Dr. Trina Pratt – Super Foods for Super Kids

Ayana Bryant | July 19th, 2021
Dr. Trina Pratt (Photos by Santana B Photography)

Dr. Trina Pratt (Photos by Santana B Photography)

A woman of many talents and titles, Dr. Trina Pratt wears them all well. She is addressed as professor and also CEO. However, the most essential title she has is that of mom.

For nearly ten years, Pratt dabbled with the idea of launching her very own line of organic baby food. Last year that small idea became a big reality.

Little Chéngers LLC was launched in December 2020 as a subscription service for organic baby food. The company’s motto is “Super Foods for Super Kids”. The line includes eight different flavors options: blueberry spinach, banana strawberry, mango, sweet potato, sweet potato with apple ginger, sweet potato apple and ginger, applesauce, and applesauce with ginger and cinnamon. The subscription offers plans of two or three meals per day by weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly packages. Meals can be purchased individually as well. The premium food selection that Little Chéngers offers is explicitly tailored to enhance a baby’s developmental milestones.

Pratt is a proud graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, Temple University, and most recently, The University of North Carolina Greensboro, where she received her Ph.D. in Kinesiology, concentrating in Community Youth Sports Development 2019. After becoming a new mom in 2010 to Ché, Pratt’s life changed forever. With her son as the main focus of her life, she became very conscious of his needs, mainly growing and developing.

As the time came for Che’ to start eating solid foods, Pratt says that she headed to the grocery store and purchased a very popular line of baby food like any other new mother. “When I returned home and tried to feed it to Ché, he rejected it. My son normally had a healthy appetite, but I had never seen him do this before, pushing away a spoon full of food,” she says. Initially, she continued to take the advice of others and kept trying to feed it to Che’, hoping that he would eventually begin to like it; but that didn’t go so well.

Pratt became concerned about her sons’ reaction to the newly introduced baby food. She shares he would eat other things like baby cereal and drink his milk just fine, but he wasn’t a fan of the baby food. Next, she decided to taste the baby food for herself, and after one spoonful, she knew why Che’ didn’t want to eat it. “It was horrible. The food tasted terrible, and I, too, had a difficult time eating it. I knew I had to do something about this,” she says.

Pratt then decided to do some research of her own and began discussing food options with some other moms. She wasn’t able to find many mothers who made their children’s food at home, as she knew for busy single mothers like herself, it was easier to pick some up from the grocery store.

Running out of resources, she turned to her family for help, consulting with her grandmother, mother, and aunts for some sound advice. “As a child, it was my great-grandmother who fed me mostly and showed my mother how to take different foods and cut them up very fine, making it suitable for me to eat as a baby. It made sense for me to come back to those who fed me,” she says. It proved to be the right decision for Pratt.

Along with the help of her family and the research she conducted, Pratt became better equipped to cater to her son’s needs. She learned about different additives and ingredients that could assist with things like brain development and overall health. From there, Pratt developed a routine. “Every Friday, after work, I would purchase fresh groceries. On Saturdays, I would go into the kitchen, sit Ché in his stroller, turn on some music, and begin experimenting with new recipes for him to taste, all while learning the things he liked and disliked,” she says. Pratt’s version of research and development was pretty successful, and her son’s eating habits improved as he developed a surprising liking for baby food, his mothers’ batch of baby food.

As she got better at creating new foods for Ché, Pratt came up with the great idea of Little Chéngers. That was in 2010, and Pratt’s life, career, and schoolwork wouldn’t allow time for it, so she put the idea on hold. However, ten years later, as fate would have it, a phone conversation with her mother changed everything. “Ché was about to turn ten, and I remember being on the phone with my mother and she said to me “You’ve been talking about this baby food business for over ten years, when are you going to do it?” That was all I needed to get started,” says Pratt.

Pratt says that her son is one of her biggest inspirations. She also credits the work that she has done serving the youth has also impacted her tremendously. From her college students to the children she helped while working as the Executive Director for The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Gastonia, she truly enjoys seeing their development and growth throughout her time with them.

Pratt’s hope is for Little Chéngers to continue growing and thrive toward success. Despite some of the challenges she has faced, her goal is to expand and market her products nationally and globally, connecting with consumers that may not necessarily look like her. The Little Chéngers brand is for all baby’s, and she hopes to ensure that parents have access to it. “Moving forward, I have no plans of slowing down. I want to be the change I see in the world,” she says.

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