Mashblox: Canberra born solution for fussy eating toddlers

Posted 7 Aug 2017

Story by CBR Canberra

Feeding a toddler + clean walls and floors? Surely it’s not possible, we hear you cry!

Luckily, the invention of a creative Canberran is set to make feeding time less stressful and cleaner.

Enter Mashblox®. It’s an infant feeding aid that harnesses children’s natural instincts to play with their food, into something both less messy and more hygienic.

Mashblox’s are hollow silicon building blocks that add a playful dimension to food for children from the age of 6 months to 3 years before they can or will handle mush foods with cutlery.

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CEO and Founder Alix O’Hara said the very inspiration for Mashblox came from watching a two-year-old at her local shops both playing with and eating his food – so they’re very much a Canberra born invention.

Mashblox is far bigger than Canberra though. Alix hypothesis that her innovation can tackle fussy eating and the potential root causes of the worldwide obesity problem in children under 4 years of age.

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“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,” she said.

Alix says Canberra’s academic institutions and the broader community have been extremely supportive in Mashblox’s journey.

“I’ve recently partnered with the University of Canberra who have been fantastic in helping develop the Mashblox theory and research of how self-feeding can help fussy eating and obesity in young children,” she said.

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Alix says if you’re creatively-minded or entrepreneurial, Canberra is the place to be.

“Since I have grown up in Canberra, I have run into so many people that I met years ago who have also found their way into the start-up community and have been a wonderful help.”

“The CBR Innovation Network (CBRIN) has given me the support to start everything. I started getting involved with the ecosystem through Innovation ACT in 2015, and from there I found Griffin Accelerator,” she said.

“I also started attending CBRIN’s First Wednesday Connect 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,” Alix said.

“I’ve found mentors, investors, partners and service providers through CBRIN and the Griffin Accelerator. It’s opened a lot of doors for me.”

“I would never have imagined so much positivity and support, and with so many points of entry and avenues for businesses at different stages,’ Alix said.

“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.”

“The city really has a thriving start up ecosystem. Canberra has produced some amazing start up success stories, and the support for new ventures and each other within the community has just been incredible.”

If you or your family or friends are interested in Mashblox® for a fussy or messy eater, they are now available on www.mashblox.org and http://www.facebook.com/mashblox.

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