The story of Barley + Oats
Barley and Oats is on a mission to create a healthier + happier future generation of babies and families. And we’re starting with mom. With the foods they crave, the nutrition they require and the convenience they need, Barley + Oats allows women and mamas to live each stage of life to the fullest. Our fully prepared meals were designed in collaboration with our nutritionist to support female health from fertility, to pregnancy, to breastfeeding + hormone balance. Packed with more vitamins and minerals than any other service, made from organic ingredients and bursting with flavor, it is truly “motherfood made easy.”
Throughout history and the world today, women have long turned to special foods to promote fertility and lactation. Our ancestors saw milk- and fertility-enhancing herbs, grains + foods as gifts from the “mother-goddesses.”
Demeter was the well-known Greek goddess of fertility and grain. It is believed by many that the main grain in her keep was barley (a potent galactagogue—or milk-promoting food).
As for oats, well, we wanted a word that conveyed our commitment to comforting + wholesome nutrition, and no better dish epitomized those feelings than our overnight oats.
And that’s why we proudly call ourselves Barley + Oats.
My name is Ashly, and I’m a New York mom. When I became pregnant with my first child, I was a basketcase of worries: worry about what was going into my mouth, worry about the germs on the subway, worry about every new feeling or lack thereof. Google was not my friend during those ten long months.
And it didn’t stop with pregnancy. I began to worry about the postpartum. Would I be able to produce enough milk? Would I get postpartum depression? Was I eating the right foods—and enough of them?
Having studied at the Natural Gourmet Institute, I was already an avid believer in the adage: “You are what you eat.” But what I hadn’t thought enough about—before I consumed every resource on prenatal and postnatal health—was that when you become pregnant or a nursing mother, your baby is also made up of what you eat. It needs the nutrients in your food to help nourish and develop its systems + even reduce its susceptibility to disease later in life.
So I began some recipe testing. Unfortunately…the most health-supportive techniques are often the most time-consuming. Being on bedrest, I did this from a rolling chair in my kitchen, and at nine months pregnant, it was hard to stock that freezer as most had suggested. I began to think, How do women have time for this? What if they’re on bedrest like me or working long hours? How does anyone manage to make health-supportive meals after delivery when time is even more scarce?
Needing convenience, I looked to delivery services like Seamless and Grubhub, but there was nothing nutritious enough to feed my growing baby. Filtering to “organic” or “healthy” didn’t help. When I looked to meal delivery programs, not a single one mentioned moms, let alone focused on developmental or postpartum nutrition.
I wanted to give mamas like myself and busy, modern women an easy, convenient, fuss-free means of getting the nutrition they need—from a source they can trust. And the food obviously needed to taste good too and be as clean and organic as possible. So, I teamed up with a nutritionist and chef to prepare foods designed for moms, by moms. And that’s how Barley + Oats was born.
…Right alongside our little boy, Aesop.
For every goddess out there—whether a mom or not—I hope our family of products gives you some peace of mind and a little more time. And when you’re 9-months pregnant and unable to hoist yourself off the couch, or sleep- and shower-deprived + covered in spit up, please don’t ever forget how beautiful you are.xoxo Ashly