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June/July 2012
 
 
On the Cover: Homemade Baby Food Is Family Business
By Liza N. Burby
 

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Liza Huber and Family

Like many mothers, when Liza Huber needs something done, she does it herself. In her case, all she wanted was a convenient way to make her children homemade baby food. When she couldn’t find any products to do so, she started her own company.


Huber, 37, launched Sage Spoonfuls—a baby food preparation and storage system—less than a year ago and she has already garnered awards and TV appearances. She says her children Royce, 5, Brendan, 3 and one-year-old Hayden, were each her inspirations, as was her mother, soap opera legend Susan Lucci of All My Children.
           
“My mother made our baby food, cooking it and freezing it with labels, and she did this while working full-time,” says Huber, herself a former soap opera star of NBC’s Passions. “So when I had Royce five years ago, it was natural for me to want to make his baby food as well. Sometimes with early calls and late days, four or five days would go by without seeing Royce, so I took such comfort in knowing that at least he was eating the food I made for him. Then when Brendan was born he was a preemie and was in the hospital for a long time. That was a game changer. He needed the kind of care only a mother could give him, so I knew I needed to be home. But I also like to work. As soon as he was stable, I started working on coming up with my own products so that making baby food could be an easier process. Then I was on bed rest with Hayden, so I used that time to pull the whole company together. More than ever I feel like this is exactly where I belong.”
           
Huber started with a book, Sage Spoonfuls-Simple Recipes, Healthy Meals, Happy Babies, which covers introducing and starting your baby on solids as well as age-specific and family recipes. Then she created the Sage Spoonfuls system, which includes an immersion blender with food processor, 4 ounce baby food storage jars, stackable trays, labels, pocket guide, an insulated cooler bag with a freezer pack, and a multipurpose, insulated tote. The basic kit is $99. Huber says it pays for itself within two months.

“Making baby food isn’t more expensive than buying it,” she says. “Butternut squash is a good example. A large squash is about $3.50 and it yields about 25 ounces of baby food, but if you get store bought baby food, it’s about $10 to $12.  And the waste is tremendous because babies don’t usually finish those jars and you can’t reuse them.”

It must make sense to other moms too because Huber and Sage Spoonfuls have been getting a lot of national attention. The products have won the Cribsie Award for Best New Arrival in the food product category and the Parent Tested Parent Approved award. Huber’s book just won 2012 Mom’s Best Literary Gold Award. And she’s now the Ambassador for March of Dimes and spends time traveling for speaking engagements.

All this means she’s busier than ever. But Huber has a great support system: her husband of eight years, Alex Hesterberg, and her parents, who live nearby in Garden City where Huber and her husband grew up. An au pair helps when both Huber and her husband have to travel for work. Since they both have home-based businesses, she says their best time to get work done is about 8 to 1 pm after the kids are in bed.

“It’s what works for us for now. For me, what’s been so wonderful is getting to speak to moms, hosting cooking workshops all across the country,” says Huber. “I’m so pleasantly surprised at how far we’ve come in such a short time. Ultimately I want moms to trust their instincts with the guidance of pediatricians and a trusted resource like my book and make choices that are right for their family.”

Learn more at www.sagespoonfuls.com

 Liza N. Burby is publisher/editor of Long Island Parent magazine and a mom who made her own baby food. E-mail her at publisher@davlermedia.com.

Liza Huber is giving away a Sage Spoonfuls kit to one of our readers. Visit our Parent Club Giveaways page at http://liparentonline.com/parent_club_giveaways.html to enter.

 

 


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