In the capital city of Anchorage, Alaska, one woman decided to take on the health epidemic and fight it till she succeeded. That woman is entrepreneur and medical professional, Zoi Maroudas, who has almost single-handedly spearheaded a new way of feeding our children and ourselves.
Coming from a rich Greek background, she was surrounded by the wonderful aromas emanating from her mother and grandmother’s cooking. Being raised in a culture where food is a major part of it, she learned the benefits of a good natural meal regimen. It is a known fact that Greece has one of the best and healthiest palates in the world. During her off time at the local hospital she would spend after hours at her family’s Greek restaurant developing her own type of meals that would enrich the lives of both the youngest generation and adults with all-natural vegetables and clean proteins.
She would soon give birth to now the global company Bambino’s. Even though it targets infants and toddlers, it also caters to adults with swallowing or digestive challenges. Basically, Zoi combined her rich Mediterranean diet and medical background to address what was currently lacking in the baby food grocery aisle: fresh, nutritious balanced foods that were also rich in flavor. She knew she had to act on this to offer the public a better alternative to a healthy diet.
Her goal was twofold to support overall health for the younger generation with clean, nutritious protein and vegetable fresh foods that were also harvested and produced ethically to help low-income families who suffer more from obesity and food-related allergies. The USDA food supplement program called Women Infant and Children (WIC) is dedicated to assisting low-income moms and babies, and the most unfortunate; it is currently restricting access to healthier fresh foods. This program is dedicated to helping financially burdened families and does not offer equal opportunity nutrition, meaning any products made with organic ingredients are rejected! Fresh foods that require refrigeration, rejected! Foods created with protein, vegetable and grain, also rejected! Balanced meals, rejected! These are foods that would be best suited for their overall development.
“Currently 14.1 million babies are dependent on WIC food and 208, 000 here in NYC city alone. All children deserve the best nutritional foundation to grow healthy. What our children eat the first 3 years of their lives affects their overall health and you will see its effect in your 30’s, 40’s…70’s, and so on. I didn’t just create a company to excel in business but to help families near and far have their health and grow up to be active individuals and community members in their town, city and country. Now I’m here in NYC meeting with the mayor office and serval celebrity artists moms and dads who support are bill.”
These families who are in the WIC program were not allowed meals composed of protein (chicken, beef, or seafood), vegetables and grains, which is paramount to a balanced diet. In addition, they are excluded from fresh frozen organic products, or for certain package sizes. Hence, their only other option is shelf foods that lack many nutrients and highly processed.
Zoi made it her business to fight for children’s health and attempt to pass a bill in Congress which would then offer them that option. She partnered up with Congressman Don Young to introduce the INFANT Act (HR 784) in February 2021 so that it would provide fresh, more healthful food alternatives to WIC families. It would enable financially strapped families to have the means to purchase fresh, natural, balanced-based meals and non-processed foods.
“Food is medicine and food gives us life. By having this bill passed, it will prevent food many food-related allergies and stop adolescent obesity in its track. I personally invite individuals and organizations to reach out directly to me or Congressman Young and let’s help nurture and healthier generation. Once the bill is passed parents will be able to use their EBT card at their local grocery store.”
While Zoi was working at a hospital, she realized many of children coming in had Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, or even heart disease. Most of these patients were on government programs and the guidelines for these programs were not suited for them on a nutritious level. She needed to act fast and find a way to help them have access to better foods suited for a child’s growth.
The bill was first brought forth in 2019 and only recently was passed. It was a big step for Zoi in finding a way to help those most in need. The bill will benefit millions of infants and toddlers in the WIC system and help evolve the long-stagnant baby food industry to overall improve their habits. A grand feat and one to be applauded in the time where things have been so difficult for all classes. Bambino’s Baby Food has over twenty products that are made in their production facility in Anchorage with organic ingredients from Alaska (vegetable and Seafood), Greece (olive oil and grain) and Italy. They ship directly to parents’ doorsteps with one supply anywhere in the US. They are non-GMO, kosher, organic and natural, with no preservatives. For more information contact Infantact@bambinosbabyfood.com.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.