Now that Zach is six-months-old (as of yesterday, sniff sniff) and started solids last week, there is a new pungency to his diapers. (Incidentally, we are about to fast-track Eliza into potty training, which is another post entirely, but having two children creating such stenchy messes is too much to bear.)
As a type-A person, of course with Eliza I pretty much made all of her baby food because, well, it’s healthier, less expensive, and what any self-respecting woman who takes her stay-at-home job seriously would do (right?). Now that I have even less time to plan and prepare Zach’s food, though, I’m looking for more shortcuts. My mother-in-law bought me the Beaba cook baby food maker for Christmas with some of those individual, 1- and 2- oz. containers for freezing the food. The Beaba cook is nice and convenient, easy to use, and easy to clean in the dishwasher. I’ve already figured out that you don’t have to change the amount of water you are supposed to put in it for steaming depending on the amount of food you’re cooking. And it’s nice that after steaming, you can then blend the food right in the contraption.
However, suckers beware. From what I can tell, it is no easier than using a regular pot with a steaming insert on the stove, and then using my hand blender (I have the Breville handheld food processor) in the pot to mash up the food. There are a lot of pieces in the Beaba cooker as well, versus an easily removable blender handle and a pot and a steamer insert for the other method. And finally, the cooker only holds so much food. It’s not conducive to making large batches of baby food, or cooking meals that have items that require varying cooking time. So it’s lifespan is going to be short in my kitchen. Thus, if you want to make baby food and save some money, buy a hand or immersion blender, which is much more multifunctional for years to come than a specific maker of baby food.
As far as freezing extra food goes (which is the point because for a little effort I get a lot of meals), these individual little containers are freaking frustrating and stupid. You have to run each one under water to get it to pop out, which is highly irritating and time consuming. Of course, washing them in the dishwasher is a pain as well because they could easily fall through. For Eliza, I used ice cube trays I had on hand. I wrapped saran wrap around them a few times, froze them, ran them upside down under a bit of water, and then easily popped all the frozen food cubes into a freezer bag. Sometimes you really don’t need all these specialized contraptions. This is one of those instances. Just use your ice cube trays and some saran wrap.