Brown rice congee with beef and spinach. Peppery Potato Soup. Oatmeal porridge in flavors like baked apricot, pear and prune, and sticky date. These are foods that most of us would happily order off a menu, especially if we’re on a health kick.
Jayina Chan, 34, makes them – for babies.
His commitment to preparing nutritious meals for babies began in 2017, after the birth of his daughter Anya.
At first, she only used Instagram as a food diary, posting photos of little Anya using her fingers to eat instead of being fed, a method known as baby-directed weaning. Chan also posted photos of meals she had created for her daughter from “experimenting” with fresh ingredients and cooking methods that “naturally enhanced” their flavors.
“Parents and caregivers started asking me for baby weaning advice and even asked me to cook meals for their little ones. That’s when I noticed the gap in the halal baby food market,” she told CNA Women.
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Chan started his home-based business the same year, naming it after his daughter. Anya Meals offered colorful frozen stock cubes and fruit and vegetable puree, with instructions on how to melt them in a saucepan and blend them for a variety of flavors.
You can, for example, put cubes of pumpkin puree and chicken broth in a pot with brown rice to make an easy and balanced meal; or you can soak pumpkin cubes in milk, parmesan cheese, unsalted butter and thyme to make pumpkin macaroni and cheese sauce.