My healthy life: Kalpna Solanki of BoboBaby

This organic food entrepreneur works the exercycle’but brakes for bubbly

My healthy life: Kalpna Solanki of BoboBaby

Source: Best Health Magazine, September 2008

When Burnaby, B.C., mom-to-be Kalpna Solanki was pregnant with daughter Juliette in 2002, she knew she’d be feeding her organic food. After all, she and her husband, Martin, had been eating organic since the early 1990s. ‘It’s not a fad for us,’ says the 42-year-old. Her background in public health and environmental management had convinced her that organics were better for her and for the people growing her food. Then, after Juliette’s birth, Solanki started wondering if there was a business opportunity in the puréed concoctions she was making for her daughter. ‘I phoned a buyer for Save-On-Foods. They called back right away and said, ‘If you make it, we’ll buy it.’ ‘ Three years later, Solanki’s BoboBaby frozen baby foods (which are organic, kosher and free of the top allergens) were launched in stores across the country. She has just launched a line of ready-made meals and snacks called Bobo­Kids for children age two and older. ‘We source ingredients locally as much as possible, with most of the food grown in B.C., Washington and Oregon.’

Her label-reading advice:
‘People have been misled into thinking that if it’s organic, it’s healthy. But if there’s not enough fibre, or too much fat, sugar or salt, it’s not a healthy choice.’

Life-work balance:
‘If Martin and I have work to do in the evening, we don’t do it until after Juli­ette goes to bed at 8:30. That family time is important to us.’

Squeeze-more-in strategy:
‘I’m up by 5:30 or 6 a.m., so I’m able to squeeze in a couple of hours of work while Martin and Juliette are still sleeping. Then we have breakfast in bed: nothing fancy, just toast or cereal. And Juliette loves yogurt and blueberries. It’s a relaxed start to the day.’

Little getaways:
‘We take a lot of two- or three-day vacations throughout the year. I don’t take the computer or check email; it’s a total break. I love to be near water, so the Gulf Islands or Semiahmoo just south of the border are great. We just go for walks and swim and relax and spend time to­gether. It’s a huge boost.’

The fitness deal:
‘Martin and I love movies. We have an exercise bike, and our deal is that if we’re watching a movie, one of us has to bike. Combining the exercise with something we like means it’s tougher to make excuses not to do it!’

Healthy lunch rule:
‘When my daughter started at daycare, I liked the convenience of their lunch program but hated the food. Now I make her lunch. Every day, she gets something healthy’quinoa, kamut, rice, corn or whole-wheat pasta’and different vegetables with a bit of butter. She loves it.’

Bubbly treat:
‘I don’t drink a lot, but when I do, I really love champagne. And though we do buy organic wine, I’m still searching for an organic champagne.’

This article was originally titled "My healthy life," in the September 2008 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today and never miss an issue!

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