The white tray of baby Hannah Hammonds’ high chair—and the majority of her face—is strewn with mush in colors from purple to red to green. Left behind by Hannah’s unsteady delivery of beet hummus and veggies to her mouth, the mess more closely resembles a rainbow than the average leftovers from a toddler’s lunch.
The meal’s aesthetics are happy happenstance for Hannah’s mother Sarah Hammonds, a registered dietitian and physician assistant. Just before Sarah wipes the colorful mess away, she snaps a photo to share with the growing follower base on her Baby Got Bites Instagram account, which she launched in January with the goal of educating and learning alongside fellow new parents.
“As a new mom, I wanted to feed Hannah nutritious foods to start developing good eating habits from the beginning,” Sarah explains. “I have spent many years in a classroom, but nothing compares to firsthand experience with your own baby. It can be daunting to know where to begin.”
Sarah shares her knowledge of standards and guidance from sources like the American Academy of Pediatrics alongside fun, bright and, most importantly, simple recipes built with the reality of parenthood in mind. With things like Heart-y Black Bean Burger Patties and Carrot Tomato Soup on Sarah’s menu, parents can not only make and freeze meals ahead of time, but they can dine with toddlers, enjoying the same nutritious meal.
“I also like to incorporate why I am feeding Hannah the specific food or why I am pairing the ingredients in the recipe together,” she says.
These tidbits of food knowledge are aimed at both educating and empowering parents. While every family’s nutrition journey is different, that’s all part of the fun, according to Sarah. Food shouldn’t be a burden, but a chance to get creative and make special memories.
“I’m learning with you,” says Sarah. “I want Baby Got Bites to serve as a resource and fun tool for starting your baby’s nutrition journey.”