Mother Hen (La Mere Poule) is a food manufacturing company based in Montreal that specializes in baby food. Really good baby food, with no additives or preservatives, no added salt or sugar or starch, and allergen free, meaning no peanuts or other nuts, no dairy, egg, soy or mustard, no sesame or sulphites. The fact that all the vegetables used are certified organic by Ecocert Canada and are without pesticides or herbicides, artificial fertilizers or growth hormones means it is as healthy for the environment as it is for your little ones. Sow how do they preserve all this goodness? Easy; freezing. Freezing fruits and vegetables does not diminish their nutritional profile and in fact, freezing produce directly from the field prevents potential loss of vitamins and nutrients that may occur during storage.
Founded in 1994, Mother Hen’s vision was to manufacture high quality, healthy baby food using only the best ingredients, made just like you would at home. It’s hard to believe that those little chicks who first enjoyed Mother Hen’s products are now in their twenties! And just like those toddlers, Mother Hen herself as a company has grown up too! Starting out with four employees working out of an 1,800 square foot workspace, it now boasts upwards of thirty employees in a 30 thousand square foot facility, and has expanded its product line to include frozen fruit and sorbets so that the whole family can get in on the action.
The Mother Hen line of products starts with foods aimed at babies six months old, just when they are ready to eat solids in the form of pureéd meats, vegetables and fruits. Each package contains six 2 ounce BPA-free containers of puree. Because they are BPA free and approved by Health Canada they can be microwaved on the defrost setting for about a minute without fear. You can also remove the contents of each container and use a double boiler to warm it up.
According your babies appetite, you can give 1 to 3 portions. It is important to stop feeding when your baby turns his head and closes his mouth, as these are signs that your baby is no longer hungry.
Worried about the ingredients list? Don’t be. As an example, here’s the list of ingredients for the Lamb Puree: “Lamb, water.” The Pork Puree? “Pork, water.” You get the idea. In all, Mother Hen produces six meat purees for beginners: lamb, beef, veal, pork, turkey and chicken. And six organic fruit purees, (apples, pears, peaches, mangoes, apples and prunes and a mixed fruit pureé) and six organic vegetable purees (carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, zucchini, broccoli and mixed California vegetables)
Learning to chew and accept new textures can be difficult for some babies. To smooth out the transition, change the texture gradually.
Once baby has reached eight months, and is used to the wide variety of colours and tastes s/he is ready for “Junior” foods, served in four-ounce portions that have a little more texture, and mix meat with organic vegetables, making each dish at least 70% organic. These are “one pot” dinners that ease the transition from pureé to solid, and help your baby learn how to chew. And with nine different flavor combinations it’s likely junior won’t be quickly bored. Chicken in the pot, Beef Parmentier, and Lamb with Fruits are just three of the nine menu items available.
With all that goodness, you can bet that baby’s supper will end up in his tummy and not flung across the kitchen.Well, maybe…