Originally posted on NationalPost.com
Parenting is not for the faint of heart. When you have a baby or a toddler, theres a never ending to do list: prepare food, serve food, clean up giant mess. Repeat.
Often these tasks must get done one handed while you're holding a screaming child. So when well meaning friends and family buy accessories that aren't dishwasher or microwave safe, or cant withstand the cyclones your baby subjects them to, you can add more chores to that list.
When Vancouver mother Christina Senez had her daughter Hannah a year ago, she and her husband Garett Senez quickly discovered most baby products were either overpriced, badly designed or the wrong size.
I was given a little baby set made of bamboo as a gift, and it looked cute, but was totally not functional; it was basically decorative, recalls Senez. When it comes to feeding your baby, prepping their food and cleaning up after them, it takes so much time.
Realizing that necessity is the mother of invention, Garett and his Victoria based friend and fellow dad Justin Gurinskas started thinking about how to create efficient parenting solutions by designing smart, good looking, affordable products. They make hard things easier to do, use and clean
Quarks newly launched product line includes innovative, affordable and fun must have items inspired and designed by Canadian parents for Canadian parents who want reliable, safe, high tech items.
Tired of storing baby food in the freezer then having to toss most of it into the compost bin because the containers are too large? Quarks Chill is a meal prep storage set that looks like a high tech beehive and features seven individual prep pods that are perfectly portioned for wee ones. A precision molded silicone lid keeps food fresh and is easy to pop off when its feeding time, notes Senez.
Its so easy to use: You can pull back the side and the little portion just pops out, she says.
Parents who are tired of washing the kitchen floor nine times a day will love the Feedi feeding set, which includes an adjustable silicone bib with a deep catch pocket, a three compartment plate and spill guard bowl with suction bases that baby wont be able to hurl off the tray, plus a pair of utensils that are gentle on gums.
I use the Feedi bowl every day; it has a lip on one side, so it wont spill, and the suction onto the highchair tray is really strong, says Senez. We just started to use the plate with three sections and Hannah can reach everything herself. And then, the bib catches everything.
When its time to introduce your little one to new flavours and textures, let them have fun twisting, squishing and tasting with the Fruuti fruit feeder. With its advanced rotary propulsion technology, multiple safe extrusion tip sizes, and enhanced clean capability, parents have one less thing to worry about.
Senez, a grade two teacher, notes most of the products her students brought to school in their lunch boxes were poorly designed and not durable.
We've come a long way and improved on those containers; our stackable, leak proof Storii storage system is great for lunch sized portions, plus they have integrated removable ice packs, she explains.
They're easy for little hands to unsnap on their own, and they'll work for kids in daycare through later school years.
The soon to be launched Quook, a five in one baby food maker will feature an easy wipe clean touch display, steam sterilization setting, an integrated bottle warmer and an automatic cleaning mode so parents can make homemade meals and let the machine clean up the mess.
Quark is also looking to improve parenting in multiple categories beyond the food realm. For example, they'll soon launch a baby proofing product called Foxii adorable silicone corner guards for tables and hard corners around the house.
Christinas daughter Hannah, and Gurinskas two daughters proved to be the perfect focus group, says Senez, adding that the how to videos on the Quark website feature both families demonstrating the entire line of products.
The products were using are so easy to wash, plus they're microwave safe and not really breakable, so they can fall on the floor, no problem, she says.
It just takes a lot of the worry away and saves me time every day, plus the products just look cool. You can just simplify motherhood with a few simple items so its not so overwhelming.
So forget flowers and chocolate. Todays busy moms want the gift of time. Find out more about making parenting easier with Quark products so you can make Mothers Day special. Look for them at Walmart, London Drugs, Indigo, Real Canadian Superstore, Amazon or online at QuarkBaby.com.