Feeding Time at the Zoo.
This is a Blog written my Aine Tyrrell Murphy Mum of Three!
Whether this is your first, second, or fifth baby, it is a monumental day when your baby takes his/her first taste of solids. It is monumental for your baby of course to be moving into the world of food, but it is monumental for mum and dad as well because all of a sudden there are so many new decisions to face. Well you thought the chorus of well-meaning advice givers had plenty to say about what you should or should not eat when you were pregnant was woefully painful, well wait for the solid showdown to arrive on your doorstep!
“Start at 6 months”, “No 4 months”, “baby rice first”, “No apples first”, “organic only”, “macrobiotic”, “probiotic”, “robotic?”.
“Dip the soother in honey”, “taste from your finger”, “give him a spoon”, “if they are old enough to eat they can them cook it themselves!”
“Freeze it”, “cook it from scratch”, “buy a jar”, “nuke it”, “churn your own!”
“Peanut butter is evil”, “that will constipate him”, “Her poo is GREEN”, “ how is there more carrot on my top than there is in tummy!”
You have been forewarned!
So once you leap into the solids world and move past simple baby rice, you are gonna freeze, store, and carry around plenty of pureed perfection. And that Tupperwear set collecting dust in the press from Auntie Mary is just not gonna cut it! I have taken on the challenge of testing the Save Our Sleep little plastic food holding devices in my 3 child laboratory.
Disclaimer…. everyone has their own set of values and ideas when giving advice on baby products, so I will let you know where my advice comes from before you decide to trust me!
1) I hate presses full of 101 plastic yokes with missing tops and clips.
2) I don’t really like plastic full stop… I know BPA free is best, but I am more a stainless steel kinda gal. I would love to invent a stainless steel set of feeding pots, but for now I will give advice on the best of the plastic.
3) I like things that can be used again when feeding babies is over!
4) I don’t have a very big freezer and have it quite full at the best of times.
With these things in mind… here is my two-cents.
Pros: Self-contained feeding, so you don’t need a bowl and other bits. You can easily take one out, pop it in your bag and go with it. Good size for the newbie eaters. Can defrost very easily resting in boiling water or in microwave. They are BPA free and toxin free, so you can use them in the freezer, microwave or dishwasher. Could be reused for older toddlers and kids for sultanas and small snacks.
Cons: I don’t like fiddly bits and basically you have to keep of track of the 8 little containers and the tray. When they are going in and out of the dishwasher, freezer, nappy bag, nana’s house this is no easy feat. You need to have a fairly flat area in the freezer to maneuver the tray in and out of. It takes up a lot of space and due to the nature of it you can’t really stack things on or around without tumbling over the little containers. They are not very durable, one of the containers lid broke on its third use. They discolour with carrot , pumpkin and other orangey foods and leave a yellowy hue of not niceness.
Pros: Quite ingenious design and easy to use and get frozen cubes out once you get the knack. The 30ml portion is an ideal size cubes for beginning solids. Great for freezing breast milk cubes to add into first tastse of rice. The design is very freezer friendly and can slide, squish or squash in anywhere. The lids are secure so liquid won’t even spill out. I have never had freezer burn on any of the cubes I made from these. They are BPA, Phthalate and PVC free.
Cons: The reuse factor on them is smaller than most of the other options, perhaps you might use making smoothie squares or frozen things for baking, etc. Not great for big eaters and when solid eating is well and truly established one portion would be too small for most.
Wean Meister Freezer Pods
Pros: AMAZING! This is a product that when you use you will think why didn’t I invent this and why have I not had one of these for all my childbearing life? Amazing for these reasons… 1)Silicone is flexible and durable so it really is the perfect choice of material for getting frozen cubes of food and milk out of. No snapping plastics bits, you just push up from the bottom and out they pop. 2)Silicone is non-toxic free from BPAs and bonus is that Silicone is antibacterial. It can safely and easily be cleaned in dishwasher. 3) Perfect portions because the pods are ideal size cubes for any stage of solids because you can fill the pods as much or as little as you like. Half fill for the newbie eaters and for the hungry ones fill ‘em to the top! 4)The design is very freezer friendly, although takes up more space then the Qubies. They are also stackable making multiple batches easy. 5) Magnificently multipurpose and reusable product. Some ideas for using the pods: mini muffin trays, jelly moulds, ice pop moulds (stick a ice pop stick in there when they freeze), kids paint palette, make sand castles with them, use for sorting activities, freezing homemade pestos and sauces, ideas are endless as imaginative as you like!
Cons: Seriously, I can’t think of one. I LOVE this product!
Brother Max Large and Small Food Portioners
Pros: The food can easily pop into a bowl using the button on the bottom. They click together for storage so a bit more secure stacking then the baby tubs. Can defrost very easily resting in boiling water or in microwave. Could be reused for snacking toddlers. They are BPA, Phthalate and PVC free.
Cons: One of the lids broke within the first few days of using. This is also another system of fiddely bits and I don’t like searching for bits and bobs when I need them. I think the small containers are a bit too small once feeding is established and the big containers are a bit too big. They have also slightly discoloured.
Heinz Mini Press n’ Pop Baby Food Freezer Pots
Pros: It is actually hard to find one for this product, so I will go with the fact that it is BPA free and you could reuse for toddlers snacks! This is another 30ml size and I think the Qubies is a far better 30ml size option.
Cons: To begin with the lids do not fit snuggly and can pop off very easily which is just about the worse thing to encounter with baby food storage. Who wants baby food all over their nappy bag, ipod, or dripping down your bag onto your brand new Ugg Boots? Not me. They are also very annoyingly tedious as you need to find the containers and the tops for each one. They do stack, but not in a way that is at all organised or useful in a full freezer. This is the only product of all that I tried that I just don’t like and won’t use.
Pros: Every time I have used this in public people have come and said, what an amazing thing, wish I had that when my kids were small! And really and truly it is another time when you think, why didn’t I think of this. A spoon that squirts food out, that is high order thinking of the genius status. This really is an amazing on-the-go travel feeding system. Hands in the air if you have mastered at least 5 one handed feats since having children that you never knew you had… one handed typing, makeup application, shoe tying, the list goes on and I digress. Well here is another one you can tick off, one handed feeeding. Feeding time always seems to be the time I need a spare hand for the other 2 in the house, so this product is fab to have one hand free. It is BpA, Phthalate and PVC Free and dishwasher safe. Great for dads, nanas, babysitters that may be like to be given the easy option at feeding time.
Cons: You need to puree the food up really well because the small squirty hole can sometimes get blocked with bigger chunks of food. This in turns causes you to squirt really hard and spray plum and peach puree on the white top that you said you would never wear again til your kids turn 15! Also this product would not be of much use when you move onto chunkier blends for this reason. I love the product but I am trying to think of reusable factor so that it is not just a product you use for a few months and then never again, but I am still creatively trying to think of one… bath toy? role play toy? anyone any ideas???
Feed Time on PhotoPeach
So at the end of the day, what do I use, what do I love and what would I buy again? For 30ml and small portions I do like the Qubie, but it is still plastic and therefore not my favourite, but I do use it. I also like the Boon Squirt and do use it, but my baby is only 6months and I can see that we won’t get lots of use out of this, but for now I do love it. If I was only going to buy one product and use it for the rest of food making days, it would have to be hands down the Wean Meister Freezer pods and I would buy one in each colour, love them a long time, and never break up with Meister!! It takes a lot for me to recommend a product that is not made of metal or glass because that is what I normally use, but in this instance the metal and glass options just do not come near to offering what this product can offer. Silicone is also a FAR safer and better choice for the environment then plastic whether that plastic is BPA free or not. So the flexible resuable silicone little pots win this challenge without a doubt (if they could clean my baby after feeding time I would consider marrying the Meister!). Here’s to some happy pureeing, sand castling, and muffin making in the Magnificent Meister!
Here is a link to most of the above Tizzie only has the ones from above that I and other mums liked in her online store.
Love and light, Áine