Feeding Baby: 8-10 months

With the 5 older kids, when they were around 8 months old, we used to feed them porridge every day, with some meat and vegetables thrown in (the grandmothers said that was what all babies ate). It was always difficult to feed them and I thought they were fussy eaters. Looking back, I can imagine how boring their meal times were! With Kate, I try to make her meals as varied as possible.

We can now add more food to the list in Feeding Baby 6-8 months. After introducing these new foods one at a time, rotate them with the previous list so that baby is eating something different at every meal. A common mistake is that when parents find that their child loves eating a particular food, be it banana or yoghurt, they will keep feeding baby that every single day. Soon, they will notice that baby doesn’t want to eat it anymore. They are probably so sick of that same food day in day out! Wouldn’t we react the same way? It happened with my kids too. One of them loved eating mushrooms when she was young. At every opportunity, we would give her mushrooms. Even till now, she hates eating mushrooms!

Vegetables:

  • Peas, Green beans, Leek, Beetroot, Spinach, Cabbage, Parsnip, Celery
Fruits:
  • Peach, Honeydew, Grapes
Protein:
  • Fish, Chicken, Beef, Tofu
Grains: (in cereal or small pasta form)
  • Millet, Quinoa, Maize, Spelt, Amaranth, Wholegrain bread
Others:
  • Yoghurt (plain)

Some other pointers:

  • Most fruits can start to be eaten without steaming. Just use a spoon to scrape directly off the fruit. Examples are apple, pear, banana, peach, watermelon.
  • Purees should start to gradually be made lumpier, so that baby can get used to coarser textures.
  • When baby turns her head away or shakes her head to mean ‘no’ or refuses to open her mouth, stop feeding baby. We have to let them learn how to listen to their bodies and to know when to stop eating when they feel full. Nowadays, there are many overweight children and one reason for that is that parents tell them to finish everything on their plate. One way not to waste food is by putting a smaller portion onto their plate and offer them a second helping.
  • Some babies start to be fussy around the age of 9 months. It could be the texture they don’t like. Try to offer the same foods, but in different forms. Kate used to love broccoli or carrot puree. However, now she will only eat them steamed and cut up into small pieces. They will also start to be interested in finger food after 9 months. You can chop their vegetables into small cubes, steam it, and serve it as finger food.
Concentrating hard on picking up the pasta
Sane tip: If baby refuses to eat on some days, don’t worry, it’s quite normal, so long as she is still drinking her milk. Just make sure you keep offering different varieties of food. It’s a bit like playing detective. Through trial and error, you will gradually figure out your baby’s food preferences.

Save tip: Now that Kate can eat more or less what we eat, I just pinch a little of what we’re going to cook that day and cook it separately for her – steamed and sans salt and pepper.

~  mummywee – parenting 6 kids in Singapore without going mad or broke  ~


Superfood: Chia seeds

Want a quick and simple way to make your diet healthier? Introduce Chia seeds into your family’s diet. Chia seeds are one of nature’s superfood.

Chia seeds 400g $19.50


Benefits:

  • Omega-3
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Fibre
  • Potassium
How much to take?

Children: 1/2 tablespoon a day
Adults:   1 tablespoon a day

*children from 1 year old can take chia seeds
*babies from 8 months old can take chia seeds in powder form

What to eat with: They are quite tasteless, so you can add it to anything.

  • Salads
  • Pizzas
  • Pastas
  • Juices
  • Sandwiches
  • Porridge
  • Dishes with sesame seeds

Tomato salad sprinkled with chia seeds


Where to Buy: You can buy them from supermarkets, organic stores or health food shops. Do not buy them from unreliable sources as they may not be pure, and do not buy those made in China.

Keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place



Sane tip: I keep it in a little container on the kitchen counter and sprinkle it over the food. Literally one of the easiest ways to add nutrients to our diet.

Save tip: They don’t come cheap, but a little goes a long way. Split a pack with a friend and you won’t feel the pinch.

~   mummywee – parenting 6 kids in Singapore without going mad or broke  ~

Feeding baby 10-12 months

Around the age of 10 months, many parents notice that their baby starts to be fussy about food. It could be because they are now able to show their likes and dislikes clearly. It is also a time when textures and  appearances seem to matter to them. I give Kate lots of foods with bright colours which appeal to her.

Carrot and millet porridge

I also try and vary her food in taste and texture so that she doesn’t get bored and it also helps us to figure out her preferences.

Macaroni with minced beef in light carrot sauce

Foods to add to their repertoire:

Vegetables:

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Lentils
  • Onion
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Turnip (steamed)
  • Cucumber
Fruits:
  • Apricot
  • Raspberry
  • Melon

I draw up a 2-week menu for Kate so it is easier for my helper to decide what to feed her at every meal. She doesn’t need to stick to the exact days, but it’s just to give her more options. Without it, my helper was literally feeding her macaroni soup at every lunch.

10-12 months: Menu 1
10-12 months: Menu 2

She is also very big on finger foods these days. I usually start feeding her from a spoon but she will shake her head halfway through her meal. I will then put a few pieces on her tray table and she will feed herself that same food! Maybe it makes her feel more independent.

Orange sweet potato

Sweet potatoes have one of the highest sources of beta-carotene, which is an anti-oxidant. It helps to improve our immunity and is also good for the eyes. Drizzle a little bit of extra virgin olive oil over it to improve the beta-carotene absorption. And remember I mentioned in “6 easy peasy ways to make baby smarter” that olive oil can help your child to learn faster and focus better.

Yum, yum. All done.

It’s good for baby to have finger food as it allows them ample opportunity to practise their fine-motor skills.

More finger food for baby to try:

  • Fruit cut into small pieces
  • Vegetables cut into small pieces
  • Dried fruit soaked for an hour to soften, then cut into small pieces
  • Pieces of bread
  • Small pieces of pasta

Sane tip: I find that it’s much easier feeding her when she eats with all of us. She will usually not mind whatever I’m feeing her and she can sit in her highchair for a good 30-45 minutes. When she eats alone during lunch (the kids are not back from school till 2pm) she will usually tolerate sitting for about 15 minutes and she will shake her head and ask to be let down from her highchair. 

Save tip: I try to align her menu with the rest of the kids so we can save time and money in preparing her food. For example, when the other kids are having spaghetti bolognese, she will have the same, except that we remove her portion before we add the salt and we stir in some carrot puree to neutralise the sourness of the tomato sauce.

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore  ~

Feeding Baby: 6 – 8 months (The Why behind weaning)

Weaning your baby is both an exciting, yet sometimes perplexing time especially for new parents. After going through this with the 5 of them, I realise that every baby is different. Some take to food instantly and love eating. Some take a little more time to get used to new flavours. Be patient. If we are relaxed about it, baby will pick up on it and everything will go more smoothly. There is no point in trying to keep up with what your other friends’ babies are doing and rushing your baby into anything earlier than what she is ready for. 

I started feeding Kate at 6 months using this chair

For the 5 of them, I started weaning them at different times, between 4-6 months old, depending on the advice of the paediatrician they were seeing at the moment for their immunisation. Some paediatricians feel that starting at 4 months is fine. Others advice starting closer to 6 months. After reading up on current guidelines, I decided to wait until 6 months before starting Kate on solids. Research shows that it is actually more harmful for babies if you wean them too early when their gastrointestinal system is not developed enough to cope with solid foods. 

I think it was #3 whom I weaned at 4 months, and she regressed a few months later and refused to take solids. I subsequently learnt that this is one of the common problems with early weaning. For those moms who are still breastfeeding, there really is no point feeding your baby solids before 6 months of age. Breastmilk is the best and most complete form of food for your baby, so why give them something less nutritious? Unless you feel that your baby is very hungry even after a full feed, or wakes up at night when she was previously sleeping through, or if she is extremely active (crawling everywhere the whole time and burning up a lot of calories) only then should you consider introducing solids earlier than 6 months if you are on total breastmilk.

Common first food

WHY do we wean babies?

1) To get them used to eating solids. For them to learn how to suck food off the spoon and to learn how to swallow.

2) To replace their iron stores. Babies are born with enough iron to last the first 6 months. After that, it has to be obtained through fruits and vegetables and fortified cereal (and later through meat).

3) Their taste buds are developing so we have to use this time well to introduce them to as wide a variety of flavours as possible, so that they will not end up being picky eaters.

4) For the first few months of weaning, food is not meant to replace their milk. Offer baby the same amount of milk as always. As you gradually build up the amount of food baby is eating, you can then slowly reduce their milk intake. You should feed baby the solids first before their milk. This is because if you feed them their milk first, they are already full and are not likely to accept the food. They should still be getting most of the needed nutrients from their milk for their first year.

WHAT should we feed baby? 

Traditionally, the first weaning food is baby rice cereal. Why is that recommended? Mainly because it is unlikely to cause an allergy. It can also be mixed with either breastmilk or the formula which baby has been drinking, to ease the transition to solids. Furthermore, it is enriched with iron, which baby needs.

However, there are other factors which we should consider, such as nutrition and variety. Are there other foods which are more nutritious, and also not likely to cause an allergy? Remember the window of opportunity I mentioned in 6 Food Rules for babies? What I did for Kate was that I wanted to maximise the variety of foods I could introduce to her in this precious 9 month period, so along with the rice cereal, I started to expose her to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables from the get go. (By the way, I didn’t make all these up. I read some recently published books on the subject just in case things have changed since #5‘s time).

Week 1: 
I started her on rice cereal for her first week. I mixed it with a little milk to get the right watery consistency. This was to ease her into solids. For the first week, they only eat about 1 tablespoon each meal, and only once a day. So it was more convenient to just feed her cereal.

Week 2: 
I jumped right in to feed her all sorts of fruits and vegetables, which she readily accepted. See the list below “Foods unlikely to cause allergic reactions”. I only used her baby rice cereal to mix with the fruits if it was too runny to get a better consistency, or when I ran out of my homemade puree. I moved on to feeding solids during breakfast and lunch. 

Week 3:
Continue to introduce all the foods in the list. Combine them in different ways to expose baby to all sorts of different tastes. Eg. Apple and banana or broccoli and pumpkin. 

Week 4:
She started having 3 meals a day (but still very small portions of about 2-4 tablespoons).


Foods unlikely to cause allergic reactions:

Vegetables:

  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet Potato
  • Carrot
  • Broccoli
  • Potato
  • Spinach
  • Turnip
  • Squash
  • Cauliflower

Fruits:

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Avocado
  • Papaya
  • Plum
  • Pear
  • Watermelon
  • Cherry

Cereal:

  • Rice
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Buckwheat

What NOT to feed baby in the first year:

  • Honey (may cause infant botulism)
  • Salt and sugar (additives)
  • Whole nuts (may cause choking)
  • Cow’s milk (may cause eczema or stomach upset)
  • Seafood (likely to cause allergic reaction)
  • Peanuts (likely to cause allergic reaction)
  • Egg white (likely to cause allergic reaction
Highly allergic foods
As for egg, there are still different standpoints on whether we should feed it to baby in the first year. Some doctors believe that it is fine to feed baby egg yolk from 6 months old, while others believe it is fine to feed both the egg yolk and egg white from 6 months old. Yet others believe it is better to wait till after the first year to introduce the egg white. However, if you have any family history of food allergies, it is prudent to wait till after the first year to feed it to your baby.

For Kate, I will not feed her egg in her first year as #1 had a serious allergy to eggs. Every time we fed her eggs, she would vomit. However, we didn’t link it to the eggs and we thought it is quite normal for babies to vomit. Finally one day, we were at the supermarket, and she accidentally crushed a raw egg and it splattered onto her face. Her whole face became swollen and we had to rush her to hospital as some got into her throat it almost closed up her airways. Subsequently, she was referred to do a skin prick test and we found out that she was also allergic to shellfish and peanuts. The doctors said that she would outgrow her egg allergy after she reached 7 or 8 years of age. She’s already 15 but hasn’t totally outgrown it. Now, she will not have a serious reaction like vomiting or swelling, but she will break out in rash or eczema when she eats eggs or foods which contain eggs.
Her left eye was completely swollen, yet she posed for daddy

HOW to go about it?

1) Put a tiny amount on the tip of the spoon and gently rest the tip of the spoon into their mouths. Do not push the food too deep into baby’s mouth. 

2) When you start introducing a new food, do it at breakfast. You don’t want baby with an upset stomach or a rash in the middle of the night. 

3) Apply the 2 day rule. Introduce a new food every 2 days so that if there is an allergic reaction, you can easily pin-point which food it was. Keep a diary of the foods your baby is eating, so that in the event of a serious allergy or an intolerance, it will be easier to track. (For the foods in the “Unlikely to cause allergy” list, 2 days is enough as you also want to maximise this window of opportunity to get your baby to accept a wide variety of food).

4) Start with single-ingredient foods, and if there are no allergic reactions, you can move on to combining them for a variation in taste.

5) For the first month, fruits and vegetables should be very well pureed into a thin consistency so that it is more easily swallowed and digested by baby.

6) The best way to cook baby’s fruits and vegetables is to steam it as this retains most of its nutrients and flavour. I would steam her fruits and vegetables over the weekend using the Babycook and freeze them into individual portions. 

7) If baby does not like eating solid food, don’t let it turn into a struggle. Stop feeding solids for a week or so before you try again.

Some rules to follow 

  • Remember, baby cereal has to be discarded 30 days once opened.
  • Discard any leftovers from baby’s bowl after a meal.
  • Never re-freeze food that has already been frozen
  • The safest way to thaw food is to do it overnight in the fridge, not at room temperature. I then pop it into the food warmer to warm it up.
  • After re-heating, use within 1 hour.
It can warm up both milk and baby food

To go organic or not?
If we could well afford it, why not go organic as it is better for the health of our young babies. But for us, our food bills are high enough as it is, so I only buy organic for foods which have a high pesticide content. (A friend who is a vegetable wholesaler told me that if we were to have a whiff of the chemicals when a box of broccoli imported from China was opened, we wouldn’t dare to feed that to our babies!) I try to buy local produce as much as possible, and it is also not necessary to buy organic for foods which have a thick skin such as bananas, avocado or sweet potato. The United States Department of Agriculture has ranked produce by its pesticide content, so it is best to buy organic varieties of the following if it is within your budget:

  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Spinach
  • Grapes

Sane tip: We try our best to feed our babies as healthy a diet as possible, but sometimes it’s not easy. There were days when I fed her 3 meals of cereal because I didn’t have time to make her purees. Just do your best, and be kind to yourself when you are tired or stressed out. It’s not the end of the world. 

Save tip: It’s much cheaper and healthier to make homemade baby food instead of buying jars of commercial baby food.


To read about an allergy that almost killed #1, click here.

Feeding baby: 8 – 10 months, click here.

Feeding baby: 10 – 12 months, click here.


~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Beaba Babycook Rice Cooker

Now that Kate is 11 months old, she is eating carbohydrates along with her vegetables, fruits and meat. Her portions are really small and I have been cooking them in our smallest pot, which is still too big. On many occasions I leave it on the stove to cook, then promptly forget about it and by the time I check on it, the water would have evaporated and the porridge is either too dry and lumpy or her pasta is over-cooked. What I really need is an auto turn off function. Beaba kindly sponsored me their Babycook Rice-Cooker to use with my Babycook.

Not only can this be used to cook rice, but it can also cook porridge and pasta. This can be done by varying the amount of water used and the time used to cook it. As Kate is 11 months old, she is still eating porridge instead of rice.

Besides the normal porridge using white rice grain, I like to vary the grains used. Learn about why we should vary our baby’s food in 6 Food Rules for babies (and children). I alternate between millet, quinoa or brown rice as they are more nutritious than white rice.

Today’s lunch is millet with green beans

There are many other types of grains which you can find in the supermarkets like NTUC or Cold Storage.

Fill the water to Level 3 (which will be about 15 minutes of cooking time) and pour it into the heating reservoir of your Babycook.

Put the millet, soup stock and vegetable or meat into the central compartment. When we make soup for the family, I will put aside a portion for Kate before adding salt. I then freeze them into individual portions which I can take out to make her porridge. 

This pot fits into the Babycook and you just turn it on. When it is ready, it will turn off automatically. I find this feature absolutely helpful to me. On days when only 1 child is back for lunch, I cook a maximum amount of porridge in this and it is enough to feed both Kate and a school-going child.

This is the Beaba Babycook

I used 1 part grain to 8 parts soup to get this consistency (10g millet with 80ml soup). It is a little bit watery but Kate likes it this way. If your baby prefers it a little less watery, you can use 1 part grain to 5 parts soup. Just experiment and see what your baby prefers.

Besides porridge, this can also be used to cook pasta. I also like to give Kate a variety of pasta. Besides the usual pasta which is made from wheat, I give her those made of spelt, buckwheat or corn. 

Today she is having spelt pasta

Put both the pasta and water into the centre of the Beaba rice cooker. I use 10g of pasta for her per meal, and add about 100ml of water in to cook it. I pour in Level 3 of water into the heating reservoir as it takes about 15 minutes to cook it. For bigger pasta (when she is older) you would need to run the cycle twice to cook it fully.

Once it’s done it will shut off automatically and I just drain the water away.

I still freeze portions of puree which I prepare using the Babycook. Every morning I will take 1 portion down into the fridge to defrost for her pasta meal.

Carrot and broccoli puree sauce

I use the babycook to heat up her sauce. It is so convenient, everything can be done with one appliance. It is especially useful when you travel with your baby or toddler.

I put her sauce into a dish and heat it up for about 5 minutes in the Babycook. The puree sauce goes over her pasta and her dinner is ready!
Somedays she finishes the whole portion but somedays she will shake her head when she’s had enough. Don’t fret and don’t force your baby to finish everything. They have to learn to listen to their body and know when they are full. This will go a long way towards teaching them to have a positive attitude towards food.

What a yummy meal. She’s all full and contented now!

Sane tip: This rice cooker insert has really made my life easier! I don’t have to run to the kitchen when I’m in the middle of something else just to turn off the fire on the stove. And when I forget about it (don’t ask me why, but it happened to me so many times it’s not funny) I don’t get overcooked or almost burnt food that Kate refuses to eat. I really love this adorable little appliance. It cooks her porridge and her pasta, steams and blends her purée sauces, heats it up and even defrosts it.. What more can I ask for!

Save tip: Although these grains are more expensive (as they are usually organic) but I prefer to cook her smaller portions and ensure she eats all or most of it as I know she is getting more nutrients out of it. In the long run, her health and immunity will also be better which means that she will fall ill less. I also don’t spend on vitamins or supplements for Kate. I believe that nutrients can be better absorbed from food than from supplements (not forgetting the sugar content in most vitamin supplements for kids).

The Beaba Babycook Rice Cooker costs $20.60 and is available at Takashimaya, Isetan, Motherswork (a few outlets) or First Few years (Paragon). It has to be used together with the Beaba Babycook.

For measurements on cooking porridge, please look under Comments below.

Related posts on feeding baby in the first year:

Feeding baby: 6 – 8 months (The Why behind weaning), click here.
Feeding baby: 8 – 10 months (Introducing new foods), click here.
Feeding baby: 10 – 12 months (Baby’s menu), click here.

Disclaimer: This item has been sponsored. All opinions are my own.

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

6 Food Rules for babies (and children)

Food is always a topic of discussion amongst new moms. What to feed baby, when to feed baby, how to feed baby. When it comes to eating, the most difficult child is #5. This is partly due to his allergies when he was younger. As a result, we limited his diet to rice and noodles and a little bit of fish and meat because we didn’t know what would trigger it. Now that he is 7, he still has a very limited repertoire of foods which he likes. He only eats noodles that are yellow or green (with no foreign stuff in there i.e. spring onions or bean sprouts) and only certain types of meat. Here are some food rules I try to establish when it comes to Kate’s diet so that she will have a more pleasurable food journey as she grows up.

1) Variety, variety, variety

Introduce as much variety as possible into their diet. Between the ages of 6 months and 15 months, they are most receptive to try new foods. This is a window of opportunity to get them used to the different tastes. If they do not like a particular type of food, don’t give up. It has been found that it takes about 10 times for a child to accept a new food.

Why is it so important to get them to eat a variety of food?

  • Balanced diet: They will be more likely to get most of the needed vitamins from different foods.
  • To avoid mealtime battles: If your child is used to eating a wide variety of food, it will avoid mealtime battles as they grow into toddlers. And if you have more than 1 child, it will be easier for you to prepare the meals. Imagine if each child will only eat a particular type of food, you will have a headache preparing every meal.
  • Outings / Parties: It will be much easier when you take them out for meals as there will be something on the menu which they like. When they go for parties, you won’t have to worry if there will be food that will suit their taste. 

2) Eat everything in moderation

Research comes up with new information all the time. One moment, they say that fish is good. The next moment, they say not to eat too much fish as there are high levels of mercury in fish (the bigger the fish, the higher the mercury level). Other research say that certain vegetables like beetroot and carrots are high in nitrate. So the best thing to do is to eat everything in moderation. In this way, the child’s body will not be overly exposed in any case.

Ok, this is definitely not a good example of eating in moderation! This photo must have been taken about 13 years ago. Well, I have come a long way in improving their diets over the years. You can guess who gave her this bag of chips. I think #1 must have been around 18 months.  But actually, I think the hubs had almost finished eating it and left her just a little bit.

Oh boy, this IS good!

3) Drinks should be drank between meals

Imagine our stomach is like a cement mixer. There is acid in there to help to digest our food. If you pour a lot of water in, it will not only dilute the stomach acid, but it will make it much harder to churn and digest your food. Give baby sips of water if the food is dry. Otherwise, let her drink water throughout the day instead of during meals.

4) Eat together as a family

Eating should be a pleasurable social activity. Many studies have shown a host of benefits for children and teenagers who eat together with the family on most days of the week. These include family cohesion, increased language acquisition, and even success in school. I try to let Kate eat with us as much as possible. Our dinners are at 6pm everyday which suits her. She has her breakfast at 8am, her lunch at 12noon, some fruits for tea at 3, and dinner at 6pm. Her milk feeds will be interspersed between her mealtimes. Also, once they pass 18 months, they will start to be more picky, especially with foods they have never tasted before. By eating together, when they see mom and dad (and many other siblings) eating the same foods, they may be more willing to try it.

When #1 was a toddler, we were busy studying and we left her to eat by herself while I kept an eye on her. I also read that they should be taught to feed themselves, and not to mind the mess. This is what happened!

Maybe some rice should go here, here and here…

5) Proteins earlier in the day

Protein-rich foods take longer to digest, therefore they should be eaten at breakfast and lunch, not at dinner. You don’t want it to sit heavily in your stomach while you sleep.

6) Have the right attitude

Don’t let your child see that you are trying to convince her to eat her vegetables. On the other hand, don’t go overboard praising or cheering her on when she eats her vegetables either. Aim for cheerful nonchalance. If she refuses to eat a particular food, you can put it on your own plate and pretend to give it to her reluctantly. Let her try at least 1 bite, and after a few times, she may come to accept the food. 

Sane tip: Of course, these are the ideals which I try to stick to as much as possible. But there will be times when it’s not possible and things are not going well, but I don’t fret about it. Just keep in mind the bigger picture.

Save tip: It is important to establish good eating habits from young. If not, your child may grow up to be a fussy eater and believe me, it will drive you nuts. Not only will you be wasting a lot of time and energy trying to get her to eat what you want her to eat, you will waste a lot of food which you have prepared.

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Coarser Textures

food journey (9 months)

This week’s menu: Japanese pumpkin, broccoli, carrot, potato, sweet potato

I’m going to start making Kate’s purees lumpier so that she can slowly progress to eating the same foods as us. Fruits like apples and pears can now be eaten without steaming. I either give them a quick blend to add them into her purees (especially to thin some dryer vegetables like sweet potatoes or carrots) or I just use a metal teaspoon to scrap directly from the fruit to feed her.

Just a quick blend for a lumpier texture

Every Sunday I will make a whole week’s supply of food for Kate, which takes me roughly an hour. Our freezer is always chock-a-block with so many mouths to feed, but if you have plenty of freezer space, it would save time to make a fortnight or a month’s supply at a go. I got these cute little food containers from Robinsons a couple of years ago. They were very handy for the kids’ snacks and even for making jelly. They come in a set of 8 (either hearts or cars) and cost $14, and they are BPA free. They are the perfect size for Kate’s portion at the moment. When we take Kate out, I just grab one container from the fridge and I’m ready to go (with so many kids, everything is usually grab-and-go).


I had been eyeing the Beaba babycook while I was pregnant as it seemed very convenient and was just so adorable. When my ex-colleagues mentioned they were polling to get her a huge baby hamper, I asked for vouchers instead. I remember after #5’s full month party, I had more than 20 boxes of clothes hampers! It was rather impractical (who needs 20 hooded towels) so this time I requested the guests not to buy any gifts. Since I didn’t need to purchase a  breast pump, sterilizer or clothes as I had plenty of hand-me-downs, I splurged the vouchers on the Babycook. I have to admit it’s rather expensive at $279 (occasionally Takashimaya sells it for $189 at their baby fair) but the great thing is that it steams and blends all in one machine and turns off automatically when it’s done steaming.

With the other kids, I used the traditional method of steaming in a pot and more often than not I end up over-steaming the food or burning the pot. I figured that it cost more money in wasted food and in replacing the pot, not to mention the frustration (with myself!) and stress level when that happens. I consider it one of the handiest appliance at the moment, and I foresee using it for many years to come. I still do steam and blend vegetables for the older kids when I need to thicken their sauces. However, I’m sure there are other steamer/blender options on the market which are cheaper. Just be sure to get a steamer which shuts off automatically. I find that helped tremendously.

Food / Milk warmer

Every night I would take down 3 containers of food to defrost for the next day. Just before a meal I would warm it up in this food/milk warmer. It takes about 10 minutes to warm up. Once ready, it will let out a little ‘beep’.

I started giving her some finger food but I don’t think she’s ready for it. If I cut the pieces too big she chokes, and if I cut them too small she can’t pick them up. Or she squishes them too tightly until they turn to mush. The only thing she manages to pick up well is shredded chicken in tiny pieces. Guess I’ll wait a couple of weeks before trying again.

Sane tip: I used to do everything the traditional way – steaming food in a pot, sterilising their milk bottles in a huge pot of boiling water, heating up their food by warming up in a bowl. I realise appliances really do save a lot of time and hassle.


Save tip: For your baby’s full month party, tell your good friends or state in the invite: No gifts please. We’re happy for them to just come and celebrate our joy with us. But if they feel they have to buy something, they will either give you vouchers or red packets. More practical.

Read about an Allergy that almost killed #1

6 easy peasy tips to make your baby smarter

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore  ~