Thursday, 2 December 2010

Tricks of the Trade

Some people have asked me how the hell do I have time to cook my own baby food and blend them. Well for one I tend to do large batches of at least four portions, freeze them until they are required and then they I just left to defrost until the time comes to eat. However even cooking these batches of tasty meals can be troublesome for a parent. Some days your child will not be calm and easy to handle and there will be moments whilst cooking they will scream because you dare walk one step away from them. So here's some helpful things for all busy mothers or fathers as well as families who wish to save a bit of money where possible.

Morphy Richards Slow Cooker
on Amazon for £24.99
  • Slow Cooker - We bought this when I was pregnant and made large portions of meals for dinner then put anything left over into the fridge or freezer and eat it over the next few days. It's so easy as you just put everything in and leave it be. You can use it for making baby food or even food for the whole family to enjoy! You can find some Slow Cookers at a decent price and they are really worth having in your kitchen.
  • Small Plastic Pots - They don't even have to be the ones you can find in baby sections of the Supermarket. You can buy real cheap small tubs that are perfect for storing baby food and are usually very cheap compared to baby branded ones. These are perfect for storing all the food you just made for your little one in your freezer, specially ones that ideally stack on top of one another.
  • Ready-made Sauces - I admit... I don't make my own sauces for baby as they can sometimes take too long and also the ingredients list can be stuff we normally don't stock in our cupboards or would cost loads just to buy them all. Companies such as Heinz have a baby club and sell pouches of sauces, including a Three Cheese Sauce which is perfect for broccoli and cauliflower. It's always good to sneak in some of those greens!
  • Ready-made Milk - As our son is now 8 months old he's only on three bottles a day, including his night time feed. I do my best to keep on top of making his bottles but if I'm in a pickle or have to go out suddenly and not got the time to make and keep a bottle warm then simply having a few ready-made cartons on hand really does the trick. They aren't cheap but if you just have two or three on stand-by or to give the grandparents when they have your child for a few hours then they are a great thing to keep around in your kitchen.
  • Local Markets - This is something I do for two reasons. For one I find I can spend £1 on a small amount of vegetables in stores compared to at my town's market where I can sometimes get a great deal and get double what the supermarket would sell. The other reason is they tend to have fresh local vegetables and you are helping local farmers.
  • Re-usable Bags - Keep a few of these with you when going out. I normally have two under the pushchair just incase I end up buying something. At first I was always forgetting to keep some on me and would find myself piling up on plastic bags, but now they are always on hand!
  • Finger Foods - Sometimes you are just busy trying to cook or doing some cleaning and little one won't  let you get on with it. It's close to meal time so why not place a few finger foods onto the highchair  table? Organix have a great selection of tasty snacks to keep your baby interested without filling them up too much before their meal is ready, giving you the time to get on with what you're doing. You can also cut banana into sticks. Slices were too slippery for my son to hold and he found the feel of this in his hands to bit gross. The outside part of a banana isn't wet and slippery so sticks are great! Any left over banana you can enjoy as part of a healthy diet!


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