“ Brand: Hipp / Age: 12 months „
As a general rule I like to feed our youngest son more or less the foods that we eat. We already cook from scratch so I know what he is eating and can control salt and sugar intake. Plus, I think the more flavours a baby gets to taste the better and so far I've been lucky not to have any fussy eaters. Sometimes though this just isn't feasible. Despite my best intentions I haven't ever got round to freezing small portions to be used at a later date. Yet sometimes we just need a quick meal that can be warmed up for our baby, for example if Grandma is babysitting, or if we're going out somewhere. For this reason, I usually keep a small supply of ready made baby jars on the cupboard... just in case! We started weaning at six months, as recommended by current advice, but baby wasn't really interested in any food at all until he was nine months old, by which time I think I'd tried every baby food manufacturer there was in the hope of finding a flavour that appealed to him. During this time I did a lot of tasting of baby food myself - well, you have to check it's not too hot, don't you - and the ones that always tasted the most like real food with proper flavours were always the Hipp jars. Hipp claim that their jars are so good for babies because they contain only organic ingredients, no pesticides, no GM materials and no artificial colours and preservatives. They also claim to contain free range meat and have "good, homecooked tastes". As our son recently celebrated his first birthday I thought we would experiment with the Hipp stage 4 jars and yesterday he tried the first jar which was labelled Pasta Twists with Courgette and Mozzarella. Upon opening the jar, the contents looked similar to many of the other tomato based baby foods we have tried and I wasn't sure why it was considered to be a food only for babies over one year. However, when I started to spoon the food into a bowl I could see that it contained quite large pasta twists within the sauce. I warmed the food and tasted it - firstly to check the temperature and secondly because I love food and will even take it from a baby! I was quite surprised at how pleasant it tasted. The flavours of the cheese and tomato were very much in evidence and I thought it tasted very much like a pasta sauce that we would eat ourselves. The pasta in the sauce was very soft, but then it needs to be; our baby has only six teeth, all at the front, so he certainly couldn't chew al dente pasta! The big test was how would our baby like the food? Very much as it turned out. He ate all the pasta that I'd warmed up without any complaint at all - and he usually lets you know if he doesn't like anything. However, he did repeatedly put his fingers in hs mouth to remove the bits of courgette. I'm not sure if he didn't like the taste or the texture but he certainly didn't swallow any; I had a small pile of courgette pieces in my hand by the end of the meal. Nice! One down-side of the food is the cost - 95p for the jar. Our baby is still just a tiny little fellow and only eats half a jar, but I'm sure many babies could manage a whole one. If you were using these for every meal it could work out to be very expensive but it's not too bad as a one off. Also the pasta twists were quite large but I just cut each one in half with the spoon as I fed him. Allergy advice - contains Wheat, Gluten, Cows' Milk, Egg and Celery. In conclusion the food was quite tasty, very handy and quick to serve, though next time I might look for a tomato and mozzarella pasta without the courgette. **Final note** I was convinced the Stage 4 food were for babies aged 12 months as the Heinz ones are but looking on the website it appears they for 15 month old babies...ooops!