As adults, we have plenty of options when it comes to food choices. Gourmet restaurants, fast food chains, or the good ol’ street food. There’s enough and more to go around, and a lot of it will now be delivered to your doorstep.
Easy-peasy right? It is, indeed!
When it comes to babies, however, there’s nothing much to choose from. Not like they are complaining or maybe they just can’t. But beyond the breast milk or formula, and the home cooked solid foods, choices are next to nothing. And this makes the mum’s job even more difficult with nothing to fall back upon.
Fortunately, a new start-up by the name, Biteybitz, aims to change that and they have healthy meals for babies and bringing that much-needed convenience for mummies.
Run bymummy duo, Ms Hyatie and partner, Ms Farah, Biteybitz began operations in 2017. It is a Muslim-owned entity that provides meals for babies prepared and delivered on the same day. The start-up caters to babies between six and 12 months old. Their foods recipes do not include salt, sugar or artificial flavours, making them safe for consumption and easing the mum’s anxiety.
More recently, Ms Hyatie appeared on CNA938FM with DJ Justine and Susan on the show Weekend Live. The entrepreneur spoke about her venture, baby meals and plans for growth. Here is an excerpt from the interview.
A Food Menu For Babies
Image Source: biteybitz/ Ms Hyatie
DJ Justine & Susan: Before we get talking about what’s on the menu for babies, share with us a bit about your inspiration, a part of Biteybitz.
Ms Hyatie: I like cooking for my family. Being in the airline industry I travelled the world and I was able to explore different types of cuisines. When we go onboard, we serve soups for lunch and dinner menu, and different sectors have different types of menus.
And from there, I learnt to prepare soups for my family. And my son, he loves soups. He just doesn’t want to eat veg just like that. So normally I blend it and make them into soups and he would finish up the whole two or three bowls.
DJ Justine & Susan: It’s a healthy way of getting the healthy ingredients in a bowl of something! How old is your son?
Ms Hyatie: Now he is 10 and when he was a baby, he would just eat whatever you give them. But as they grow up, they get picky.
DJ Justine & Susan: You are with Singapore Airlines as cabin crew?
Ms Hyatie: Yes, I am with Singapore Airlines.
Biteybitz: A One-Stop Shop For Baby Food & Condiments
DJ Justine & Susan: There is a lot to juggle. Before we get into talking on what s on the menu, just describe it for us. Describe Biteybitz for us?
Ms Hyatie: Biteybitz is a one-stop centre for baby food and condiments, that is free from salt, preservatives and sugar. Our mission is to provide convenience for mummies who are very busy nowadays and nutritional meals for babies. Our meals range from purees for six-months-old all the way to toddlers where they have more textured meals.
DJ Justine & Susan: So when they get back to the 12 months, it is not pureed obviously. So they are getting food with protein and all sorts of things?
Ms Hyatie: Yes, for babies aged 10 -12 months and above, ingredients are soft-cooked too.
DJ Justine & Susan: What about the various offerings like salmon stock?
Ms Hyatie: Yes, we do homemade stocks like chicken, vegetables, beef and salmon. Actually, it started with the meals we provided as we used the stocks for our own meals. But some mummies wish to cook, so we provide stocks for them. Salmon is something new though. I always tell mummies to add the stocks to the porridge or the potato salmon chowder for their eight to 10-month-old babies.
DJ Justine & Susan: Who is in the kitchen cooking the salmon? Is your husband doing the salmon stock with you?
Ms Hyatie: Yes, we are a home-based business and a small start-up. So we do it at home.
DJ Justine & Susan: Wonderful. I also love the packaging. Is that packing done at home as well?
Ms Hyatie: We actually use food-grade tubs in which mummies can freeze or heat it up.
Not Just Meals, There’s More
DJ Justine & Susan: What are the other things that mummies can buy for their babies?
Ms Hyatie: Our meals range from six month-olds like purees to toddlers. When the baby is six months, they must start with single-ingredient [solid food], then follow with dual and slightly more. For eight to 10 months, we have a range of menus. Again, no preservatives, no salt and no sugar.
I like to use a lot of carrots and as I find that carrots are very sweet. One of the popular menus for eight to 10 months-olds is the beef cottage pie.
DJ Justine & Susan: Can adults eat them as well or is it just babies?
Ms Hyatie: You can. My son up till now still enjoys eating that! We use cherry tomatoes instead of normal tomatoes as they are very sweet.
DJ Justine & Susan: Do you use onions as well?
Ms Hyatie: Yes, we do. We use Holland Onions as they are sweeter. Usually, when I fly I buy my ingredients in Australia. But now we have to support local and buy in Singapore.
DJ Justine & Susan: That’s wonderful. I like the Salmon stock. Could I buy that and use them in my soups for myself?
Ms Hyatie: Of course, you can. One of the mummies actually asked me: “Pumpkin Soup with Salmon for eight to 10 months, can I buy that for myself?” And I said “Yes, please.”
DJ Justine & Susan: Just talk about how long it takes to prepare?
Ms Hyatie: It depends on the number of orders. If I have a lot, I start as early as midnight. Once we’ve cooked for eight hours straight, the meals are cooled and then we put them into the freezer.
Freshly Prepared Meals Every Day
DJ Justine & Susan: Is there a need for customers to get their orders in?
Ms Hyatie: Usually by 3 pm on the day before delivery, to confirm their order so that we can prepare the ingredients. I like to buy fresh ingredients and I don’t like to keep ingredients. When we first started with the meals in August, we started at 5 am when the orders were not much.
DJ Justine & Susan: But now it’s going backwards and backwards.
Ms Hyatie: Yes, but now my niece has just finished her food and hygiene course so she is coming onboard and we hope we can start a bit later.
DJ Justine & Susan: That’s amazing with an extra pair of hands. So how many batches can you make at once? Is your kitchen big enough to do all?
Ms Hyatie: Normally, between I and my husband, we cook three soups at one time. Once we are done with the about three soups then we start with another batch.
Favourite Foods Of Customers?
Image Source: Pexels
DJ Justine & Susan: It’s wonderful to have your husband onboard. I can imagine it smells wonderful in your kitchen. On feedback from parents, have there been any favourites or feedback they gave you?
Ms Hyatie: The young generation is so nice. They always give good feedback. In fact, one of the mummies said – the beef cottage pie is so yummy. Her baby didn’t have a good appetite. The moment she gave her our food, her baby began to eat and enjoy it.
And recently one of the mummies messaged us to ask us about the spinach mac and cheese. We advised her to mash the pasta for her toothless baby. She did that and she told us that her baby loved the meal. And some of these mummies actually shared their feedback in the mummies’ Whatsapp Group chats as well.
We started off with the Muslim community mummies, then it expanded to others like expats. And they shared within their own group chats.
I must say that the mummies these days are so nice, unlike my time where we wouldn’t usually share a lot of good things.
Keeping Up With Changing Times As A Home-Based Business
DJ Justine & Susan: There have been some challenges of course with the F&B industry as a whole. For you as a home-based business, have you had any challenges yourself that you had to overcome, Hyatie?
Ms Hyatie: Actually I do. When mummies share information about their child’s allergies, I have to remove some of the items within the meals. So I make a lot of changes to customise to their child.
DJ Justine & Susan: You mention how important it is to get fresh ingredients. That’s why, once you got the orders in, you get cooking. Which ingredients do you like to work within the kitchen?
Ms Hyatie: I love making the beef cottage pie but my husband will tell you differently. He loves preparing the risotto because he cooks the risotto with love.
DJ Justine & Susan: It sounds that all the dishes are made with love! For the beef cottage pie, is that your own recipe? Or is it one that you got from somewhere else?
Ms Hyatie: It’s based on my own recipe and I make changes here and there to make it my own.
Where Do Mummies Go To Order?
DJ Justine & Susan: You got this wonderful website to direct people to go and have a look – www.biteybitzofficial.com. It has a lot of great pictures and descriptions of the meals that you can buy. Are you consistently coming up with new other food?
Ms Hyatie: I am currently working on a new menu for the 10 to 12 months as more mothers are asking for textured meals. For the range, we do have extensive menu but maybe we can come up with more later. At this moment, we are planning to open a shop as well.
A lot of things are lining up. I also have a place for mummies in mind, so we can all catch up and the babies can play, and the parents can buy their baby food easily too. That would be a dream come true for me!
DJ Justine & Susan: I can feel your passion in your voice and I wish you the very best. Just remind us again – do you do delivery once we order from the website?
Ms Hyatie: Our delivery is every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. You can order at www.biteybitzofficial.com or just message us on our official number at 84994748. But if parents need something urgently, they can always DM us on Instagram or Facebook.
Biteybitz Recipes For Mums To Try Out
Image Source: Unsplash
Apple Carrot Soup
Suitable for eight months old and above.
- 1 Apple (sliced)
- Half Carrot chopped
- Half onion (chopped)
- One tub of Biteybitz homemade veg stock (60ml)
- 1 teaspoon of Olive oil
How to cook:
- Heat up the pan with the oil
- Add onions after the pan is heated up and saute it.
- Put chopped carrots followed by apples in the pan
- Add the tub of Biteybitz Vegetable Stock.
- Close the pot with a lid and let it cook for 15 minutes while stirring it occasionally till the ingredients soften.
- After apples and carrots have cooked and soften, blend using either hand blender directly in the pot or if you are using a table blender, remove from heat to let it cool and then blend to your desired soup consistency.
For toddlers aged 2 years old and above
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 Holland Onion
- A slice of unsalted butter (about 25g)
- 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil
- White and Brown Mushrooms for Sauce and 1/3 cup of the same for garnishing 1 piece of chicken thigh – 1 cup
- Biteybitz Chicken Stock (60ml) – 1 tub
- Full cream milk – 1 cup
How to cook:
- Add butter and olive oil to pot.
- Saute the onions followed by chopped garlic.
- Add mushrooms. Then add the chicken stock.
- Add milk and let it cook for 15 minutes and stir it occasionally. Once cooked, use the hand blender to blend it directly in the pot. or if you are using a table blender, remove from heat to let it cool and then blend well. Ready to serve!
- Add one tablespoon of Olive oil to heat up them add the sliced mushrooms. After 5 minutes when mushrooms are almost cooked, add the chicken thigh.
- Let it cook on both sides for about 30 minutes.
- When the chicken thigh is almost cooked, pour the blended mushroom soup into the pot containing the chicken and mushroom pieces and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. The dish is ready to be served.
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