We have been weaning Baby for a couple of weeks now and as appealing as the cute little jars look on the shelves in the supermarket, with their brightly coloured labels and glistening gold lids, I really wanted to make his meals from scratch. I’m not saying that is the best thing to do, or that any mother reaching for the pre made stuff is a failure… far from it! I just love to cook and have had so much fun looking into different combinations of flavours and researching what baby can and can’t have. Dairy, meat, grains and pulses are all off the menu for now, after all, this is just the beginning. But we are so lucky to have a wealth of vegetables and fruits available, as well as herbs and spices to keep them from being bland and boring!
|From left to right: Roasted courgette and Garlic, Carrot and Ginger, Broccoli and Coriander Leaf, Pureed Mango, Sweet Potato and Cinnamon, Bramley Apple and Cinnamon|
1) Roasted Courgette and Garlic
Take 3 Courgettes and cut into small pieces. Peel one small garlic clove and place that in its whole state with the courgette into a baking dish with a misting of oil spray. Cook at 180C for 25 minutes, then add 3 tbsps of water before blending to a puree.
2) Carrot and Ginger
Peel and chop 4 medium carrots. Boil until soft then blend with half a teaspoon of powdered ginger. Possible variations could include boiling the carrots with freshly grated ginger or/and adding a dash of pure orange juice.
3) Broccoli and Coriander Leaf
Chop the stems off of a fresh head of broccoli and boil until soft. Blend and combine a tsp of dried coriander leaf. No, I’m not crazy, apparently coriander brings out a nutty flavour in broccoli. Who’d have thunk huh? Alternatively, add powdered coriander, fresh coriander or even some garlic powder (NOTE: Don’t confuse garlic powder with garlic salt, as it is important to limit salt intake with babies).
4) Pureed Mango.
Peel and cut up a mango. Puree the flesh. EASY PEASY!
5) Sweet Potato and Cinnamon
Peel and chop 3 sweet potatoes into small chunks. Boil until soft then puree with a tsp of cinnamon mixed in. This can be quite a different texture for baby to handle as despite being a smooth puree it is a really thick texture so be sure to offer them some milk or water to wash it down with. Or perhaps even mix in some milk or water to make it more sloppy.
6) Bramley Apple and Cinnamon
Core, peel and chop 4 bramley apples into small piece, add enough water to just about cover them then boil down until they make a thick sauce. Add a tsp of cinnamon. Blend to eliminate all lumps if just starting out, or leave a few lumps to introduce texture to baby. Apple sauce is a BIG hit with our Baby, and he has it either warm or cold, mixed into his porridge or baby rice or on its own. Its also the only one that really makes my mouth water too…. must resist stealing it to make a crumble!