Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Favorite Baby Food Gear (so far)...

I thought I would do a little review of baby feeding gear that I have loved (and some I've disliked) so far....

I have only purchased and used these spoons so I guess I don't have a lot to compare them to.  In reading the reviews I know some people are displeased with the handle-heavy design and say it tips out of bowls and makes messes easily.  I have only had this happen once.

I love the handle and design as it makes it easier for me to hold.  I also like that the spoon basin is deeper allowing more food or at minimum holding liquid food better.  I also discovered if you lay them facing down on the counter the basin end doesn't touch.  I usually only scoop a little on the tip so it's not overload but I think these will adapt nicely as my girls become better at eating.

BLENDER (small)
I LOVE THIS!  Mine is a Cooks 5 in 1 Blender through JCPenney ($30 sale or $60 retail) that my parents gave us for Christmas.  This works awesome!  If you only have one child I would recommend one of these.  Typically I can make close to a full ice cube tray with one glass.  It purees like a champ and I have heard that the pulsing action works awesome for once baby is ready for textures.

I also love that the clean up is beyond simple.  Twist the plastic cup off of the base with blade  to dispense baby food then rinse it out and toss in the dishwasher.  The base with blade is also dishwasher safe.  Just super easy clean up.

I have also tried the Nuk bowls and I have settled into these.  The Nuk bowls are good but shallow so I found it harder to mix cereal without spilling.  I also wasn't able to fit as much food in them.

These bowls are deeper.  They are microwave safe.  I pop a few ice cubes of food in them, pop them in the microwave til the food is piping hot and the allow it to cool down while the girls have a bottle.  I haven't really transported food in them yet so I can't comment on the lids.  I have read they are problematic but in trying them out I didn't see an issue.

BLENDER (large)
This is another item that we had in the kitchen for our use that has turned into a baby food making tool.  I am definitely of the opinion that there is no need to spend extra cash when your basic blender will serve your needs perfectly for the first few months your child is on solids.  The more you spend just to make the food the more you are cutting down on your savings.  There are some things I considered (such as a combination steamer/blender specifically made for baby food) but I decided not to spend on something I would only use for 6 months.

I use my large blender for bulk projects.  I have used it for sweet potatoes and green beans.  Works great.  A little more clean-up but more effective for large batches.

I use a large Pampered Chef microwave steamer.  I'm not affiliated with Pampered Chef but I occasionally purchase items from my sister-in-law.

I really like this.  Not only can I steam baby food in it, I really like putting my own veggies in it to steam.  It is fast and effective.  I have used this for carrots, parsnips and frozen peas.  Perhaps there is a naturalist reason to avoid the microwave but I like my microwave steamer as it fits as much, if not more, than my steamer basket.

I personally like using a pastry bag to dispense the baby food purees into the ice cube trays but I have tried it with a regular tablespoon so I know a pastry bag isn't 100% necessary.  I just feel like it cuts down on the time to go back and forth from the bowl plus cutting down on the mess too.

I use a reusable bag with a medium/small round "dot" tip so I can put my finger over it while I fill up the bag.  Plus since the bag is reusable it is a stiffer material making this possible with liquid purees (it's obvious they were built for icing haha).  I then rinse out and wash the bag and throw the tip in with my nipple/bottle basket and into the dishwasher.

I LOVE THIS!!  It is super versatile (can be used from infant up to 4 years of age) and considering it's a space saver style it moves in plenty of ways.  I saw a video online for this when the girls were brand-new and knew I'd found my seat.  It has a 5-point harness (can reduce to 3-point when older), it tilts back for infant feeding (5 positions- also nice for subtle tilt when baby isn't quite ready for sitting up straight but is good with solids), it swivels so you don't have to move your chair (7 positions), it has a soft yet washable cover that is reversible, it includes a feeding tray with a removable "serving" tray,etc.  Can you tell I can't say enough good about this?  Only con I have found is that my table has a lip (for decorative drawers) underneath so the chair doesn't slide under.  But I plan to buy some cheap and shorter chairs to remedy this mild problem.

With twins I super-love this.  I can put them in the chair for a bottle and feed them at the same time (with the swivel feature I don't even have to move my chairs) and then when the bottle is done and it's time for some baby food I just tilt it upright again and BAM...ready to go!  Awesome!  I can tell this is going to be an asset as they get bigger.

OTHER:  Ice cube trays (I got mine 2/$1 at Shopko on a summer special bin - awesome for freezer/storage), Freezer Bags (I bought gallon size at my local bulk store - but I would recommend quart size  unless you are freezing bulk), Mix and Masher (effective for soft fruits- avacado, bananas,etc - but so is a fork), paring knives (I like that these are small and effective to trim fruit), vegetable peeler (I use this for vegetables and fruit - peeling fruit while cold helps).  I'll add more or review more as I go.

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