At around six-months-old your little one will probably be ready to move from milk on to pureés and solid food, by the process of weaning. However, the usually messy and sometimes wasteful venture of expanding your baby’s food consumption has just been made neater and more efficient by an innovative new product – the Lillypot.
Lillypots are the brainchild of Tam Rodwell, a welder by trade. He wanted to wean his baby daughter Lilly on homemade meals, whilst avoiding the possibility of removing the nutritional value by microwaving the pre-prepared food. To support his invention Rodwell cites studies indicating that microwaves can zap the nutrients out of food – although from doing my own research, there are many who believe that if used properly, microwaves are actually better at holding the nutrients in food.
Either way, Rodwell’s simple but ingenious design removes the need for plastic containers or the microwave whilst providing a way of both defrosting and heating baby’s food.
The Lillypot is a robust and simple design. It’s lightweight, so is easily transportable if you wanted to take it away with you. The design and concept is similar to an egg poacher.
What is the Lillypot made of?
It is made of 304 grade stainless steel; it has a handle and heating platform with three indentations. Each indentation is designed to fit a lozenge of food that has been frozen in an ice cube tray (and nothing more).
How long will the Lillypot last?
The pot is only really suitable for the ‘first tastes’ period of weaning where a few teaspoons of food is all baby needs.
How do you use the weaning product?
The Lillypot is very simple to use: just pop your prepared frozen ice cubes of pureé into the indentations over a saucepan of boiling water and watch the steam defrost and warm up the baby food.
You should fill your pot with water approximately 5cm high, I decided to boil my water in the kettle first and lit our gas hob.
What size of pots will it fit?
The Lillypot will fit pots between14cm-18cm in circumference, which is roughly a mid-sized pot. It fitted our saucepans perfectly. I was worried with the heating that the handle would get hot, but this was not a problem and was safe to hold.
How long did it take to heat the food?
It took 13 minutes to defrost and warm up the food, much longer than zapping in the microwave. But I had to cool the purée down before I fed it to Evelyn, so perhaps I’d left the food on the hob a little longer than necessary.
The Lillypot website says it takes 3-5 minutes to heat the food to a warm temperature, but my cubes hadn’t even melted after 5 minutes. However timings will vary depending on your stove. An added bonus to the heating food in the pot is that the water in the pan keeps the food warm until you’re ready for it.
Is it easier than using a microwave?
No, I have found I’ve defaulted to the microwave at times. Using the Lillypot also uses more energy than a microwave in boiling the kettle and using the gas/electric hob, so isn’t the most environmentally friendly.
Saying that, I will continue to use the Lillypot for weaning, when I have time.
Does the Lillypot affect the taste of the food?
No. I transferred the food into my own little pots once heated, but you can feed straight from the Lillypot.
Rodwell says ‘by heating different food in the three separate indentations you will be able to tell your baby’s taste preferences from day one of weaning and slowly take the guesswork out of mealtimes.’
Is it easy to clean?
Yes, cleaning the Lillypot is straightforward. It’s dishwasher safe, which is handy. But like anything that goes in the dishwasher, I found it best to rinse straight away as the food can stick and you need a little elbow grease to scrub it off.
Is it value for money?
At £13.99 I think this is quite an expensive buy, especially as you’ll only be using for a few months before baby requires chunkier food. My daughter Evelyn is a little over six months and it’s already keen on trying finger food and foods of a lumpier consistency.
Made for Mum’s Verdict?
The Lillypot is for mums who don’t mind the added time for meal preparation and those worried that microwaves reduce the nutrients in their baby’s food. But as a concept this is great and I love that Tam Rodwell has used his skills and knowledge as a welder to design something that has helped him and his family with the weaning process.