Thoughtful Supply Chain Practices with Serenity KidsApril 23rd, 2020
Serenity Kids cares about the health of your baby—and also the health of the planet. The brand’s process of creating and delivering products to your family is best described as thoughtful. They partner with family-owned regenerative farms to source meats and vegetables, and have become the first animal welfare-certified approved baby food. But the good doesn’t stop there—compared to a glass jar, their pouches require nine times less fossil fuel to transport, and can be recycled for free through a partnership with Terracycle.
Serenity Carr, Co-Founder and CEO of Serenity Kids, answered our questions on just how the company honors and celebrates Earth Month all year long.
Why is it important to have high-quality, shelf-stable protein options in the pantry for your kids?
Babies need well-sourced protein and healthy fats to thrive! Fat is essential for nutrient absorption, brain development, hormone regulation, and building the immune system—and meat is a far more efficient source of protein than any other food we eat. The USDA recommends that seven- to 12-month old babies get 30g of fat per day and suggests meat as an ideal first food. Our pouches were designed to mimic the macronutrients of breast milk, offering the right balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates for babies over six months old. Having shelf-stable, ready-to-eat meals that are nutrient focused helps busy parents provide their little ones with the most nutrition per bite—without feeling guilty about giving them packaged food.
What is Serenity Kids doing to honor Earth Month?
We’re partnering with our Bison supplier, Force of Nature, to share the nutritional benefits of well-sourced meats, the importance of incorporating organ meat into the diet, and how regenerative agriculture practices help reverse climate change by enhancing soil health, conserving water, and sequestering carbon. We’re educating people that they can help reverse climate change and make their families healthier by purchasing regeneratively farmed meat.
You hand-select the small American family farms that produce your meats and vegetables—why is that important?
Joe, my husband, was raised on a small family farm in southern Missouri. He grew up visiting his grandparents and experiencing the harmonious lifestyle of being one with animals and nature while also witnessing the intense economic challenges of trying to compete with large industrial farms. Serenity Kids pays a premium for the highest-quality meats and vegetables, raised and grown the right way, and we wanted to do even more to make sure that these farms would continue to be around for the babies of tomorrow. Because of this, 1% of our profits are donated to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit that helps protect the rights of small farmers like his grandparents.
Clean, well-sourced meats and vegetables not only contain the highest quality nutrition, but can also heal the planet. Because of this, we exclusively source from a network of the finest small American family farms that practice regenerative agriculture and never use antibiotics, hormones, GMO feed or pesticides. The farms that we source from practice techniques that go far beyond the standards required for organic certification. They are dedicated to respecting and humanely treating animals and farming in a way that gives back to the land. Our organic vegetable farmers use innovative techniques to enhance soil health, conserve water, and promote biodiversity on the farm. They also generate electricity from their fruit and vegetable by-product using their own biogas plant!
What does this selection process look like?
Our criteria for selecting farms includes ensuring that the farmers use pasture-based regenerative agricultural techniques that mimic the way animals live in nature. Any supplemental feed must be organic and non-GMO and they must conduct regular third-party audits. We also work with members of the Savory Institute and the Global Animal Partnership program to help expand our network of small American family farmers. We’re proud to have the first GAP-approved baby food product. To find out more about some of them, you can visit our farmers page!
Why does Serenity Kids source from farmers that use regenerative agricultural practices?
When it comes to feeding a baby, pasture raised meat is proven to be higher in Omega 3 fatty acids, CLAs, Vitamin E, Iron, and other vitamins and minerals that support healthy development. For us, it’s also a personal mission. Early in the development of Serenity Kids, we realized our company is uniquely capable of helping create real change in our food system.
Regenerative agriculture, and the farmers who practice it, help reverse climate change by contributing to carbon sequestration, aerating and shaping the land, and creating a positive environment where animals can express their natural instinctive behaviors. This looks different for each of the small family farms that we source our ingredients from, but they each play a role in using these techniques to better the world we live in. We believe that a healthy planet and healthy animals mean healthier babies and happier humans and by supporting regenerative agriculture, we can change the future for our children and yours.
Let’s talk about baby food pouches. What’s the importance of this packaging?
To make our baby foods, we use a retort cooking method which combines the right amount of pressure, heat, and time to create a shelf-stable product while maintaining maximum nutrition. Retorting is essentially a large pressure cooker; we combine our ingredients into its final packaging, seal it so more nutrients stay in the food, and then steam it for several minutes. This process kills any bacteria and creates a shelf-stable product without the need for preservatives or refrigeration.
We use pouches that are BPA-free, BPS-free, phthalate-free, and melamine-free! Initially, we were not happy that most baby food is packaged in single-use plastic pouches rather than recyclable glass jars. However, after a lot of research we learned that it takes nine times more fossil fuel to transport a glass jar versus a pouch and only one third of recyclable materials actually gets recycled. The vast majority of those glass jars get thrown away and end up taking 26 times more space in landfills. So while we recommend limiting the use of disposable packaging, rest assured that baby food pouches are a lesser evil. Lastly, we are incredibly proud to have partnered with a pouch manufacturing facility that is entirely solar powered and generates more power than it uses, which reduces fossil fuel consumption in its region.
How can people effectively recycle their pouches?
In an effort to keep pouches out of landfills, we’ve partnered with Terracycle to offer a free recycling program for our customers. Customers simply request a free pre-paid postage envelope from TerraCycle directly and mail it back in once the envelope is full.
For someone new to Serenity Kids, which product do you recommend they start with?
We’d recommend Free Range Chicken with Organic Peas & Carrots! It’s packed with nutrition and flavor because every bite counts. Why free-range chicken? Because our chicken is humanely raised on small family farms and provides the fat and protein your baby needs to grow big and strong! We use organic avocado oil to add healthy fats, which helps support your baby’s brain development. There are no added sugars or preservatives—which makes our allergen-free, easy grab-and-go pouch the most nutritious low-sugar baby food option!
What are great ways to use your products throughout the day?
We love hearing how other moms have gotten creative with our products! Our favorites include mixing our Grass Fed Beef into marinara sauce for more of a protein punch or using our Wild Caught Salmon on crackers for a simple nutritious snack! Some moms send it in a lunchbox as a side dish for an older kid, or eat it themselves as a snack. Or make your grass fed steak extra classy by serving it on our Organic Squashes puree!