‘NO’ is a favorite word among many toddlers, especially when it comes to eating their veggies. But for Seattle mom and entrepreneur Jasmine Sami, she saw her daughter’s resistance to eating vegetables as a challenge; one she was willing to take on and overcome.
“When my daughter entered the ‘Terrific Twos”, my husband and I were running out of ideas to try and get her to eat vegetables,” said Sami says on her website. “The food throwing, head shaking, closed eyes, hands over mouth and the ever high pitch of the word ‘NO!’ were often the results of our many attempts. My husband finally asked, ‘Why can't you just make something?’ After my How Dare You look, I asked myself the same question. In reality, I was tired and busy.”
Then, after being laid off from her job in production management as a result of COVID-19, Sami devoted her newfound time to experimenting with healthy veggie recipes that would appeal to her daughter. As a result, she created frozen juice bars made with carrots, squash, broccoli and zucchini. Each vegan bar includes a suggested meal serving of vegetables for a toddler, with no preservatives and only natural sugars.
“After the layoff, I had time to experiment and create something I knew my daughter would like, and she always wanted a popsicle,” said Sami. “However, everything I came across in the grocery store had a lot of sugar and few vegetables. They also lacked fiber, and included ingredients I didn’t want to feed my two-year-old.”
Since she couldn’t find what she was looking for, Sami started making her own treats. She started with sorbet because of her daughter’s dairy allergy. Next, she ordered a mold for her frozen treats and developed a recipe that both she and her daughter liked.
“I tasted it and it was really good, so I gave it to my daughter to try,” recalls Sami. “She loved it so much, she asked me for more. ‘More ice cream Mommy, more ice cream!’ I was like, ‘Sure, here you go. Have some more.’”
Sami’s friends got on board with her frozen treats and started asking her to make extra for their kids. What started as a fun way to ensure her child was eating nutritious food, fast became a business to fill a needed niche. Setting her self-doubt aside, Sami took the advice of her friends and decided to try selling her bars commercially in frozen packages of eight.
“After the layoff, I was like, why not try it?” said Sami. “This is how PEA Club was born. I call it PEA Club because it stands for Picky Eaters Anonymous. The treats are something easy and convenient for parents. Whether they want a healthy treat for birthday parties, or want to get their kids to eat more, this eliminates the struggle.”
By Washington State law, food producers are required to use a commercial kitchen, and fortunately, Sami found one down the street from her mother’s house. Because of the pandemic she uses extra caution with supplies, ingredients and equipment.
“I know one thing that parents are really concerned about this day and age is preservatives being added to foods,” said Sami. “I want to drive home the fact there are no preservatives in our frozen veggie bars. They’re also vegan and sweetened with agave nectar.”
PEA club is still in its infancy and Sami is busy networking with local farmers to get the best ingredients she can find. As her online orders continue to increase, she has recruited her husband to make deliveries to keep the price affordable.
“I have my husband on delivery duty, because there's no point in shipping frozen items to people if the postage costs more than the actual product,” said Sami. “The word is getting out that our treats are loaded with actual vegetables, have no preservatives, are free of the top allergens, only have natural sugars, and are vegan. Take it from me, your life will be so much easier with these on hand!”
For more information on how to order these picky-eater-tested and mother-approved treats, visit www.peaclub.company.site