I have a five year old who would give Gordon Ramsey a run for his money. He thinks he’s the boss of the kitchen and loves to get involved. Mainly through experimenting with recipes and ingredients he has seen on YouTube. I’m more than happy to just sit back and let him run the show but when it comes to appliances I normally have to step in. Not with the Chill Factor Smoothie Maker.
I have to admit I was sceptical at first – how could a “blender” be safe and actually work for a five year old? I thought it would just be a case of mixing up water like fluids for a play effect, but after the success of the Chill Factor slushy maker I should have known better. The Chill Factor range has some fab new items in it’s range and they just get better and better. It’s earned it’s stripes as a more than useful kitchen gadget and isn’t “just a toy.”
One thing I will recommend is that you read the instructions first. There’s some recipes in there so don’t get too excited and jump right in like we did and make some rookie mistakes. The main safety feature is the safety guard. It’s screwed securely in place so there’s no chance little ones can even touch the blade on the smoothie maker. This means that you have to make sure that your fruit ingredients are chopped up in to quite tiny pieces.
As a food tech teacher I’m delighted as this gave Arlo a chance to improve his bridge and claw knife skills. He set to work chopping up strawberries and banana in to tiny pieces which would fit in to the spout of the smoothie maker. I was worrying about washing up too but the jug was easy enough to clean with a blast under a running tap. You could use a bottle brush too if you have one to hand.
Top tips: stick to soft fruits if you’re adding them in. The blender is stronger than you expect power wise but I would start with things like berries and then experiment your way up. Batteries are not included and you need 4xAA – it’s worth getting the “good” brand as we did notice a difference in power of the motor between batteries. Being battery powered means you can use this anywhere – so I didn’t have to look for a clear space in the kitchen close to a plug socket which was another bonus.
In the box you get the motor base, the jug, a lid, a straw and instructions. All of which can be clicked together fairly intuitively – The jug is twist locked in to the base and then the lid just fits on. There’s only one way each piece can go and it’s all fairly robust. If you don’t get it right then the maker will not switch on which is another great security feature.
When it comes to what to make – you can basically go with anything you like. We tried a strawberry and milk mixture with a dash of honey as well as a banana and yoghurt mixture for something a bit thicker in texture. Arlo’s already got his sights set on some ice cream concoctions you can be as creative and as healthy as you like in this respect.
It’s a thumbs up from us. Especially when I did a quick Google and found it in several good toy retailers for £14.99.