I am the first to admit that I am lazy when it comes to cooking. I am so tired most days after work etc that I often make something easy for myself. This often means that it is not suitable for my daughter who is 6 months. She eats a lot of finger food now which is easy to prepare but sometimes but she tends to play with the food a lot and squish it around so I do worry she isn't getting enough. I picked up a few of these jars from Asda where they costs 70p each or 7 for £5. This cottage pie is a stage 2 food which the jar states is suitable for 7 months and over. This is on the basis that you start weaning on stage 1 at 6 months. I started weaning at 4 months so my daughter has been eating plain fruit and veg for months. As this is a stage 2 food it has a lumpier texture. The jar is also bigger it contains 200g. Checking the ingredients they are all suitable for 6 months and over. The ingredients are listed as; Carrots 20%, Potatoes 14%, Onions 7%, Peas 4%, Water, Whole Milk, Beef 9%, Cornflour, Unsalted Butter, Natural Flavouring, Yeast Extract, Herbs, Iron Sulphate. You can either feed directly from the jar or you can spoon out the desired amount into a clean bowl. You can store the rest in the fridge for up to 48 hours. If you feed from the jar any uneaten food needs to be discarded. You can heat the food either by standing in a bowl of warm water or as I prefer to do zapping it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds (per half jar). The ingredients in the jar contain no added preservatives or colourings and no added salt or sugar. When you open the jar it smells overwhelmingly of veg particularly the carrots. The food is a pale orange in colour. You can see lumps of carrot and peas in the food as well as little pieces of beef. The food has a nice consistency it is still runny but it has enough bits to help your baby learn how to chew food. When I first started feeding my daughter savoury she hated it, no matter what combination of veg I tried she would spit it all out. I thought that this may be because the food was a little bland because as soon as we were able to try stage 2 which have a lot more flavour she would devour most of the jar in one sitting. I think she also prefers to chomp on little pieces of food as she smiles when I give her this. I have also tried this and it is rather tasty, because it has meat it adds to the flavour and it tastes like a mashed up cottage pie. The only downside is because the food is orange it can stain, as my daughter is teething she likes to shove her hand in her mouth while the food is in there so a plastic or disposable bib will come in handy to prevent any stains! This is now a firm favourite in our house. 5 out of 5 from us.
Being very lazy lately I have been using far too many jars of baby food! My nine and a half month old does have a very varied diet and is quite competant with 'finger foods' but I do find it far less messy to spoon feed him myself, particularly when we are out of the house and I ca not strip him down to his vest to eat! Cottage Pie is one of his favourite 'mum cooked' meals anyway so the Heinz Mum's Own Recipe Cottage Pie was an obvious choice for me to make when grabbing a stash of jars. Heinz Mum's Own range are dishes inspired by mum's who have tried and tested their own recipes. The Cottage Pie is inspired by Michelle Loughery and the jar bears a photograph of her with her son Andrew. I think this 'marketing ploy' gives mums the confidence that this is a dish that babies will like because it has been tried and tested by a mum with a face and a name and not some childless spinster or young man who does not have a clue what babies like. On to the food...... The jar contains 'mostly mashed' Cottage Pie. This is suitable for babies aged 7+ months or at stage 2 of weaning. The same recipe is also available stage 3 (10+ months). On opening the jar I am not keen on the smell, it is a bit cabbage-like. This is strange as the jar contains beef, carrots, potatoes, onions and peas; no cabbage. Once heated (I do this in the microwave for 20 seconds, making sure to mix/stir thoroughly) the smell does improve, but not to one that I could pick out at being cottage pie. The mixture is self is of a mashed consistency, with small chunks of carrot, potato and whole peas recognisable along with small pieces of beef. My son appears to be very happy with this jarred food, reaching out for the next spoonful before he has finished the first. I tried this the first time Jake had it and have to say that it is reasonably okay as far as flavour goes. The jars are very convenient and handy for having in your bag when you are out and about as they do not require refridgeration until opened. Once opened the remaining contents can be kept in the fridge for use within 48 hours, provided that the baby has not been fed from the jar. If baby is fed straight from the jar the reamining contents need to be discarded! Jake will eat most jar cold or warmed but definitely prefers this warmed and he generally eats the entire 200g jar (with probably another two courses on top!) I really like the convenience of these jars and although they are expensive at 74p each they can be picked up on multibuy offers to make them a little cheaper. I recently got a whole load at Boots on 5 jars for £3.