What is your name and job title?
Sara Keel - Founder/Director/Healthy Sipper
What did you love to eat the most, as a child?
My Grandma’s roasts, runner beans fresh from the garden and my mum’s lemon meringue pie. Mouth-watering memories!
What do you love most about working in the world of family-friendly food accessories?
Happy, healthy eating is such an important part of raising children so it’s a great area to be involved in.
What makes your brand so great for children/families?
Babycup was inspired by a real need of my own children. When my girls were weaning I searched for the perfect little cup time and time again. I cut, reshaped, pulled apart and generally altered what was in the shops, trying to get a mini open cup that would work for little hands and mouths. By baby number three I realised I ought to stop hunting and get on and make it.
How important is it to keep up with changing trends?
It depends very much on the product and the context. Some products are best left as design classics, some need to evolve for practical reasons and others can benefit from a fresh take, a new look, a contemporary twist. When it comes to what children drink from, you can change the look, the style, the colours, but keep it simple and keep it the best for health – the right size and open.
Why is it important to ensure a high quality in family brands? How do you do that?
From a functional and a safety point of view I want to know that food or drink isn’t going to be contaminated by dangerous chemicals or leeching toxins. High quality design can also mean care is taken to ensure no sharp edges to hurt delicate young skin or nooks or crannies for mould to secretly fester. High quality shows families can put their trust in your product. I ensure this by making Babycup in the UK, by adhering to stringent safety standards and to being constantly involved in the manufacturing process.
Why did you enter the Junior Design Awards?
A Junior Design Awards badge is a seal of approval that means a huge amount, especially to us emerging brands. I am very proud that Babycup looks good and does good and believe it is an award-worthy combination. As a parent, I love to see what has been successful in the Junior Design Awards – it’s the ultimate shopping list for kitting out your kids.
What do you predict for the future of family-friendly products?
Stripping it right back and making things less complicated. In this ever-gadgetised world we’re thankfully now hearing more and more about the benefits of keeping it simple. From balance bikes to open cups and real food for homemade meals, I see the future as looking very good, feeling great and raising healthy, happy people.
Can you give us some great tips on how to get your children to eat their greens?
Now that is the million dollar question! I tend to go for rainbow colours and a little bit at a time. When children say, "But I don't like it!", casually respond with "It's ok not to like it. We are practicing it." Then, move on. Don't get pulled into the argument. Keep calm, move on and repeat another day!