Back in June, an NCT friend of mine enthusiastically messaged our WhatsApp group to let us know that a friend (of a friend of a friend..) had founded a 'posh baby food company' (her words, not theirs) and that if you asked them very nicely, they might send you out a sample. Since I had just begun weaning Bean at the age of four and half months, I was pretty excited at the prospect.
A brief pause here to say that I'm aware that there are a lot of different schools of thought on when you should wean your baby onto solids. In my mind I'd always been planning on weaning him when he was 6 months. Partly because of the WHO guidelines, and partly because breastfeeding had been so difficult to begin with, that since it was now going so well, I didn't want to somehow compromise it. I guess I also got a kind of validation from being the only person who could feed my baby. That he needed me. In the end I didn't really get to choose though, Bean was just so clearly ready for food. He seemed suddenly so much more hungry than he'd been before, and like breastmilk just wasn't satisfying him in the same way. He also stared at every forkful of our food from the moment the cutlery hit the plate, to the moment it went into our mouths- like some kind of cruel tennis match. In the end, we just felt it would be cruel not to start weaning him there and then.
Anyway, I digress. True to my NCT friend's word, the very nice people at Babease were all too happy to send us out a sample. I was expecting one or two little pouches, what I actually received was this!
I think that we can all agree that this is beyond generous. Included were 6 pouches of food suitable for 4+ months (they asked me 'Bean's age in their e mail); a handy drawstring bag which I suppose would be good for hanging from a pram handle if you were short on space; a lovely big bib (so good for weaning when you need to cover their laps too!) and a really lovely canvas bag, which I have been using as my go-to bag ever since.
I find the whole visual aesthetic of this brand massively appealing; the design is totally parent-friendly, rather than looking... well, babyish! Also (if you're into that kind of thing) their products would look totally great on your shelf. The cardboard outer removes and on the inside you get a healthy recipe for you each time too! The thing I like most about the packaging is the (non-literal) transparency though. There's a really clear pie chart on each one that shows you visually how much of each ingredient is included.
I also really like their ethos- which is essentially that all of their food is vegetable-led, instead of mainly fruit like a lot of the big companies out there. (Or all of them maybe?) Too many times I've bought a pouch from another well-known brand labelled as 'vegetable, vegetable and fruit' only to find that the vegetables listed first are actually only a really small component of the pouch, and that most of the meal is made up of something like apple or pear. Not cool if you're trying to expand your baby's taste palette and unknowingly just getting them really used to sweet stuff. I also find their slightly exotic combinations of ingredients really fun. I won't lie- first of all I laughed about it. I showed the pouches to friends saying 'look! My baby's going to have some quinoa and coconut water today! I'm not even middle-class enough for quinoa!', but actually- that's great isn't it? This is the time in their lives when they are totally unprejudiced and have no preconceptions about food- why not get them eating really interesting and varied stuff?
Taste-wise what was the verdict, I hear you ask? Well, Bean, Clementine (who's 9) and I all tried it and all thought it was ridiculously tasty! It also smelt amazing. Our baby's a pretty good eater, better than most- but occasionally he turns his nose up at some jarred and pouched baby foods, but he absolutely bolted down every single one of these flavours, and finished the entire pouch each time.
I'd absolutely love to try the older age range of their food. They have a 'stage 2' selection from 7 months, but we're yet to try it. I hope to see this brand in supermarkets at some stage, but until then you can buy their food at this address: http://www.babease.co