Mellow Mummy: The Sunday Review - The Wean Machine : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday 27 June 2010

The Sunday Review - The Wean Machine

Images courtesy of Cheeky Rascals

I recently met a fascinating and inspiring local business woman – Tilly Beazeley, inventor of the Wean Machine. Tilly is a bubbly soul who is passionate about feeding our children healthy, REAL food.

If you've read my post about Baby-Led Weaning, you'll know that I take a pragmatic approach to feeding my daughter Рfor us, the first stages of weaning were not all about finger-foods but about home-made pur̩es getting lumpier and more adventurous every day.

It's a shame that I didn't discover the Wean Machine until after Lara had started feeding herself – it would have been absolutely perfect for us to make lumpy, textured baby foods to challenge Lara's taste-buds, teeth and jaws during those early days of weaning. The Wean Machine is a plastic gadget (BPA-Free, Phthalate-Free and PVC-Free, naturally!) designed to help you turn real food into baby food anywhere and everywhere you go. It is incredibly easy to use – just insert the food, give it a squeeze and hey presto, baby food!

As a travel gadget, the Wean Machine is pretty nifty. I was (and still am) often tempted to take pre-packaged food out with us when away from home for meal-times because it avoids the mess of spoons and bowls having to be brought home in the changing bag. The Wean Machine is self-contained, the food gets squeezed into its own integral 'bowl' and the spoon that accompanies it stashes tidily away inside the lid during travel. As a plastic tool, it is dishwasher safe too, so very easy to clean.

Images courtesy of Cheeky Rascals

The Wean Machine is pretty sturdy – you can squish all sorts of cooked foods in it, and a few softer, raw ones too. It encourages you to offer your child real food. When you're at home, at friends or at a restaurant, if you're careful with the choices you make, there is no need to buy different food for your baby, you can use the Wean Machine to squish some of your own. Right from the very beginning, Lara has (where appropriate) eaten the same meals as us; I don't want her to grow up thinking that there's a difference between 'children's food' and 'grown-up's food' and the earlier I can get that message across to her, the better. I spent many an evening zuzzing samples of our dinner with a hand-blender, and I know plenty of people who invested in mini food-processors to get them through the first stages of weaning but an electronic blade, however efficient it may seem, breaks down many of the chemicals in food, and can cause them to change state (such as potato which goes incredibly stodgy).

The Wean Machine has had a lot of thought put into it. The gadget is often accompanied by a picture board-book called “What Am I Eating?” which has some suggestions for recipes and large, bright, bold pictures of foods for your baby to identify. It may be awfully middle-class of me, but, as a foodie, I'd much rather that Lara learned to say 'Butternut Squash' before she learned to say 'Crocodile'.

You can find the Wean Machine at Kiddicare and Mothercare and some specialist baby outlets for around £19.99 (similar to the cost of a mini-food processor which you can't take out and about with you!).

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