Weaning Yums for Teeny Tums!
Childcare is fun’s Weaning Purees
I thought I’d share a few of my favourite weaning recipes that I’ve made up over the years while I’ve been working with little ones, and that my own two loved!
To make first foods, peel, scrub or prepare your chosen fruit or vegetables and cut into pieces.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with tastes after the first few months. You can try mixing fruit with vegetables, such as apple and carrot which my two loved! However, it’s so important to remember at this early age- DO NOT add any salt or sugar!
You can cook the vegetables in a variety of ways such as gently simmering until soft or you can steam or microwave them. I find using a steamer saves times and effort and the veggies become very soft while still retaining their flavour. When they are cooked, add a little of the cooking water (as this will contain dissolved vitamins from the fruit or vegetables) or your baby’s usual milk.
Blend or thoroughly mash the cooked foods. If you need to remove any pips or tough fibres, push the food through a sieve using the back of a metal spoon.
You can adjust the texture by adding more water or milk until you find a consistency your baby likes.
In the first few weeks of weaning make sure that the vegetables are cooked for quite a long time so that they are soft enough to puree to a smooth consistency.
Cooking times will differ depending on which vegetable you choose .
Bugsy’s carrot puree
Carrots are rich in betacarotene the plant form of vitamin A and make excellent weaning food because of their naturally sweet taste.
Interestingly, carrots are more nutritious when cooked with a little fat, such as a knob of unsalted butter,so you can add a knob of butter to the drained carrots if you wish before you puree them.
350g carrots, peeled and chopped
Put the carrots into a steamer set over boiling water and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until tender.
Drain the carrots and place in a blender, adding some of the water from the bottom of the steamer or some of the cooking liquid, then puree until very smooth.
The amount of liquid you add really depends on your baby, you may need to add a little more if he finds the puree difficult to swallow.
Spoon some of the puree into your baby’s bowl and serve lukewarm. You can freeze the remainder in an ice cube tray or small plastic containers.
Benjamin Bunny’s allotment purée
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 parsnips, peeled and diced
Steam the vegetables until they’re tender. Purée in a blender or mouli and adjust the texture with boiled cooled water or baby’s usual milk.
Nanny Fi’s Lentils with butternut squash
50g split red lentils
120g butternut squash, peeled and diced
Boil the lentils in water until soft and steam the squash until tender. Drain the lentils and add the squash to the sieve and place the sieve over a bowl.
Using a wooden spoon press through the mixture, stir and serve! my two adore this recipe and so I always made it in bulk. Now we make it as a soup!
Baby Betsy’s Broccoli and Cauliflower purée
2 large florets of broccoli
2 large florets of cauliflower
Steam the vegetables until they are tender. Purée in a blender or mouli and adjust the texture with boiled cooled water or baby’s usual milk.
Jack’s Winter vegetable warmer
1 small swede
1 small sweet potato
Peel and chop all the vegetables, place in a pan, cover with water and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft. Drain the vegetables, reserving the cooking liquid, then mash or puree, adding the reserved liquid to obtain the required consistency.
Popeye’s Potato and spinach purée
1 medium potato, peeled and quartered
20g (a handful) spinach
Boil the potato in unsalted water until tender. Steam the spinach over the potato in a sieve for the
last few minutes of cooking. Drain and mash the potato with a little of baby’s usual milk. Purée the spinach and add to the potato.
Ho!Ho!Ho! Vegetable puree
This easy recipe will allow your baby to join in with your Christmas meal even at a very young age! If you cook your baby’s vegetables at the same time as you cook your own, remember to not add any salt.
2 brussel sprouts
Peel and chop all the vegetables, place in a pan and cover with water. Simmer for 30 minutes then drain, reserving the cooking water. Blend all the vegetables and add extra cooking water until you have the desired consistency.
From 6 months…
Remember that milk is a very important part of your 6 to 9 month baby’s diet, and you shouldn’t aim to replace it with solid food at this stage.
Try giving your baby half his milk before his solid food and half afterwards. Towards the end of his first year, you may find that your baby begins to refuse the second half of his milk,so this is the time to think about dropping a feed or two.
Chicken Licken & Butternut Mmmm!
1 fillet organic or free range chicken
1 butternut pumpkin
20g butter or 1 tbs. olive oil
Chop the chicken into small pieces. Top and tail the butternut and cut away the skin. Cut in half, remove the seeds and chop into small pieces. Place in a saucepan with the chicken, cover with water and bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes.
Drain reserving the water and mash until a suitable consistency, add some reserved cooking liquid to soften the mix, add the butter or olive oil mix well and serve.
‘Down at the bottom of the deep blue sea’ puree
This is very simple to make and a great way of introducing fish into your baby’s diet. If you wish it to be a little richer add milk instead of water.
100g cod fillet, skinned and de-boned
A few sprigs of parsley
Place the rice and water in a small pan and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cod fillet and cook for a further 10 minutes, add extra water if needed. Finally add the parsley and cook for two minutes. Blend to the desired consistency, adding a little extra boiled water if needed.
Barley, Barley, black sheep
1 small clove garlic
1 small onion
100g lean minced lamb
50g pearl barley
1 tbs. tomato puree
Peel and chop all the vegetables and place in a saucepan with the minced lamb, pearl barley and tomato puree.
Cover with water and stir well, breaking up the lamb mince.
Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time and adding more water if necessary. When cooked, allow to cool slightly then puree to the required consistency.
Approximate Freezer storage times…
Vegetables = 6 months
Fruit = 6 months
Puree’s with milk = 4-6 weeks
Fish= 10 weeks
Meat & Chicken= 10 weeks
*As your baby grows older,you can change the texture of his food. However, remember to watch your baby carefully as he may not be ready for it! As he becomes accustomed to small, soft lumps, you can go from mashing to finely chopping the food.