Now There's a Meal Kit Service for Babies

© Thistle
They pack, you puree.

You can already get healthful meals through home delivery service Thistle—but now, baby can too. The company has announced the launch of Thistle Baby, a service meant for busy parents who still want their tots to eat quality homemade foods.

There's a little more work involved with Thistle Baby than its made-for-adults kits, because unlike the big kid version—which is mailed ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat—the kit meant for baby requires some preparation on the part of the parents. The kit comes with vacuum-sealed bags of pre-portioned, flash-frozen organic ingredients that parents can steam and puree however they'd like, then add the provided spices to their babies' own tastes.

Even still, co-founder of the startup, Ashwin Cheriyan, tells Tech Crunch he believes Thistle Baby can cut down on 80 percent of the hassle of making baby food at home. "And because you steam, puree and add spices on your own, you start to really learn your baby's preferences, while instilling healthy eating habits as early as possible," he says.

Thistle Baby works out to about $2 per meal, the startup says. Most meals are vegan and vegetarian-friendly, but you can opt for omnivore meals, too. The service will be available beginning next week, Tech Crunch reports.

Co-founder Shiri Avnery says she got the idea for the new service after she became a mom. "I would buy things at the grocery and feel like they were not up to my quality standards all the time," she told Tech Crunch. "Even a lot of the healthier options are over-processed, pureed, with a watery consistency. They also don't taste like real fruits or veggies. And you're left wondering how long this has been on the shelf and in what kind of conditions."

Thistle's announcement coincides with a new study that shows babies who eat homemade food are leaner than babies who eat store-bought, ready-made options. Plus, perhaps unsurprisingly, those babies learn to like a wider variety of food types.

According to the research, conducted by Research Institute at McGill University Health Centre and the Montreal Children's Hospital, babies who only ate homemade foods over the course of the study had lower body fat mass at 1 and 3 years old.

"The results could have implications for preventing obesity and chronic diseases associated with poor food choices," lead study author Dr. Elise Mok said.

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