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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
When puréeing vegetables, you can add breast milk, formula or water to achieve desired consistency.
Steam vegetable until tender; drain. Blend or process vegetable (and liquid) of choice until smooth. Give your child as much vegetable purée as desired.
Apple & Pear Purée
2 apples, peeled
1 pear, peeled
1. Combine the fruit and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until tender (about 15mins).
3. Blend the fruit mixture with a hand blender or in a liquidiser until smooth.
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
3 tbsp finely chopped dried apricots
4 tbsp raisins
3 tbsp finely chopped pitted prunes
1. Place all the dried fruit in a bowl and add 250ml (9fl oz) of 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.
15th March 2011
Millie is now almost one so her diet has become so varied with different flavours and textures. There are many foods 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 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.
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.
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 a sieve into a small bowl.
This will keep in the fridge for 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Puréed Pear with Greek Yogurt & Wheatgerm
Pear Purée with Greek Yogurt and Wheatgerm
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
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 litre (2 pints) diluted hot vegetable or chicken stock
50g grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
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 stir for 2 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomatoes.
4. 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.
5. When the rice is just cooked and tender add the Parmesan and leave to stand, covered for a minute.
6. When serving grate over a little extra Parmesan
This article and recipe was published in the Oct/Nov issue of Easy Parenting.
Carrageen Moss Pudding
Something 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.
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
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.
Peach, Apple & Pear Purée
For more weaning recipes, check out Lidl Ireland's website where you will find some recipes I developed and photographed for them.