OK Mummas and Pappas, are you about to start, or in the process of starting solid foods for your bub? What an exciting time! They are getting older, their personality is starting to come through, and they just love to experiment! So, once they have got the basics down pat, and you are comfortable in general with the feeding process, perhaps this is the perfect time to start encouraging a love of food and introduce a wide range of flavours for them to explore!
In our family, trying new foods and flavours is an important part of who we are. There are not many types of real foods or cuisines that we don't like (except coriander for Brad!) and because I have absolutely no plans of making specific meals for each family member, the kids better follow suit too. So from the start, we offered foods that were a little out of the box. And we try to include a veggie in pretty much every meal to make green absolutely normal and not the exception.
Of course, there are certain foods which can be a risk to our babes which include: honey, whole nuts, whole grapes, popcorn, raw hard veg such as carrots, anything caffeinated and unpasteurized cheese. And some experts tell parents to avoid certain foods that may prompt allergic reactions such as shellfish, strawberries and peanuts though the evidence seems to be changing a little in this area. We personally do not have allergies in our family so we felt it was best to introduce things such as peanut butter early as some evidence says that this can actually help avoid allergies (http://www.aaaai.org/home). In saying that, we recommend all parents to ask their medical provider for information specific to your circumstance about what foods you to introduce and when.
So below we have listed 6 unique recipes that you may like to try with your bubs for breakfast (or any other time of the day really). Remember, make meal time an enjoyable experience. Relax, don't stress if they don't like everything you give them, just try again another time. And try not to replace the healthy stuff with less healthy options if they don't like it initially. This perhaps applies to older kids but you often hear people say things like 'my kids won't eat anything but sausages' and it does make me wonder if they purchase and cook their own sausages...Anyway, we hope you enjoy and feel free to share with any parents on the weaning journey.
- Pear, broccoli and cinnamon quinoa porridge Bulk cook pear and broccoli, puree and freeze in ice cube trays. For this recipe, put 1/3 cup of quinoa flakes with 1 cup of water in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of pear puree, 1 tablespoon of broccoli puree and a pinch of cinnamon. Heat gently until thickened. It only takes a few minutes. Add a spoon of natural greek yoghurt and a tsp of LSA (Linseed, Almond and Sunflower mix) if suitable for your baby. Depending on the age of your baby should make enough for 2 serves.
- Apple, spinach, mint and blueberry puree Bulk cook and puree green apple and freeze in ice cube trays or similar. Do the same with blueberries and baby spinach leaves-you may like to choose organic berries as pesticides are commonly used on berries) Put 1 part blueberry, 1 part spinach to 2 parts apple in a bowl and warm through. Mix through 1/2 a teaspoon of finely chopped mint leaves.
- Banana, peanut butter and avocado mash Great for when you are on the go since it doesn't require any cooking. Mash 1/2 a small avocado with 1/4 of a banana and a tsp of natural, smooth homemade or 100% peanut butter. Make sure no added sugar or salt has been added. Add a little breastmilk/formula or water to thin if necessary.
- Spiced pumpkin bircher muesli Bulk cook (either roast or steam) pumpkin, mash then freeze into ice cube trays or similar. Put 1/4 cup of rolled oats into a bowl with 1/2 cup of water or your chosen milk. Add 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree, 1 tablespoon of apple puree, a large pinch of cinnamon, pinch of ground ginger and a pinch of ground nutmeg and stir. Soak in fridge for an hour or so until soft. Serve warmed if you prefer.
- Peach and vanilla brown rice pudding Bulk cook and puree peach when in season, otherwise you can use mango (which can be pureed without cooking) or just pears if you like. Cook one cup of brown rice according to packet following absorption method. Once cooked, leave in the saucepan and add 1 cup of milk of choice, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and stir through and throw in the pod also, bring to a boil and cook slowly for a few minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod (seeds will remain) and add in 4 tablespoons of peach puree and stir to combine. You can add chia seeds to the mix but note that they do absorb moisture-when in the body too so make sure you are giving your bub enough water/breastmilk/formula. This will make quite a lot in order to make the most out of your vanilla bean so store leftovers in the fridge for a day or so. Best to use immediately if formula has been used.
- Smashed avo with egg yolk, basil and peas Bulk cook peas and mash or puree and then freeze in ice trays or similar. Hard boil an egg and mash up the yolk with 1/2 and avocado (Hudson was intolerant to egg whites when he was very young-is fine now though, the proteins can be allergenic, so I use the yolk only but check with our medical provider for your own circumstance). Mix in 1 Tablespoon of pea puree and a teaspoon of some finely chopped basil leaves.
You will see that we like to bulk cook individual fruit and veg and then freeze in portions. This means you can basically pick and mix whatever you like to get some good variety in flavours-and use up whatever you have.
Stay tuned for part 2 and 3 showcasing some delicious weaning recipes for lunch and dinner too!