Read full article by Angarika Gogoi@The Better India Photo Credit: The Better India
Motherhood can be a daunting, exciting and fruitful experience all at once. Becoming a parent entails a lot of responsibility, where you need to make the right choices and do what is best for your child.
Naturally for Shalini Santosh Kumar, becoming a mother in September 2014 was nothing short of a life-changing event.
After working tirelessly in the corporate sector for seven long years, the expecting mother took a break and moved to her parent’s home in Pune after her child’s birth so that her parents could lend a helping hand with the newborn.
Searching for Healthy Baby Food Options for her Son
As a new mum, she started paying attention to what her son was eating. She knew she wouldn’t always be able to make home food for him once she started working again.
“I knew it would be impossible for me to juggle work and ensure my child is getting the right nutrition from the right ingredients. So, I started looking at what was available in the market,” recalls the 35-year-old mom.
Shalini was stunned to find out that there weren’t too many healthy options that she could offer her child. “I was especially looking for millet-based food, which is actually a superfood. Even pediatricians recommend that you include it in your baby’s diet. But far from finding baby food with healthy ingredients, most of what was available was full of preservatives,” she says.
Also, this was the first time in seven long years where she had the time to take stock of things and question herself if she really loved what she was doing professionally.
“I was so caught up in the daily grind, working almost 12 to 15 hours at a stretch, that I forgot to ask myself if I was truly happy,” confesses Shalini. The will to do something meaningful and the wish to provide toddlers with healthy food coalesced.
Thus, in August 2015, with an investment of Rs 1 lakh, she founded ‘Early Foods’ – an organic baby food business for which she came up with five types of porridge mixes made using different kinds of millets, cereals and dry fruits. She started selling these in small numbers to her circle of friends and acquaintances with children.
The initial five mixes of porridge have now increased to 25 different products including teething sticks and different types of cookies. She also came up with a range of food for expecting mothers so that they get the nutrition they need in this crucial time.
Starting out by catering to 40 orders on an average in a month, she now gets 30,000 orders monthly!