Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder for Babies
The Munchkin Fresh Baby Food Feeder is AWESOME!
I recently had my fourth child and I SO wish we had had this "Fresh Baby Food Feeder" when our other three were babies. I think it is a wonderful idea and would like to personally thank and give a huge bear hug to the inventor of this handy gadget. I'll go more into detail on what it actually is and how it works further along on this page, but for now, let's just say it is an excellent way to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to a baby, especially one who is teething, without risk of choking. Read on to learn more about why I think this is the best thing since cloth diapers (for burp cloths, that is) and sliced bread and why a few of these would make a great gift for a new mom or for you if you have a little one at home.
Image credit: Meridith Zelaya
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So, What IS This Thing?
I was given one of these as a gift for my new baby and, at first, I had no idea what in the world the strange-looking contraption was. We didn't have these with my other kids, so it was all new to me. The lady who gave it to me said her daughter uses it all the time and it is great for teething. So, now that my baby is a bit older, I have been using it. I started out with one of them, and then later that day I went to buy four more. Yeah, that's how cool they are.
The Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder is a way to feed your baby fresh fruits and veggies without having to worry about him or her choking. Obviously you can't just hand a small baby a carrot and hope for the best. The feeder is a way to have them chew on things and get the nutrition from healthy foods without the risk of choking.
Take a piece of apple, pear, banana, cooked carrot, or another fruit or vegetable and put it in the mesh bag. Make sure it is closed all the way. It locks tight, so the possibility of your baby opening it and gaining access to the choking hazard is non-existent. (Still, the baby should always be supervised with the feeder) The mesh bag has tiny holes in it to allow for the juice and "mush" to come out into the baby's mouth, but the big piece stays within the bag.
Many babies love cold things to chew on, especially if they are teething, so put some small pieces of fruits and vegetables in the freezer for use in the feeder. I stock up my freezer with zipper bags full of bananas, cooked carrots, mango, apple, etc. so it is always at the ready. I have also started just sticking a piece of ice in the feeder. My baby absolutely loves the ice, plus it is just water so the clean up is super easy. The cold feels good on his teething gums, plus he's getting some water, which also can't hurt!
UPDATE (8/3/13): My baby is now 16 months! We still use the feeders, although much less because he is pretty much eating everything by now. I use it to give him ice, which scares me because I'm afraid it is going to slip down his throat. We also put fresh oranges and other citrus fruits in it, because he could choke on those too. Yes, I still LOVE this product and recommend them as gifts for new moms!
Munchkin Fresh Food Feeders on Amazon - ...and some other great Munchkin products
Some of the numerous foods to use in your feeder, fresh or frozen, when your baby is ready: mango, pineapple, apple, pear, carrot, banana, orange, strawberry, sweet potato, peach, apricot, melon, and grapes. And don't forget just plain ice works wonders!
Q & A
Can I let my baby use the feeder when he is in his crib? No. Always provide adult supervision when your baby is using the feeder. It is safe, but, just like you don't leave a baby alone in his Bumbo seat, you wouldn't want to leave him alone with the feeder.
At what age can my baby use the feeder? Six months is the recommended age to introduce the feeder to a baby. Of course, this all depends on what solid foods your baby has had. Just like you introduce solid foods one at a time a few days apart to rule out allergies, the same rule of thumb would apply to any new foods the baby is experiencing through the feeder.
Is it messy? Yes, but you have a baby, what do you expect? Seriously, though, certain things are messy, others are not. Bananas and other mushy foods can be a bit messy, but apples and other more crunchy foods are not messy at all.
How do you clean it? Well, I'm a clean freak and a germaphobe, so I actually wanted to steam-sanitize them, but luckily I read the package first and learned that the feeders cannot be steamed. What I did was purchase several feeders so I can always have a clean one at the ready. They are inexpensive, which helped. As soon as my baby is done with one, I empty it and soak it in very hot, soapy water. Then I just scrub it very well with my bottle brush. You can get them very clean just by rubbing them very well in the soapy water with your fingers, too. Be sure to remove all remnants of food to avoid any contamination. I air-dry them by simply hanging them on my bottle rack alongside all the baby bottle paraphernalia.
Are the Munchkin Fresh Food Feeders BPA free? Yes!
More Great Munchkin Products for Baby
Update on Using Banana In the Feeder
My baby is almost eight months now and has taken to using the feeder quite a bit every day, whether it is just ice or a piece of fruit. His very favorite snack is bananas, and we have discovered that the feeders are a total PAIN to clean when you use it with a banana. The effort is worth it, of course, but you really have to soak and scrub the heck out of the feeder in order to clean it. And it doesn't help if the banana piece is frozen, I can assure you.
What I have started doing is replacing the feeders every so often just to make sure they aren't too yucky for the baby. I'd say after about 15 uses I throw the feeders away and purchase new ones. Luckily, for us broke people, they are cheap!!