Seeing your baby’s face as you introduce them to different solid foods is an exciting adventure.
But it can also be a time-consuming mess. The Tommee Tippee Baby Food Steamer Blender promises to take the hassle out of weaning, making it as easy as possible.
The idea is that it combines steaming and blending so you can create foods to your desired texture, that your baby will love.
It’s also supposed to allow you to cook healthy meals as you know exactly what ingredients are going into them, unlike with ready–made purees.
Tommee Tippee has won countless awards for its innovative baby products, which explains why it was awarded a consumer Superbrands status in 2013, and every year since then.
The brand has been around for over 50 years and recently launched its new range of Ultra bottles, designed to mimic the flow of the breast.
Tommee Tippee also makes a range of weaning products. These are all BPA-free so you don’t need to worry about your baby coming into contact with any harmful chemicals.
I love the look of the Tommee Tippee Baby Food Steamer Blender. It’s sleek and stylish and didn’t look out of place amongst my various other kitchen gadgets.
How does the Tommee Tippee Baby Food Steamer Blender work?
There are three different functions you can use — steaming, blending or steaming and blending.
Apart from the + and – buttons to set the timer there are only really two other buttons you need to use, each with symbols on them, so it’s pretty simple to use.
If you haven’t put the lid on properly or locked the water tank the machine beeps to let you know and won’t let you switch it on.
First you fill the water tank up with 450ml of cold water. Then you cut up the food you want to steam or blend into 1cm pieces, weigh out the amount of food you want to cook, and pop it into the container, making sure you attach the knife blade and lock it into place first.
Timings are worked out per 100g so you need to weigh the food out to be able to calculate how long you’ll need to steam it for.
The most you can steam in one go is 200g and the maximum steam time is 30 minutes. If you opt for a blend only cycle the maximum you can blend for is 5 minutes.
Once you put the lid on the container you make sure it’s locked and then set the timer for the desired length you want to steam and, or, blend. When it’s finished the product beeps loudly and the LCD screen flashes to let you know.
The Steamer Blender was in the news recently in regards to safety concerns, what happened?
Tommee Tippee launched an investigation on one of its Steamer Blenders after a 6-month-old baby choked on a piece of plastic found in his puree, which was made with the Steamer Blender.
According to mum Natalie Haake, food she prepared using the blender ended up with plastic shards in it, which was swallowed by her son Jack, causing him to choke. Luckily her partner was able to make their son Jack vomit, but she was horrified to find plastic in his vomit. And she says she found more pieces of plastic in other meals she had made with the blender after double-checking them.
Responding to Natalie’s call for the Steamer Blender to be taken off the shelves Tommee Tippee told MadeForMums in a statement:
“You may have seen press reports about an incident involving shards of plastic found in the bowl of a Steamer Blender. We have taken this very seriously and have been carrying out extensive testing to try and replicate this issue on our own machines.
In this testing we have only been able to replicate the issue when reassembling the blender after cleaning with the sealing ring upside down, or by washing the blade unit (consisting of the blade, sealing ring and locking ring) in the dishwasher. We have therefore reviewed our instructions to make the section on cleaning and reassembling the blender clearer.
In the meantime, we’d like to ask all parents using this product to inspect the bowl to check that there are no signs of wear. If the bowl has no scars at the bottom, then parents can carry on using it as they have been, taking care to hand wash the blade unit. Please note the blade unit parts cannot be placed in the dishwasher. You should also ensure the sealing ring is the correct way up. Download the full product instructions from Tommee Tippee.
Did you have any safety concerns when using the Steamer Blender?
No. I didn’t. I found setting up the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender to be a doddle.
You just have to make sure you clean it with soapy water, fill it with cold water and use it without any food in it before you start steaming and blending.
The instructions are easy to follow, with handy illustrations to help you if you’re not clear about anything.
After washing and drying the product you need to set the steamer for 30 minutes and the blender for 30 seconds, then allow time for it to totally cool down afterwards before you use it for the first time.
This steamer blender has been criticised for being noisy, is that the case?
While it’s fair to say it’s not the quietest of steamers it just sounded like the kettle was on to boil the whole time it was in use, which didn’t particularly bother me.
And the blender periodically makes a quick grinding noise when in use that reminded me of a bread maker. It does beep quite loudly when the programme finishes but I found this quite handy, as inevitably I’d forgotten I’d switched it on!
What quantities can the Tommee Tippee Baby Food Steamer Blender blend?
It’s great for serving up baby-sized portions of food. And you can blend portions up to the max line on the container, which is 200ml, which made about five portions of veg for my little one who’s 15 months.
While it will make a large portion size it’s not great if you want to do bulk blending — you’d need to blend in batches.
What stage of weaning is this blender ideal for?
The product claims to be perfect for all stages of your baby’s development, from first tastes/foods to more chunky and mashed meals. It sounded ideal for my little boy Ellis.
My 15-month-old son and has lots of food allergies so I find it a struggle when it comes to cooking, especially making any kind of sauce for him to eat. I have to make all of his meals from scratch, which can take ages, and now I’ve got a new baby I don’t have the luxury of time.
I thought by steaming and blending veg it could potentially be a quick and simple way to make vegetable sauces for him. Plus it will come in handy once I’m ready to start weaning my new arrival Theo in 6 months.
The Steamer Blender is ideal if you want to make purees, and for first tastes, as the consistency of the purees is quite watery.
But the great thing about it is that you can also set the timer to suit whatever stage of the weaning process you’re at.
For example, you can steam the veg so it’s quite mushy or cook it less so it’s got more bite once your little ones have teeth and are able to chew properly.
The only downside is because you have to cut food up into 1cm pieces it’s not so good if you want to use it to steam food for baby led weaning. It’s quite small so difficult for little ones to grab hold of.
Tell us more about the consistency of the food it purees
The first time I used the steamer blender I tried to steam and blend some peppers to make a red pepper sauce for Ellis. I used 100g of red peppers and found the resulting sauce to be far too watery.
I noticed when you use the steamer some of the water transfers across into the container with the food. So if you want a thicker consistency the best thing to do is pause the cycle as soon as it finishes steaming and tip the water out before blending, or steam and blend separately.
Saying that, a positive aspect of this baby food steamer blender is that it allows you to choose how long you want to steam and blend for, so you can adapt the textures accordingly.
But it’s a case of trial and error, I experimented a few times to work out the consistency I was after.
Do you have to do much prep when before putting food in the blender?
Sadly yes. There’s a fair amount of prep that has to be done before you can put food in the blender.
It does make it more time consuming than if you were to just stick fruit or veg into a steamer on the stove, as you have to weigh and measure everything out.
But once you get the hang of it, and if you use the Tommee Tippee Baby Food Steamer Blender on a regular basis, you can gauge the size you need to chop food into and the amount of food you need to put in making it less fuss.
It’s worth noting that the steam vent is in a silly place as it’s at the back of the blender and would have been better on the top.
But what I really disliked about the product is the water tank. Each time you use the steamer you need to fill it up with 450ml of water.
Annoyingly, there are no measurements on the side of the water tank so you have to use a measuring jug to get the correct amount.
It would have made more sense if the design allowed you to see exactly how much water you’re pouring in.
You also need to make sure the tank is completely empty before you fill it up. On several occasions, despite measuring out the correct amount of water, it overflowed everywhere, which was a pain. And on a couple of occasions the lid for the water gauge wouldn’t quite go in, but I eventually mastered the knack of it.
Is it quicker and easier than a microwave?
No. It would be quicker and easier to use a microwave but personally I don’t really like the idea of using a microwave. I much prefer steaming as it preserves the nutrients.
Is it quicker and easier than steaming and blending on the stove?
It’s also not really any quicker than steaming on a stove, because you have to measure the amount of water and quantities of food and then wait for the water to heat up like you would if you were using a conventional steamer.
But it does mean you can steam and blend in one go which is easier than having to transfer the food from the steamer to a blender, and saves on washing up.
How robust/durable does it seem?
It seems very robust and a good quality product that should last for a long time.
Is the Tommee Tippee Baby Food Steamer Blender value for money?
But the steamer/blenders are great for multi-tasking as you can do everything in one go rather than having to faff about and steam and then blend separately – it also cuts down on the washing up.
And if you’re sleep deprived like me it’s incredibly useful having a product that beeps loudly once the programme is done.
On several occasions I’ve narrowly averted disaster as I’ve accidentally forgotten about vegetables I’ve been cooking in my usual steamer and come back into the kitchen to find the water had boiled out.
What’s in the box?
1 x baby food steamer blender
2 x freezer pots
1 x spatula
Any additional extras to buy?
Not really, you just need to make sure you have a measuring jug and kitchen scales to weigh out portions.
The Tommee Tippee Baby Food Steamer Blender is great for busy mums with a bit of extra cash to spare who want to multi-task while making their baby’s food. It’s easy to use and makes great purees for smaller babies, but not so great when making chunkier, baby led weaning dishes.
Retailing at £99.99 it’s pricey and more of a luxury item than a necessity. But if you’re not a fan of microwaves and have a little one with allergies and need to make food from scratch then this is the blender for you.