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convienience foods baby

As a nation, we like convenience, never more so than when we are doing our food shopping. We also want to feel like we can rely on brands, especially the big ones, and when it comes to feeding our children, trust is vital. However, a study last year exposed that baby foods made by some of the leading firms, including Cow and Gate, Heinz and Ella’s Kitchen have far fewer nutrients than consumers would expect and certainly fewer than homemade meals. The study also found that many contained high levels of sugar.

 

We shouldn’t be using any salt or sugar in a baby’s food as their system isn’t as well developed as ours and their little livers find it difficult to filter excess salt and sugar and the salt also dehydrates them.

 

Given some of the products are promoted for use from four months of age – a time when babies should still be on a diet of breast or formula milk, it is a little concerning. Also given what we now know about sugar and it’s lack of nutritional content its imperative we are giving our babies nutrient rich foods to help them grow into strong children and in turn healthy adults.

 

Good nutrition plays a vital role in the development of a healthy nervous system and is needed for energy release, digestion and growth. Babies grow at an astonishing rate, tripling their birth weight in the first year alone. As our brain is made up of 60% fat we also need to look at getting sufficient omegas and fats into their diets too.
Researchers found that babies would need to eat twice as much shop-bought food to get the same energy and protein as meals cooked at home. This is a worrying thought, but as a busy parent myself, I know that making homemade meals three times a day can be near on impossible.

 

Parents of course want to do the best by their babies once they start weaning, they want to know exactly what their little one is putting in their mouths but although convenient, shop bought baby food is obviously not the healthiest option and can actually be far more expensive too.

 

Honestly I thought I was going to a have a meltdown when James was ready to be weaned onto solids. I was so confused about what was safe and the amount of conflicting advice would make your head spin. The trick is to keep it simple. I used to make all the food on a Sunday and freeze it ready for the week. If I’m being honest this was after I tried to do it every day and became a crazed lunatic who was screaming about her entire day being taken up with a feeding a 6 month old. My friend very calmly just said lets just spend a couple of hours on Sunday doing it and calm descended upon the household.

 

fill n squeezeFill n Squeeze is an innovative food preparation system that promises to make children’s meals and snacks healthy, easy and cost effective in an instant. Having prepared the family meal, all you have to do is pop it in the Fill n Squeeze jug, prepare it using the masher provided, fill the pouch, and then squeeze when the time is right! The pouches can then be stored in the freezer or fridge and are reusable, saving time and money! Even better, this provides a fantastic solution for children with allergies or intolerances, as parents can customise meals and serve them in attractive pouches, children will never know the difference! It is €25 and available from www.cherishme.ie

 

nutri baby zenAnother great product from birth is the Babymoov Nutribaby Zen Food Processor. It has 5 functions; it warms baby bottles and jars, sterilises, steams, defrosts and blends. This makes great economical sense and saves you buying everything separately saving space and money. The Babymoov Nutribaby has 2 baskets to separate food groups and an LCD screen to easily manage the different functions. You can also chop at the touch of a button. €129.99 from www.Eurobabynursery.com

 

 

 

 

 

BabypotzAllFinally Babypotz also do great pots in 10 different sizes to suit all your storage needs including freezing. From a 1oz/30 pot for a weaning baby, to a 24oz/710ml to store soup, they are great for the whole family. All the pots are BPA free and so safe to use in the microwave and place in a dishwasher. You can purchase in sets of 20’s, 30’s or 50’s the perfect amount for batch cooking.

 

Large Mixed Set €17.50 8oz Babypotz x 20 €15.50 www.Babypotz.com

Last week as I was driving James to crèche and a very strange thing happened. James started screaming: “Ouch Mummy it hurts. It’s so bright.  Make it go away.” The first thing any paranoid freak of a mother like me thinks about is meningitis. But being in Ireland the actual culprit here was the sun. Yes you heard me THE SUN. This is how you know your child has been reared in Ireland. The sun in all its glory with its vitamin D and ability to enhance moods was alien to my child. We have been to Spain but he obviously doesn’t remember and over the winter months had turned into a mole. Considering James is equally as dramatic as me it didn’t end there. When we got to crèche he started to touch the windowsill where the sun was shining, completely unable to understand the heat he was feeling on his body and the lack of heat on the windowsill.  We now have daily chats about this rare but very welcome new addition to our lives. I tell stories about far off countries that we will travel to where the sun shines every day and turns your skin a different colour so that you actually look good. I add in here you can take off your clothes, put on your swimming trunks and swim in the sea or pool. This story might be premature as we are not going anywhere for quite a while and every morning James asks when can we go to the sun and swim.

It is at this point I understand that children unlike adults actually live in the moment instead of wishing their lives away like us. It is also at this moment I realize I should keep my dreams of a holiday in my head where they belong. Unfortunately I feel the damage has been done and for the foreseeable future my days will start with the same question. When can we fly on the aeroplane to see the sun? I will not cry every time James asks this question but act happy as I slide over the curtains and peak out hoping that by some miracle Ireland was moved closer to Spain or Africa. A little birdie told me we are having a hot Summer this year and considering I would swallow a brick or maybe I just want to believe I have changed my story and told James there will be no need for a plane as soon right here in little old Ireland we’ll be in shorts and tee shirts, eating ice-cream and dancing through daisy’s.

 

I love SHOOBEES, the soft leather shoes with non-slip soles that keep your baby safe when on the move. The shoe sole is brushed suede and thin enough for the baby’s feet to spread, grip, and balance naturally, giving the ‘bare foot’ feeling and the confidence little ones need to take those first steps. There are over 20 styles to choose from and they are perfect for use around the house or in crèches and child-minders. Prices from €12 for 0-6 months sale stock using the code 06SHOOBEES and €15.95 for the latest designs, with FREE DELIVERY WORLDWIDE.

 

With the weather starting to improve and maybe travel on the horizon you will need the washable, squashable and now personalized Totseat. Perfect for cafes and restaurants with no highchairs. Your baby will also feel like a big person sitting in his or her own chair- independence with a twist!! €29.99 www.totseat.com

 

ASK ALISON:

Hi Alison,

I’m at the weaning stage with my first baby and I was wondering if you have any tips for when you’re out and about. I make all my food myself on a Sunday for the week. Any storage tips??

Thanks, Amy

Hi Amy,

I’m so excited to tell you about a brand new product called Fill n squeeze. You won’t need to worry about any extra cooking and will be able to incorporate preparation in two simple steps. Having prepared the family meal, pop it in the Fill n Squeeze jug, prepare it using the masher provided or a hand blender, fill the pouch, and then squeeze when the time is right! The same process can be taken to prepare fruit or vegetable purees, fruit smoothies and much more!  As well as the ease of preparing delicious homemade baby food the clear benefit of parental control will be important for many families. Not only will parents know exactly what their child is eating, but to be able to tailor the meals for little ones need and allergies is a great help. It is also cost effective which is currently very important. The brands re-sealable pouches are an extremely convenient solution to store, freeze and warm food.

 

FOR BABY:

 Fill n Squeeze €22.90 for starter pack (pouch filler jug, plunger (which doubles up as a masher), jug closure cap, 5 x 150ml Squeeze Pouches, sterile and ready to use.) €4 for Refill pack +€6.90 p&p
Stockist: Jojo Maman and www.fillnsqueeze.co.uk

 

FOR MUM:

This Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara gives you eyelashes to die for. €9.95

THIS FORTNIGHT WE ARE:

BIDDING ON THE LINDT GOLD BUNNY AUCTION – the Lindt Gold Bunny Auction returns and is set to get fans fighting for the limited ceramic gold bunnies signed by their favourite celebs including The script, Robbie Williams and JLS. All proceeds from the Auction go directly to Temple Street Children’s Hospital and all final bid winners not only get to take home their signed Lindt Gold Bunny but also a Lindt Gold bunny hamper worth €100 Go to www.facebook.com/lindtchocolateireland  ‘LIKE’ the Lindt Chocolate Ireland Facebook page and get bidding! DANCING around our sitting rooms as it helps to express feelings and emotions. It also gets the creative juices flowing, builds confidence and is great fun. So crank up the music and get shake that booty!