01.Beaba BABYCOOK OriginalPrice:
The Beaba Babycook claims to make preparing healthy meals for your baby easy and can steam, blend, reheat and defrost all in the one compact unit.
Portions vary depending on age (initially about two tablespoons) so leftovers can be portioned and frozen. We found its maximum bowl capacity to be only 500mL and it claims to take only 10-15 minutes to prepare a cooked meal.
Our home economist, Fiona Mair, tested the Babycook by steaming vegetables, cooking chicken, making a potato and spinach puree and a pear compote.
While the appliance cooked all foods excellently Fiona says you can achieve the same result by steaming on your cooktop or using a microwave. All dishes took more than 10 minutes to make in the Babycook – the longest taking just over 17 minutes.
While it would take the same amount of time on your cooktop, using your microwave will take no longer than five minutes.
Ease of use
Fiona found the dial control to be small and stiff to operate and the steaming indicator light was very faint. Locking the bowl into the unit was difficult – the instructions state that this is the case when the appliance is new.
Unlocking the lid was also difficult as there is little grip. Cleaning the bowl, blade and steamer basket is easy, but the exterior can stain and has cracks where food can become trapped.
The water reservoir also needs to be descaled frequently.
The Babycook is very expensive and only cooks small amounts. Cooking time is much longer than in a microwave. Fiona says it’s an unnecessary appliance - if you have a food processor or a stick blender with processor attachment then you don’t need the Babycook.
Parents are often worried that they are feeding their baby correctly, but making baby food isn’t complicated. You can steam or microwave meats, fruits and vegetables quickly and a cheap stick blender will do the job of pureeing – and can be used for more than just baby foods.
Babies are ready to be introduced to solids from about six months of age – when their digestive systems are able to cope with different foods and their sense of taste is developing.
For more information about Feeding baby, see Food for kids.