Sunday, 30 September 2012

Rockin Green - Pail Freshener

After I trialed several different types of Rockin Green in a previous review I was really pleased to see that my local nappy shop had started stocking it. I also got a chance to pick up a 'Shake It Up' Pail freshener in 'Lavender Mint Revival' (my favorite Rockin Green Scent'.)
I was really impressed with how well a tiny sprinkle works in the bottom of a wet bag whilst out and about (I use THESE Itti Bitti wetbags by the way, best ones I've used by miles), however to be effective in my main nappy bucket I'd need to use quite a lot which at around £8.95 - £10 a packet works out to be very expensive!
In short - I'll be using it to keep my nappy bag smelling fresh whilst out and about, but at home I'll just keep those bucket lids clipped on tight!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

TotsBots Potion

I'd heard of this before and seen it online but never been inclined to order any specially to give it a go, so when I saw some on the shelves of The Cotton Nappy Company I picked some up. The main draw with this is that it states you can clean nappies/ washing at 30 degrees instead of 60.

The one thing I found slightly confusing is that although it says a bag does about 15 washes, it doesn't tell you how much to use in each wash so I've just kind of estimated based on how much of other brands I need to use for a single wash.

I have to say I'm really pleased with how well it's cleaned all the brands of nappies which I use. I've used around half of the bag so far all at 30 degrees and everything has been clean, stain free and fresh smelling. I'd actually go so far as to say that of all the nappy detergents I've used this is the one which I'll now use and buy on a regular basis. It's not that I didn't love Rockin Green, but its just over double the price and not available locally and the performance isn't that different. Plus Tots Bots 'Potion' is certified by the Vegan Society :)


Monday, 17 September 2012

Vegan Weaning - First Tastes

At first I thought weaning was a step to be scared of - I mean I'd gotten used to the bottle feeding routine and now something new had come along that I had to get used to. I had to remind myself that I was however well armed with knowledge - plenty of reading whilst pregnant and several courses.
If you are only going to read one book, let it be 'Feeding Your Vegan Infant With Confidence' by Sandra Hood - it's published by the Vegan Society and has helpful information you might not find in 'normal' weaning books, such as the correct age to feed tofu. It also contains a helpful suggested weaning 'timetable' with hints on pace for the first few weeks.
Aside from reading up on vegan nutrition parents these days have another choice to make - traditional or baby - lead weaning? I read both the 'Baby Lead Weaning Book' and the 'Baby Lead Weaning Cookbook' by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett - but I wanted to get both sides so I also read books by Annabel Karmel (I even sent off for the free Cow & Gate 5 step weaning plan book as it's their soy formula we use). I wanted to come to my own conclusions - I decided what would work best for our family would be a mix of the two. I encourage you to read up and decide what is best for yours.
Our weaning journey began slightly earlier than planned - at 18 weeks old my daughter grabbed food from my hands and fed herself. The official advice is to wait until 6 months, but as she was showing a crazed interest in grabbing at any food she could I checked it out and got the go ahead to proceed carefully and be lead by her. At this stage their milk feeds are still most important and food is just for taste/ texture. I'm not in any way an expert on any of this, but just sharing with you my experience/ what I've read. The advice is that if you think your baby might be ready for food before 6 months check with your health visitor or doctor and absolutely don't give them anything before 17 weeks old.

It just so happens that all the suggested 'first tastes' are vegan. It depends what route you are taking - but in terms of purees;

  • Baby Rice
  • Carrot
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Banana
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potato
  • Parsnip
  • Spinach
  • Avocado


There are a few more than this you can use, and blends of these too. If you are making your own it might be wise to invest in a baby food cookbook, I've been using THIS one.
I planned to make most of my own baby food with fresh ingredients so we invested in a Beaba 'Babycook"




The first thing I attempted to make was apple puree - was pretty simple and quick to make




I've been using Brother Max, Beaba and Oxo Tot storage pots to freeze the portions and then re-heat as needed in the Babycook. I'm not sure I have a favorite yet - the Brother Max click together nicely and have a drywipe pen to write date/ contents on the pots, the Oxo Tot have really secure lids and a tray to enable freezer stacking and the Beaba is a silicone tray with lid for multiple portions.




There are also some baby food that is made commercially that appears to be vegan (the companies don't confirm but according to the ingredients list). I spent ages in the supermarket reading ingredients lists but here is a head start for you !




Quite a few 'baby rice' products appear to be suitable - just watch out for those that contain powdered cows milk! These ones we've tried are all the kind that can be added to purees or made up with whatever milk your baby normally has.

There are also quite a few brands which have suitable pre made baby foods. Around 85% of those produced by most brands that are labelled as 'from 4 months' appear to be vegan, although as the age suitable for increases the choice is lesser as many contain meat. Some brands still look like they contain small amounts of salt and sugar, but these pictured are just 100% fruit & vegetables. Not planning to need many of these but might be handy for days out etc.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Allotments

So, after waiting on the list for a couple of years we've finally been given an allotment! The downside is it hasn't been used for around two years and is pretty overgrown. We've began trying to clear it but just wanted to show you some before pictures, so you can see the difference once it's done.

We're also lucky to have some fruit trees already established - we've three apple trees and a damson. Plenty of jam and fruit crumbles next year!