Baby Bear Weaning CIC is a proud Community Interest Company and social enterprise based in Liverpool. We believe in supporting a parent through the first fundamental year of a baby's life.
As we can't currently run our classes and initiatives due to the Covid-19 epidemic we are asking for your help supporting families with young babies so they are weaned on to good, nutritional healthy food.
Introducing a baby to solid foods can be so much fun, but it can also be daunting and knowing where to start can be overwhelming. Imagine how much harder than would then be if you are a family struggling with food poverty and are a parent facing food insecurity. Due to the implications of the Covid-19 epidemic, that is now many more families than before. There was an 89% increase in the use of food banks in April 2020.
Different from other food poverty initiatives, our efforts on focused on the Early Years and giving the best, nutritious start to life. We hope that the foundation built, means a lifelong healthy relationship with food. Our Weaning Meal Plan boxes contain meals and snacks suitable for a baby from 6 months + to preschool age.
No parent should ever have to worry about how they are going to feed their baby or be forced to make unhealthy choices for weaning babies because of lack of money and options. Parents from food insecure household's are more likely to suffer with depression and depressive symptoms than a household that are food secure. Add that anxiety to the statistics for post natal depression in new parents and there is a huge group of families that need to be supported better. Right now they are not and that’s not fair on the parent or the child. Food insecurity has devastating consequences on children’s lives. It affects, behaviour, mental and emotional well being, as well as their physical health. We need to offer more help early on.
We want to take that insecurity away from a family, minimise the daily stress and allow the child to flourish in a happy home. We also want them to enjoy exploring new foods, tastes and textures and enjoy the bond that comes from mealtimes.
The amount of young families that benefit from our support has grown exponentially, so that means we need your help! A percentage from the sale of our Recipe boxes and Grazing boxes goes back into supporting our initiatives throughout the year but right now demand has gone up and we need your help. We are aiming to deliver up to 50 Baby Bear Weaning Meal Plan boxes each week to local families in crisis with young babies. To do that though costs almost £1000 a week.
Any family, regardless of income should and can benefit from our weaning boxes, weaning groups and support because every baby deserves the same start in life regardless of income.
"The first 1,000 days of a child’s development from conception to their second birthday is the most important for laying down the foundations for health and development." -The Food Foundation 'Children's Future Food Inquiry
The difference between a Baby Bear Weaning Meal Plan box and a food bank donation box is that the support is there, through easy to follow recipe cards guiding you through what to do with the ingredients in the box. It can be just as stressful being presented with a bag of food and not knowing how to make best use of them to prepare a meal.
Baby Bear Weaning Meal Plan boxes are full of fresh ingredients and easy to follow recipe cards to give parents the time to enjoy exploring foods without the stresses surrounding mealtimes. We want to give every baby the best nutritional start in life and to give parents the support to know how to wean effectively, healthily and cost effectively.
We know that a lot has been invested in understanding the issues surrounding food insecurity, food poverty and the links to childhood obesity and a child's mental health. But, the research and emphasis is always placed on children of school age. Many of the issues are the same long before a child starts school and we believe that we need to start much earlier in supporting families.
We want to tackle the issues from 6 months old at the point when a parent starts to wean their child. If we can set a good foundation for a parent to build on the hope is that we empower parents. That we help them, build their confidence in being able to provide low cost healthy food.
So much more needs to be done to tackle the problem that the cheapest foods are most often the unhealthiest. But we can do our part in delivering healthy food boxes to children under preschool age at a crucial and fundamental stage in their development, We can support parents when the anxiety of having another mouth to feed hits.
Circumstances usually means that a mother’s income is the lowest it will be at exactly the time their baby starts to need solid foods. Maternity pay reducing, or sudden new childcare fees lots of issues that have changed their financially security. Then at the exact same time, there’s another mouth to feed. There is room for an initiative that gives a baby a healthy and nutritious start in life and empowers a mother to feel like she is meeting their needs. The legacy of that support will be lifelong for a family.
Baby Bear Weaning CIC is focused on improving parental food security and are putting the emotional, nutritional and physical development in the Early Years at the forefront of what we do.