DENVER (KDVR) — Childhood nutrition brand Gerber announced the winner of its annual photo search for its Gerber Baby, and the 2023 winner comes from right here in Colorado.

Baby Madison “Maddie” Mendoza is the winner of the 13th annual Gerber photo search and the official 2023 Gerber Baby. Gerber said Maddie, along with her parents, captured the attention of the judges with their throwback submission that included a photo of Maddie and her mom at that same age.

“The throwback submission of Maddie and her mom brought a smile to the judges’ faces and perfectly captured the spirit of this year’s program. We’re excited to partner with Maddie and her family throughout the next year to highlight the full-circle journey from baby to parent,” said Tarun Malkani, Gerber president and CEO.

  • Maddie Mendoza - 2023 Gerber Baby 1
  • Maddie Mendoza - 2023 Gerber Baby 7
  • Maddie Mendoza - 2023 Gerber Baby 4
  • Maddie Mendoza - 2023 Gerber Baby 3
  • Gerber Baby Maddie and her mom
  • Maddie Mendoza - 2023 Gerber Baby 2
  • Maddie Mendoza - 2023 Gerber Baby 5
  • Maddie Mendoza - 2023 Gerber Baby 6

Parents described Maddie as joyful and adventurous

According to Maddie’s parents, she is 10 months old and came into the world with a full head of hair. She enjoys baby music classes, swim lessons, hiking with her mom and dad and exploring new food.

“Being a rainbow baby, Maddie has brought us immeasurable joy with every milestone, snuggle and moment spent with her enriching our lives and making every day more meaningful and beautiful,” said Crystal Mendoza, Maddie’s mom. “We look forward to witnessing her grow into a kind, compassionate, strong, independent and worldly individual as we hope to be stationed overseas again to teach Maddie about all the different parts of the world.”

Maddie’s personality made her a great fit for Gerber

When asked why they decided to enter Maddie into the competition, Crystal told FOX31 that she thought Maddie would be a great fit as the face of the company.

“I think just how great her personality was, I thought she would be a great fit as the face for Gerber. I thought the throwback photo was an awesome change, and I had a lot of resemblance with Maddie. So, looking through the photos it was easy to choose, she happened to be wearing a similar outfit the day I choose that photo,” said Crystal.

Not only did Maddie capture the heart of the judges at Gerber, but her parents’ love story filled them with joy.

According to Gerber, Maddie’s parents have been together for 22 years since they were high school sweethearts. Maddie’s dad, Jun, is a U.S. Air Force Academy grad and serves as a lieutenant colonel physician in the Air Force. Maddie’s mom works as a dentist. The Mendozas live in Colorado Springs where Jun is stationed.

Both of her parents come from first-generation families from the Philippines.

“Gerber has always believed in the magic of babies, and Maddie’s story, filled with love, resilience, and adventure, embodies the spirit of generations of Gerber babies,” Malkani said.

Maddie’s parents are thrilled she was picked as the face of Gerber, but they also loved that the company is donating $25,000 to the March of Dimes foundation. Gerber is also donating an additional $5,000 to Operation Homefront, which is close to the Mendozas’ hearts as they are a military family.

Gerber said as part of her year as the 2023 Gerber Baby, Maddie will work with the company to help the next generation grow and thrive.