My daughter Erin was a bit of a fussy eater and always had been even from the early weaning days. Some days getting her to eat anything was a challenge, and since the teeth started to make an appearance this only got worse! As a first time mum, I found myself getting quite worked up and anxious about the quality of food that she eats, having often spent hours in the kitchen making a yummy dinner only for her to turn it away. As a result, I often purchased pouches and jars, as she appeared to enjoy these much more than my own home made food!!!
Before feeding Erin anything bought off the shelf I always tasted it first to make sure it tastes like ‘real’ food and as such have became quite fussy about which products I would buy.
As a big lover of M&S Food (and a massive fan of the dine in for 2!) I was really excited to learn that Marks and Spencer had launched their own new range of baby and toddler meals – Tiny Taste Buds. A brand that I trust, we were really keen to check it out!
About Tiny Taste Buds
The Tiny Taste Buds range provides healthy, balanced meals for each stage of your baby’s weaning which have been specifically tailored to the nutrition needs of your baby to support their growth and development.
Using only the highest quality organic ingredients, Tiny Taste Buds products use foods from each of the key food groups to help introduce new tastes and textures, with the aim of helping your child develop positive eating habits for the future.
All of the Range is categorised as Eat Well – made from 100% organic ingredients with no added sugar or additives and are low in salt.
The range is suitable for babies from 6 months as follows:
Stage 1 – from around 6 months – with a smooth texture for babies just beginning their weaning journey. These first tastes include flavours such as organic vegetable root medley, organic banana porridge, organic fruity mango dessert and organic pea, broccoli, and parsnip with pear. Portions are 120/130g pouches.
Stage 2 – from 7 months and for babies who are more established with weaning, the stage 2 foods are gently mashed to introduce texture. These next stage flavours include organic creamy chicken and sweetcorn, organic super green veg and salmon with cheese sauce, and organic cottage pie with sweet potato. Portions are 130g pouches.
Stage 3 – from 10 months features tiny yummy chunks, to help develop tastes and encourage chewing. These meals include organic sweet potato and beef casserole with rice, organic mighty meat pasta, organic basil and tomato chicken with rice, organic Italian bean ragu. Portions are 190g pots.
Stage 4 – 12 months + is for babies/toddlers learning to feed themselves with bite size chunks to chew. These meals feature organic supergreen vegetable risotto, organic chunky vegetable and chicken casserole. Portions are 200g pots.
Tiny Taste Buds also support Great Ormond Street one of the world’s leading children’s research hospitals with the broadest range of dedicated, children’s healthcare specialists under one roof in the UK. Marks and Spencer are generously donating £500,000 towards vital research to help children with nutrition and allergy related conditions.
Prices range from 99p to £1.99
We trialled the range of Stage 3 foods from Tiny Taste Buds with my daughter Erin who is 11 months at the time of testing.
The packaging is bright and appealing, with a cartoon image of a baby surrounded by vegetables on the front of the packet.
They stage 3 pots are small enough in size to be able to pop into a changing bag, so perfect for out on the go.
On reading the choice of recipes, the options sounded really appetising, with a good combination of foods combined in one dish. A lot of the baby foods on the market can be somewhat limited in their flavours, so it was good to see something a little bit different, or a slight twist on a more traditional dish.
The meals can be warmed using the microwave (40 seconds on full power) or heated in hot water for 5 minutes. We don’t have a microwave at home, but it was very quick and simple to heat up the pot in a bowl, and I simply left on the side to heat up whilst getting Erin in her chair.
The texture of the food is just right for her age group – with small lumps that encourage chewing without chunks too large for her to handle. Erin still has a habit of spitting out larger squares of foods so the smaller size pieces was preferable! You can visually see the range of ingredients within the dish, and it smelled lovely, without the slightly synthetic smell that is sometimes prevalent in pre packaged baby food!
As for the taste test, both Erin and us as her parents gave the dishes a try, and my other half quite happily polished off the small amount that Erin had left – waste not want not! Lol
Her personal favourite was the organic mighty meat pasta, which is a little like a spaghetti bolognaise only with more substantial pasta pieces. At 190g per portion, she would generally eat around 3/4 of the dish, with a few finger food pieces alongside it. Erin does however have a reasonably small appetite, and therefore other babies may quite happily polish off the lot!
Overall we were really impressed with the quality and flavours within the range of Tiny Taste Buds foods, and I would happily serve them to Erin again.
- Great combination of flavours with organic ingredients and no added salt or sugar.
- Meals that we would happily enjoy ourselves
- Attractive design and packaging.
- Easy to prepare and serve, and can be eaten directly from the bowl, reducing the need for washing up!
- Perfect size to pop into your changing bag for feeding out and about.
- Supporting Great Ormond Street – a fantastic cause for children.
- Depending on the size of your child’s appetite, some of the food may get wasted. Although the food can be kept refrigerated for 24 hours, this is only if its not been heated up. So unless you decant into another bowl and heat up a small amount a time, it could prove an expensive way to feed your child. For those with a more “normal” appetite or who don’t like to supplement their meals with finger food this shouldn’t be a problem.
- With prices starting at 99p (1.79 for stage 3 products), there are obviously some cheaper options on the market, however, for an occasional treat or meal for when out and about, I personally don’t mind paying a little extra for high quality organic ingredients.
You can learn more about the full range of M&S Tiny Taste Buds foods and their collaboration with Great Ormond Street on their website here – http://health.marksandspencer.com/our-health-ranges/tiny-taste-buds