I have mentioned previously that I was initially planning on going down the baby led weaning route with Oscar but that actually, I was finding it a lot harder than people made out that it was. The gagging is blooming scary plus it's a bit of a pain to have to think about what I am eating for lunch and dinner in order to accommodate him. Also, the timing – he is not always hungry when I am and sometimes it's a heck of a lot easier to have my lunch while he naps! I therefore decided to mix it up and do a bit of baby led and a bit of puree. Plus I know what I am doing with puree as I did it with Zach!
To make my pureeing life easier (and to try and divert me from buying shop bought jars like I ended up doing with Zach), I was sent a wonderful package from Vital Baby which included the 2 in 1 Steam and Blend along with several of their weaning accessories including the Press 'n' Pop freezer pods, soft tip weaning spoons and the unbelievabowl travel suction bowls.
I was super excited to get using it although I did wait a couple of weeks because Oscar was a bit iffy still with feeding and I didn't want to put in the effort to make food that was going to go to complete waste. Once he started to get excited about what I was putting in front of him and was actually opening his mouth to accept food, I knew it was time.
And so, last Sunday morning I started using the 2 in 1 Steam and Blend and making my homemade purees. .
First up, I love the look of it. I love the colour and it's not too big to permanently keep on the worktop. We moved a couple of bits so that I could have it out all of the time because if it's out, I am more likely to keep up with the making my own food! If I have to keep dragging it out of the cupboard, I enjoy it less!
The 2 in 1 Steam and Blend has three functions on it. You can set it to do a lone steam, you can set it to do a lone blend, or you can set it to both so that the blending happens immediately after the steaming has finished. There is a water tank on the top, which holds the capacity of water needed to do a full steam. 200ml gives you a cooking time of around 20-25 minutes although the tank holds far more than this.
In order to get it working, you simply press the relevant button to the service you want it to provide. Each press of the 'steam' or 'steam and blend' button adds 5 minutes of steaming time. So if you press it 3 times and press start, it will steam for 15 minutes. The maximum time allowed is 30 minutes.
The blend button automatically goes for 30 seconds to prevent overheating. This doesn't mean you can only blend for 30 seconds though, it just automatically goes off and you just press and hold the button again to get it started. You can also do it for less than 30 seconds by simply taking your finger off the button and it will stop immediately. The flexibility of this time means that you can make the puree at different textures dependent on how old your child is and at what stage of weaning they are.
There is an alarm which beeps three times when the steam is complete, meaning that you don't need to be hovering around waiting for it to go off – it'll let you know when it's ready!
The lid is super easy to remove so it's simple to check the texture with a spoon. It unlocks by turning left and locks by turning right. The blending bowl works the same way although for safety reasons, it's a bit stiff.
Cleaning the steaming bowl is super easy. The blades come out so it's just a matter of washing it all up, drying and putting them back in again. Or if you have a dishwasher like we do, it can go in on the top shelf. The only part that can't is the driveshaft so it's important to check the instructions to see what bit this is! Otherwise, it's a massive bonus that this is a dishwasher safe product.
The 2 in 1 Steam and Blend preserves nutrients and flavours which is so important when you are introducing first foods to babies. You can steam and blend not only vegetables, but also meat and fish meaning you really can produce healthy meals for your babies.
Overall, the 2 in 1 Steam and Blend is brilliant. It is so simple to use, easy to clean and makes enough puree to freeze several portions at once. It also comes with a really handy booklet with recipes from weaning expert Dr Rana Conway to get you started.
I have also been using a couple of the products that were sent alongside this blender. The absolute game changer for me is the Press 'n' Pop freezer pots. These little pots come with a base and each pot locks within it, meaning you can store it really easily in the freezer. I have another brand of pots from when I had Zach and they spend their time rolling around the freezer drawers! I will definitely be buying more of these Vital Baby ones.
I have also been using the soft tip spoons which are fabulous. Oscar has two little toothy pegs and a lot of teething gums so it's really important that the equipment I use is super comfy for him at what is a pretty uncomfortable stage.
All of the weaning products that Vital Baby sell are dishwasher safe which is just key these days isn't it? If I can't pop it in the dishwasher, I don't want to know about it! They are also so bright and attractive and make feeding really fun for babies. We are thoroughly enjoying using ours and I am already planning on buying more of these innovative designs.
We were sent the Vital Baby 2 in 1 Steam and Blend along with several weaning products for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.