Friday, 4 January 2013

Equiptment for Baby Food Making....

Having lots of kitchen equipment isn't really necessary. As a student I didn't have very much, maybe an oven and a slow cooker at my disposal.However I quickly learnt that although having lots of gadgets isn't necessary, having the right ones saves a lot of time and makes it a lot easier.

When it comes to making food for your baby, this is especially true. I just don't have time to stand in the kitchen for hours whilst watching my daughter, but I didn't want so many kitchen gadgets that there's nowhere to keep them. Myself and Mr B are keen foodies and our cupboards are already full!

These are the essential items which I've found genuinely useful.

Beaba Babycook

This is a steamer/blender in one unit. If you already own a steamer and a blender then you might not need something like this. It depends what your intentions are - if you're going to make big batches of things and freeze them in portions, then you'll definitely want to stick to your bigger models. However I've ended up cooking a lot of food fresh, as what she loves today isn't necessarily what she'll love to eat tomorrow - plus all those pots take up a lot of freezer space!

The Babycook will still make 3 or 4 portions of something if you so desire and it's convenient. I also have the attachment which allows it to cook rice/pasta/grains, this is excellent as it'll cook and you don't have to stand over it.

The best part? It's footprint is small. It can always stay out on the counter top as it's small enough to not get in the way.

Bowls & Cutlery

There is a lot of choice out there, I've tried out a few different brands and Oxo Tot bowls and spoons still come out on top.

Their bowl sets come with one large & one small bowl - both with lids. The small bowls are great for 'pudding' portions and all the bowls have nice grippy bits on the bottom.

These soft tip weaning spoons are the best that I've tried, though it's a shame I've not seen them on sale in any stores and I had a job find these (in pink to match our bowls) online. They were around £6 for a set of two.

The snack pot is lovely and very useful for taking bits out with me in my handbag. Mini ricecakes fit wonderfully! I wouldn't think you'd need more than one of these though unless you go on lots of day long outings.

The training cup looks really good, but states 12+ suitable so we've not tried it yet.

I do have some Tommee Tippee 'basics' bowls and spoons as spares to use when visiting relatives etc, they do the job - but I'm not such a fan of these. You really don't need to buy so many different kinds of bowls and spoons that you've nowhere to put them!

Food Storage

There are all kinds of weaning pots and trays out there for storing your creations in the freezer, and how many you'll end up needing really depends on how much you plan to make and store. It's helpful to remember that food should be used up within a month so don't go overboard!

If cost isn't an issue then I'd go for these Brother Max storage pots in the 2nd stage size (170ml). The ones you'll see being sold in most stores are the smaller 1st stage pots, but you'll need to move onto the bigger size soon enough and they don't have to be filled to the top. I've only seen the bigger size online and they're around £5.99 for six. They clip together and come with a dry-wipe pen for contents and date.

If you need to buy a lot, or need something a bit more cost effective then these Tommee Tippee 'basics' ones are an excellent choice. They're sturdy, dishwasher safe and you get 3 for £2.99. They're available in a lot of supermarkets. As you can see, I write on these with a dry-wipe pen too and it works really well.

Rice Cooker or Small Slow Cooker

This isn't something you'll see in a standard list of equiptment for making baby food, but I've found it excellent. I have a 0.6L Crock Pot rice cooker, but a 1 or 1.5L slow cooker would also work. I use it for recipes like Indian Baby Rice and Split Pea Soup. It's also excellent for adult meals and cooks so much without much supervision, there are also excellent books that help you get the most out of it (not vegan books but it's easy to adapt!)

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