It's about that time, and what a way to kick it off. Colette, my very good friend (and mother of Dexter, whom I do this for) and Eloise (the adorable girl pictured above), landed on the UT San Diego website!
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep ... infantino/
Colette Cosky, friend to all mothers
The local marketing director invented a food system for busy moms on-the-go
Colette Cosky might just be the closest thing San Diego has to a Super Mom.
Along with having two children, she’s also the marketing director for Infantino, a San Diego-based toy company, and she invented a product that makes fellow moms’ lives easier.
Cosky created the Fresh Squeezed Food System, a product that squeezes homemade purées into easy-to-eat, toddler-friendly pouches.
The mid-city resident, who moved to San Diego in 2002, had the idea after worrying about dietary issues for her special-needs son. Cosky tells us how she juggles motherhood and entrepreneurship.
Q: Tell us about your family and their dietary needs.
A: My family is active and busy. Eloise, my 5-year-old, never stops moving, and Dexter, 2, is right behind her. There is no need for sugary drinks and food in our house and we try our best to avoid them. This has always been the case, but we’re even more sensitive to it based on Dexter’s dietary needs. He was born with Down syndrome and needs medication to manage his thyroid levels. Since he burns calories at a slower rate, watching what he eats is critical to his healthy development. Thankfully, my husband does most of the grocery shopping for the family and stocks the house with lots of healthy fruits and vegetables.
Q: What is the Fresh Squeezed Food System?
A: It allows you to press and store homemade purées; smoothies and fruit/veggie snacks in convenient, go-anywhere, eat-anywhere squeeze pouches.
Q: How did you come up with the idea?
A: I was committed to making my own baby food for Eloise. I didn’t care for store-bought food or its limited variety. As a family, we do our share of traveling and my pre-made cubed food was a hassle. I got hooked on a baby food brand that seemed to be a better alternative to the jars and plastic cups – and loved the convenience – but not the cost. At some point, I married the convenience of the pouch with the benefits of making your own food and shared the idea with the Infantino design team. After lots of engineering and incredible design work, Fresh Squeezed was born and we asked the world, “why cube when you can squeeze?”
Q: For people who don’t have kids, can you explain why kids like food pouches?
A: There is tasty food inside and typically, they can manage it themselves. It’s that simple.
Q: What are your favorite foods to put in the pouches?
A: I like beautiful things and there is nothing like the natural orange of pumpkin, the deep hue of blueberry, the soft green of a sweet pea or the vibrancy of carrots. For my kids, I feel like I’ve secretly won a battle when they devour a strawberry, peach and kale pouch. A peach purée pouch right out of the freezer is a delight during the summer months.
Q: What is Infantino, it’s based out of San Diego?
A: At Infantino we make smartly-designed products for happy parenting. At the end of the day it’s all about the parent and child experience, and that passion goes into every product, whether it’s a toy, baby carrier or car seat. Our company is happily rooted in sunny San Diego with design teams in Chicago and a sales office in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Q: What does your toy situation look like at home?
A: I have learned to practice restraint and keep the kids away from the toy wall at our office. On the other hand, I try to stick to taking home toys that will help my child reach a milestone.
Q: What are some great places to take children with special needs in San Diego?
A: My gut reaction is to say everywhere. But that’s based on my personal experience with Dexter, who has no sensory processing challenges or physical limitations. With that said, our favorite places are Fiesta Island to run our hyper Weimaraners (and sometime hyper kids), Station Tavern (great food and a place for the kids to play) and Trolley Barn Park, which is always packed with amazingly kind folks and an easy-breezy atmosphere.
Q: What’s the best advice you ever received?
A: "You can’t spoil a child with too much love" – so hug-on and kiss away fellow mamas and papas!
Q: Where do you go if you want some alone time?
A: If I told you, I’d never get alone time.