Slay those dinner-time demons (with some of my favourite meals for little people)!

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Have trouble feeding your little devil? Want some yummy, nutritious meal options for your bub?

Here are some of my favourite recipes for little people! These can be puréed for bubs or served chunky for toddlers (add steamed veggies or dipping toast if your toddler likes to eat using their hands). They come from Annabel Karmel’s Top 100 Baby Purées (a great investment if you need some baby/toddler meal inspiration).

If you’re just starting out, or if the only food your child enjoys is Mexican (of the purse-lipped, spoon-throwing, stand-off variety) then here are some mealtime tips that worked for us…

STARTING OUT:

- Try feeding bub at the same times each day to get them into a habit of knowing when to expect food (even if they only eat a teaspoon at each sitting for the first month or so)

- Don’t persist, babies will start eating in their own time (and they don’t really need any extra nutrients until they’re older anyway). Babies are good at telling you when they’re done so take their lead and don’t force them to eat more than they want to. Being too pushy might lead to mealtime stand-offs with stubborn babies (I learned that one the hard way).

INTRODUCING FLAVOURS:

- Once bub is older and comfortable with the basics, give them a taste of anything and everything (being mindful of potential food allergies, of course). Don’t shy away from strong flavours – including spices – just don’t go overboard and upset their tummies! For my eldest I used to add a pinch of cumin to flavour her mashed avocado. My second born took to eating passion fruit around the 7-8 month mark.

- When they get teeth I usually offered my kids a taste of my meal (WARNING: this is awesome for expanding their tastes but really shit if you have any future expectations of eating a meal without being pestered by child-seagulls).

- From around 10 months (assuming you’ve tested a variety of foods for allergic reactions) blend all leftovers from your adult meals and feed them to bub. This introduces them to the foods you eat regularly – the foods you will expect them to eat with you as they grow (because who really wants to be cooking more meal than what they have to?). I have blended all sorts of things for my girls – beef stroganoff, steak with mushrooms and pepper sauce, apricot chicken, chicken enchilada mix, roast dinners – whatever! As it turns out, mushrooms and kalamata olives are two of my three-year-old’s favourite foods.

 

RECIPES

My favourite baby food recipes - Annabel Karmel

CHICKEN WITH SWEET POTATO AND APPLE

Suitable 6-7 months (or older)
Suitable for freezing

INGREDIENTS:
15g butter
40g chopped onion
110g chicken breast, chopped
300g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 dessert apple, peeled and chopped
200ml chicken stock

METHOD:
Heat the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and saute for 2-3mins. Add the chicken and saute for a couple of minutes until it turns opaque. Tip in the sweet potato and apple and pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and simmer for 15mins. Puree to the desired consistency.

 

FISH WITH CARROTS, CHEESE AND TOMATOES

Suitable for 7-9 months (or older!)
Suitable for freezing

INGREDIENTS:
250g carrots, peeled and sliced
225g plaice fillets, skinned*
2 tbsp milk
40g unsalted butter
2 ripe tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and chopped
40g cheddar cheese, grated (you can find the Kraft version of this in the condiments aisle with the cheese sticks and cheese spread)

*I can never find plaice, so I often opt for blue genadier or basa fillets. These vary in their “fishiness” so you might need to try a few to find out what bub likes, or ask for advice when buying the fish. Generally soft-textured fish is good.

METHOD:
To skin tomatoes
Plunge the tomatoes in boiling water for 30secs. Transfer to cold water, then skin, de-seed and chop.

Put the carrots in a steamer set over a pan of boiling water and cook for 20mins.
Meanwhile, place the fish in a microwave dish, add the milk, dot with 15g butter and cover, leaving an air vent. Microwave on high for 2-3mins. Alternatively, put the fish in a pan, cover with a little milk and simmer for about 5mins, or until cooked.
Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan, add the tomatoes and saute until mushy. Stir in the cheese until melted.
Blend the carrots with the tomato mixture.
Remove the fish from its cooking liquor and flake, making sure there are no bones. Mix the fish with the carrots and tomatoes. For younger babies you can blend the fish together with the carrots and tomato for a smoother texture.

 

APPLE AND PEAR WITH CINNAMON

Suitable 6 months
Suitable for freezing

INGREDIENTS:
2 dessert apples
2 ripe pears
4 tsbp pure unsweetened apple juice or water
generous pinch of ground cinnamon

METHOD:
Put the fruit into a saucepan together with the apple juice or water and cinnamon, cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 6-7mins until tender. Blend the fruit to a smooth puree.

For older kids or bubs who are onto dairy products I mix small portions of this with natural yoghurt.

 

Do you have any weaning tips or a favourite recipe you’d like to share? Please post it in the comment section below!

 

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