July 23, 2010

friday finds: baby goods

this week has been all about discovering some awesome baby foods and feeding related stuff.

last week amazon had a friday-only sale on certain babyfoods and i was intrigued by the prices on some of the plum organic pouches, which had come highly recommended by a woman i met recently at a pool party.

Plum Organics Baby Food, Peach, Apricot & Banana, 4.22-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 24)

they were on sale for $27 a case (and are again, today), which breaks down to approximately $1.13 a pouch. last week it wasn't an investment i wanted to make since sprout doesn't exactly care for baby food. he hasn't been fond of anything i've made from scratch except pureed winter squash and sweet potatoes and he only likes maybe three flavors of earth's best baby food. but still, it prompted me to go to target and pick up some pouches to see what they were like.

the reasons they were so highly recommended is that they're easy to transport and easy to squeeze onto a spoon - much less messy than anything in a jar. this lady also mentioned that her daughter seemed to prefer the taste to jarred food. none of this really mattered to me at the time because sprout, now almost 16 months old, pretty much eats whatever we're eating and we don't eat on the run very often. but still, i wanted to try it so i picked up two flavors (the pumpkin and banana, also on sale today, and the pear and mango which isn't currently available).

even though i wasn't expecting much, both were well-received. they even passed my taste-test and didn't have that typical, underlying babyfood flavor. i was surprised when my four year old was willing to finish off what his baby brother didn't want because he usually balks at baby food. so i went and bought more.

pea likes to use the opening as a straw and sprout, witnessing this, loves when i give him a nearly empty pouch for mess-free self-feeding.

so, the plum organics (or any other brand of baby food in a pouch) is pretty darn convenient and i'm sure they all taste superior to jarred foods but they are pricey, at about $1.29-$1.49 per pouch at target or babies r us. the price becomes .$95 per pouch when combining an amazon sale with subscribe and save, which includes free shipping and no sales tax. i'm still not biting the bullet because, like i mentioned above, sprout is almost 16 months old, and even though the four year old likes these, too, i don't know if i can commit to 27 pouches of the same flavor.

downside: i am pretty sure the pouches cannot be recycled and i can't do anything without thinking about the amount of waste produced. they proudly claim that they're BPA-free, but so is glass and at least there are hundreds of ways to reuse or recycle glass jars.

the bottom line: if you have a baby just starting out on babyfood, or if you need the mess-free convenience these provide, give them a try. even if they're only an occasional break from the jarred stuff or homemade stuff, i think they taste better and they're fun.

also recommended recently were the grammy sammys by revolution foods. these are fabulous! pricey, but when compared to the price of a candy bar, i'd rather my kids and i grab one of these. they've got a variety of flavors (we like the strawberry yogurt filling  and the strawberry jam and peanut butter) but i did put the grape jam and peanut butter variety on subscribe and save for just $13.99 shipped! these are perfect for grab and go snacks and they pack well in the diaper bag. they are not huge, as they are geared towards tots, but they will offer temporary satisfaction if used to hold off meltdowns (yours or the kids) prior to a large meal. with the subscribe and save it's a little more than a dollar less, per box, than it would be if purchased at babies r us which is the only place i've seen them.

downside: none really, except the kids might want one every day, or more than one - i'm reserving them for keeping sprout entertained during pea's gymnastics class and preventing meltdowns everywhere else, so there are always two or three in my diaper bag, but they're not a free-for-all snack.

bottom line: your kids will love these and if you like odwalla, lara, or luna bars, so will you.

and finally. last week the boon saucer in green and blue was on clearance at my target so i bit. it said slip-resistant but seemed so lightweight that i wasn't counting on that feature. turns out, when slightly weighed down by whatever food is on it, it doesn't easily go flying off the table or highchair like any other plate or bowl i've placed in front of sprout. also, it fits perfectly un the center of our ikea highchair tray and it's just darn cute. it doesn't get very good reviews, which might have prevented me from trying it out before but some of the complaints are unwarranted, imo. i suppose it claims to be difficult for small children to grasp and lift up but seriously, unless an eating vessel has a suction cup or is otherwise attached to the eating surface, most children will eventually (or immediately) be able to pick it up. the thing that the boon saucer does right, is sit still so when a child is done and wants to swipe everything off the table or their highchair, this won't easily go flying off.

downside: none. except it doesn't perform magic.

bottom line: i want another. should have bought one sooner, because this is a fun way to introduce self-feeding to babies and offers excellent portion control for children of all ages. AND when your children are done, it can be re-purposed. i see ours becoming a paint palette one day ;)

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