Baby food on the run

While I try to make all my daughter’s food from scratch using organic, locally sourced fruit and veg, this is not always possible. Sometimes I am caught away from home longer than expected, or taking a long trip, or just run out of time to make something. Whatever the cause, it’s good to know that we have some great products available for us health conscious moms.

Firstly, there are some good raw goodies you can buy and feed straight away:

  • A banana makes a great out and about snack. It comes in its own wrapper and needs no preparation. Just peel and give a piece to your child to gnaw on, or if they prefer purees then just mash a bit and feed it
  • Avo is just as convenient as bananas and are packed with B vitamins and healthy fats
  • My daughter LOVES strawberries. They’re easily portable, easy for her to hold and require no preparation
  • Cherry or rosa tomatoes cut in half
  • Sliced pear

There are also some really healthy pre-prepared options available for us SA moms:

Squish

This product comes in a pouch with a screw top so it’s resealable. You can squeeze the pouch onto a spoon or directly into baby’s mouth – great for car trips! The fruit pouches are pasteurised but not cooked and they taste delicious. There are 2 ranges – Squish, which is all fruit and Squish Baby which is suitable for babies 8 months and older and introduces interesting flavour combinations. I love that there are no fillers and additives, no salt or sugar. My daughter loved all of them and my older kids liked the fruit smoothies as well. This is a wonderful, proudly South African range!

HiPP

HiPP is a UK brand that has been around for more than 50 years and is now available in South Africa. All their products contain certified organic ingredients, meaning they are pesticide and synthetic fertiliser-free, GMO-free and farmed sustainably. Because these products come from the UK, their labelling is slightly different from SA products. You will notice that the jars are labelled ‘4+ months’. Here, we recommend exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months so use your discretion when introducing solids.  The Hipp range includes jars with some lovely and interesting flavour combinations, as well as a range of cereals.  The cereals are all sugar-free but be aware that some of the jars contain sugar. My daughter really enjoyed the jars, especially the Red Fruit and Apple Compote (which is delicious and sugar-free).

Holle

Holle is an organic baby food company based on the Swiss – German border. The production of infant milk formula and grain products takes place in Germany. The baby food products are produced in Switzerland. The grain is grown from rich, pesticide-free and herbicide-free soil that has been nourished and prepared organically. In South Africa, their formula and cereal ranges are available. My 2 favourite cereals from the range are the Millet and the Spelt cereals. Spelt is easily digested, low in gluten and higher in protein than wheat. Few people are allergic to millet and it is very high in iron, which makes it an ideal cereal for vegetarian babies. This is definitely my daughter’s favourite. Again, these products are labelled according to European standards so most are labelled for use from 4 months.

*I was not reimbursed for this review. I received products from the companies mentioned above

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Fine and Dandy!

We all know about BPA in babies’ bottles but it seems to be in just about everything, including the bowls and spoons we use for feeding. I was so excited to find a range that is not only BPA-free and organic but actually made from corn! Dandelion feeding utensils are made from a unique corn bioplastic (PLA) formula which is naturally BPA free, Phthalate free and PVC free. Corn is also a renewable and sustainable resource making this product earth-friendly as well as people-friendly.

Dandelion feeding bowls are a lovely size and perfect right from first foods through to slightly bigger meals (I had my yoghurt out of one the other day). They are fairly deep which reduces spills and have little handles on the sides so they are easy to hold. Their spoons are great – small enough to fit into baby’s mouth easily with long handles to reach into deep jars. They also come in a pack of 8 so you can keep one in the nappy bag, one in the car and one in the handbag for all those out and about meal emergencies, and still have spare at home.

You must remember that this range cannot go in the microwave or dishwasher, but they are pretty easy to clean so that’s not really an issue.

*I was not reimbursed for this review. I received Dandelion feeding utensils from Green Beginnings

Avent Weaning Products

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Meet my new favourite gadget: the Philips Avent Combined Steamer and Blender. Never one to follow strict rules about anything, we do a combination of baby led weaning and purées. The steamer-blender is great for that. I buy my organic veg from work on a Friday. I then wash and peel them and cut them into finger shaped pieces (makes holding them easier for baby) and pop them in the steamer. The water measuring container is graded in minutes, so I fill up to 10 or 15 min and pour it into the reservoir. The machine automatically switches off and beeps when ready – which is great because I am invariably busy with homework or something else and forget that I’ve put the steamer on. When everything is steamed, I take out a few bits for baby to chew on and then turn the jug over and blend up the rest. I store the purées in my Via cups.

I love that it is relatively small and steams things very quickly. So when she’s eating more, we can steam her portions every day. The whole unit is very easy to use and easy to clean. It comes with a lovely little recipe book with some interesting combinations if you need some inspiration.

We also got some utensils and bowls from Avent to try out. I love the travel feeding set which is basically a nice size lunch box consisting of a feeding bowl and two lidded containers. The lid has a built in compartment for a feeding spoon (included in the set) and there is a suction mat that prevents the bowl from being flung around. We put purées in the two little containers and chunks of food in the bigger part. Avent also does a range of bowls and spoons with gorgeous designs on them. The pictures are designed by a child psychologist with an educational storytelling design on them. All of them are BPA-free, the bowls have non-slip bottoms and are very robust.

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 Travel feeding set

*I was not reimbursed for this review. I received Avent products to test