This week's twin essential is the Nuk for Annabel Karmel food masher & bowl.
I bought this for just under £4 on Amazon here.
As you can see, there are little ridges in the bottom of the bowl to help grind the food down. The masher is brilliant, it has long narrow holes that work with the ridges to break veg, potato or fruit down as small as possible.
I hate using my hand blender for a number of reasons. Firstly, I want the boys to get used to a bit of texture. Secondly, my hand blender is crap and spits food particles at me. This is ideal for making batch portions and freezing them, which brings me to the next essential baby pick.
I got a 2-pack of these silicone ice cube trays on amazon here for just under £3. Each tray makes 21 ice cubes. They're ideal for freezing portions of mashed fruit or veg, or even leftover fruit pots that the boys aren't able to eat. The trays make pretty decent sized cubes, three cubes is usually enough for dinner for both of them (at aged 6 months), so each tray holds 7 days worth of dinners.
When you want to defrost a portion, take the tray out of the freezer for a minute. Don't let the stuff defrost - just a minute is enough to loosen the portions enough so that you can press gently on the little pink suckers on the bottom of the tray and the cubes pop out easily one at a time.
The only downside is that they don't come with a lid, but I use a bit of clingfilm over the top and it does the job grand. I use one tray for sweet potato/veg and one tray for fruit.
Both the trays and the bowl/masher are really helpful additions to anyone during the early weaning stages. They're probably not much use to people who do baby-led weaning exclusively, but I'd still recommend the ice cube trays for their intended purpose because they're really easy to pop out.