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Meal times for your little ones can sometimes be challenging, messy and just downright chaotic. Most of the time if given the opportunity, babies will play with their foods and yes, chaos usually ensues. However, when babies play with food, remember that it might actually improve their learning – and perhaps their long-term health. A recent study done by Researchers at the University of Iowa found that children who decided to get themselves messy, learnt the names of the associated foods more quickly than those didn’t.

Alix O’Hara, founder and CEO of Mashblox, saw this and realised she could create a concept which helped further enhance this idea of babies and their food. After some market research, Alix also saw that kids can be quite the fussy eaters and trying to get them to eat is one of the hardest challenges mums face today.

“My background is in art and I’m highly creative, but my studies are in medical science and that is where my interest in Mashblox’ benefits stemmed from” said Alix O’Hara, Founder + CEO.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that 1 in 5 kids aged 2-4, were overweight or obese. There are many factors that could influence this, one of which could be overfeeding. Through positive reinforcement, children are being conditioned to eat more because sometimes we assume they can finish an adult serving of food and if they do, they will get a reward or receive positive reinforcement.

Mashblox, creates a simple solution which enables a more healthy, intelligent, hygienic and clean eating experience for children. The original Mashblox, comes in silicone hollow building blocks, where you can put your own food in healthy amounts and let them have fun whilst eating. This teaches the bubs, how fast to eat, when to eat and when to stop, ultimately instilling healthy eating habits from a young age, which could stop them from overeating and in turn, lower their risk of obesity. It also opens a whole new world of sensations, where you can introduce new flavours and textures, all whilst having a little fun!

“Madelyn (14mo) loves to feed herself, but breakfast time was always tricky… and messy! After seeing Mashblox at the Canberra Kids Market we couldn’t wait to try them! Weetbix & fruit puree worked a treat and while she still got quite messy, the floor didn’t! I can’t wait to see if she will be more open to veggies this way, too!” said Madelyn’s Mum, Kat.

Mashblox is now getting its much-deserved attention and is on its way to making some great headway. The Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN), helped launch Mashblox, giving Alix the support she needed and being a part of the 2016 GRIFFIN Accelerator cohort, ultimately equipped her with the perfect skillset to achieve her entrepreneurial dreams. The mentors, investors, partners and service providers she gained through CBRIN and the GRIFFIN Accelerator helped her open up a lot of doors and unleashed her true entrepreneurial potential.

“I also started attending CBRIN’s FWC events which have given me pitching practice and opportunities, friends and valuable business connections, a whole lot of inspiration, and more recently have yielded sales too. I’ve introduced friends and associates who have been at different stages on their start-up journey from the inception of their idea, to getting ready to go into business, and the service providers that can help them.” 

“If you’re creatively-minded or entrepreneurial, Canberra is the place to be. I couldn’t have imagined a more supportive environment to start than Canberra Innovation Network” said Alix O’Hara.

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