know I haven’t met him yet, but may I suggest an excellent future candidate for Gerber Baby? Ha!

 

* The Outfit featured in this post is a top by Isabella Oliver, maternity skirt by Asos, and shoes by Indigo Rd.

**Many thanks to Gerber for sponsoring this post! As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed above are entirely my own.

 

 

Share this post:

Leave a Comment:

10 Comments

  1. kimberly says:

    I am so glad that you had that wonderful experience with Gerber !
    You know, I have a fourteen year old, and a three year old..Larkinn-Rose and Annabelle Grace.
    With both child, my up most favorite was Hawian Delight !!
    Omgoodness, that stuff was sooo good!
    Yes, I must confess…I had myself a jar .

    10.05.16Reply
  2. Tai says:

    Hmmmmm….I want to be respectful as I say this. Gerber is no substitute for homemade food. I definitely don’t have a lot of money or time, but I bought a food grinder and ground up fruits and veggies and eventually meats for both of my babies.

    Gerber seems like a lovely company but packaged foods are packaged foods, and those foods need chemicals in order to stay stable on the shelf, and I’m not putting chemicals in my baby, and I’m pretty sure you aren’t either, from what I’ve seen from you already.

    So…I don’t believe for a minute that you’re going to avoid putting chemicals in or on your body throughout your pregnancy, and avoid putting chemicals in or on Marlowe, then turn around and FEED chemicals to Baby Martino!!

    I just don’t believe it. It’s odd to me that you would accept their sponsorship instead of an organic baby food company or a baby food grinder or cooker.

    Still love ya, though.

    10.05.16Reply
    • Hi Tai!
      Thanks so much for commenting, I think you raise some interesting points, but I also think that you misunderstand me a little (it happens!). Let me clarify. I think it’s AWESOME that even while busy you find the time to make all your baby food. I’m sure it’s great for them and for you to feel so in control of the process and is very admirable that you can achieve this!

      As for me, when it comes to my pregnancies, or feeding my kids OR myself, I do my best but definitely am not perfectly “natural” or “organic” 100% of the time. It’s just not feasible for me logistically or financially. For example, I try to find the most natural beauty products possible, but I also color my hair which as we all know has tons of chemicals.
      When it comes to food, sometimes I shop at Whole Foods and buy organic, and sometimes I go to Trader Joe’s or other markets that are known for being a bit more affordable and not necessarily organic. I feel good about this type of 80-20 rule and make healthful choices wherever I can.
      I really do plan on giving Baby Boy Martino Gerber baby food. Will he eat it every single time? Who knows. Will I be able to make his food every single time I have to feed him? Definitely not. That’s just my life. I understand how this balance might not seem that perfect to others who are 100% committed to an organic lifestyle, but it’s what is realistic for me.
      It IS very important to me for all my readers to know that I absolutely never endorse a product that I wouldn’t or haven’t used or tried myself since I think authenticity is super important (as I think you can probably tell).

      I hope that answers your questions/concerns!

      xx
      EAM

      10.05.16Reply
      • Tai says:

        Okey dokey. Whatever works best! I think in one of your posts you said something like, “great for her, not for me…”? I look forward to seeing that sweet little baby! He will be a loved and lovely little guy, no matter what he eats…

        10.05.16Reply
  3. Azalia says:

    Thanks for this cool post! I try to make my two year old’s food when I can, but this little picky eater does not always like what I make Hahaha! I have to say that having a full time job, hubby, and life in general it’s not easy to make everything from scratch all the time. It’s not realistic for me. This Gerber blend food has been a life saver when we have been out and about, traveling or even at home. It’s good to know they try their best for the kiddos 👍🏻
    Thanks!!

    10.05.16Reply
  4. Areth Tsouprake says:

    This is off topic, but I saw on your Snapchat that you liked using homeopathic teething tablets in the past. I was watching the show The Doctors today and they were talking about homeopathic teething tablets, and that they were recently found to have been connected to adverse side-effects, including seizures. I thought of you and that you would like to know this information. Best wishes to you and your lovely family

    10.06.16Reply
  5. Hey, I know that space! That’s Home Studios on 18th and Broadway! My husband, Carlos, was the Studio Manager for 6 years 🙂 He JUST left. We moved across country this week, resettling in Portland to have our first baby in January! Fun to see my blog following life and my real life combine, plus it gave me some warm “awwww” feelings, as I’m feeling the pangs of missing NYC today! ❤️❤️😂L

    10.16.16Reply
  6. michele gordon says:

    I love that Gerber is nourishing our kids! As a Mom of 6, I am constantly trying to find recipes that fits everyones needs. Thank you Gerber for making receipes that helps us do this…. and in so many ways!!

    10.23.16Reply