Written by Kent Mum, Faye.
I am a feeder, I love having family over and cooking a big meal for us all to enjoy so I always intended to follow baby led weaning as soon as George was ready.
We started off with breakfast of baby porridge and then the odd fruit or veg from our plates throughout the day. As we progressed to more meals I tried to stick to the advice of the books to introduce as many different foods and flavours as possible, balance sweet and savoury, balance textures, present food in a baby friendly way and even though I love cooking I felt like I was forever planning and making food that (in the early stages) he was mainly playing with.
It was becoming a bit of a disheartening chore and I was panicking that he wasn’t properly ‘eating’ enough. So I reminded myself why I’d chosen BLW- to enjoy family meals; I stopped planning George his own meals and went back to my normal way of cooking. Now I’m enjoying preparing food for us all and he is loving tucking in and demolishing whatever is put in front of him. I’m hoping that in sharing some of our favourite meals you can enjoy weaning as a whole family.
Generally this is a quick and easy meal of toast or porridge with some fruit. Around 7months I stopped buying the baby porridge and blitzed up a batch of standard porridge oats- it’s much cheaper and can be prepared in the same way (1tbsp oats to 2tbsp boiled water). For a treat we’ll have these pear and apple muffins with some natural yogurt:
195g plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
65g brown sugar
65g melted butter
2 pears, 1 apple
Peel and chop the fruit (save ¼ pear for later) put in a saucepan with a cup of water and bring to the boil. Drain and blitz to a puree.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla until fluffy.
Whisk in the cooled, melted butter.
Mix the dry ingredients into the egg mix (it may seem very dry at this point).
Stir in the puree a couple of tbsp at a time until the mixture resembles the texture of a standard cake mix.
Divide into a muffin tin and sprinkle over a few chunks of pear that was kept at the beginning.
Bake at 200˚ for approximately 20 minutes.
Lunch and Dinner:
A tasty left over lunch that George loves is a pizza wrap which is simply a tortilla wrap spread with tomato puree, left over meat, onions, peppers and grated cheese, folded in half and popped under the grill for a few minutes.
I try and batch cook for main meals- we all know how chaotic life is with babies so if I’ve got the chance to cook I’m going to make the most of it! One of the easiest things I’ll try and do is cook up a few pieces of chicken, pork or fish with different marinades such as pesto, lemon and herb, tomato puree and garlic so that I can portion them out into pots for the freezer. This week’s favourite meal has been mozzarella meatballs:
Ingredients (enough for 2 baby and 2 adult portions):
500g beef mince
1tbsp mixed herbs
½ ball mozzarella sliced into small squares
Mix the beef, egg, herbs and breadcrumbs until fully combined.
Take a tbsp of the mixture and form a patty in your hand.
Place a piece of mozzarella in the centre and close the patty to form a meatball around it.
Slowly fry the meatballs, turning only occasionally until browned on all sides (keeping on a low-med heat will ensure they cook through).
Serve in a tomato sauce with pasta.
I hope this gives you some confidence and ideas for your family to try, if you are just starting out with weaning please refer to the NHS guidance for age appropriate food and restrictions https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/solid-foods-weaning/.