Feeding and food prep - it’s an exciting time, especially when you try them on something new and watch those ‘lil facial expressions! But it can be confusing to know what you need for each chapter of their culinary journey. That’s why we’ve put together a (meal) plan of what you need for each stage of weaning and feeding, with some handy storage tips too. Enjoy.
Stage 1: Newborns
Baby gear takes up a lot of space in that kitchen, especially if you’re bottle feeding - steriliser and milk prep machine anyone? Think smart. Make an investment that lasts. Some food prep machines can be used as sterilisers and milk heaters, freeing up your kitchen space and helping you save money too. Oh, and some, like this Babymoov Nutribaby (with cool changeable coloured covers) also look pretty awesome too. Goodbye baby clutter, hello stylish kitchen.
There’s not much you’ll need when they’re this little. If you’re bottle feeding, then investing in a handy food storage tower where you can pre-measure their feeds can save you time and mess on the go. This Skip Hop Grab and Go baby food storage tower has one 10oz and two 6oz containers with an easy-pour lid for milk powder. It can also be used for for storing snacks and yoghurts, once they move on to solids (win). Breastfeeding? Each to their own with storage, however, some people swear by these breast milk bags. They have measurements on the side and can be stored in the fridge or freezer after you’ve expressed.
Stage 2: First foods
So, it’s time to start them on the solid stuff, but where to begin? Most people choose to go with baby rice and then introduce soft fruit and veggies. A fresh food feeder is a great way to get them started on this. All you need to do is fill it with a softened piece of food and let them squeeze and gnaw away at it. It can be a little messy, so don’t forget that bib. 😱
Once they’ve got used to this, and you want to extend their texture and flavours, a food prep machine is a great option. It allows you to both steam their food or puree it, or both, depending on their development. Another great thing about these is that you can pick whether to blend their food to a smooth consistency, or leave it in little lumps. We love how the Beaba Babycook 4 in 1 Plus Food Processor also catches all the juices from their food, so you can mix them back in, ensuring they get all the vitamins they need.
Out and about or on holiday? The Itsy Blitz Portable Weaning Blender will help make sure they carry on getting nutritious meals.
With weaning there comes a whole range of cool storage options. Freezing purees? Invest in a piece of kit that makes it easy to pop food out, like these silicon food pots. Feeding them on the go? Save mess and time by using pouches with built in spouts that they can use to feed themselves. We love these Doddlebags, which can be filled with pureed food, frozen, defrosted and then taken out and about. The straw like spout also means that they can suck it up quickly with no need for loads of mess, or buy attachable spoons.
Stage 3: From smooth to steamed and beyond
Once they’ve mastered the art of chunks and purees, then the world really is your oyster (no food pun intended). With our now one year old, we use the Beaba Babycook 4 in 1 Plus Food Processor to steam all her meat and veg - it means she still gets all the nutrients, while she eats those ‘big kid’ meals and it really takes the hassle out of prepping - take it from a mum who isn’t exactly Masterchef in the kitchen. Oh, and I may have also used it for defrosting our nightly dinner - and made the odd smoothie too - shhh.
By this stage they’ll probably be eating a lot more, which means you’ll be needing to take snacks and steamed grub with you when you’re out and about. Now’s the time to invest in a good set of airtight containers, to keep everything super fresh. These Babymoov Babybols are a great option. Large enough for snacks, they’re also airtight, meaning food stays fresh - no one likes soggy munchies! At this stage you may find that with all the extra snacks and food, your changing bag is starting to get a bit cramped. The answer? Their own little lunchbox. We love this one by Babymel, which looks cool hung on a buggy and bright enough to encourage them to carry it. That’s that sorted then.
So there you have it, simple for food prep for all the different stages. Enjoy the journey - and the er, mess.