Of all the amazing, life-altering meal delivery options we have these days, the newest one might have me the most excited: Baby Bento—the brainchild of Fishtown native Llana Orachewsky—will deliver homemade, healthy and (mostly) locally sourced meals for babies and toddlers to your house so that you can forgo the planning, the chopping, the cooking, and just … you know. Feed them.
The Baby Bento concept is simple (but brilliant!): Good, fresh, kid-friendly food delivered to parents who scramble with all the shopping, planning and time involved in making diverse and healthy meals, and/or parents who might otherwise reluctantly rely on, say, frozen nuggets. (So … most of us, yes?)
After spending years working as an au pair and nanny, Llana gets the struggle that is putting great food on a kids’ plate every day and night. “You know, sometimes you spend a bunch of time making food,” she says, “and then the kids don’t eat it, and you want to jump out the window. This takes that emotional attachment out of cooking, but is still good food.” While she was nannying, she found that she loved creating fun, nourishing meals for her little charges, and was empowered to do so by parents who were happy to unload some of the work that goes into that. “It’s become really near and dear to my heart,” she says. “I wanted to give parents the option—not just parents I work for—to easily explore a wide range of healthy foods that expand palate, too.”
And so with Baby Bento, foods are helpfully divided into categories such as “first foods”, “spooners”, “pinchers” and “forkers.” The menu changes regularly (and focuses on using seasonal ingredients), running the gamut from puree mixtures (like spinach and asparagus, or apple and squash) to pinchable cubes of, say, baked salmon and zucchini fries to toddler-friendly meals for “forkers”, like baby burritos, or bolognese, or turkey chili, or breaded pork chops.
Llana also offers a “first-foods” plan for five- to seven-month-olds (depending on when you start solids), which is a month-long membership program including purees that allow you to test for allergies. In all meals, you can expect a lot of ingredients to come from local farmers’ markets, and all to be organic. (You can request gluten- or dairy-free, as well.) Meals are between $4 and $8 apiece, depending on what you’re ordering. Deliveries are available Mondays and Wednesdays; you’ll be able to order by subscription plan, or simply a la carte, as needed. All food is prepared by Llana out of the Center for Culinary Enterprises in West Philly. (And just in case you’re wondering: All packaging is BPA-free, and made of post-consumer recycled material.)
Want to order? All the food, pricing and ordering info is on the site. Interested in checking Baby Bento out in person? Visit South Philly’s Cloth on Saturday (March 19th) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Llana will be there (along with the Lucy and Leo trunk show). You can meet/greet her, and sample some of her foods!