So Easy Baby Food Kit by Fresh Baby
When I first decided I was going to try and make my own baby food at home for my daughter, people reacted like I had just announced I was going to put my baby in a bubble. It’s the same look new parents get when they are being crazy over protective for no reason. I got the same reasons every time for why I shouldn’t make my own baby food – and they all had to do with convenience. To me, the health of my daughter is a whole lot more important to me than convenience. Besides, there’s not a whole lot about having a newborn that would fall under the category “convenient”, anyway. Waking up all night, feeding every 2-3 hours, changing diapers, none of that is convenient, but we do it out of love for our children. To me, making baby food was just one more thing to add to that list.
The So Easy Baby Food Kit helps to make the baby food process as simple and easy as possible, with the idea that you can make a weeks worth of food in 30 minutes. Okay, I’m a busy mom, but even I have 30 minutes a week to spend on preparing my child’s food. At first hubby was skeptical over the 30 minute claim, thinking of baby food in the same way you might adult foods and assuming we would be making 3 course meals for each night of the week. Instead, the Kit is designed to be used to make 2 foods in bulk during each weekly session that you can freeze in the super cool ice cube-esque containers provided. The idea is that you will build up a supply in the freezer and eventually have a large variety of foods to choose from, thus providing baby with a varied menu.
The So Easy Baby Food Kit really lives up to its name, simplifying the food making process from start to finish and giving helpful advice to make it as easy as possible to cook farmer’s market fresh foods all year long. I don’t know why, but for some reason I thought cooking vegetables, both exotic and ordinary, was going to be a 4 pan circus. I’ve always jokingly referred to myself as “one pan Annie”, even going as far as to cook in stages or in different areas of the same pan in order to save on dish washing. And, even me, the master of the one pan meal was thrilled about how little setup and cleanup is required to make fresh baby food. The process could not get any easier - it is simply clean, peel, cook and mash. The Kit gives instructions for both microwave and stovetop cooking, which I am absolutely thrilled about. There is a distinct possibility I will be “no pan Annie” from here on out.
Making baby food does not require a fancy cookbook, but what the So Easy Baby Food Kit does is offer helpful hints and suggestions as well as interesting facts and information about baby’s nutrition during every stage of development. The guide explains how to shop for, prepare and cook all sorts of vegetables and fruits and offers variations and combinations to experiment with. Designed to be more akin to a food journal for parents, the best part about the book is that you can record details such as the date each food is introduced and whether or not your baby liked it. Having grown up being taught not to write in books, I was at first hesitant to actually write in the spots provided. Thinking that it would be nice to use the book for any additional children, or possibly even for good friends’ children, I had decided to leave the book un-personalized. But, the truth is that it is so convenient to look up a recipe and be able to see exactly when you first introduced the food and whether or not it was a hit, that I ended up caving and I am so glad I did. I did, however, compromise with myself and write small in the spaces provided so that we could reuse the book again and again. There is only one thing I would change about the guide and that would be to add protruding tabs instead of their edge of page markers so that it would be even easier for parents to quickly flip to the foods for the correct age group.
I absolutely love that the kit comes with a laminated (hello, kids’ “helping”) guide that goes over all the basics of baby nutrition from healthy eating habits, nutrient guides, and even basic CPR instructions. The chart of first foods broken down by age is absolutely wonderful, as I can quickly glance at it before I shop and jot down the vegetables and fruits to look for at the market.
I would recommend that anyone that is concerned about the freshness and safety of prepackaged baby foods look into the So Easy Baby Food Kit. This really is a case where the idea of baby food making is a lot more daunting than the actual task of doing. I found that making my own baby food proved to be a whole lot more fun (and easy!) than I had imagined, and something we end up looking forward to each week.
Check out the Fresh Baby Peas and Carrots blog at http://freshbaby.typepad.com/ for recipes and suggestions like these:
Fruit juice: Simply fill Fresh Baby Trays with 100% juice, cover and freeze. Pop the cubes and place the in a freezer storage bag. Write the type of juice on the bag. To serve, add 1 or 2 juice cubes to a cup of water. The cubes will flavor the water and keep the drink cold at the same time!
“Healthy” Soda: Dropping a few juice cubes into seltzer (sparkling) water instantly creates a soda pop. Get Creative by freezing exotic juice flavors such as strawberry, guava, or pomegranate in the trays (You'll want some too).
Functionality: High – it is simple, useful and informative, but more importantly, it is fun.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 marks, losing only a half of a point for the lack of clear section tabs.