FOUNDERS LETTER

Message From The Founder – Dr Hayley Dickinson PhDHi! Thank you for dropping by. 

I am Hayley, founder of eat for baby. I am a mother, step-mother, daughter, sister, aunt, wife, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, ex-wife, friend and scientist. The culmination of all these roles brings eat for baby to life.

I have a science degree with honours and a PhD from Monash University where I led a successful research group studying pregnancy for over 10 years. Our biggest research program was focused on creatine. Our experimental work showed creatine to be very effective at preserving life and preventing brain and other organ injury of newborns when oxygen levels were very low. Over many years, we progressed our research from very early discovery work through to studying pregnant women and their babies. I am pleased that my research program continues in the safe and caring hands of scientists and clinicians at Hudson Institute of Medical Research/Monash University and with colleagues around the world.

After I left the lab, my thoughts were consumed with women's health. I was feeling like we (as scientists) often come up short, offering solutions that are really just bandaids at best, and don't meet the core needs of women. Frustratingly, they often create more problems in the long run, for all of our life systems; including us.

The almost universal use of prenatal supplements by pregnant women is also something I still think (and worry) a lot about. These don't address the many negative impacts of a poor diet, they can be harmful if used incorrectly and they ignore the benefit that eating good food during pregnancy has for our baby's future dietary choices and life long health.

This is about the time when I re-focused my lens on what Mother Nature can provide.

My work as a Scientist took a different form and directions at this point. Instead of trying to improve supplements so that they provide more benefit, I channeled my focus into looking at what our ancestors did. Eating real food.

What if women just ate real food during their pregnancy journey? Could we reduce the need for supplements through nutrient rich meals? That was the moment eat for baby was born.

Fast forward two years and here we are.

Over time we’ve discovered that we can give women on their pregnancy journey everything they need from food, but it’s not as simple as it once was. Food has changed. We no longer have a direct relationship with the foods we eat. We no longer know how, or by whom our food was grown. Lots of our food doesn't even look like real food anymore. The nutrients we are told are in our food aren't actually measured (they are derived from databases and standardised calculations). We can no longer assume that something described as food is good for us.

For women on their pregnancy journeys, it is even more complicated. With mixed messages from well-meaning care providers, the media, friends and family, women are left confused by what to eat. Sometimes women are scared of the consequences of eating the 'wrong' foods. They're almost always tired and overwhelmed, with little time to take care of themselves.

The mission for eat for baby was defined early. We want to make it easy for women to eat real food that delivers the nutrients they need (we have a few products for the men in their lives too!) and brings them joy along the way. 

We know that women are busy, and too often put themselves a long way down their own priority lists, leaving their health and wellbeing suffering at a time when it needs to be the highest priority. We’ve designed our foods to fit in with what you are already doing: nut and seed mixes that you can add to your breakfast cereal, salads, soups and smoothies. We give every meal a micronutrient boost, like balls that pack a punch in nutrients that are convenient to take with you but without the protein powders and fillers you don’t need. We are continuing to develop new products so there will be more to come soon. 

Because we know women aren’t just the carers of their own family, but are the carers of mother earth and all her inhabitants, we are committed to sourcing local and organic ingredients wherever possible. We use packaging that is sustainable and we are always making sure we are doing the best we can. If you think we can do better, please let us know. 

So far we have launched our recipe eBook, I encourage you to take a look and try our recipes. Tell us what you love and what else you’d like to see. Our food product launch isn't far away - join our crowd to make sure you don't miss the big day.

Please enjoy and learn from the information we’ve provided you. We want to share all we know so that you can make informed choices that benefit your health and your babies. 

Building eat for baby has been no small task. I am grateful to the incredible team that have volunteered their time and resources to achieve our goal. 

I’m passionate about eat for baby and sharing my knowledge and excitement with you. 

Yours in health, wellbeing and real food,

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