By Severine Etienne for Queen’s Park Mums

Are you familiar with the concern that your cherubs aren’t eating healthy meals and snacks? You’re not alone Mama. 

North West London resident Marie Farmer found herself in this apprehensive situation when weaning her son and introducing solid food. Facing a lack of / unconvincing information about nutrition and an overwhelming multitude of marketed baby meals, Marie spotted a gap in the market for Mini Mealtimes, a phone App that provides parents with nutritional yet sensible advice from experts, and helps provide a clear view of their children’s diet through personalised health reports. 


Marie Farmer – founder of Mini Mealtimes

It’s no big news that nutrition is crucial for physical and emotional development, especially in the early years. Levels of overweight and obesity among children in the UK continues to rise and the British Nutrition Foundation* shows that societal influences and advertising have a substantial effect on children’s dietary behaviour. What’s more, developing palates and exposing young children to nutritionally balanced meals on a regular basis can establish life-long habits of healthy eating.  And this is what Mini Meals wants to help parents achieve.

The main feature of the App is the food diary, which enables parents to log their children’s meals by scanning barcodes or manually searching for the food to find out its nutritional content. The App is intuitive so it will remember what you’ve logged and will automatically come up with suggestions based on previous use. Parents can use the App to assess whether their children absorb enough nutrients through a varied and healthy diet. As parents, we are most likely the ones who plan our little ones’ meals but Marie reassures us: “It’s important for parents to remember that they need to look at the big picture when it comes to the food their children eat and to not get too hung up on the day to day” – So we guess this means everyone is allowed to have a Christmas feast!


Another feature of Mini Mealtimes consists of recipe ideas to vary sources of nutrients when preparing meals and snacks. Vegetarian, vegan and general recipes will be available for the whole family and food allergies will also be taken into consideration. Marie is currently working with a chef to ensure all the recipes are easy and quick(ish) to prepare. 

Additional advice based on recommendations from paediatricians, scientists and dieticians is provided; it will include tips to integrate more vegetables in yummy meals for fussy eaters (we can’t wait to get Marie’s recipe of spinach and banana muffins!) and to successfully transition babies from milk to solid food.

As you can imagine, a lot of market research is going into this App. Marie has been talking with many parents across the UK to ensure Mini Mealtimes would respond to the needs of all. Beyond the launch of her app (planned just before the end of 2018), Marie intents to include additional features, in particular the option to synchronise various devices like FitBit, Apple Watch and online shopping lists among others. Parents might also be able to download menus to the app directly from schools and nurseries for a full picture of their children’s diet.

In the long-term, Marie Farmer aspires to help change the guidelines on food packaging to ultimately achieve a greater transparency in food labels.  She won the Entrepreneurial Barnet Competition for the Mini Mealtimes idea. We are thrilled to have another brilliant entrepreneurial mum in our area and can’t wait to use the Mini Mealtimes App ourselves! 

Want to know more? Follow @minimealtimesapp on Instagram or sign up to the mailing list to be alerted of any giveaways, discounts, app updates, Q&As, future event and free advice from dieticians.


* Briefing paper on Nutrition, health and schoolchildren, E. Weichselbaum and J. Buttriss. British Nutrition Foundation, London UK (2011)

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