Weaning just got easier….!

Whilst I was out shopping last week I was having a nosey down the baby isle in my local superstore to see if there was anything I needed for my little weaning adventure. Blake was 6 months old on Saturday and seen as he was 10lb 13oz when he was born, you won’t be surprised to hear that I had to start weaning him a little earlier than 6 months, as the current government health guidelines state. Either that or I was looking to invest in a diary cow : )

We made the decision to start weaning him early as he was constantly hungry and so I read a fair few weaning books in preparation and took the leap 5 weeks ago. Lets just say, Blake took to it like a duck to water, I couldn’t believe how easily he grasped the technique and adapted to the different textures. Since that day I have made all of his meals using the Beaba babycook (Godsend I might add) and he eats like a king.

So, whilst noseying down the baby isle, a bright orange package caught my eye, it was a brand named KOKO and the contents were food pouches. Let me just say that this is another genius invention that you simply need to have if like me, you cook all of your own delicious baby food and store it in the freezer. They’re simply fantastic, you get 10 empty pouches that you can fill, freeze, defrost, wash and re-use. Superb!

food-pouch-1

Just to make this brand even more special, you can also buy the food pouch spoons which attach to the nozel of the pouch making meal times whilst on the go simple and effective.

pouch-spoon-1

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I invested in one of each of these and I will never look back, I’d recommend them til the cows come home! Plus they are so much more cost-effective than the food brands you can buy in pouches, saving you money along the way!

Sheer brilliance!

Visit http://www.koko-innovates.com the pouches are priced at £ 4.99 and the spoons complete with travel case from £4.49

with love Gemma & Blake x

Beaba Babycook: Wean until your heart’s content

beaba-BabycookI didn’t realise how fabulous this product really is until I invested in one recently. I’ve heard plenty about the Beaba Babycook and people have recommended it to me but I didn’t invest because I thought I would see how I got on with the equipment I already owned. Let me just say, this is a godsend! It is the easiest and by far the best investment I have made in the baby world and I would definitely recommend it to everyone who is about to embark on weaning!

It is certainly one of a kind, with its compact size and multiple functions this nifty piece of equipment cooks, blends, reheats and defrosts. The steam cook function cooks fish, meat, vegetables and fruits in 15 minutes or less whilst preserving their yummy vitamins and flavors. The blender allows you to control the desired consistency of your meals from purée to a more lumpy texture making it perfect for every stage of weaning.

It is simple to use, easy to clean, BPA free and prepares healthy scumptious meals for your little one in no time! You can also store the leftovers in the freezer for days when you need a quick fix.

It has made my life a whole lot easier and I wish I had invested from the offset! It retails at £90.00 but it is worth every single penny!

Available from most major retailers including Amazon, jojomamanbebe, Mamas and Papas and Mothercare.

with love

Gemma x

A little bit of luxury

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The OVO high chair by Micuna offers aesthetics, comfort and safety all in one seriously stylish bit of kit. This high chair is elegant, sleek and über stylish making a fabulous addition to your furniture collection. It features a round tray which is removable and washable, a footrest, and a leather strap for the safety of your little ones. Priced at approximately £260.00 this is certainly an investment but one that is worth every penny because not only does this product function as a high chair but it also grows with your little one, turning into a sleek desk chair for when he or she is a little older.

This is certainly a little bit of luxury but one that is worth every penny if you are design savvy and super chic!

Take a look at http://www.ovobymicuna.com to find stockists and to view the colour palette.Picture 4

We love it : )

Èlodies dish of the the week!

Try this dish from one of our favourite’s, Annabel Karmel, it’s scrummy easy to make and Elodie loves to pick up the pieces herself.

Use your imagination and let those creative juices flow, why not try making a smily face with your little one it’s great fun and even better still there’s enough for two. It really is delicious!

Ingredients

Half a small red onion, chopped (25 g)
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp sundried tomato paste
1 tbsp later
2 English muffins
2 tbsp Sweetcorn
2 slices of ham
25g Mozzarella or grated Cheddar
Suggested Toppings (enough for 2 pizzas)
mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil
1 ring pineapple, diced
stoned black olives, thinly sliced
baby courgette, thinly sluiced and sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil
sunblush tomatoes, diced
1 rasher cooked bacon, crumbled
Strips of sweet pepper

Method:
Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the tomato puree, sun dried tomato paste and water and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Split the muffins and toast. Preheat the grill to high and spread the tomato sauce over the muffins. Sprinkle over the ham and sweetcorn and cover with the grated cheese.
Preheat the grill to high. Cook the pizzas for 4 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Decorate with your favourite toppings. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Information
Makes 2 mini pizzas

mmmmmmmm enjoy!

Visit http://www.annabelkarmel.com for more delicious yummy scrummy recipes : )

Èlodies dish of the the week!

This week Èlodie has tucked into some delicious fruit flavored porridge for breakfast. It’s a great way to start the day and it ensures she’s getting 1 of her 5 a day as fruits are a good source of vitamins and minerals.

The great thing about this is that it’s quick and easy and seriously yummy: simply add pureed, mashed or chopped fruit to breakfast porridge depending on the stage of your little one weaning. Èlodie is now 12 months so we chopped the fruit and sprinkled it in, you can always chop the left overs and keep it handy for snacks throughout the day.

Here’s some of the varieties Èlodie really enjoyed:

raspberry and blueberry
Mango and peach
banana and raisins

Give them a try, these are suitable for any stage as you can adopt the consistency to your little one’s needs.

Here are some handy tips to make sure your little one gets their 5-a-day from the Hipp Organic experts:

*Add pureed, mashed or chopped fruit to breakfast cereal
*Offer chopped pieces of soft fruit or vegetable sticks with homemade dips for a snack
*Make tasty deserts by mixing purée, mashed or chopped fruit with natural yogurt, their favourite fromage frais (with no added sugar) or baby rice.
*For a quick and easy meal, most HiPP Organic jars and desserts contain a portion of fruit or veg. The ‘NEW’ fruit pouches contain up to 2 of a baby’s 5-a-day fruit portions mmmmmmmm.

What is one portion for a baby?

5-a-day advice for adults is based upon the World Health Organisation guidance which recommends eating at least 400g of fruit & vegetables a day.

This makes the recommended size for one portion of fruit or veg for an adult approximately 80g. As there are not yet any formal recommendations for baby or toddler portion sizes our nutritionist suggests using the following as a guide:

At stage 1 (around 6 months) one portion is equal to 30g
At stage 2 (from 7 months) one portion is equal to 35g
At stage 3 (from 10 months) one portion is equal to 40g

The toddler portion sizes are based on guidelines issued by the Caroline Walker Trust and the younger portion sizes have been scaled down from these.

One portion of fruit juice is 60ml for stage 1, 70ml for stage 2 and 75ml for stage 3. Juice can only count as one portion per day, no matter how much is drunk.

For more great tips and advice please visit Hipp Organic at http://www.hipp.co.uk.

Èlodies dish of the the week!

They say that fish is good for stimulating the brain and so this week we made from scratch a delicious fish pie from the Annabel Karmel recipe collection! It went down a treat with Èlodie and better still there’s plenty of left overs for a later date! Yum! Have a go and send us some pictures of your little one enjoying their delicious dinner to bluesandbows@hotmail.co.uk.

Heres how…

Potato topping

800 g (1 3/4 lb) potatoes
30 g (1 oz) butter
7 tbsp milk
4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the sauce

45 g (1 1/2 oz) butter
1 large shallot, diced
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
45 g (1 1/2 oz) flour
450 ml (15 fl oz) fish stock
6 tbsp double cream
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh dill or chives, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

Salmon & Cod Filling

250 g (9 oz) salmon, skin removed and cut into 2 cm (3/4 in) chunks
250 g (9 oz) cod, skin removed and cut into 2 cm (3/4 in) chunks
150 g (5 1/2 oz) small cooked prawns
70 g (2 1/2 oz) frozen peas

Method for Fish Pie

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6. Boil the potatoes in salted water. Drain and mash with the butter, milk and Parmesan and season to taste.

To make the sauce, melt the butter and sauté the shallot for 5–6 minutes until soft. Add the white wine vinegar and boil for 2–3 minutes until the liquid has evaporated.

Stir in the flour to make a roux. Gradually, stir in the fish stock and then cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously.

Bring to the boil then cook stirring until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream and the chopped dill or chives. Season well as the fish is unseasoned.

Divide all the fish and peas among four or six mini ramekins (depending on the size) and pour over the sauce. Brush the potato topping with a little beaten egg. Bake for 25 minutes.

Information

Suitable for freezing

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes (includes 20 minutes for cooking potato)

Makes 4–6 portions

Visit http://www.annabelkarmel.com for more advice and tips on weaning, she really is fantastic!

Èlodies dish of the the week!

This week we tried the Chicken with cauliflower and sweet vegetable masala sauce from Plum Baby and it went down a treat! Èlodie loves the vast array of different foods and the variety of recipes we cook up for her, and we love cooking them too! Give it a go and tell us how it went down with your little one : )

Method
Wrap the chicken breast in foil and dob a blob of butter in it. Cook in the oven at around 180C for 30 minutes until fully cooked (check to see that the meat is not pink in the middle). Take cauliflower and steam it for 5 minutes until soft. When cooked, fork it into a smooth mush and then add the pouch of Sweet vegetable masala sauce. When the chicken has cooled, dice into very small pieces (again dependant on the bite size of your baby) and combine with the cauliflower and sauce mix. Add a little more butter if desired for extra yumminess, and scoop away.

Ingredients
One chicken breast fillet – free range and organic of course
One large cauliflower floret
A knob of butter
One pouch of Mild vegetable masala sauce

Visit http://www.plum-baby.co.uk for more delicious recipes, tips and advice on weaning.

Enjoy x

Èlodies dish of the the week!

Surprise! here it is the deliciously yummy, scrummy dish of the week! We love our food and so does Èlodie, and this week she tucked into some amazingly tasty dishes. This one however came out tops; Apple & Plum with Berries from the very talented Annabel Karmel!

Ingredients
2 sweet eating apples (eg: Pink Lady)
2 ripe plums, skinned, stoned and diced
55g blueberries
2 tbsp water or pure apple juice

Method
Put the apples, plums and blueberries in a saucepan with the water or juice.
Heat until bubbling, reduce the heat and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes until really tender, adding a spoonful more water or juice if necessary.
Blend the fruit to a purée in a food processor or place in a bowl and use a hand blender.
Freeze in individual portions.

Information
Makes 3 Portions
Suitable from 6 months
Prep time 8 minutes
Cooking time 8 minutes
Suitable for Freezing

For more information on weaning and more delicious recipes visit http://www.annabelkarmel.com

Èlodies dish of the the week!

This week we tried some delicious recipes from Plum Baby and they went down a treat, but Èlodies most favorite dish had to be the Sweet potato, carrot and coriander purée. Absolutely scrummy! Why not let your little one have a try it’s simply delicious! Oh and don’t forget to send us your pictures to http://www.bluesandbows.co.uk and we’ll show your little cuties on our blog in next weeks dish of the week!

Heres how…

Use roughly equal amounts of each vegetable for this purée. Put the vegetables and coriander in a saucepan and enough water to cover (or steam). Simmer gently until cooked (about 10 minutes). Strain the vegetables, reserving the nutrient rich water. Purée, either in a processor or through a sieve then mix the purée to a suitable consistency with some of the reserved water, breast milk or formula.
Ingredients

* 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
* 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
* 1 small sprig of fresh coriander, chopped

Visit http://www.plum-baby.co.uk/our-community/try-our-recipes/ for more delicious recipe ideas.

Plum Baby = Delicious

We all know that having a baby is an emotional roller coaster and one big learning curve! No two experiences are the same and so when someone offers help to make life easier: we should snap their hands off! That’s why Plum Baby are amazing, if you are a working, weaning mummy and worry about feeding your baby nutritious meals but on the other hand simply don’t have the time to prepare them, then look no further. Plum Baby offer prepared baby food that is nutritious yet convenient and full of flavour. Friends of blues and bows tell us they love it so why not give it a try! You definitely wont feel guilty and with delicious recipes like spinach, parsnip & basil and been & beef stew who can resist.

Available from http://www.plum-baby.co.uk/home-2/ and all major retailers : ) Enjoy