Baby feeding first look reviews Wean Machine
The Wean Machine is a portable baby food maker that you 'simply fill, squeeze and feed'. We gave one to a parent tester and her seven-month-old son to gauge whether it was a squidgy success or a crushing failure.
How does the Wean Machine work?
Fruit, vegetables and even meals such as spaghetti bolognese are loaded into the chamber and squeezed through the grill. The mashed food collected in the bowl can then be spooned up (using the spoon that's included) and fed directly to your baby.
In essence it's like a big garlic press or a potato ricer with some extra features. The Wean Machine also retains the vegetable or fruit liquid that's left over from crushing, which should give the resulting mash a suitably wet consistency for your child.
The Wean Machine comes with two different-size grills so that chunkier and lumpier textures can be created for older and more experimental eaters. Our mum tester mainly used the smaller grill as her baby was quite new to weaning. She liked the size of chunks it produced, and the texture of the mash.
She also found the product easy to set-up and use, though she found she had to press the handles together quite hard to push the food through the grill.
Only suitable for certain foods
The Wean Machine website and instructions make it clear that there are some foods the Wean Machine can't cope with. There is even something called a 'Squidgometer' section on the website that lists some foods you can and can't mash up effectively.
Easily-managed foods include avocado, strawberries, banana, macaroni cheese, lentil stew and lasagne. No-nos include green beans, grapes, t-bone steak and chicken wings.
Our tester did find that she had to cook vegetables a bit longer than usual in order for them to mash effectively. She also disliked the fact that there was always a small layer of uncrushed food left at the bottom which didn't come into contact with the grill. She found herself mashing this with a fork so it wasn't wasted.
Weaning on the go
Because of the early stage of weaning her baby was at, our tester only really used the Wean Machine for simple foods such as carrots, courgettes and cooked apple. She found that as long as the food was well cooked, it worked effectively.
However, she didn't really find it better than using a fork and said that while it was easy to clean, washing up a fork is easier still.
She thought the Wean Machine would prove useful for denser foods such as spaghetti - although its small capacity would be a bit limiting, as you can only mash little portions at a time.
Our tester did, however, see the benefits of using the Wean Machine in a restaurant or on the go, because 'you only need one thing' - no extra cutlery or feeding paraphernalia.
While she plans to use it to take out with her in the future when her little boy is eating more complex foods, she doesn't think she will continue to use it at home.
Wean Machine price and availability
The Wean Machine is dishwasher-safe and fits in most sterilisers.
It costs £20 and is available from Amazon, Kiddicare or directly from the Wean Machine website.
Pros: Good for on-the-go feeding, easy to set-up and use
Cons: Can only cope with well-cooked or ripe raw food, makes small quantities, some waste