Kai Carrier: homemade food on the go - Stuff

By Sarah Roberts for Stuff.

When Kylie Matthews' first-born daughter started solids she wanted to give her the freshest food possible. She turned to pre-packaged pouches for convenience, but for her it wasn't the best choice.

"It went against everything I stood for. I always wanted to make my own food with my children," Matthews says. "I know it's a good solution for busy mums, but I thought surely there must be something else that's just as convenient." 

The Te Atatu Peninsula mum hunted the shops to find her own reusable pouches to make homemade food puree for Skye, now five. But found nothing.

It was then Kai Carrier was born, offering reusable food pouches. 

"I thought maybe I could do that. But then I thought that's just crazy you've just had a baby. In the end I thought if I don't do this someone else will," Matthews says.

The 32-year-old also used the pouches with her youngest daughter Ebony, now 20 months, and plans to use the product with her baby boy, due in November.

"Now the girls take smoothies and yoghurts to school and kindy. Their favourite breakfast on the go is weetbix and milk mushed in the pouch," Matthews says.

And the idea is proving popular with other mothers.  The sole-operated company has been dubbed a winning product in several national awards. 

Her latest collection sees her as a finalist in the Oh Baby! magazine awards in three categories, David Awards in the small business category and the Sustainable Business Awards for the community impact award.

Kai Carrier come in a range of shapes, sizes and there are ice block pouches and snack packs. There are also recipes on the website.

All the products are BPA free and are microwavable, freezable and dishwasher proof. The products are manufactured in China. 

The business has helped community group raise around $4000 with fundraising initiatives and has just received carbon neutral status for its business operation emissions.