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I have a number of Brother Max baby feeding products and think they are really good, well designed and very handy for my day to day use.
This is a very well thought out baby feeding bowl and one that has obviously been designed with a great knowledge of kids and what you and they need from a feeding bowl. They have thought about just about everything when it comes to this bowl set and I find it very useful to use both home and away. Firstly the shape of the actual bowl is very well thought out. I often hold my little boys feeding bowl in my hand, I never really put it on the table when I am feeding him as its easier to hold it to be able to use the spoon in my other hand to scoop at the food. This bowl has a really easy to hold handle attached to one side that sort of juts out so it makes it easy to hold in the air. This is extremely handy at the moment as my little boy is not enjoying me feeding him at all so I like to wave the bowl under his nose as a way of tempting him to actually eat!!
The bowl comes with a divider which is great when you are going out for the day and want to take food with you. You can put two different food stuffs in each side and they will not mix or touch each other which is nice. I often put fruit in one side and then biscuits in the other and you don't want them to mix as the moisture in the fruit will make the biscuits soggy so I like this divider. The good thing is if you don't want to divide the food you can just take out this insert and you are left with one regular bowl.
This bowl also comes with a lid which snaps on and stays securely in place which I like. What I find really innovative about this bowl is that there is a little compartment in the lid in which you can store the spoons. This is great as it means I usually never forget to take spoons with me when I go out as the spoons are already in the lid. Plus, when you are out and you have used the spoons and they are all dirty you can just store them in the top of this bowl ready to wash when you get home and they do not get your bag dirty. The spoons themselves are heat sensitive weaning spoons and so will change colour when they are too hot but as I never really serve my little boy hot food anyway I don;t have to worry but its nice to know that you have this peace of mind in your serving implements.
The bowl also has a suction cup attachment on the bottom so you can attach it to your little ones high chair but my little boy is very wise to this so I just hold the bowl myself but again if you have a good feeder on your hands this is another great benefit of the bowl.
All in all, a great, well thought out product from Brother Max
I started weaning my boys from them being 18 weeks old (under medical advice) and as a new parent I was pretty clueless as to what "equipment" we would need. As I had used mainly Tommee Tippee products I decided to firstly go for their feeding range however as the weaning process went on I found flaws in the design of many of the Tommee Tippee products, the main one being the "magic mat" which was intended to hold bowls and plates onto the highchair trays. From around 11 months old I was encouraging my boys to feed themselves however when on my own I found it extremely difficult to simply have enough hands or be quick enough to stop two small children from tipping or throwing bowls of food onto the floor. So I went in search of another brand which had some form of "suction" type product to stop or slow down the bowl throwing that went on at feeding times. After a look around many stores I purchased the Brother Max Home and Travel Weaning Bowl for both of my boys.
***Brother Max Home and Travel Weaning Bowl***
The Brother Max Home and Travel Weaning Bowl is a weaning "kit" which is suitable to use from 4 months when you start weaning which includes a bowl, suction cup and spoons. The main "bowl" is a red coloured plastic bowl which is deep and has a "wrap around" handle that allows an adult hand to pass through and grip to make feeding on the go more convenient and easy.
There is also a rubber suction cup/ grip which can be attached to the base of the red bowl which holds the bowl securely onto a table or highchair tray to prevent the bowl being tipped onto the floor.
There is also an orange plastic divider that is removable but can be placed inside of the bowl so you can use the main bowl for one large portion or place the orange insert into the bowl and have two different smaller courses.
For travel there is a secure orange plastic lid which fits onto the bowl (and when the divider is inside) which makes food transportable. There is a section on the top of the lid which holds two spoons inside of it which come with the set. The two spoons are heat sensitive so will change colour and act as a warning if food is too hot. The spoon section also acts as a microwave vent so allows you to microwave the bowl with the lid on to minimise mess.
The product is BpA-free, Phthalate-free and PVC-free.
The Brother Max Home and Travel Weaning Bowl is available from a number of retailers including Boots, Tesco, Mothercare and you can also purchase online Kiddicare and Amazon. Prices vary for this product from £6.00 at Amazon to £9.00 from Boots however some smaller online baby product retailers are selling this for around £12.00.
I purchased the Brother Max Home and Travel Weaning Bowl from Tesco. I paid £6.50 per bowl therefore in total spent £13.00 when bought in a double quantity. In all honestly this was a little more than I had wanted to pay and a little more expensive than the Tommee Tippee products and also a lot more expensive that the supermarket own brand weaning equipment. However as a "complete set" I actually think that this product is good value for money especially if you buy at the start of the weaning process as you will get more use out of the various compartments and small spoons.
We purchased this bowl when my boys were 11 months old. Previously we had been using Tommee Tippee bowls, plates and weaning equipment however my main issue was my boys were throwing their plates and bowls onto the floor as the Tommee Tippee "secure" suction devices were proving anything but secure. My main reason for purchasing this bowl (x2) was because of the suction cup which came with the bowl which secured the bowl to a table or highchair tray.
I mainly intended to use these bowls at home and although at 11 months my boys were not able to really feed themselves we were "encouraging" them to do so and try to grasp picking up pre-loaded spoons and directing this into their mouths although I was predominantly feeding them still. However we still needed the bowls to stay secure onto the highchair trays as I was finding if I glanced away for 10 seconds bowls of food were being thrown onto the floor.
My first impressions of the Brother Max Home and Travel Weaning Bowl was really good and design wise I liked it a lot especially as I loved the colours and look of the bowl, but it was also very practical. The red bowl means this is suitable for boys or girls and secondly the smooth shape and bright clashing shiny coloured plastic is very modern and quite funky which appealed to me. The main red plastic bowl is 12cm in diameter and 6cm deep. This gives one large portion and even for my boys who are now 21 months old I probably only need to fill the bowl just over half full to give them an ample sized portion, so in my opinion will last until they are at least two and a half years old. For smaller younger babies who only eat very little portions the food may look a little lost in the bowl.
What I particularly liked about the bowl is the suction cup which can be detached from the bowl. The rubber suction mat is detachable but is made from a firmer rubber than the Tommee Tippee Magic Mats are (which you can roll up) but this rubber section is a lot smaller (only 10cm wide). The firmness of the rubber means it attaches to the bowl extremely well and stays fixed to the highchair tray and table very easily. In 10 months of using this suction cup my sons have only managed to remove this once and that was due to me not pressing the bowl down on the suction cup hard enough. It is more difficult for toddlers to remove the suction cup section than it is a Tommee Tippee Magic Mat (which children can peel away at) because the suction cup only has less than a 1cm lip once it is attached to the base of the bowl. It is more difficult as a parent to remove the bowl when secured down to a highchair tray or table but with a gentle twist and pull on a rubber lip section the bowl and suction cup removes and can be easily cleaned.
The lid which comes with the bowl stays on firmly and makes microwaving food to heat it up a lot easier as food does not explode all over the microwave. I have used the bowls on many an occasion to transport food in my changing bag and in 10 months I have suffered no spillages. There is a flip up section in which two spoons (which come with the bowl set) can be stores. This lifts up then when pressed down stays shut. Initially I did find it quite fiddly to open up this spoon section (which also acts as a vent when microwaving food) and I also found I needed to use a lot of force to lift it up. However with a number of uses it became less stiff and easier to open but still remained firmly shut when in transportation.
I have tended not to use the lift out portion divider very much mainly because we started using the Brother Max Home and Travel Weaning Bowl for my boys from 11 months old. At this age they were having larger portions and the two separate sections in this divider made the portions a little too small although when we first purchased this bowl my boys did get some use out of this part of the bowl but soon outgrew it. For babies less than 9 months old I think this provides ample portions even for larger appetites. I did use the portion divider on around 4 occasions when my mum was looking after my sons so she had a "complete meal" for them and didn't have to make two different courses and also decide on portion sizes as this confused her. The dividers section stays firmly in place when placed inside of the bowl and even when two different meals are transported inside of it on the go they stay separate. Therefore your child does not end up with pudding mixed with their main meal. When using the portion divider you can put anything inside of the main bowl as this sits inside of the main bowl and reaches all of the way to the bottom of the bowl.
The spoons that come with the bowl are red plastic with orange plastic sections on them. These are heat sensitive and tell you when food is too hot (The orange plastic turns red). However the heat sensor is quite limited and although it proves a good quite any food that is even slightly warm turns the orange section red. As a result the only "safe" temperature to feed your child is when it is completely cold therefore in my opinion I found it useless and went on my own judgement. The advantages of these spoons over other ones that we own are that they are small so very handy for when you are feeding on the go as they take up less space (and fit inside a specific spoon section). They also have a small bowl therefore are great for small mouths when you are feeding young babies. I like that the spoon is a hard plastic rather than a rubber (including the heat changing section) which means food that are deep in colour (tomato based foods) do not stain the spoons and discolour the spoon making it look dirty and tatty.
However in my experience these spoons are designed for use by parents feeding smaller younger babies rather than for babies and toddlers to use to feed themselves. For a parent to hold they are fine but the small shape and lack of grip means a toddler finds it quite awkward to hold the spoon and then make a digging movement to pick up food on the end of the spoon. Secondly the bowl on the end of the spoon is quite flat. This means if a toddler does pick up food then it is more than likely to slip off back into the bowl (or onto the highchair tray) as it does not sit inside the spoon in the way it would do with a spoon with a deeper bowl to it.
The design of the bowl and accessories is great for feeding on the go as well as at home. Personally I tended to use mainly for at home as although the bowl is not a bulky bowl and is reasonably compact I must admit when you have to carry around 2 of these bowls on top of all of the other baby equipment I have to carry around these bowls do take up a lot of room in a changing bag. If I had one child I would not have had the same issue. The handle of the bowl is great for feeding on the go and means you can hold the bowl firmly in your hand as you can link your thumb through the hole in the handle and wrap your hand around the bowl. The handle hole is large enough for large male hands but easy enough for small female hands like mine to hold. I was a little sceptical that because of the hole on the handle of the bowl my boys would find it easier to pull the bowl from the table or highchair tray but this is not the case, despite them both trying to use this to do so!
The bowl is extremely durable as it is made from a tough plastic but is very easy to clean. Despite the different compartments and pieces it is very easy to clean and there are no nooks and crannies to get into. The plastic all parts of the bowl and accessories are made from is tough and has survived being dropped, microwaved and put in the steriliser and dishwasher over the last 10 months. What I particularly like about the bowl and spoons is that even when microwaved food does not stain the bowl like it has many other of our food bowls. I have found even with spaghetti bolognaise and all of the other tomato based meals that tend to stain my dishes there are no traces of these left on the side of the Brother Max bowl when cleaned.
I would definitely recommend this bowl especially to parents who are just starting to wean their baby. The bowl, lid, and spoons are well designed for a parent to hold and feed food for a baby between 4-12 months old. For £6.50 the Brother Max Home and Travel Weaning Bowl and pieces that come with it are excellent value for money especially if you purchase at the start of the weaning process as you will get a lot of use from the set. The bright red and orange coloured bowl means this is suitable for boys or girls and the set is very attractive and funky looking because of the bright clashing colours.
For older babies and toddlers this is still a fantastic bowl however the different compartments and spoons are a little wasted. The portion divider does not hold two large enough portions for a child over 12 months old therefore you can simply only use the bowl to hold one meal in. Secondly the two spoons included with the set are great for on the go or for younger babies when a parent is feeding them however for a child learning to feed themselves the spoons are too small and are awkward to hold and the main issue is the bowl of the spoon is not deep enough so food slips off the spoon. I would say the suction grip that comes with the bowl has been excellent in my experience and has been the only "secure" bowl product that both my sons are not able to remove from the highchair tray and throw onto the floor.
A good looking bowl for food on the go or at home and it doesn't end up on the floor.