For the first three months of feeding my baby purees, I struggled. Hard. My painstaking process of steaming and chopping veggies was … well, a pain. I was using a large old metal strainer, various pots, and a food processor to steam and puree peas, sweet potatoes and carrots for my baby’s first foods.
It’s only in the past couple months that I finally got wise. A friend of mine was using a Béaba Babycook machine to make all her baby’s food, and I was immediately fascinated. But was this another device that would sit on my counter, never to be used?
Watching one YouTube video of how it worked clinched it for me. One device to steam? One device to puree? One device to rule them all? I was sold.
Having the Béaba NEO has been nothing short of a game changer for our family. My husband, who’d rather flash our cash on Happy Baby pouches than use multiple pots, pans and strainers to make baby food from scratch, is happy to use Béaba’s one-bowl system. That means so much less work for me. (Yes, less work for Mom. Repeat that soothing mantra to yourself ad nauseam until your finger clicks “Order.”).
Here’s how it works: you have a glass bowl that serves as the main container. Inside it is a strainer. You put the roughly chopped food in the strainer, stick water in the stainless steel side compartment, and close it to steam. Then you take the strainer out, dump the food back in the same glass bow with however much of the steamed water you want (I like to put some in because it’s nutritious), and puree. It’s really that simple.
The Babycook system soft steams the food instead of hot sauna-ing it to oblivion. I find that when I steam at my mom’s in a regular steamer, I oversteam, turn the heat up too much, or forget about it, resulting in less-bright veggie colors and less nutrition. I don’t make that mistake with the NEO because it’s automated. You get to choose how much water goes in, with four different levels of options.
You can defrost in the NEO too—just plop your frozen meat, veggies or fruit in the steamer. I’ve even used it for my own food because it’s easier than using a separate steamer basket in a pot.
There are recipes in Béaba’s Resource Center, and they do cookbooks with easy, creative recipes as well. I honestly never thought to put meat, veggies, butter, and fruit all into the NEO at one time to steam and then blend, but it works because my baby eats better now. My baby seems to think such a flavorful puree tastes better and more interesting than when I try to feed him only one or two categories of food groups. Check out this easy Chicken and Veggie Puree video instructional—so many veggies go in, and it’s so easy. No more adding different veggies in at different times because some are harder to steam than others.
There’s no plastic in the Béaba NEO—earlier models had plastic. This one’s all stainless steel and glass. It’s cute, and it comes in adorable colors like pink and light green. If you get it with the whole Chef Set, it comes with a set of four pretty silicone spoons, a BabySqueez puree pouch, and multiportions.
Cleanup is easy. I rinse the two pieces, rarely ever scrubbing, and plop them onto my dish rack to dry. You can put them in the dishwasher too, but I use them so often, and they’re so easy to clean, I rarely do that.
Now, it’s time to get back to my all-important TLC shows. “90-Day Fiance” isn’t just going to watch itself!