Today Denise Henderson's line of organic baby food
is available all over the Chicago area, including Whole Foods in
Lincoln Park, Sunset Foods and Peapod.com. But it started out in a kitchen-her
Check out the connection between Square One Organics and
'American Idol' winner Lee Dewyze!
She had given birth to twins at 34 weeks, and realized her son
had food allergies when he started reacting to her breast milk. She
quickly changed her own eating habits to accommodate his
When it was time to make the switch to solid foods, she
made homemade purees in her River Forest home. With an
emphasis on immunity-boosting "super-foods," Henderson developed a
system for creating her own baby food.
When her neighbors started to request some of her food for
themselves, Square One Organics was born. Everything is
gluten-free, organic and single ingredient-important to this
allergy-minded mom, who understands the importance of being able to
isolate triggers in an unblended dish. All of the food is cooked
first for safety and immediately frozen; parents can choose to cook
it or serve it defrosted, maintaining taste along the
"Broccoli tastes like broccoli," Henderson says. "Then
when we move to the big table and broccoli gets put on our plate,
it's not such a huge leap."
Offering options like papaya, mango and pumpkin, the line
is split into three color-coded categories: Everything in a red
package is a Vitamin C super-food, orange is for Vitamin A, green
is for super-greens (like spinach), and purple is for
cereal. The food comes in 2-ounce BPA-free cups; if a
child is hungry for more, you can move to a new food in a different
"Children aren't filling up on 4 ounces of any one thing,"
Henderson says. And the ingredient label is easy to read-the
pumpkin puree, for instance, says just "organic pumpkin and
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