Baby Food


Nov 2010 - Over the past couple of months I have been introducing Millie to the wonderful world of food through baby purées. In this section of the blog I would like to share with you a few of the purées that have worked for Millie and I. I will try to update this page regularly so make sure to check back for new ideas. I'm constantly looking for some new recipes to encourage my little ones to the dinner table so any tried and tested suggestions would be greatly received - you can leave a comment below or e-mail me at nessasfamilykitchen@gmail.com.


It is wonderful to have complete control over what your baby consumes and the best way to achieve this is to make your own food purées. It has to be said that Organic ingredients are the best option for your babies first meals. What's most important, however, is a balanced diet. It's important to offer your child healthy foods from the beginning — whether they're organic or not. 
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Vegetable Purées






When puréeing vegetables, you can add breast milk, formula or water to achieve desired consistency.


Method 
Steam vegetable until tender; drain. Blend or process vegetable (and liquid) of choice until smooth. Give your child as much vegetable purée as desired.



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Apple & Pear Purée



Ingredients

2 apples
1 pear
60mls water

Method

1. Combine fruit and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
2.Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until tender (about 15mins).
3.Blend fruit mixture with a hand blender or in a liquidizer until smooth.


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Apricot, Prune and Raisin Compote








This is ideal for your baby if he or she is a little uncomfortable in the bowel department. Stored in an airtight container, this mixture will keep for at least a week.


Apricot, Prune and Raisin Compote

Ingredients
3 tbsp finely chopped dried apricots
4 tbsp raisins
3 tbsp finely chopped pitted prunes


Method
1. Place all the dried fruit in a bowl and add 250ml (9fl oz) just boiled water.
2. Cover with cling film and leave to soak in a cool place for at least 4 hours or overnight.
3. Purée until really smooth.



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Avocado and Banana Mash


Ingredients
½ ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
½ banana, peeled and sliced

Method 
1. Mash the avocado and banana together until as smooth as possible.
2. Serve immediately (both the avocado and the banana will go brown very quickly).
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15th March 2011

Millie is now almost one so her diet has become so varied with different flavours and textures. There are many foods that I have been introducing her to over the past few months and like her brothers she enjoys mealtimes.
She absolutely loves to sit up at her high chair and have a selection of finger foods to try. I have always been nervous of introducing finger foods to little ones as I have an awful fear of choking. At this stage her teeth are very tiny and the whole idea of chewing food before swallowing is a new process. So I always supervise Millie carefully at mealtimes and the finger food that I offer her is always very small. Such examples are grated cheese, finely chopped cooked pasta, cooked rice or steamed carrots and tiny pieces of buttered toast. Just recently I have started Millie on our delicious organic eggs, from our own hens. Of course a little taster of  my poached egg off my plate tastes a lot better than any egg that I try to feed her, but some finely chopped cooked egg is also a good idea as a finger food.
I would like to share with you a few little dishes that Millie is enjoying at the moment.

Blueberry Yogurt

 
Combine 2 tablespoons of mashed Blueberry(see below) with 2 tablespoons of Greek or Natural Yogurt.
I generally mix this with half of a mashed Banana for a delicious and nutritious dessert or tea.







Blueberry Mash


1. Combine 300g of blueberries with 2 tablespoons of water in a medium saucepan; bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until softened.
2. Push blueberries through sieve into a small bowl.
This will keep in the fridge for 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

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Puréed Pear with Greek Yogurt & Wheatgerm







This baby dish has been a real favourite for my little ones over the years. I love that it is such a nutritionally balanced dish, packed with goodness and as a dessert or snack it is perfect for growing tummies. Pureed pear makes for a wonderful introduction to solids, as it is so appealing to the young palate with it's sweet flavour. 

It is important to choose only sweet fruit that is completely ripe for your baby's fruit purees. When your baby is around 8 mths the pear puree can be combined with greek yoghurt and wheatgerm for a very satisfying dish. Full fat Organic Greek yogurt makes a good choice for infants, as it is more fattening than other standard yoghurts. This is most beneficial for babies as they need fats in their diets for proper growth. It is also higher in protein and has less sodium than regular yogurts. There are so many benefits with including wheatgerm in your baby's diet. It is packed with vitamins and minerals and is particularly high in Vitamin E and Iron. Just a sprinkle over your baby's pureed pear and Greek yogurt is a great way to give an already healthy dish a considerable nutritional boost.






Pear Purée


Ingredients
2  ripe pears, peeled and cored
3 tbsp pure apple juice or boiled water
  

Method

1.Chop your pear into small even sized pieces. Put these into a heavy based saucepan with the apple juice or water. 
2.Cover the pan and cook over a low heat, for about 3 mins, until the pear is tender.
3.Blend the pear to a smooth puree using an electric hand blender.
4.Spoon a little puree into your baby’s bowl and serve either lukewarm or cold.


Pear Purée with Greek Yogurt and Wheatgerm


1. Combine 2 tablespoons of the pear puree with 2 tablespoons or Organic Greek yogurt. 
2. Sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of wheatgerm and stir to combine.


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Nessa's Baby Risotto





I love any dish that all the family will enjoy however when I first made this risotto I expected Millie to be the only taker, but to my delight the boys also really enjoyed it. This is a recipe I submitted for Easy Parenting as a baby meal but if you haven't a baby in the house you could still try this out. It makes a lovely addition to many different meats but is equally delicious on its own.

As a young baby's palate becomes use to the smooth texture of a fruit or vegetable puree sometimes the introduction of lumpier foods can prove a little tricky. It is natural for your baby to spit out the lump or even sometimes gag in the quest to rid their mouth of what they think is a foreign body. I must admit that I was very nervous when it came to introducing lumpier meals and finger foods to my first boy. It always seemed to evoke gagging which not only turned my little man off lumps but also resulted in me being a nervous wreck at mealtimes. However with some persistence I slowly introduced textures into his meals and soon he began to enjoy this new cuisine. With my other children the transition from purees to lumps didn't seem to take as long. Most children develop at different paces and it's always imperative to give them a chance to progress at their own rate. Given some time your baby will begin to control the lumps of food in their mouth and in turn they will learn how to swallow them. It is important to introduce your baby to textured dishes at an early stage, around 9 mths, as it is paramount for the development of their oral skills and also important in the building of muscle tone.
It can be quite labour intensive to cook meals that will suit the babies, children and adults in a house so with this in mind a recipe that suits all is invaluable to the family cook. Risotto is one dish that my whole family enjoy. The risotto is perfect for the baby/toddler, aged 9-12mths, as all of the vegetables are finely chopped and for the older children it makes a perfect accompaniment to some roast chicken or a few good quality sausages. Feel free to experiment with this recipe including whatever vegetables are in season.

Millie enjoying a bowl of Risotto.



Nessa's Baby Risotto


Ingredients 

1 onion, finely diced 

1/2 red pepper, finely diced 

1 small courgette, finely diced 

1 carrot, finely diced 

2 tbsp olive oil 

1 clove garlic, crushed 

2 tomatoes, chopped 

225g (8oz) risotto rice, such as Arborio. (Can also use long grain) 

1 litres (2 pints) diluted hot vegetable or chicken stock 

50g grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve 

 

Method

1. Saute all the onion, pepper, courgette and carrot in the olive oil for 5-6 minutes, until soft.
2. Add the garlic and rice and stirr for 2 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomatoes.
3. Slowly add the hot stock and simmer for 20-25 mins until the rice is tender. Adding a little more stock or water if necessary.
4. When the rice is just cooked and tender add the Parmesan and leave to stand, covered for a minute.
5. When serving grate over a little extra Parmesan


This article and recipe was published in the Oct/Nov issue of Easy Parenting.


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Carrageen Moss Pudding

Something that Darina Allen claims that all the babies of Ballymaloe were weaned onto is Carrageen Moss Pudding. It's highly nutritious and would be very beneficial to all members, in the family.





Ingredients
1 semi-closed fistful (1/4 oz /7g) cleaned, well dried Carrageen Moss
(900ml) 1 1/2 pints  milk
1 tablespoon castor sugar
1 egg, preferably free range
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

Method
1.Soak the carrageen in tepid water for 10 minutes. 
2.Strain off the water and put the carrageen into a saucepan with milk and vanilla extract.
3.Bring to the boil and simmer very gently, on a low heat, with the lid on for 20 minutes.
4. At that point separate the egg, put the yolk into a large bowl, add the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk together for a few seconds.
5. Pour the milk and carrageen moss through a strainer onto the egg yolk mixture whisking all the time. The carrageen will now be swollen and exuding jelly. Rub all this jelly through the strainer and whisk this also into the milk with the sugar, egg yolk and vanilla extract if used. 
6.Whisk the egg white until stiff and fold it in gently. It will rise to make a fluffy top. 
7. Serve chilled with soft brown sugar and cream and/or with a fruit compote.


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Peach, Apple & Pear Purée




Ingredients

2 ripe peaches
1 eating apple, peeled, cored & diced
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored & diced
2 tbsp water 
Method
1. Cut a small cross in the top and bottom of each peach and put them in a heatproof bowl. Cover with freshly boiled water and leave to stand for 30 seconds, drain and then plunge in cold water. Carefully peel off the skins. Cut the peaches into quarters, remove the stones and dice the flesh.
2. Put the diced peaches, apple and pear in a saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until all the fruits are soft.
3. Cool slightly, then place  into a blender and purée until smooth. It can then be served warm, or alternatively cool quickly and chill in the fridge before serving. 



10 comments:

sjor said...

Just found this through Irish blog awards - congrats! Love your styling and photo's. You've got a new follower :-) x

Nessa Robins said...

Thank you! I'm delighted that you found my blog and are enjoying it. Your's looks really lovely - I must have a good read through it.

mdolgetta said...

Thought you might like to know that your talents are becoming known all the way across the ocean in Atlanta, GA thanks to a friend of mine who lives in Athlone. I'm going to share your work with the moms in the neighborhood. Well done!

Nessa Robins said...

Wow, thank you so much! What a lovely comment - You have me beaming from ear to ear :)

Fiona said...

Nessa, thanks so much for all your healthy and inspirational recipes for my baby boy. We all enjoyed your risottoe! Yummy!

Nessa Robins said...

That's wonderful to hear, Fiona! I'm always so thrilled to hear that the recipes are being enjoyed. I also must add a few more baby friendly recipes.

Dora Hurley said...

Great blog!! I just found it. I'm playing with the idea myself to start a blog and you are such an inspiration. If you can blog with 4 kids i should be able to do with one. ;) Great recipes, I can't wait to try the avocado and banana mash tomorrow for my 5 month old.

Nessa Robins said...

Wow! Thank you so much, Dora. You should most certainly start a blog. It is so rewarding and I've made many good friends as a result of blogging. Where are you based? When you do get set up make sure to let me know & I will add you to my blog list.
That avocado & banana was a firm favourite with my guys, so I hope your little one enjoys it too! Nessa.

thrifty amos said...

I just found your blog after a recommendation on LMUTB. She is right it is a great blog and the photos are lovely. I have been lost in this baby food section for a while now.I'm loving it!

Nessa Robins said...

That's wonderful to hear. Thank you! My youngest is going on four, so I'm out of the baby stage, hence I've somewhat forgotten about this page. I have a few more recipes on draft..I must add them. Happy Christmas to you & yours :)

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