Review: Piccolo baby food pouches

Gabe’s weaning journey so far has been quite up and down. Anytime he’s ill or teething he seems to go off his food but I can usually tempt him with a puree pouch when he doesn’t want anything else. So when the lovely people at Piccolo got in touch to ask if we wanted to try some of their new baby food pouches we were happy to give them a try.


Piccolo products are produced with the idea of Mediterranean Goodness at heart. The flavours of the pouches reflect that too, for example; apple and apricot with a pinch of cinnamon, peach and apple with a hint of basil, spring greens with a hint of mint or squash, red pepper and chickpea with a hint of rosemary to name a few.

Gabe was certainly keen to get his hands on the pouches when they first arrived!


Gabe is at an age now where he can suck straight from the pouch which is really handy, especially when we’re out and about. It’s hard to tell really but he does seem to like most of the Piccolo pouches. The only thing I will say is that these pouches are quite runny compared to some of the other brands we use. I think this took Gabe by surprise a bit when he first tried them because he managed to squeeze it all over himself!


To be honest Gabe is a little bit past the puree stage but these Piccolo pouches have been great for adding to Weetabix and porridge and we found a great use for them with Toby.


One pouch is the perfect amount to fill our ice lolly mould. Toby loves them and thinks he’s getting a big treat and I’m happy knowing everything he’s eating is good for him!


At the moment Piccolo only produce Stage 1 baby food pouches but they are always developing new products. They are releasing some new flavours soon too which we were also sent to try; mango, pear & kale with a dash of yogurt; banana, strawberry & peach with a hint of mint; sweet potato, beetroot, apple & pear and raspberry & apple with soaked oats. Some of the flavours may seem a bit out there to us as adults but Gabe seems to like them!

Piccolo pouches are currently available from Amazon, Ocado, Booths, Waitrose and a few other retailers. You can find out where to buy them near you on the Piccolo website here.


**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own.

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Banana and mango smoothies with Nutribaby

The other day we had some bananas hanging about that were a bit past their best and we didn’t have time to make a banana loaf which would be my usual use for them so we decided to whip up some banana and mango smoothies using our Nutribaby from Babymoov.


Toby loves to help in the kitchen and these smoothies were easy enough for him to get really involved in making them.

First he peeled the banana and broke it up into large pieces in the Nutribaby. Next the mango went in (we bought some pre-cut for ease).


On top of the fruit Toby put a couple of big dollops of Greek yogurt and topped it up with some milk. As we were making these smoothies for the kids we used full-fat yogurt and milk but you could easily substitute low-fat alternatives.


Once all the ingredients were in the blender jug of the Nutribaby we clicked on the lid and whizzed the whole lot up together.


I really like the fact that the blender won’t work unless both the jug and lid are fully clicked into place – hands up if you’ve started a blender without the lid on before and sprayed stuff all over the kitchen!


The only trouble we had making the smoothies was that Gabe really didn’t like the noise…


I’d picked up these cute glass milk bottles and paper straws on offer at the garden centre a few days before we made the smoothies. A word of warning though – those paper straws might look cool but they are pretty useless for a toddler and turned to mush in seconds!


And now for my last confession – Gabe had a try of the smoothie and pulled a bit of a face, but then he’s funny about his food anyway.


But unfortunately Toby also declared it ‘yucky’ and wouldn’t drink it either! I thought it was quite nice but I think the problem was that the mango wasn’t quite ripe enough so didn’t blend fully into the smoothie.

Anyway, in an effort to rescue the situation I made Toby another smoothie but I replaced the mango with a couple of spoons of chocolate Nesquik. The verdict? This one was yummy…


Don’t forget to Pin this post for later if you like it…



**Disclosure: We were sent the Nutribaby as a part of our role as Babymoov ambassadors. All opinions are my own.


My top 5 weaning essentials

We’re now six months into our weaning journey with Gabe and although we’ve hit a few bumps along the way we are slowing getting there. Having now weaned two babies I thought I’d share my top five weaning essentials with you…

top five weaning essentials

Even though we waited until 6 months to start weaning with Toby and Gabe they were both still a bit unsteady when sitting so needed a highchair that would support them. We used the IKEA Antilop with them both which was fab; very cheap and very easy to clean too. My only gripe with it is that it doesn’t fold and so takes up quite a lot of room. The Babymoov Light Wood high chair that we reviewed recently and are using with Gabe is fab in that respect. I also like that it’s the perfect height for Gabe to be able to sit up at the table with the rest of the family but still use the tray of the high chair.

Messy mat

Even if you’re not going full-on baby led weaning there’s no denying that weaning is messy however you do it, and food will end up on the floor. In both our houses we’ve had carpet in the area we eat so a mat to protect the floor has been essential. I know a lot of people use a plastic shower curtain, we’ve had various bits of PVC material bought from the fabric department at Dunelm – this is what we’re using at the moment as it meant I could get one piece big enough to go under both Gabe and Toby’s chairs. You can also get lots of purpose made weaning mats like this one from Messy Me that we reviewed recently.


You don’t need lots of fancy equipment for weaning but I would say soft baby spoons are pretty essential. Of course you could just use an ordinary teaspoon but I know both my boys have really liked to chew on their spoons and I would worry about them hurting themselves on a metal one. We like these silicone spoons from Munchkin – Gabe definitely likes giving them a good old chomp!


Again you could just use any bowl you happen to have but I’ve found that plastic bowls are great for when they inevitably get thrown on the floor. Lidded bowls are also very handy for storing left overs in the fridge or for when you are out and about. These bowls from Babymoov are the perfect size for babies and toddlers and they’re stackable so easy to store too.


A good bib is essential when you are weaning unless you want to spend all your time washing food covered clothes. Even Toby still wears a bib at three when he’s eating cereal or anything that might drip or splash just because it makes my life easier. For babyled weaning a complete coverall bib is fantastic and I really like the Close Parent Coverall bibs and had a couple of them we used on rotation. We also use these from Silly Bibz which are a great size, fold up small for eating out and both boys seems to find them comfortable and don’t try to pull them off which is a bonus!

I also wanted to mention one non-essential but very useful product – especially if you are going down the more traditional puree route with weaning…


Of course you don’t actually need a steamer/blender specifically designed for babies. You can steam things in a pan or in the microwave and use any kind of blender to make your purees. However, we’ve been trying out the Nutribaby from Babymoov and it is a great little piece of kit. It is quite small so doesn’t take up tons of room on the worktop. The steamer can be used to heat and sterilise bottles or warm baby food, as well as actually cooking food. The blender is a really good size and has some great features – for example it’s impossible to turn the blender on without the lid clicked into place…great for those baby brain moments! I’ll be sharing a few ways we’ve been using the Nutribaby over the next couple of months.

So there you have it – my top five weaning essentials (and one non-essential). Is there anything else that you’ve found invaluable when weaning?


**Disclosure: We were sent some of the products featured in this post as a part of our role as Babymoov Ambassadors on the #stresslessweaning program. As always, all opinions are my own.

Review: Babymoov Light Wood High Chair

When we started looking for a high chair for Toby when he was weaning we got lots of recommendations for a very cheap one from a well known Swedish furniture store. It served Toby well until he moved into a booster seat at the table when he was nearly two. We used the same high chair with Gabe for the first month or so of weaning until, as part of our role as Babymoov ambassadors, we were sent the Babymoov Light Wood High Chair and matching Comfort Cushion to try out.

Babymoov Light Wood High Chair

I’ll be honest here – coming in at ten times the cost of our old high chair I did wonder if the Babymoov high chair would be worth the extra money. But I have to say it does have loads of great features that really do make it stand out from other high chairs on the market.

Large easy to clean tray on the Babymoov high chair

As the name would suggest the Babymoov high chair is made from wood and it is really solidly built. It is very sturdy and I’ve never felt worried that Gabe could tip it, whether he’s sat in it or using it to pull himself onto his feet! The slight downside to this is that at 6.5 kg the chair is quite heavy – I wouldn’t want to have to move it around a lot.

What makes the Babymoov Light Wood High Chair different to a lot of other high chairs on the market, and one reason I think the £140 price tag is justified, is that with a movable seat and foot rest, and a removable tray this chair can adapt to be used from around 6 months right up until your child is big enough to use a standard chair, and beyond.

Sitting up at the table in the Babymoov Light Wood high chair

Now I know there are a few other wooden high chairs on the market that are adaptable to be used by both babies, toddlers and children but the thing that makes this Babymoov high chair unique is that it also be folded so it is almost flat. For me this is a massive plus point over our previous high chair, and other chairs of this type. It’s really easy to collapse as well; just release the crotch bar, press two buttons on either side to lower the tray then squeeze the clip on the back of the seat to fold it. Opening it back up is even easier and can be pretty much done one-handed.

Babymoov Light Wood High Chair folds flat

The high chair is very easy to wipe clean and I do like that the lip on the edge of the tray doesn’t go right round to the back which makes it even easier to wipe crumbs and other bits off into your hand. The only thing to watch out for when cleaning is that crumbs (and Cheerios in our case) can collect just at the base of the crotch bar and they’re easy to miss when cleaning, especially when you’ve got the cushion over the top.

Watch out for those Cheerios

Looks wise the Babymoov Light Wood high chair is definitely more stylish than our old high chair. I like the dark and light grey of the chair – it’s going to fit in really well when we get our new kitchen soon.

Gabe likes the Babymoov high chair

If you are looking for a wooden high chair that will adapt with your child and last them right from weaning through to childhood then this Babymoov high chair is definitely one to consider.


**Disclosure: I was sent the featured product as part of my role as a Babymoov ambassador. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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Weaning with Bibetta and Messy Me // #messisbest

Weaning baby

I have a confession to make – I love the idea of babyled weaning but I just can’t stand the mess! I will never be one of those mums who posts a picture on Instagram of their baby covered head to toe in spaghetti bolognese or yoghurt. However, I know that getting messy and exploring food is important for Gabe’s development so I do try and rein in my need to clean up every spill and drip whenever I can. Read more

Review: Babymoov Lovely Bear Lunch Set

As part of our role as #stresslessweaning ambassadors for Babymoov we were sent this Lovely Bear Lunch Set. There’s a divided plate, bowl, cup and a sweet little fork and spoon. Everything in the is melamine so very hard wearing (but remember melamine can’t go in the microwave) and features a cute bear character.

Babymoov Lovely Bear Lunch Set

As you can see, Gabe isn’t quite ready for using plates, bowls and cups yet.

Cup goes the other way up Gabe

At the moment we either spoon feed him, or he eats straight from his highchair tray. If I give him a bowl or plate he just tips everything out and it gives him something else to bang on the table!

Gabe doesn't quite understand a bowl

He does like having something to hold while he’s being fed though and the spoon from the lunch set is the perfect size for his little hands.

Gabe using the Babymoov Lunch Set bowl and spoon

Although Gabe isn’t quite ready to use the Babymoov Lunch Set just yet I’m sure he’ll like it when he’s a bit older. I think it would make a great first birthday present – the set comes in four different designs and in a lovely presentation box too. I know Toby got far more toys than he could ever play with for his first birthday so something like this lunch set would make a fab alternative.

Babymoov Lunch Set giftbox

The Babymoov Lovely Bear Lunch Set has an RRP of £29.99

**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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Feeding to weaning // A plan for #stresslessweaning

I remember when I was weaning Toby and I didn’t really know what I was doing! I read a few different books but there seemed to be a lot of conflicting advice. With Toby, and with Gabe we waited until they were six months before starting weaning and then combined traditional spoon feeding and babyled weaning. Despite his face in this picture Gabe was actually enjoying this porridge!

Gabe enjoying some porridge

To be honest we have pretty much made it up as we’ve gone along and I just followed my instinct and let the boys guide us too. All babies are different of course and what works for one might not be right for another but I know I would have appreciated a brief guide to weaning that I could refer to without having to read tons and tons of stuff to get the information I needed.

As part of their #stresslessweaning programme Babymoov have teamed up with nutritionist Julia Wolman who has provided this feeding to weaning plan for me to share with you.



Starting solids Milk feeds
First foods – around 6 months or 26 weeks (no earlier than 17 weeks) Start with 1-2 spoons of smooth puree or mash, or tastes of finger food, once a day. This can be approx an hour after a milk feed if in the morning, or in the middle of a milk feed if mid-morning or afternoon.

Once baby is happy with first tastes increase to 6-12 spoons, or more finger foods, once a day.

When this first “meal” is going well, progress to twice a day.


All milk feeds should continue as normal during first stages of weaning.


At least 4 breastfeeds or formula feeds are usually required per 24 hours.

“Stage 2”

6-9 months

Continue as above with 2 meals, moving to 3 meals a day by around 7 months.

Once baby is having 3 meals per day, offer dessert at lunch and supper.

Progress to thicker mashes and then soft lumps, and offer spoon fed babies soft finger foods at every meal.

Increase variety of foods* offered so that baby’s diet includes meat, chicken, fish, pulses, eggs, bread, pasta, dairy

[*unless otherwise advised by clinician]

Once baby is having 3 meals per day, gradually drop ONE milk feed. Usually this is the mid-morning feed.


At least 3 milk feeds are usually required per 24 hours.


Night feeding (i.e. after 7pm) should stop now.

“Stage 3”

9-12 months

Continue with 3 meals per day, plus healthy snacks if baby wants (and if it fits in with naps!)


NB. There are no set portion sizes so be guided by your baby. Start with small amounts and offer more if baby wants it.



Gradually drop another milk feed – usually this is the afternoon milk.


By 12 months babies should be having just early morning and bedtime milk, i.e. 2 feeds per day.


Of course we all know that babies don’t always like to stick to a plan (I know Gabe hasn’t got the memo about night feeds ending between six and nine months!) but hopefully this will give you an idea of where to start.

If you have any questions about weaning, or perhaps about when you should be thinking about dropping milk feeds then please do pop them in the comments and I’ll pass them onto Julia.

Your questions answered with #SMAnutrition

You may have read my post a few weeks ago in which I shared some information from SMA nutrition about the importance of getting the right nutrition for your baby in their first 1,000 days – from conception to two years old. It’s especially important that your baby gets the right amount of protein – their protein needs decrease as they grow – as this can help to ensure that they grow at a steady rate.

We are now well into our first few weeks of weaning with Gabe and he’s really enjoying trying lots of different foods – even though he’s not actually managing to eat very much yet! I know though that he is still getting all the nutrition he needs from his milk at the moment. There’s a saying that ‘food is for fun until they’re one’ – for now weaning is all about trying new tastes and textures and just getting used to the mechanics of eating. I’m trying to make sure that Gabe gets plenty of chance to try different things and I’m sure it won’t be long until he really gets the hang of it!

Baby corn

In my last post I asked if you had any questions for medic and weekly health columnist Dr Ellie Cannon and below you can find the answers to some of the questions that were asked by some of the other bloggers who wrote about the first 1,000 days too…

I am 5 months pregnant and would love some must have information of how to make sure my baby gets the best start in life.

From the moment of conception, your baby starts growing fast. At this first stage of your 1,000-day journey, make sure your pregnancy diet provides the energy and nutrients you need, by eating a variety of different foods every day, including plenty of protein, dairy products, oily fish, fruit and vegetables. This all helps your baby to get the best start. For the first 6 months of your baby’s life, breast milk is the only food they need. The nutrients and protein in milk your baby drinks are the foundation for their cells, muscles, bones and brain as they develop and grow. At around 6 months you’ll start introducing complementary foods to provide additional nutrients. At this stage, your little one needs the right amount of protein and nutrients to maintain a steady growth and good health.

Have you any tips on how I can factor in bottles of expressed milk too? Do I need to stick to my pregnancy diet during breastfeeding months (no soft cheese etc.)?

Bottles of expressed milk are a popular choice for mums who are breastfeeding. It is also good to have the convenience of both bottle and breastfeeding, for those unexpected mummy absences! A nice time to give a bottle of expressed milk is a dream feed, (dream feed is a calm, quiet feed around 10.30/11pm. It is called the dream feed as your baby is usually fast asleep and will probably take the feed with her eyes closed), or an evening when dad is at home to join in. Once you have banked up enough breast milk, you could make that a part of your regular routine.

When you are breastfeeding, your diet is really important for nourishing yourself and your little one. A healthy diet includes eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day, starchy foods, plenty of fibre, protein, dairy foods and drinking plenty of fluids.  Eating fish while breastfeeding is good for your health and your baby’s, but while you’re breastfeeding you should have no more than two portions of oily fish a week. Also, caffeine can reach your baby through your breast milk and may keep them awake. It’s advised that pregnant and breastfeeding women restrict their caffeine intake to less than 300mg a day (just over two mugs of filter coffee).  While breastfeeding, it’s recommended you take supplements containing 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D each day. You can get all the other vitamins and minerals you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

My question would be: if mothers do not breastfeed their child does formula contain the same amount of protein as breast milk? Breast milk protein is unique and adapts to your baby’s growth and relative requirements, this means the level of protein can increase or decrease based on the baby’s needs, unlike in baby formula where the level will stay the same.

Feeding your baby, from the early newborn days until they are toddlers telling you what they do and don’t like (and beyond) can seem like such a minefield sometimes but I think as long as you follow your instincts and make sure your child is eating a healthy, balanced diet then you can’t go too far wrong. And if there is anything you aren’t sure about then there is plenty of help and information available from your health visitor and on line in places like the SMA nutrition website.

*This post is in association with SMA nutrition

The first 1,000 days // The importance of the right nutrition from conception to two years old

Did you know that the first 1,000 days of your child’s life, from conception to two years old, are some of the most significant in terms of their growth and development? Making sure that your baby or toddler is getting the right nutrition is something we have all worried about. I know I have! SMA Nutrition has teamed up with medic and weekly health columnist Dr Ellie Cannon to help parents further understand how important the protein levels and nutrition for your baby is during this time.

If your pregnancy is planned then the chances are that from the moment you conceive you will start thinking about what you are eating (or more likely what you can’t eat – no more runny egg yolks!) and how that might be affecting your growing baby. I took pregnancy vitamins and folic acid, and tried to make sure I ate well during both my pregnancies – although there were probably rather more biscuits in my diet than is strictly healthy!

The first 1000 days

And then once your baby has arrived, feeding them becomes one of the most important (and sometimes stressful) things in your life. I think most of us probably know that breastmilk is the best thing for our babies. It contains just the right amount of protein along with all the micronutrients that your baby needs to avoid any deficiencies in early life. What is unique about breastmilk is that the protein level changes as your baby grows. It always provides the right quality and quantity of protein to ensure your baby grows at a steady and appropriate rate, which can actually help to stop them becoming overweight later in life. You can read more about the protein in milk and its importance on the SMA nutrition website.

Knowing all of that, I really wanted to breastfeed both my babies. As a lot of you mamas know though, breastfeeding isn’t always easy. I really struggled with Toby due to a combination of things, and you can read all about our breastfeeding experience here. I was proud that I at least managed to partly breastfeed for six weeks, but in the end, particularly with Toby’s reflux, it turned out that bottle feeding was the best option for us.

The first feed

With Gabe, breastfeeding was more successful, and I breastfed him for 10 weeks. Unfortunately, due to a combination of circumstances, including reflux again, we have ended up bottle feeding Gabe too. Although I know that exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months would have provided both my boys with the best possible nutrition, like a lot of women it just didn’t happen for us and I’m happy that formula exists and can provide my boys with the nutrition that they need.

Of course, after the first six months you’ve then got weaning to think about! We’ve just started weaning with Gabe and he seems to be enjoying his first solid food. I can’t believe he’s six months already though, the time has absolutely flown by!

We’re planning on following the same route we did with Toby, which was a mixture of finger foods and spoon feeding. That was mostly because I couldn’t cope with the extreme mess of pure baby-led weaning! We never gave Toby any purées though, he just had a little bit of what we were having, which made sure he was getting all the different food groups.

Messy weaning
From weaning until he was nearly two Toby was a fantastic eater and would eat anything we put in front of him. As a toddler he has become more fussy, but I think that is as much about asserting his independence as anything else! I think his fussiness definitely increased when he started talking and could tell us ‘Toby doesn’t like it,’ which we hear quite regularly! On the whole though he still has a fairly varied and balanced diet, it’s just very frustrating for me when something that he loves one day is completely rejected the next! I hope Gabe doesn’t pick up on his brother’s picky eating habits. Even though we are already past the first 1,000 days of Toby’s life I know how important it is to keep providing him with appropriate nutrition as it is so vital for his healthy growth and development.

Toddler tea

There is an awful lot of information out there about baby and toddler nutrition but I know sometimes it’s hard to find out what you really want to know. Everyone seems to have different advice, and this is one area where speaking to friends and relatives doesn’t always get you appropriate information, as the guidelines and recommendations have changed quite a lot over the last few decades. When I was a baby I was started on solids at just 10 weeks old. That’s completely unimaginable now but was the norm at the time!

If you have a question, something you would like to know about protein and nutrition during pregnancy or in the first two years of your child’s life, then leave me a comment below. Some of these questions will be answered by Dr Ellie Cannon and I’ll be publishing the answers in another post in a few weeks time.

Update: You can read the Q & A with Dr Ellie Cannon here.

The first 1000 days pin

*This post is in association with SMA nutrition



Saying goodbye to the bottle

goodbye to the bottle

At 16 months old Toby is now almost bottle-free. I know technically he didn’t really need a bottle after he turned one but we decided to take a relaxed approach and see how things went. At 12 months he was still having three bottles a day (plus more if he woke up in the night) and our little routine was going so well we didn’t really want to rock the boat too much! The other reason I was a bit wary of getting rid of the bottle too soon was that Toby wasn’t very keen on drinking much from a cup and I wanted to make sure he was still getting enough to drink one way or another.

The first bottle to go was the one he had before his afternoon nap. When he started nursery in August he was being fed so much during the day (3 meals and 2 snacks) that he didn’t really need an afternoon bottle, although he still had one at home at the weekends for quite a while.

The next bottle we cut out was the morning one. A month or so ago there were quite few days when Toby had woken up sometime between 4 and 5am and had a bottle so there didn’t seem much point giving him another when we got up at 6:30am. This also coincided with him becoming more comfortable with drinking out of his cup (after trying every sippy cup on the planet we had more success with straw cups as for ages Toby wouldn’t tip a cup to drink) and us switching completely from formula to cow’s milk. So now when I get Toby up in the morning (or he gets us up!) we just give him some milk in his cup and he has that while I’m getting him dressed and ready to go out. He doesn’t always drink very much of it during the week when we don’t have very long to get up and out to nursery but I know he has more milk on his cereal and drinks plenty of water during the day anyway.

I was quite concerned though about stopping the bedtime bottle. A bottle before bed was such an integral part of Toby’s bedtime routine that I just couldn’t imagine how we would get him to bed without it. Especially since after starting nursery he had gone back to having 9oz bottles at bedtime rather than his previous 5 or 6 ounces. But, as usually happens, these things tend to sort themselves out if you let them. A few weeks ago Toby started completely refusing his bedtime bottle. He would maybe have a few mouthfuls but then push it away and get himself worked up if we tried to get him to have any more. And so, we decided to give him milk in his cup, along with some snacks (even after eating three meals and two snacks at nursery he still comes home hungry!) as soon as he gets in from nursery so he has time to drink plenty in the hour or so before bedtime.

This seemed to sort of work for a few weeks – he would go to sleep OK without his bottle but then wake up a few hours later and drain a full bottle. I was willing to persevere though and was hoping that he would eventually make it through the night without needing a bottle. However, last week Toby hurt his foot and was also teething, and I think having another growth spurt. His sleep was awful, he was waking up two or three (or more!) times a night and would only go back to sleep after having loads of milk and in an effort to get him to sleep a bit better the bedtime bottle has made a return.

To be honest I’m still not too worried about this at the moment. If Toby still wants a bottle a bedtime (and during the night) then for now I’m happy for him to have one. I’m confident that at some point he will decide he doesn’t want it any more and hopefully he might even start sleeping through the night again eventually too!

If your little one had bottles at what age did they stop? Did you do anything the wean them off the bottle or just leave it up to them to decide? I’d love to hear how you managed the transition.