[Disclaimer: we were sent a packet of each sort of Little Yums for testing but have not been compensated in any other form for this post]
There’s a bit of a double edged sword in being a baby-led weaning aficionado; on the one hand, no one really markets baby food at you, and on the other, only a handful of companies actually make anything that would fit with BLW anyway. Plum is one of the few that do, and when they offered to send us their newest invention, Little Yums, for a taste I was intrigued. They’re aimed at being suitable from very first tastes right from the get-go, and although my girls are a good bit older, they were both keen to be samplers.
The biscuits themselves resemble those very 70’s style pate cracker biscuits that seem in texture to be only one step removed from a savoury version of those foam packaging peanuts; lots of air bubbles under a thin crust. Each of the wafer biscuits, and there are three in each pack, breaks nicely into two fingers, although my Elma, being my Elma, got very cross every time we broke one, and insisted on having hers intact, just like her big sister. If you were trying to give a six month old some finger food they’d be great snapped into two; one for each waving hand!
From a Mama point of view I like that they’re as organic as possible, and that even if I can’t exactly replicate them in my own kitchen; I can at least recognise all of the ingredients on the back of the packet more or less. In an ideal world my children would only eat homemade food from natural ingredients grown by pixies and imps under the light of a waning moon but that’s just not always possible (please see abandoned plates in my kitchen sink that I’m frankly too tired to wash up as a point of reference) and there’s just something very handy about being able to chuck a pre-packaged little trio of biscuits into my nappy bag when I know we’re going to be heading out for a little while and might need a little boost somewhere along the way.
And now for the all important part; the taste test.
Kitty, when initially presented with a biscuit, returned it after a couple of bites with a “No thank you Mama, it’s just not very tasty”, but then a couple of days later decided that the yellow ones (pumpkin and banana) were actually quite acceptable, and she’s wolfed down a fair few of those.
Elma on the contrary has by and large been very keen on them since we first tore into a box. She will happily eat the yellow packets (all three biscuits at once if allowed) but her true favourites are the green ones, spinach apple and kale flavoured, and she’ll follow the box from room to room making an “aaarp aaarp” sound until she gets to hold a packet.
And on the basis that most Mummies end up tucking into their children’s snacks in a very hungry Mummy style emergency, I too took a bite. It turns out that I wasn’t far wrong on the texture front. The taste of each sort is inoffensive, but rather bland. If I were riffling the girls’ snack box for a bite to eat I think that Little Yums would still be passed over for those curiously addictive carrot sticks.
As it happens I think that even quite tiny babies can cope with quite strong tastes; after all everything a breastfed baby eats is influences by the diet of his or her mother, and if you’ve every been pumping and eating say spinach the night before and found yourself explaining to the nursery that yes the milk is glowing a pale shade of green and it looks like an alien invasion is about to take place and no, it’s not a problem, you’ll get a very real demonstration of how much variety and taste the little ones are already getting and can stand to handle.
I would love to see a company develop and market a set of baby food products with really vibrant flavours, to start them off on this voyage of gastronomic discovery with something as near to homemade as can be managed, but I don’t know whether that’s feasible or marketable. Until that happens I think it’s really great that companies like Plum are trying to come up with baby nibbles that can reach across the market, and I’m rather curious to see what they come up with next!