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Heating Babies Food On the Go? Advice Please.(22 Posts)
My name is Tom and I'm a product designer from Middlesex University in London,
I've recently discovered an insight about the issues of heating up food for babies whilst out and about.
My sister-in-law told me that she finds it very difficult to heat up food for her son when she is out and will often have to return home to do so. This means that she can never plan to be out for a full day.
I believe there may be a design opportunity for me to develop a product that can cook and store hot food in one that is mobile and takes away this issue of accepting that you have to feed your child with cold food.
I would really love so advice from as many of you as possible to see if there would really be a need for this.
All information / opinions are welcome.
Thank you so much in advance.
I just gave cold food. Or put it in a thermal lunchbox. There's a bunch of them in the supermarket designed for soup. Not every meal needs to be warm though. I feel sorry for your sister in law if she doesn't go out for the day because her baby would have to eat cold food.
It's a non-issue. I just use a travel bottle warmer if it's a jar/pouch or feed my son some of my food. I don't see the problem.
Why can’t they have cold food when they’re out? Surely it’s fine for lunch to be cold I.e a sandwich. Then hot dinner at home.
I'm a nanny, not a mum but I've never needed to heat up food when out of the house. I would either take food with us that didn't need heating, e.g. sandwiches, bananas, yoghurt, cheese and crackers or feed the baby from my own plate of hot food. For cold, winter picnics I've taken soup in a thermos for everyone including the baby.
I never heated food whilst out either.
For the short period of time it might have been an issue, they had things that were OK cold. They were soon able to eat some of what I was having, or their own meal from café etc.
I would be very worried about taking food out that was being kept warm - the need for it to be above a certain temperature to stop food poisoning, would mean that it would probably be too hot for a small child to eat straight away, so you would have to wait to cool it down.
Either cold food or a hot water bath for the container with a thermos but mainly only had the thermos to make formula warm.
Thank you so much for the feed back so far. this is extremely helpful.
In response to your comments, I would like to push the conversation on by asking a few questions.
For those who use jarred food, Would you have a different opinion of my proposed product if I told you that it would offer a more sustainable solution to feeding your child. - less packaging as this product will help to focus on using fresh ingredients offering a healthier meal.
It would also create less embedded energy by using one product that has multiple uses.
Also, would it be fair to say that for many years we have served cold food for our babies due to the fact that it is easier than finding a way of heating food.
One more, would you agree or disagree that if you have the option of eating cold or hot food you would more likely choose hot and therefore, just because a baby can't communicate that doesn't mean we should assume they're happy to eat cold food.
I used to go to the Asda café which had a microwave for customer use for this purpose. I don't know if all Asda cafés have this?
I just ask for a jug of hot water and warm the food (jars, pouches ect) or use the food thermas I've recently bought and take warm food from home. It's really a non issue. Parents have been doing this for decades and been fine.
In respond to your last point, if the baby is eating sandwiches it's because that's what everyone else is eating - a picnic lunch, or because she would usually eat something similar at home. If we're out and about and I'm eating hot food (in a cafe, for example), she will share my hot food or I will order something for her. I don't avoid feeding her hot food became I don't have a way of heating it.
She has never eaten "baby" food though, no jars, pouches or specially made purees.
What will all of the uses be op?
It does sound like you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist tbh.
Breast milk is 'delivered' at body temperature - 37 degrees, so not 'hot'.
The appreciation of warm/hot food is learned, because we feed them warm food. It isn't necessary for nutrition.
Sorry, but your SIL is being a bit precious not going out for the day because of the supposed difficulty in warming food for her child.
As pp's have said, there are easily remedies if you decide the food MUST be warm, more for the parents comfort than the babies.
There is already a means to warm food in cans, I remember seeing tins of coffee that you pull a strip and there is an device built in to the can that warms up the coffee ( similar to those hand warmer things you can but). However, ridiculously expensive compared with buying a coffee from a shop, or bringing your own vacuum flask, so that is probably why they don't sell.
Like pp's I think you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist ( except maybe for your SIL).
Brilliant information! thank you so much. Really interesting insights.
I would love to hear about any issues you might have with food preparation for your children that you feel has not currently been addressed.
Once again, all info is welcome.
My kids refused jarred food, so that was never an option. Flask worked just fine or cold food - like we can all eat - it's no hardship! Or they ate at the restaurant we were eating at.
I do feel sorry for you SIL, she seems to be overthinking it....does she have anxiety issues or PND?
I'd like to point out how polite Tom has been, lovely to see an articulate and polite young person asking for help.
Agreed very polite but for me there's a fundamental flaw, feeding / weaning isn't a problem its straightforward. The manufacturers of baby food made a problem to solve. Just eat healthy food yourself feed baby same or near enough same.
Tryingto great in theory, but what do you do if you're in town and it's lunchtime? That's why I always used to include the Asda café in my itinerary.
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