Baby Bullet baby food making system

Heard of the NutriBullet or already own one? You probably have, as it has been one of the most popular kitchen products in the last decade, with over 30 million sold worldwide. The same people are now bringing another entirely unique offering, with the cute look Baby Bullet. It is an easy to use, easy to clean blender made specifically for the preparation and storage of baby foods. Baby Bullet South Africa kindly sent me a unit to review and I have been busy in the kitchen blending homemade baby and toddler favourite foods.

Baby Bullet

baby bullet review on making all-natural baby food by The Mommy CityThe Baby Bullet has been developed to cater for the busy, modern parent who wants to make healthy food for their children, and fast. There are a number of benefits in making your own homemade baby food: it’s healthier, more environmentally friendly and less expensive than buying store-bought baby food. You know exactly what’s going in to the meal, you can experiment with different flavours, and create meals which cater to any allergies. The 22-piece set contains everything you need to plan, prepare, store and serve baby food. This brings us to the four components of the Baby Bullet baby food making system.

1 Planning

baby bullet review on making all-natural baby food by The Mommy CityThe Baby Bullet comes with two planning tools: the pocket nutritionist, and the user manual and cookbook. The pocket nutritionist is your grocery store companion and helps you decide what foods and in what quantities you need to buy. The user manual and cookbook contains all the info you need to operate the Baby Bullet, with meal plans and recipes. The book includes introducing solids to your child, step-by-step meal plans, recipes and a food journal. The food journal is especially helpful for you to keep track of baby’s progress if baby is being fed by dad, granny or the nanny.

2 Preparing

baby bullet review on making all-natural baby food by The Mommy CityThe set may look cute, but it is also powerful. The Power Base has 200W of power and operates by pressing down with the batchbowl or short cups, and twisting. The batchbowl is the larger vessel (946ml), whilst the short cups (354ml) are used to mix and store your ingredients. The Baby Bullet contains two blades: the blend blade for puréeing and blending foods, and the milling blade for milling grains to make cereals.

baby bullet review on making all-natural baby food by The Mommy CityTo prepare the food, choose the ingredients as listed in your menu planner and boil or steam the fruits and vegetables together to save time (and cleaning). If you have any non-cook ingredients, prepare those purées in the meantime. Some ingredients may need to be skinned, peeled, cored and/or seeded. Once that’s done, choose between the batchbowl, short cups and blades, depending on the recipe. Then blend.

3 Storage

baby bullet review on making all-natural baby food by The Mommy CityNow to decide whether to freeze or refrigerate your homemade baby food. The Baby Bullet storage tools include six storage cups with date-dial lids, and two batch trays All storage and preparation bowl/cups are BPA-free. The date-dial storage cups are refrigerator friendly (do not freeze). Turn the dial to show the date you made the food, and consume the food within 3 days. Freeze large batches with the batch trays, and consume within 30 days of preparation.

4 Serving

baby bullet review on making all-natural baby food by The Mommy CityIt’s time to eat. Serve refrigerated foods directly from the cups or decant. Defrost frozen foods ahead of time, so keep track of your meal planner to ensure you take out the the foods ready for mealtimes. Do not place any Baby Bullet components in the microwave for defrosting or warming!

Recipes

baby bullet review on making all-natural baby food by The Mommy CityThere are a number of recipes in the user manual and cookbook to get you started. I first tested out making the green pea purée and a vegetable combo of carrot, sweet potato and butternut. Depending on baby’s age, you can determine the consistency by blending for longer, or pulsing the food.

baby bullet review on making all-natural baby food by The Mommy CitySince my kids are now toddlers, I wanted to test the versatility of the Baby Bullet, as your child gets older. I made strawberry and pear totsicles using the batch trays, and my own colourful spoons. The batchbowl was big enough to make a stack of petite pancakes. Both recipes can be found in the user manual and cookbook. Other toddler recipe ideas from the cookbook include cauliflower scrambled eggs, and mac and cheese.

baby bullet review on making all-natural baby food by The Mommy City

Baby Bullet vs Nutribullet

  • The Baby Bullet is not a mini version of the NutriBullet – it’s a baby food making system.
  • It has a smaller motor than the NutriBullet. The smaller motor of the Baby Bullet means it doesn’t pulverize. You can manage the texture based on the weaning stage. The normal NutriBullet only blends to smoothie consistency.
  • The batch bowl of the Baby Bullet takes hot foods whereas the NutriBullet can’t take anything hot at all.

Where to Buy

baby bullet review on making all-natural baby food by The Mommy CityThe recommended retail selling price for the Baby Bullet is R1599 and it comes with a 1 year warranty. For more information and stockists, please visit www.nutribullet.co.za. Follow Baby Bullet South Africa on Facebook and Instagram for recipes and specials. 

Baby Bullet South African supplied a unit for review and a unit for giveaway purposes. All images are my own.

16 Days of activism for no violence against women and children

I have written this post a couple of times, but kept deleting it. This post is on a distressing topic, the abuse of women and children, and in particular in South Africa over the festive season. The Children’s Hospital Trust invited me to take part in their 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children campaign, to spread awareness and to ask for your help. The press pack I received contains stories and statistics which are hard to read, but they must be seen. #DontLookAway.

The Children's Hospital Trust 16 days of activism

16 Days of activism

These stories flood me with emotions and I could share my own story, my own fears and the nightmares that steal my sleep. I have written them down and deleted them, as I know we all have our stories. We all are affected by the cycle of violence, and we all bear the scars. I know you can relate to this topic and you know the devastation it brings either personally or through someone close to you. Instead I want to share what we can do now, this moment, to make a difference. There are many children who need our help, and I want to share their stories. #DontLookAway.

Caitlyn’s* story

Caitlyn* is a 4-month-old baby girl. While most children her age are cuddled close to their mother’s chests in a solid bubble of love, Caitlyn’s reality is violently different. Caitlyn was admitted to the Trauma Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital after she was raped by an adult male who was known to her family. Caitlyn’s case was sent to the child protection office and an investigation began. Caitlyn’s parents revealed that they were sleeping in their home – a wendy house – when a man climbed through the window and abducted Caitlyn and another 6-year-old boy that was also asleep in the room at the time. The adult male raped both Caitlyn and the 6-year-old boy he had kidnapped with Caitlyn.

A police case was opened and the perpetrator was arrested. After criminal court proceedings, he was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Caitlyn was removed from her parents care and put in a place of safety. Caitlyn’s parents were under the influence of alcohol at the time of her abduction. After just 4 short months in this world, she has had to face more violence than most of us face in a lifetime.

The Children's Hospital Trust 16 days of activism

Funeka* and Vuyo’s*story

Funeka* and Vuyo* were brought into the Trauma Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital by a family member. Overcome with a desperate need to end a vicious cycle of physical abuse, this family member disclosed a horrifying history of extreme physical, emotional and verbal abuse. Abuse suffered at the hands of their mother.

A physical examination of the siblings revealed no signs of recent abuse, but it was clear that both children were grappling with extreme Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 14-year-old Funeka expressed feelings of deep loneliness and said she felt that there was no one that truly cared for her. 7-year-old Vuyo was emotionally withdrawn, hyper-vigilant and suffered from restless and broken sleep.

A police case has been opened and the family member who brought the sibling to the Hospital has made a statement. She described feeling incredibly angry and helpless but was desperate to help these two children get back to a place where they felt safe and loved. In addition to continued therapy, a community-based social worker has also been tasked with investigating the care options for the children in the future. For now, they remain in this family member’s care.

* You do not need to know their names to know that they deserved a childhood

What would you give to end a child’s suffering?

Child Protection Packs

The Child Protection Office at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital sees an average of 40 to 50 cases child abuse every month. That’s close to (or in many cases over) 600 cases a year. 600 stories of empty childhoods. In cases of extreme abuse and neglect, children are removed from their homes and relocated to places of safety. Very often, these children leave with just the clothes on their back.

Their Child Protection office creates packs for children in situations like these. The packs are age-dependent and include things like hygiene products, toys, and snacks. The festive season usually brings with it a critical shortage in the number of packs they are able to supply. They call the festive season the surge season because the Hospital is like an electrical grid in the middle of a power surge. The rise in substance abuse means a rise in child abuse and child neglect.

This is where we need your help. You can see the need for these packs and we ask for donations of products which can be dropped off at their office. The list of items and contact details are below. If you are not based in Cape Town, or unable to drop off items, please donate to the cause. I donated, and I urge you to do the same. There will be children who will be abused and neglected this season, we cannot change this fact, but we can assist Child Protection with packs. The Children's Hospital Trust 16 days of activism

 

The Children’s Hospital Trust, South Africa

Red Cross Children's Hospital, South AfricaThe Children’s Hospital Trust, South Africa, was established in 2007 and is the UK fundraising arm of The Children’s Hospital Trust, based in Cape Town. Together we raise vital funds to support the activities of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. In 2011 the Trust expanded its reach to fundraise for paediatric healthcare in the Western Cape and beyond.

100% of all received donations goes directly to the Hospital and prioritised paediatric healthcare needs. The Trust is a non-profit organisation that relies on the benevolence of donors to realise its aims and objectives. It enjoys a record of sound financial administration and good governance. Whilst it has raised funds to address many pressing needs, much has yet to be done.

This is not a sponsored post. The information and images were supplied by The Children’s Hospital Trust. The images of children being treated at the Hospital are not necessarily of the children depicted in the stories.

Picnic treats with Barni Bear Sponge Cakes

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Barni Bear Sponge CakesThe sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and the park nearby is simply begging for a picnic or outing to be had! While packing your picnic basket with yummy lunch time bites and treats, why not consider Barni Bear – a delicious sponge cake bear shaped treat – with a chocolate or milk centre.

Barni Sponge Cakes fit perfectly into the hands of little ones and are the perfect alternative treat for children, ages three to seven years old. The spongy bear cakes, with their soft milk and chocolate flavoured fillings are a mouth-watering treat that invites kids’ imaginations to explore, while feeding their body with yummy ingredients.

Jaritha Narsey, Category Brand Manager – Biscuits & Groceries says: “Eating outdoors is special for kids and we know that making sure you pack a combination of healthy food and treats can turn a normal day out into an adventure. Barni Sponge Cakes are the perfect treats to add to your picnic basket, containing no colourants, preservatives or trans-fats. Packing is now made simple – with each biscuit providing your children with a burst of flavour – all while encouraging imagination, exploring, learning and growing.”

Get your taste of Barni Milk available in stores nationwide as single units or in a box of five.

Barni Bear Sponge Cakes

Press release provided by Mondelēz South Africa. Images my own.

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LG NeoChef Microwave Oven with Smart Inverter Technology

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LG MicrowaveThis is my old white LG Electronics microwave. It was one of the first purchases my husband and I made when we first moved in together, 12 years ago. It has travelled between 6 homes, and sat in storage for a few years when we lived overseas. We never had a problem with it, and it heated food just fine. That’s about all we used it for. I know it had a few features, but I only used the heat function and the kitchen timer. Now my old microwave has been replaced with a new shiny LG NeoChef™ and I’m actually using it how it was really intended.

LG NeoChef Microwave OvenNeoChef Microwave Oven

LG recently introduced the NeoChef microwave oven with Smart Inverter Technology to South Africa, and kindly sent me one to review. Unboxing a new appliance is particularly exciting, and my new microwave is getting noticed by visitors. It has a sleek design with a glass door and integrated control panel, rounded pocket-style handle to the side and the panel guide is hidden behind the door. The dial also presses inwards and outwards to finish off the sleek look. The microwave is compact, but its design allows for increased internal capacity, to fit your large and tall dishes.

Features

Cook Mode

This is where we are most on familiar ground – timed cooking. Manually set the time and press start. You can also choose between power levels. High at 1200W will boil water, 1000W will reheat foods, 700W will bake breads, 400W to thaw meat, and 200W to soften butter and take the chill out of fruits (no more toothache). The Smart Inverter over uses linear power control to evenly cook/defrost food, and more efficiently.

I found a super microwave banana pudding recipe which I cooked at 700W in 8 minutes. This recipe is specifically for microwave baking, but I wanted to test if my favourite banana bread recipe would work too. It didn’t. It was edible, but in future I will find more microwave recipes as baking is precise.

Now this is where it gets new for me – grill cooking. Just set the feature to grill and it will brown and crisp food quickly. There is also grill combi cooking which cooks food with heater and microwave.

LG NeoChef Microwave Oven
Family meal out the NeoChef: veg biryani, banana pudding with ice-cream and strawberries.

Inverter Cook

The microwave oven is preprogrammed to automatically roast. You select the programme, food type and then weight, and it does the rest. I tested this feature out by roasting a nut roast, and can you believe it cooked it in just 17 minutes. And it has the crispy topping. You can soften and melt cheese, butter, ice-cream and chocolate under this function. Defrost and cook in one step, and even make your own yoghurt. The keep warm function will keep hot, cooked food at serving temperature.

Popular Menu

The menu has been preprogrammed to automatically cook foods. The popular menu includes meals from across the world, with the recipes in the owner’s manual. So far I have tested the braai-steak and veg biryani, both a hit with hubby. It was the first time we have ever considered cooking a 600g steak in the microwave, but I had to see if it would work. It did, and the steak was cooked through evenly, was tender and juicy. Will it replace a steak done on the braai/barbeque? No, but it was better than any pan-cooked steak we have tried. It cooked quickly on the rack, making it an easy mid-week meal. The only complaint was that the fat did not render as it would over coals.

LG NeoChef Microwave Oven
Nut roast and a braai steak out the microwave.

Next up on the popular menu, was the veg biryani. This meal is not cooked solely in the microwave. I first fried my vegetables and spices, before transferring to a microwave dish. The rice needed to be stirred a few times during cooking and you just have to watch out you don’t burn yourself with the steam. When cooking with a microwave, you still need to use gloves as the food/plates get hot. Also only use microwave-safe utensils. Overall, the biryani cooked quickly, and as I used a ready spice mix, another quick midweek meal to make for the family.

Inverter Defrost

Again, familiar territory for me, as I’m sure you too. You get home, look in the freezer for something to cook, and curse that you didn’t think ahead and defrost in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for 4 hours (which you may have done, if you were home 4 hours ago). Select between meat, poultry, fish or bread, turn dial to weight and hit start.

LG NeoChef Microwave Oven
LED lighting is 3x brighter and large internal capacity.

Some more features

  • Anti-Bacterial EasyClean™ Coating makes it easy to clean.
  • Smart Diagnosis™ function allows the call centre to diagnosis any problems over the phone by listening to the tone emitted by the microwave.
  • Child lock feature.
  • Stable hexagonal turntable.
  • Energy efficient LED lamp is 3x brighter than conventional models.

I’m impressed with the NeoChef microwave. It has made me think differently about my microwave, and I will be using it not just for heating/defrosting, but also to cook family meals and bake. The grill and roast functions have really sold me on it. Unlike my oven, it uses less electricity, doesn’t require pre-heating, easier to clean and doesn’t heat up the kitchen (which will make a difference in hot summer months). Small negatives are that the stainless steel does show finger marks (you can purchase in black), and it doesn’t have my kitchen timer. Even though there are a few recipes in the owner’s manual, I will go to my bookstore to find a recipe book with modern and family friendly microwave recipes. Find out more about the LG range on their website www.lg.com/za.

 

Which African country do you want to explore with your family?

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Once upon a time, I could go on holiday with only a backpack and a camera. I look back fondly at when my husband and I travelled Italy, only booking our next train and accommodation when we felt like moving on to the next town. We managed to travel to a few countries whilst living in London for three years, and even chose to fly to Kenya for our honeymoon, as we missed Africa. (Yes, that is me below, pre-kids with a pixie cut and aviators!) We only had to worry about the two of us, and how quickly we could jump on the next flight away. Then two became four, when we had our children, and it seemed like it was endless packing and organising, even for one night away. Well, at least at first.

Travel Africa with your kidsTravelling with kids

Moving a baby from one location to another, seems a mammoth task as a new mom. You pack the whole nursery in your luggage, and end up unpacking it again, only having used half of it. I soon discovered, however, that travelling with my children doesn’t need to be that stressful. Yes, there are a few non-negotiable items, but in fact they do pack light and only need their favourite toy to keep them happy. And if I do forget anything, I can always buy another one on the road, it’s not worth panicking about. This is probably the easiest time to travel with my kids, whilst they are still young, and have few school and sport commitments. They are open to adventure, and I want to explore and show them different places and meet new people.

Travelstart Africa quiz

Travel Quiz

If you are looking for an African adventure for your family, Travelstart have a fun quiz for you to do. Simply click which is your favourite option from 6 photo categories and get to see which African country you secretly want to explore. My answer was spot on – Botswana – though it’s not that much of a secret. It’s on my wish list of travel locations, and one day I will go with my family. So, what location did you get? Please let me know in the comments below.

Which African country do you secretly want to explore?

Travelstart Africa quiz

Crossing the border

I mentioned that there were some non-negotiable items when travelling with your kids, especially around Africa. Here’s what you must pack:

  • Passports: leave enough time for Home Affairs to process the children’s passports before travelling.
  • Unabridged birth certificates. You need to provide a birth certificate with the names of both parents. If you plan on crossing the border with only one parent, you need to provide an affidavit giving permission from the other parent.
  • Immunisations. Speak to your clinic nurse about what vaccinations/medications are required for your travel.

Elf for Christmas

Elf for Christmas This year, Christmas is going to be so exciting for our family. Not only will it be our first Christmas in our new home, we have an elf friend joining us this year, thanks to an Elf for Christmas. The kids are at an age now where they can appreciate all the celebrations and traditions around this time of year. Ethan will have just turned 4 and Paige will be 5 years. They are already practicing for their Christmas concert at school and can feel the excitement in anticipation of Santa Claus’ arrival. If you are looking to start new traditions and make Christmas even more magical, then keep reading. I also have a 10% discount code on offer!

Elf for Christmas

A modern family tradition, Elf for Christmas is a magical toy and reward kit perfect for girls and boys aged 2 and over. Available as a girl or boy Elf, this engaging toy brings fun and magic to your home throughout December – while promoting good behaviour and family interaction. Elf for Christmas was born in the UK in 2015,and this year Santa is sending his little helpers further afield into sunny South Africa. The magical concept/story behind this UK award winning toy “Elf For Christmas” is that the loveable little elf is sent to a home all the way from the North Pole by Santa himself – with a main purpose of watching over the children and reporting back on good or bad behaviour. He/she also serves as a direct communication link to The North Pole for kids to send their letters to Santa.

Now, as is customary with Christmas – all the magic comes to life while all the children are sleeping – so after the lights have gone out and all is quiet, the little elf “comes alive” and gets up to all kinds of mischief (with a little help from Mum or Dad, of course) – doing a variety of quirky things around the home … from fun and naughty things like eating cookies from Mommy’s cookie jar and leaving crumbs on the counter … to kind and helpful chores like tidying away toys that the kids may have left out (but beware – he/she may report back a messy room to Santa!).

Elf for Christmas

Where the magic really lies is in the Christmas Reward Kit – a unique package to help you bring the excitement of the Elf to life. The kit includes an arrival letter from Santa, explaining Elf’s role in your home, a reward chart and stickers, Mini Report Cards and Certificates that can be used to promote kindness and good behaviour. Will you be on the Naughty or Nice List?

Keep the festive spirit alive with Beware of the Elf signs for your door and a Thank You postcard to round off the magic in January. There is also a Letter to Santa Claus template, ready to post your letters off to the big man himself, and a Goodbye letter for when it’s time for Elf to go back to the North Pole. Throughout December, you will receive unique personalised emails from Santa Claus, directly to your children or class, with information that your Elf has learnt about you. It really is magic. All you need to do is believe it!

Elf for Christmas

Collection

  • The Elf Doll and Magical Reward Kit: available with either a boy or a girl doll. RRP* R495;
  • Magical Christmas Reward Refill Kit: a full reward kit top-up for larger families. RRP R225;
  • Elf First Adventure: an illustrated children’s story book, which focuses on promoting Elf’s kindness motto – “treat others as you want to be treated.” RRP R135;
  • Magical Elf Door: the perfect way for Elf to travel back and forth from the North Pole to your home. This delightful family keepsake promotes imagination, creativity and joy. The Door lights up and includes an Elf Welcome Guide and interchangeable stickers. RRP R465;
  • 24 Advent Letters: 24 individual letters in mini envelopes with endearing little insights into the exciting and busy life of the Elves at the North Pole. Build a story throughout the month of December with these Advent Letters that will make the whole family tingle with excitement. RRP R265;
  • North Pole Sticker Set: contains 4 different scenes from the book. The North Pole Sticker Set has 12 loose background sheets and 12 sticker sheets with over 750 stickers. RRP R245.

Stockists

Elf for Christmas is available online in South Africa via www.elfforchristmas.co.za (enter TMC4EFC on checkout to get 10% OFF your order, valid until 31 October 2017). Be sure to Like and Share their Facebook page at facebook.com/anelfforchristmas. Also available at www.takealot.com; and other leading retailers and local toy stores.

Please note that the Advent Letters and North Pole Sticker Sets have been very popular and are currently SOLD OUT. New orders will arrive in Early November. You can still order online to secure your order!

* Recommended Retail Price

Images and press release provided by Elf for Christmas. I received the Elf Doll, Advent Letters and Sticker Set for review.

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Duett Kids Furniture goes modular

Duett Kids FurnitureDuett Kids Furniture is a collection of bedroom furniture designed specifically for kids. The modular concept of the furniture collection allows for your kids bedroom furniture to GROW with as they grow. The furniture is designed to work together so, for example, the desk is made to fit under the bunk and the bunk beds can also be pulled apart to be used as 2 single beds at a later stage. The Duett Bunk Beds are made to SHARE with siblings and friends, while the Duett Loft Bunk and desk allows for space to PLAY and STUDY.

Kids always need a place to STORE their treasures and their special toys, with the compact Duett Underbed Storage Solutions and Duett Chest of Drawers, they will have many secret hiding places. The handy cube stool on wheels opens up to provide more storage. There are also really neat wall mounted cubes in 3 different sizes, which can be mounted in either a portrait or landscape orientation, depending on what you are storing or displaying.Duett Kids Furniture

Features

  • Furniture is design to work together in various configurations.
  • Supplied flat pack with all the necessary fittings and step by step assembly instruction booklet for self assembly.
  • All furniture is manufactured and shipped from Knysna.
  • Free delivery to all main centers within South Africa. Additional delivery charges will apply to out of the way farm or small holding addresses.

For more information, please visit their website www.duettkidsfurniture.com or Like them on Facebook and have a look at the products.

This is not a sponsored post. Information supplied by Duett Kids Furniture.