Baby Food Making Tools

When I had Baby J, I was determined that I would be not feeding him Cerelac or some other crap you buy in your local grocery that passes as food (especially not after all the food product scares from China). And the ‘organic’ stuff that are available are too expensive to get, and only viable for emergencies.

So I decided to make my own. At first I was tempted to get those baby food devices and realized they were expensive and given the issues with Customs here, if I had ordered my Baby Cook from Amazon, I’d have expected to cost me double. I also lived in a tiny 36.5 sqm apartment and space is premium. So no baby food maker devices for me. Thankfully though, you don’t really need one.

Baby Food Tools!
Didn’t add the knife and cutting board, that goes without saying

When you look at most baby food recipes, you realize the tools you need them are either things you already own or can easily borrow from your parents (or eventually buy later). It’s not fancy, but it does the job and in the end that’s what matters. Also, baby food makers are notoriously hard to clean, unless you own a dishwasher. In fact, the hardest clean in this whole set is the ice cube tray (or the ziplock bags if you plan to reuse then, which I recommend).

Sauce pot & Steamer

Most baby food recipes usually involve steaming. And since you’re not cooking for adults, you’re not expected to use up the same amount of food in cooking for baby. Hence, sauce pan and steamer. In my case, I’m using a Chef’n Steamer I bought from Howards in Greenbelt a few years back (Howards is gone, but you could try looking at True Value). When I’m not steaming baby food, we steam some of our veggies in it. It’s very handy and easy to clean.

Osterizer Blender
Baby hates the sound of the blender

When I shopped for a blender for my new apartment, I knew I was getting an Osterizer. I also knew I was getting *this* particular model of Osterizer. This is the blender of my youth: of summers of having Avocado Milk Shakes and Melon shakes. When my stick blender died due to motor failure, this beauty made my cream soups. It is also so easy to clean. One tip to follow, is that when you clean your blender, make sure to do it right after you’re done transferring the food out. Don’t let the food sit, get cold and be near impossible to clean without getting a scraper. And if it gets too grimy, just bust out the bottle cleaner brush to scrape off the grime.

Now why blender? Because this is the tool you use when you need to puree baby food. You could use the stick blender, it has a small blender option for baby food. Or a mini food processor like the Cuisinart Mini Prep. A 14-cup food processor is way too big for the job and won’t give a smooth puree. Another option to use is a Magic Bullet if you already own one, or one of those blender smoothies maker. Those can work too.

Baby Food Storage!

Before I get to discuss storing your baby food, I want to mention the small spatula. If you’re blitzing your baby food in a fine puree, you may want to consider in buying a spatula, particularly a small slender corner spatula made of flexible silicon. You will need this because you are going to be doing a lot of scrapping and you don’t want to use metal or wood on your blender. Using metal means you’ll end up damaging the blades of your blender, plus a scraper is excellent in evening the tops of ice cube trays.

Now why, ice cube trays. When you store baby food, it’s easier to be able to just grab an ice cube sized food to reheat and serve than say a 4 ounce cup. Also it makes it easier to serve your baby different flavored purees during meal times. I was told that a baby with a lot of exposure to different flavors and food, will be less of a picky eater when they’re older.

You can see I’ve got a lot of different ice cube trays. The white trays were from Daiso (Japan Home). So it’s fairly cheap. If you’re feeling whimsical, like I did when my baby first explored solid food, I packed his food in jewel shaped ice trays. They made for pretty instagram ready photos.

When Baby J got older, he needed to eat more food. But sadly my freezer cabinet isn’t big enough to hold his food alongside ours (even gave up the ice cream space for his meals). My bro-in-law sent me a Tovolo Ice tray as a gift, and it was exactly what I needed.

Tovolo Ice Tray

Now what makes this little tray special is the fact they make the perfect cube ice, each cube is 1 ounce. Which makes estimating the size of baby J’s meals much easier. Right now, with Baby J at 1 year old, he’s eating at roughly 3-4 ounces, or roughly 3-4 cubes a meal.

The other benefit of this particular tray is the perfect cube shape. That means you can stack them up like little blocks in your fridge if you want to take advantage of every bit of space in there. It certainly made storing his purees a lot of easier when you know you can play Tetris with his food.

There are also 4 ounce cups I use for food that don’t freeze well in ice cube trays, food like pasta, congee, and even bolognaise sauce for baby. The Glad Quart Freezer bags are for storing your frozen cubed purees.

Cleaning all of this stuff may seem daunting but it’s not any more different had I used a Baby Cook. The knife and cutting board will have to be washed, the device have to be cleaned, but it’s hard to hand wash it since dish washers don’t exist here. As my husband wisely noticed, whenever something says they can take away a step in cooking, it just adds one more step in cleaning.

After six months of making my son’s food, I’ve come to appreciate my set-up: it’s economical and it got the job done. For moms out there, what are your tools for the baby food making trade? If you got suggestions, feel free to leave a comment or a link.

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A C-section Mama Birth Story

My son just turned one year old, and Christmas has come and gone.  A lot has happened since my last post in 2013, one that I regret not writing about. I would have been novel to write down my thoughts on my pregnancy, of becoming a mom and all the hopes and dreams and even Pinterest inspirational photos of all things baby. But things never really work out that way, no matter how much you try or want it.

Read more

Mommy Loot Bag Review!

A lot has happened, and suffice to say I’m a mom now–more detailed write up on that later–and the past year has been one giant experience for all of us. Now part of that experience is apparently is acquiring things for myself and the baby. Though mostly for baby, whatever benefits I get as a mom is either related to hoping to make my life easier

Last October, I went to my first Mommy fair, called Momzilla Fair at the Rockwell Tent. The Rockwell tent isn’t very big, so it felt a little cramped considering that your customers coming in don’t come alone. Meaning, if you’re catering for Moms, rest assured they’d be followed by their husbands, the nannies and the kids. It makes for a cramp space just a few hours after opening. It was a stormy morning so you can imagine just how terribly humid it was inside after just an hour. The other downside to the location is lack of breastfeeding station that was quiet (there was a massive speaker inside it playing), comfortable (it was so very hot that Baby J could barely drink in comfort and was fitful) and no privacy for people coming and going into the room. There isn’t a real place to change diapers either. You’re better off going back inside the mall and look for a diaper station there.

Despite that, the vendors for the fair was totally awesome and had a lot of fun. People were mostly very nice and helpful too! I’ll be showing off some of the loot I acquired over that weekend. Now I know it probably took more than a month to blog but at the same time it took me a while to test it and have an honest feed back over the stuff I got.

Now let’s take a look at our Mommy Loot Bag:

Shopping has been done
Shopping has been done!

1. Chunky Chewelries – These are silicon (the kind used on bottle nipples and the like) made necklace used in a line of accessories for Moms (and Dads too). Basically what they are, are chunky necklace accessories. One of the things I noticed  when we had Baby J, was that I couldn’t wear any of my jewelry anymore, not when you’ve got a little one that’s a little to eager to yank at anything that catches his interest and shove it into his mouth. Which makes me sad because hubby J, gifted me a the most beautiful bib necklace ever and I can’t wear it since the last time I did, Baby J decided to try and eat it. Well no fear, Chunky Chewelries is your answer! You get to accessorize again and have something for your baby to gnaw on when you’re carrying him. Win-win situation right there! This works awful good when paired with a babywearing carrier.

Now what I didn’t like. Now it’s not “bad” per se, but more of an inconvenience really and something you can avoid by choosing a different design. The problem I had was that hair tends to cling to silicon tightly enough, that pulling it over your heard without thinking can be a very painful experienced. You can avoid this by buying a necklace that only has a few silicon beads as opposed to using an entire rope of silicon beads. Learn from my mistakes!

Visit Chunky Chewelries instagram account for more designs! https://www.instagram.com/chunkychewelries/

2. Seve’s Mom Cloth Nursing Pads – Okay, I’ve got mixed feelings about this particular product. Few things I did like is it’s pretty. Unlike most nursing pads you’d get, they only come in white and with granny lace. No one likes granny lace, not even granny.

The nursing pad is made of fleece, which is good because it actually feels nice against the nipple. Cracked, sore nipples are common in breastfeeding, so having something soft and nice against it is a plus. The brand also carries a variety of design that are absolutely adorable.

The thing I did not like about this product is the fact the nursing pad is very thin. I tend to let down a lot of milk when breastfeeding (or when boobs are way too full and sore), and the nursing pads don’t do well absorbing the let down, which left me with a soiled bra and blouse. A work around for this is to wear nursing bras that are thicker or have padded inserts to avoid soiling your blouse, but still. The whole point of a nursing pad is to not let that happen in the first place.

Price wise, it is a little bit more expensive compared to the reusable ones you get in baby and mom stores, so I can’t really recommend this one. However, it does make a nice face buff pad (or so I was told by the sales lady). Personally, I’m not the type to even use a face buff pad to begin with. So yeah, sorry can’t really recommend this.

3. Bumkins Waterproof Splat Mat – Splat mats are great to have when you’ve got babies. They make for great cover on floors and tables when baby is eating or playing with anything that can lead to messes. I’ve used it once on a project and was quite happy with it. But it is rather thin and can be easily blown away by the wind if you don’t weight it down. If you got carpet floors, and more than one kid on the mat it would be a good idea to have another fabric you’re going to throw in the wash, under the splat mat. It would be good to also tape it down with painter’s tape (which is cool to have at home btw. I have one from 3M and that stuff is GOLD, no icky residue).

The other good thing about this, is that you can take it with you. Pop it in your diaper bag and you’re good to go. Very useful if you have to go to reunions. Also doubles as a changing pad you can use over public diaper changing stations.

4. Boba Stretchy Wrap – This was the first item I bought at the fair, mostly because I am not a fan of very bulky carriers (plus those are darn expensive!) and I wanted something that would give more support and ease the pain on my back (Aprica is not my favorite brand for baby carrying). I’ve got no complaints with Boba, the wrap is soft, though I think I may have been better off getting a solid color wrap. The print is nice but the underside of it is not printed. It makes the wrap unsightly after a while of use (not every one can do the wrap so perfectly to hide the underside, so if that bothers you, I would suggest going for block colors rather than prints. The wrap comes with it’s own matching bag. It folds well and is easier to carry into your diaper bag as compared to other carriers. The downside (or upside depending on where you live) is that this is very warm to wear for both you and the baby.

** If you got questions about babywearing, from the benefits to the types of carriers that’s right for you and your baby, please check out this link for more info.

“Sugary goodness in my veins!” – Charmaine

Last but not least, is a special mention of the stuff I actually got to eat at the Momzilla Fair, and Donut Poppa was the one thing I wish I brought enough cash to pay for more than just one box. These scrumptious tiny morsels of donut goodness comes in a lot of flavor variants and eye catching enough to be used as company giveaways or even as presents this coming Christmas.

And yes, I put up a picture of an empty box because I never had the presence of mind to take pictures of food when they come in all pristine like. Besides you’d know I didn’t like it as much if I had left overs, so it’s fairly indicative of how delicious I found these when I realized too late to take photos.

I don’t know if they have a physical store somewhere but if you’re interested give them a try.

Donut Poppa
donutpoppa@gmail.com
+63927852955

Well this wraps up the first of my Mommy Loot Bag reviews. I’ll post more soon~!