Introducing solids to your baby is a huge step. The first thing you will notice is that the little time you had in the day/evening is now even less. Introducing solids means food prep, feeding time and the big clean up afterwards (it is a messy business). Organisation is the key to keeping things together… for insuring your sanity and the nutrition of your baby.
YOUR 12-PIECE TOOL KIT
1. Absorbent bib
Choose bibs that are super absorbent and have a waterproof backing. You can find these in the traditional bib shape, the triangle bandana shape and with build in sleeves. Bibs with sleeves are great when your baby is feeding themselves and food is going everywhere. In the warmer months is is easy to strip your baby down to their nappy during meal times but this is not practical in winter.
2. Mesh feeder
Mesh feeders are a great way for babies to safely feed themselves their first foods. Simply load the bag up with chopped, apple, banana, strawberries or soft veggies and allow your baby to suck the food and it’s juices. The cap makes this a really handy portable tool.
3. Baby food bowl
Small non-breakable bowls are handy as your baby will soon be grabbing for everything in their sight and most likely sending those things flying.
4. Baby spoon
Soft and small spoons are great as they make it easier to get the food into tiny tiny mouths. The need to “gnaw” on everything is strong while your baby is teething so soft spoons are essential.
5. Sippy cup
It is important to teach your baby to drink from a cup which is NOT non-spill. There are some handy sippy cups available which have a non-spill valve that can be easily removed once your baby is ready.
6. Heat proof ramekin
The simplest, fastest and most effective method, I have found for re-heating baby food, is to steam the portion in a small heat proof dish or ramekin inside a stainless steel double saucepan steamer with the lid on. Whether the food is frozen or just chilled the portion will heat up quickly and retain it’s moistness. Fill the bottom saucepan with approx. 5cm of filtered water and boil over a high heat. Once the food is hot transfer it into your serving bowl and make sure to check the temperature before feeding your baby (as it can get very hot).
7. Cooler bag
Your baby can eat most of what you can eat and it is great for them to join in on family meal times. When you are out and about you can bring food with you and keep it cool in a small insulated cooler bag. Nice small ones fit easily into your nappy bag or under your stroller. A compartment for your baby’s bib and utensils is handy.
8. Storage containers
It is not always practical to be preparing your baby’s meals at meal times or even several times a day. Get organised by portioning their food into small airtight containers which can be kept in the fridge and easily transported.
9. Stick blender
Stick blenders are handy and you can mash or puree almost anything in the container you have cooked or prepared it in. Less washing up us always a plus. For clean up simply run the blade part of the blender under the hot tap. Food processors are also really handy for many types of family meals, snacks, dips, sauces and desserts.
10. Stainless steel steamer
A stainless steel steamer will become one of your most frequently used cooking utensils once you have a baby. Steaming veggies for your family is a really quick and nutritious way of getting vitamin and mineral packed meals together in minutes. Start by peeling/washing the firmest veggies first (like sweet potatoes and carrots) and start steaming these first. While these start to cook prepare the other less firm veggies like eggplant, mushrooms and beans. Lastly steam your green leafy veggies for just a couple of minutes at the last minutes.
11. Zip lock bags
Once you have frozen your portions of food for your baby pop them in zip lock bags to keep it fresh and label the bag with the contents and date. Zip lock bags are a handy way of storing any type of frozen left overs as well as portions of cooked beans and chopped fruit.
12. Freezer tray with lid
Regular ice cube trays are handy for small portions of baby food but larger silicone freezer trays are great. They come with tightly fitting lids and can also be used for baking.