Food / 8 March, 2022 / Ellie Thompson
Just launched from Beaba, the Dry ‘n’ Snack Food Dehydrator. Perfect for making healthy, easy food and snacks for babies, toddlers and the whole family too.
Eco-friendly and versatile in nature, the Dry ‘n’ Snack is set to be a staple piece of kit in every family kitchen. Nichola Ludlam-Raine from @mummynutrition gives us the low-down on dehydrated foods, and how you can incorporate these within your child’s everyday diet.
The Béaba Dry ‘n’ Snack food dehydrator not only creates delicious snacks for your little ones but makes foods that can be added to salads, porridge and cereal, baked goods and smoothies, so you can use it from six months plus.
Your new kitchen companion has a digital display with an adjustable timer and temperature dials, with a built-in automatic switch off for complete peace of mind.
If you haven’t heard of a dehydrator before, the device resembles a microwave and works by circulating air on low temperatures to ‘fan dry’ fruit, veg, meat and fish to help preserve vitamins and nutrients.
Béaba’s Dry ‘n’ Snack can be used to dehydrate so many foods, the list is pretty inclusive.
Fresh herbs and seasonings can be dehydrated to prolong their shelf life, as well as fruit and veg – plus baby purees! The foods that don’t work well dehydrated are avocados, olives, butter, milk, egg and nuts.
For babies aged six months plus, the Dry ‘n’ Snack food dehydrator is brilliant at dehydrating purees, fruit and vegetables that can be ground and mixed with drinks or used as toppings. Dehydrated purees are a fantastic option for travel, as you can rehydrate these when you need to, adding to porridge, yoghurts or mixing in with drinks.
If you’re baby-led weaning, dehydrated fruits and vegetables can work brilliantly, but aren’t suitable as ‘first foods’ due to texture and potential choking risks. In fact, harder dried fruits remain a choking risk until children are much older – around 4 years of age, so it’s important to make sure any food is soft and of the same size as an adult’s finger so they can grip, chew and swallow with ease.
Top tip: When dehydrating purees containing meat or fish, ensure purees are cooked through first prior to dehydrating.
It’s not recommended to give babies snacks until they are 12 months old, as they should be offered milk between meals, but once your baby turns one, you can create all sorts of delicious tasty treats with the Béaba Dry ‘n’ Snack.
Fruits contain a higher amount of sugar so these types of food should be offered with a meal to protect dental health. Dried fruit and veg count as one of your child’s 5-a-day portions, and as everything is made at home, you can ensure there’s no added sugar.
As your child gets older, you can get creative, using your Dry ‘n’ Snack for homemade dried snacks, crackers, fruit rolls, macaroons and granola bars.
Dehydrated foods maintain nearly all of their nutritional value, and they’re pretty resistant to bacteria. Dehydrated fruit and veg are more concentrated in fibre, which is brilliant for supporting gut health, and preventing and treating constipation.
Dehydrated fruits and vegetables have a shelf life of a few months to a year, which will reduce wastage and save you money on your food shop, as dried foods are typically very expensive to buy. Dehydrated foods should be stored in an airtight container in a cold, dark area.
We’ve picked out four of our favourite Béaba Dry ‘n’ Snack dehydrated recipes created by @my.little.food.critic for your family to enjoy.
Loaded with veggies, protein and iron, these falafels are so delicious and they take just a few minutes prep time.
4. Scoop about 1 1/2 tbsp of the mixture and roll into a ball with your hands and then flatten into a falafel shape. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
5. Place the falafels onto the trays.
6. Dehydrate for 6-8 hours at 45°C. If you would like them slightly dryer dehydrate for 8 hours or if you would like them a little bit more moist dehydrate for 6 hours.
7. Once dehydrated remove from the parchment paper and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
These cookies are packed with goodness and flavour. The bananas, cinnamon and cannula add natural sweetness and the coconut adds a delicious tropical flavour. Great for snacking on the go if even breakfast.
3. Scoop about a tbsp of the mixture and roll into a ball with your hands and then flatten into a cookie shape.
4. Place the cookies onto the trays.
5. Dehydrate for 10 hours at 45°C.
6. Once dehydrated remove from the parchment paper and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
These are addictive! Cauliflower is seasoned to perfection with sweet maple syrup and savoury spices.
5. Once dehydrated these can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
These little yogurt drop buttons are so easy to make and a delicious snack for on the go. You can easily customise them to your preference or to use up any fruit you have to hand.
4. Using a teaspoon, drop circles of the yoghurt mixture onto the parchment paper, ensuring that there is space between them.
5. Dehydrate for 6 hours at 60°C.
6. Once dehydrated remove from the parchment paper and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up 2 weeks or at room temperature for 1 week.
NB: If you are unsure if your little one can manage the texture of dehydrated foods please consult your health visitor. Children experiencing delayed progression with weaning and/or developmental delays should seek tailored advice from a health care professional before introducing these types of foods i.e. GP, speech and language therapist, and/or dietitian.