👩🍳Foodie, Mini-Breaks & Money Matters
Mum to Bee & Belle, & Grandmother to Joey
Lover of cats 🐈🐈🐈
I am VERY much enjoying the feel of summer in the air at the moment. There’s a lovely warmth in the mornings, roses everywhere and trees in full leaf. It’s a lovely time of the year, especially for food as so many vegetables and fruits are coming into season.
Using flavourful ingredients is especially important when you’re cooking for babies as you can’t add loads of salt and sugar to perk everything up. You have to rely on having fresh, good quality ingredients in the first place to ensure the tastiest meals for your baby.
When my girls were trying solid foods for the first time they ate a mixture of home cooked food and ready made baby foods when it was convenient. My grandson Joey, who has just turned one, has had a similar weaning experience, enjoying baby versions of his parents’ meals alongside things like Piccolo fruit pouches and pasta sauces.
I know from my own experience, and now from watching my daughter Bee with Joey, that introducing new foods can be stressful – you worry a lot about nutrition and making sure they get a good balance, and feel the pressure to come up with new meal ideas too. It’s especially tricky at the moment as not everything is readily available in shops and you have to be flexible according to what you can find in the fridge.
To help, I’ve had a think about some of the staples that my kids ate when they were babies, as well as some of the things that Joey enjoys now.
1. Pasta with anything
I’ve rarely met a child of any age who doesn’t like pasta. Some are fussy and will only eat it plain or with very basic sauces, others are more adventurous, but pasta is a great staple for any weaning menu. Throw in a handful of vegetables like frozen peas or sweetcorn for good measure, and add things like grated cheese or chopped, cooked chicken for extra protein.
Making your own pasta sauce and then blending it is a great way to sneak in some of your baby’s five a day too. Tomato sauces are normally popular, or try gently frying some onions and garlic and blending with peas and mint for a fresh, green, spring pasta sauce. If you’re in a hurry, Piccolo do a range of ready made pasta sauces too. Choose tiny pasta shapes for small babies and toddlers. The ones in these photos are just from Sainsbury’s in the main pasta section.
As an alternative to pasta, try experimenting with simple risottos, using seasonal spring vegetables like asparagus, spring greens, spring onions and spinach for extra flavour and colour.
2. Eggs – all ways
Nothing says versatility like an egg does it? I’m talking boiled, poached or scrambled for babies, rather than the chocolate variety, but they can be just as tasty. Toddlers love a dippy egg with toast soldiers.
Joey loves eggs. In fact Bee sent me a picture recently of Joey and his Dad having baby and Daddy brunch – wholemeal toast, mashed avocado and poached eggs for Daddy, sliced boiled eggs for Joey.
3. Porridge pancakes
Porridge is a great breakfast choice for babies nutritionally but let’s face it, it’s not exactly the easiest thing to clean off faces and surfaces is it? Instead, how about making porridge pancakes using porridge oats instead of flour? I made some recently for Joey using Piccolo’s pancake recipe and oat milk and he absolutely loved them.
Making a big batch of pancakes is a great way to plan ahead as you can just stick them in the freezer and then pop them in the toaster when you want to use them. Serve them with yogurt or fresh fruit, or how about using a fruit puree as a dip? Joey actually had his oat pancakes spread with fruit puree, just like a jam!
It did make them (and him!) a little stickier, but then exploring different textures is all part of the fun of weaning isn’t it?