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Customer Review

62 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such an amazing invention - use it all the time, 10 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Philips Avent SCF870/21 Combined Baby Food Steamer and Blender (Baby Product)
I bought this when it was on offer at a cheaper price. However, if it ever stopped working, I'd have no hesitation in buying a new one at full price. It is so easy to use. You just put all your ingredients in the jar with the blade already in place. Put the lid on and pour water in the tank, that is hidden in the base, using the little measuring cup provided. You have to put the jug on the unit upside-down...then the machine knows what you're about to do. That's all you need to do to get things started. The steamer selection on the unit's dial clicks into place and stays there for the duration of the steaming process.

All your food is steamed to perfection. I used to use other methods of steaming and found some of the veg would come out burned on the edges. This doesn't do that.

When the steaming cycle is over, it beeps quite faintly to let you now it's ready for the next stage. It doesn't just beep once, it keeps on beeping at intervals, so you don't forget. The next step is to take the jug off the unit, turn it up the right way and place it back on the unit. The machine will only operate in blending mode when the jug is in this position. You don't have to wait for any length of time before turning the jug round for blending. The blending selection on the dial has to be held in place...ie. you have to apply pressure in the direction of the selection and keep holding until you're happy with the outcome. It doesn't click and stay.

As your child gets older, you can take the lid off and pour away some of the liquid...but, for very young babies, you would need it quite runny. Don't forget, if it's too runny, you can always add a spoonful or two of baby rice to thicken it. Also, it's entirely up to you how long you spend blending and how gloopy you want the result to be. It's possible to leave a few soft lumps in and mash them through the rest of the gloop, if that's what you prefer.

I saw some reviewers found it hard to take the lid apart for washing. I found that too, BUT THEN realized the most obvious ridge that you'd think would be the place to put your fingers to pull it apart will NOT allow you to do so very easily at all. The lid has four potential places available to help you take the lid apart. Three seem less likely, but ARE the ones you need to use...just a slight pull and the lid comes off very nicely. Don't use the larger-lipped part. This probably won't make any sense until you actually buy the unit. Now, I have no trouble separating all the parts. One thing...be careful with the very tiny plastic cap that is situated in the lid (it's only a few millimetres wide). I wouldn't advise taking this off to soak with the rest of the unit as it would easily go down the plug hole or just get lost in general. I usually only remove this for cleaning if I know I'm ready to also put it back in place straight after. Again, you will realize what I'm talking about once you've taken the lid apart yourself.

The lid is the only part that would possibly cause annoyance when cleaning, but the rest of the jug parts are incredibly easy to work out and clean. Once you've got the hang of the lid, you won't even give it a second thought.

I would say you can make four small meals for a very young baby using this blender and two for an older child. It only takes about 20 minutes to steam all your ingredients, so there really isn't much waiting time. I steam batches of green beans, sweet potatoes, parsnips etc. when I have some time spare and store them all separately in the freezer for future use. If you use tiny little pots for storage, you can spoon little amounts into each for freezing and defrosting later when you need them. I also mix all the batches into one and store complete meals. I don't like steaming meat in this, but I usually grate a bit of cheese on to my daughter's meals to give them some protein.

I have found I can cram quite a bit into the jug. I usually put softer foods at the bottom of the jug before I fill it with the harder food. For a full meal, I will usually cut up a tomato and place it in the bottom of the jug. Then put in potato, parsnip, green beans and broccoli etc. You can put in anything you like as long as it's safe for little ones to eat. I use apple and other types of fruit too (but not sure about banana). You really can make some tasty meals with this. All the flavours stay put. It says in the instructions that you shouldn't put frozen veg in, but sometimes I put frozen green beans in if I have none fresh. It still cooks well. As I said before, grating a little cheese on top adds protein as well as flavour. I've added cumin, garlic and other flavourings too (but not to the unit - only to the meal afterwards). As your baby gets older, you can sprinkle on any flavours you want them to be familiar with when they are older...obviously within reason...madras and chilli wouldn't be a good idea, but I don't need to tell anyone that...do I?

I have been feeding vegetables/fruit to my daughter like this since she started weaning (as with all my other children) and, now, when she doesn't feel like eating anything the older kids are eating, I make her a bowl of gloop and she spoons it in to her mouth very enthusiastically. I taste it and think...oh dear, she won't want this, but she does. She's so used to it. If you start them off young, they will eat it when they are older. There is nothing wrong with feeding a toddler, or older child, gloopy veg...after all, we all eat/drink soup and eat mashed potato. It's nice to be able to offer more solid food all day, but have the option of giving a nutritious bowl of something they like in the evening to satisfy yourself they're getting everything they need. It doesn't always look very nice, but that's the nature of puree with greens in it.

I'm so glad this is on the market. My only gripe is that it wasn't available when I had my first three children!
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