“ Brand: Cow & Gate / Age: 4 months „
Cow and Gate Baby Balance is a range of baby foods. This review is of the Hearty Shepherd's Pie.
This is a meal in a jar, for babies aged from 4 months or at Stage 1. Recent health advice has recommended that babies should not be weaned onto solid foods until they are at least 6 months old, however many parents feel their children needs solids before 6 months.
My youngest son is now nearly 10 months and I did wait until he was 6 months before starting him on solids. I did this mainly because he is lactose intolerant and I wanted to give his digestive system a really good chance to settle down before I introduced solids.
I know that all the recommendations are that you should make your own baby foods, and on the whole I try to do this, but there are times when a ready made jar is a godsend. I have 2 older children and I work full time so sometimes I am just not organised but still need to feed the baby. I have tried a number of these Baby Balance meals and my son seems to really enjoy them, the Hearty Shepherd's Pie is one he particularly enjoys.
Many of the products in the range are suitable for babies with intolerances, each jar has a handy little list of what the product is free of. With the Shepherd's Pie there is:
No artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives
No added salt
No added milk and lactose
No added egg
The Stage 1 foods are basically pureed meals, they are completely smooth and lump free, ideal as a first solid, a good introduction to foods. The jar states they are suitable from 4 months, I can't confirm this from experience as I didn't use them until my son was 6 months, but they were definitely a very good introduction to solids. I did not experience any gagging or choking with my son, he seemed very able to cope with taking these and with digesting them. My son had no adverse reactions he did not get pains in his stomach and they did not have any detrimental effect on his bowel movements.
When you open the jar there is definitely a fine aroma of lamb, the ingredients state there is 9% lamb in the recipe. The other ingredients include
Baby grade vegetables (sweet potato, potato, peas, carrot, swede, tomato, broccoli, onion) 57%
The jar also contains a list of the nutritional information. For a very small jar, there is an awful lot of information contained on the labelling.
The product is a light orange in colour, and very smooth in texture, it is quite bland to the taste but there is a definite hint of lamb. I have tasted it just to be sure it is not too warm when I give it t my son and it tastes alright, just bland, but my son seems to rally enjoy it. He always empties his bowl when I give this to him. To prepare this food I normally heat it until it is just warm, it can be given cold but I just think cold food is not great tasting, if you heat all the food don't reheat it, throw any unused away. However if you don't heat the whole jar and you have some left you can keep it in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
The jars range in price from about 45p to 52p per jar. There is more information on the Cow and Gate Baby Balance range on www.cowandgate.co.uk
All in all I would recommend this as a baby food. It is nutritious and tasty and my son enjoys it.
Pureed vegetables with lamb.