Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Introducing Solids Part Three - Tools of the Trade

Who would have thought that such a tiny creature would create so much . . . 'stuff'! Recently I've been sharing my thoughts and research about introducing solids as our little Honey makes her way into the wonderful world of food. Here's the links for part one and part two for you.

Of course you don't actually need all this stuff. Admittedly some of it can make life an awful lot easier, but remember that people have been raising babies for quite some time now, and it's not like the cavemen had all the wonders that are the mountain of spoons you seem to accumulate :-)

And seeing as these are the most fun, let's start with the spoons shall we?
Your easily recognisable teaspoons. The one on the left is a kiddies spoon from Ikea, but I notice that style around a lot lately. In the centre is a 'real' baby spoon in that is came from a baby cutlery set. There's nothing wrong with using teaspoons. I just found in the early days when we were both still learning how to do this whole feeding thing that we had a few misjudgements and hard metal on soft gums doesn't really make for happy campers. Also you can fit quite a lot of food on a teaspoon, and trying to fit that into a tiny baby mouth does correspond to the whole feeding an octopus swinging from the ceiling comparison you've heard about.

Also stock standard spoons, this time disposable, picked up from here there & everywhere and always floating in the bottom of my handbag these days. While they are handy to have . . . on hand, they can be a little sharp for soft little gums. Good if you're in a bind, but not to be relied on. My favourite is the mini gelato tasting spoon in the centre - and not just because it meant I got to eat gelato :-)

Ahh. . .baby spoons! With Miss M I only had the Nuby ones on the left. They have a lovely long handle and small but deep head. They are thick and soft to the touch. I used them to start with Honey too but we've moved on since I now had a few more options. They also change colour with heat, but they are somewhat discoloured now so I'm not sure how reliable that function currently is :-)
The pink/purple spoon is from Tommee Tippee and while we use it on occasion it isn't one of my favourites. I find the head too long and the handle slightly awkward. No idea how that works, but that how it feels. Perhaps it will come into it's own when Honey starts to feed herself from the spoon.
In the centre is a Heinz number which is really quite good. The head tapers from relatively thick at the base to fairly thin at the nose, which means you can really scrape down the side of your bowl with some ease. I quite like this one!
The orange is one of a pack of Take & Toss spoons that came in a gift basket when Honey arrived. These are now my go to spoons. Partly because there are so many of them, and partly because they are a decent design. They are hard so I wasn't comfortable using them when Honey was smaller, but she's almost 10 months old now (where has the time gone?!?!?) and she does quite well with them.
The little red one is from Heinz and is designed to complement food pouches. I must admit I'm not a fan as it loads the food through a *very* small hole at the back of the spoon and I prefer to feed off the front of the spoon - does that make sense?

This lot is the not necessarily spoon collection. 
There were two Sinchies bags there but Honey stole one just as I took the photo. These food pouches are great. You can read my original review here. As an added testament I liked them so much I bought more for this school year. For babies though, they open a world of self feeding for purees or semi-liquid foods (think soups and yoghurts). The spout is wide enough that you can suck out smoothies, but small enough that even if it is squeezed, you're not going to end up with half the mess you would had it been a bowl knocked over. Not to mention these guys are clear so you can easily see how much is left, or whether they're in need of a clean in the corners. I know that moving through the textures is a big thing with introducing solids, but yoghurt pretty well only comes in one texture, and this way baby can self feed, giving you a hand free to feed yourself!
The food net at the top is a Tommee Tippee that I bought to replace our old Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder. I didn't use it much with Miss M as the net was hard to clean and always smelt odd. The new Tommee Tippee one comes with two spare nets and a cover! So much better. I've used it a bit with Honey. Early on for stuffing full of whatever we were eating (mostly veg), this comes in particularly handy if you are out & about or travelling. You can generally pick up a roast meal most places and it's so easy to pop a few veges in the feeder for them. I've also used it as an 'ice block' holder for those really hot days we had over summer. They are a great way to introduce foods that would normally require a bit of work (like meat), but they don't allow baby to explore the textures too much. If you're considering one of these do go for one with replaceable nets and a cover. Don't leave it too late as there is a limited time they will last once teeth come in.

Oh, and they all make really good play things when Mum's not looking too :-)

Bottles and sippies and straw cups - oh my!

This is just a selection of our hoard. My girls have seemed to go for the straw cups rather than spouts.  I must admit I'm liking our Avent Grown Up Cup at the moment, but it can get a little messy so it's our dinner time cup. You can just see it on the top right - the red lid. I love that the lid keeps the flies off during the day and it also encourages that normal drinking action without spilling too much. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with it floating around in my handbag though.
Our Brother Max trainer cup has been a bit of a let down to date. The handles have been great, but Honey just hasn't gone for the teat. Perhaps when we update to the cup lip we'll be right. . .perhaps :-) It's the one with the funky looking handles towards the bottom left.
The white zippy with the blue handles along the bottom is an old style Avent bottle. The teat is just to the right. I love that you could easily upgrade your base bottle with this style. I'm not sure if that is still available with the new style released last year. You can see the new style just above the Brother Max. 
The only other major thing to note is the different types of straw you can get. I left the lid of Miss M's orange drink bottle on the top left down, but that one (I think it may be Nuby but the name has worn off) has a thick straw top that requires bub to bite down a little to get any water out. You can get them with a more regular shaped straw which are great for fluid flow, but it can come out a little fast and cause baby to splutter somewhat. Unfortunately it's a trial & error thing, but I prefer the regular style.

Containers! You will want to have something to store baby's food in. Whether it be purees you are prepping ahead and freezing in an ice cube tray (once frozen you can transfer to a ziplock bag), or finger food you are saving from your meal to serve the next day. Here's some of what I've been using.
Ice cube tray - perfect for freezing single serves before storing in a ziplock bag. 
Sinchies pouch - I've already told you how much I love these little guys :-)
Tupperware - because I already had a huge stash anyway :-) I didn't pull out my midgets & smidgets - they are perfect 'shot glass' size but not part of the regular Australian range. I'd recommend checking out eBay if you're interested.
That purple one is a Twistix icy-pole mould which I've used for freezing yoghurts, smoothies, juice, all sorts! Honey has stolen some of my frozen yoghurt & mango from one and I was quite surprised at ow well she handled it. She wouldn't stop eating it though so her poor little lips were a bit red after from the cold. Lesson learned - hide frozen yummies from the baby unless you want to share!
I love love love my Take & Toss containers. I bought a six pack of the large when Miss M was starting to progress through to finger foods. They are the right size to hold a few serves of veg cut into good 'chip' sizes. When she grew up a bit I bought the small snack containers and the tall cups. I love that the lids on those two are interchangeable. I can serve a small drink  and a large snack, happy days!

For the early days I could't go past my little gelato and airline bowls. Perfect for the small amount you need, reheatable, and drop safe! Of course you could use some of the Take & Toss snack containers because they come with lids too, but anything uneaten really should be tossed for safety reasons.
I've only just started using a divided plate. It comes in handy to remind me I don't need to fill the whole plate. It's also handy to keep partially eaten bits separate from the 'good' food. Only problem with this one is it's melamine which is not microwave safe.
The Tupperware handled bowl there is though. It also has a lid and holds a decent amount. Miss M used to eat a full adult serve of oats for breakfast, but wasn't too keen on waiting for them to cool down, so I took to preparing them the night before & letting them 'soak' overnight. In the morning I would just give them a little zap to warm them through a touch.
Those flat plates you can see (yellow & blue) are from Ikea and are microwave safe too. Great size for sandwiches & because they are drop safe we use them constantly! And not just for the little ones. I've been known to heat a pie (or two) on them for my own lunch form time to time.
That leaves our Bunnykins bowl. This is a brilliant baby bowl as it's quite heavy (harder to knock over - not impossible, but harder) and you can pop it in the microwave (perfect for heating leftovers). It is breakable though, which is why I invested in one of these guys.

I've never been able to get it to stick to plastic plates well, but our Bunnykins it works famously with.

Ok, this one isn't really food related, but while we're in the kitchen I thought I'd share this tip from Mothers Group - use link toys as cupboard child-proofing. They can still pull the doors so fingers can get caught and if you have mountains stacked in there (like Tupperware) some can still fall out, but it can be a deterrent.

Wow! Another post longer than I'd planned. Let's see how we go for next week & line up a 'yeah, but *how*' post. Please feel free to leave a comment below or on Facebook. I love hearing your feedback and questions! Let me leave you with a few happy snaps :-)

Have you entered our latest giveaway? Details in this post.

Details of my tools & toys can be found on this page.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. This post was written for Loving Lunches. No product was received for this post. All opinions expressed are my own, based on personal experience with the product.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Loving your comments, Thank you <3

Pin It button on image hover