Jennifer Garner, celeb mom and star of the soon-to-be released revenge thriller Peppermint, has launched a new organic baby and toddler food brand with an important social mission.
Once Upon a Farm, Garner’s line of refrigerated organic baby food, applesauce and smoothies, was created with big goals in mind: to get yummy, fresh, nutritious foods into the bellies of all young kids, including those in underserved communities across the country–and make life a bit simpler for their parents in the process.
Garner’s vision for the brand is rooted in her upbringing on a farm in Oklahoma. “When I was a kid, everything I ate was made by my mom,” she tells The Bump. “We always had a big family garden and cooked fresh. And I took on that same tradition with my own kids.” It was Garner’s memories of her childhood that sparked her dream to provide fresh, healthy foods for kids, even if their moms don’t have a garden or have time to prepare their meals from scratch. “That was my own goal from the start, but life gets busy, and making your own baby food isn’t always a reality,” she says.
Once Upon a Farm, which Garner co-founded with John Foraker, Cassandra Curtis and Ari Raz, is the latest baby food brand to offer cold-pressed (not pre-processed) organic baby food pouches in a variety of foodie-inspired flavors, like avocado, carob, quinoa and chia seed. Of course, Garner’s own kids (Violet, 12; Seraphina, 9; and Samuel, 6) taste every recipe before they go into production. “We have very discerning palates—meaning picky kids!—at my house,” Garner laughs.
What helps to sets the line apart are its efforts to rally behind the social justice mission of providing underserved communities access to real foods. “This is something I am personally passionate about,” says Garner. “My greatest dream for Once Upon a Farm is its acceptance by WIC and the USDA’s special supplemental nutrition program. It’s a long-term goal, but something we are all so passionate about working towards as a company.”
The brand is also partnering with social-minded nonprofits like the Ron Finley Project, whose quest to transform inner-city food deserts into flourishing community gardens begins with early food education and community engagement. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 5.7 million families live in a food desert, meaning they’re far from a supermarket and lack transportation. Residents of these often low-income areas have to shop in small grocery stores that offer mostly packaged, less healthy and more expensive foods.
If you’re lucky enough to live close to supermarkets, you can find Once Upon a Farm products in the refrigerated section at Target, Walmart, Kroger, Whole Foods and other natural and grocery retailers.