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Category: Baby Led Meals

The baby-led meals that I give Indy are not really as ‘recipe’ based as the snacks I make for him.  Breakfasts are fairly simple during the week and lunches and dinners are mainly compiled of a protein, vegetable and carbohydrate. I find meal planning really helpful in making sure that I am not giving him the same thing too often, and to ensure that I’m making use of anything that needs using up in the fridge / freezer.

The main ingredients I incorporate into his regular meals are:

Protein – chicken, pork, beef mince, salmon, cod, smoked haddock, quorn, eggs

Carbohydrate – potato (roasted and boiled), sweet potato (roasted), pasta, gnocchi, chickpeas

Vegetable – carrots, parsnips, broccoli, peas, green beans, butternut squash, avocado, tomato, sweetcorn, kale, spinach, asparagus, courgette, aubergine, peppers

I still make the most of my freezer for Indy’s meals – I portion up raw meats and fish so I can quickly cook the right amount, and I use a lot of frozen veg like, broccoli, green beans, peas, kale, butternut squash and sweetcorn.  I find this enables me to mix up his meals daily, as opposed to me having to give him salmon for 4 days straight as its all been cooked and has to be eaten.

While we eat as a family at the weekend, my husband and I eat dinner later during the week, so I also portion up anything suitable for Indy the next day, to help him get used to what we normally eat (still watching our salt content though!). Recently these dishes have been risottos, stir frys, and pastas, and I have been giving them him in his Bamboo Bamboo bowl so he can use his hands to feed himself. At weekends we enjoy avocado brunches and Sunday roasts together, and Indy normally also has the leftovers on Monday!

The one thing I haven’t started giving yet is anything too sugary, such as cake and chocolate. This is just personal choice, and he gets such enjoyment from fruit, that he doesn’t need anything else sweet at the moment. All fruits are a winner for him, and again, I mix these up as much as possible. He mostly has berries for breakfast, so for his lunch and dinner dessert, he can have oranges, grapes, mango, melon or apple.

I’ll keep adding any recipes that we love and find really useful, and please comment if you like any as much as we do!

Puff Pastry Pin Wheels

I first saw pinwheels when Indy’s friend had one for his lunch on a playdate – his was filled with Marmite which Indy isn’t keen on yet, but I thought i’d have a little experiment of my own.  I bought some puff pastry sheets, and had a little rummage in the fridge for what I could use as a filling, again trying to be as efficient as possible with ingredients.

I found some spinach which I finely chopped and mixed with some cream cheese.  I rolled out the pastry, spread the spinach and cheese mixture on, then rolled the pastry back up into a tight roll.  I sealed the end slightly with a fork, cut into slices about 2cm thick, and baked in the oven until golden. I cut the pastry sheet in half before making, so I was able to make pin wheels with 2 fillings, out of just one puff pastry sheet.  

I gave one to Indy to test for his dinner that night, along with some sweet potato and avocado, and he really enjoyed it!  I froze the remainder of the batch, and now pull one out to defrost if we are out and about – it’s made a nice change to him having a sandwich!

Again, there are so many filling combinations to use when making these, both sweet and savoury, and using up any leftovers.  I also made a batch with tomato puree and grated cheddar cheese inside, and these also went down a treat. The only negative is that they are MESSY – so definitely not one to eat in the pram! 😉 x

 

Breakfast – Easy Banana Pancakes

Indy is going through another fussy food phase – this time, breakfast.  He’s gone off crumpets, cereal, porridge, and now crusts, which means toast is on thin ice.  As my banana and quinoa pancakes have been a long term staple since we started baby led weaning, I decided to start looking for alternatives which he could have with yoghurt and fruit, which is where I found these.  They. Are. Amazing – sweet and full of protein, and only THREE ingredients!

1 egg

1 banana

½ tsp baking powder

Mash the banana whisk the egg, and then mix together with the baking powder – I just blitz together in the Nutribullet for speed  

Heat a little butter in a frying pan

Spoon the mixture into the pan – I prefer to shape into small pancakes as they are easier to control

Cook on both sides until golden  

It’s been a long while since Indy has inhaled a meal, looking so happy with himself and even went back for seconds!  They were super quick to make in the morning, and I served with a little yoghurt and strawberries on the side as normal.  You must give them a try! x

 

Breakfast – Porridge Bites

Indy has loved porridge since he was 6 months old – it was the first breakfast I gave him once we had moved on from fruit and veg, and for some reason he only likes it with banana!  It’s one of the only meals I still had to spoon feed him, which is why I started making porridge bites a couple of months ago. They are still porridge in principle, but are the perfect solid size for him to pick up.  You can also be as creative as you want for toppings to make them a bit more exciting! The recipe is really simple, and is super quick to make, so easy to do in the morning.

1 cup rolled oats

½ cup whole milk

¼ cup raisins

Mix the oats and milk in a bowl and add the raisins

Spoon into silicon cake moulds or a muffin tray and lightly flatten down

Microwave for 2-3 minutes – I judge this by eye really.  I like them to firm up so they hold their shape when out of the mould, but not really hard  

Cool in the moulds and serve

Any spares can be kept in a Tupperware or tin

The recipe makes about 9 bites, and I give 3 to Indy for each meal.  I find changing the toppings mean he doesnt get bored if he has them a few consecutive days, and they always consist of things we already have in the fridge or the cupboard!  Some of our regular ones are:

Yoghurt and blueberries (or any kind of berry!)

Peanut butter and banana

Peanut butter and apple

Strawberry jam

Frozen berries heated and reduced down into a compote

Comment below if you have any other good toppings we can try!

 

Lunch / Dinner – Pea, Spinach and Parmesan Pancakes

This was a recipe to include green vegetables as a side dish for a main meal.  They can be served with meats or fish, and a yoghurt or hummus dip. As all my favourite recipes, they can be frozen once cooked, and popped in the toaster to quickly heat through before serving.

1 egg

½ cup of frozen peas (thawed)

½ cup spinach

½ cup whole milk

2 tsp olive oil

40g parmesan

1 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

Place spinach, peas, egg, milk and oil in a blender and blend until smooth.

Add flour, parmesan and baking powder and blend again into a batter.

Heat some oil in a pan and spoon a tablespoon of mixture into the pan for each pancake.  

Cook on both sides until golden.

 

Baby Led Meals and Snacks on the Go

This has always been the trickiest part of weaning for me – being able to take food out for Indy without having the luxury of a microwave or an oven to reheat.  Unless we go for lunch or dinner where he can have part of our meal, he’s still not at the stage where there is any point ordering his own meal.

I’d strongly recommend getting a small cool bag, to keep any drinks and snacks in – I found this easier rather than keeping them in the baby bag where a banana could easily get crushed! Small snack pots are also really helpful to keep the right size portion of food in, so you don’t have to take huge tupperwares out.  

As opposed to having specific recipes for meals and snacks to take out with us, I have a selection of go-to foods that I can easily prepare and quickly grab.  All are fuss-free and I know Indy will definitely eat them which makes for much less stress. I also avoid giving them these things when he eats at home, as I find he isn’t bored of them when he gets given them when we are out.   

Tuna and sweetcorn pasta salad with yoghurt

I can quickly cook up a pasta salad and this can be eaten cold.  I just add some tinned tuna, and sweetcorn and/or peas, and a some yoghurt for a dressing.

Cheese spread sandwich on milk roll

This is a fail-safe, as my child LOVES bread!  I still give him milk roll for sandwiches, as it has the most calcium and lowest salt content, and use cheese triangles as the filling.

Wholemeal mini pitta breads with hummus

I either fill the pitta with hummus, or if using a pot of frozen hummus, just chop the pitta into fingers and dip.  Using the pots of hummus is really easy, just take out in the morning and they will defrost while you are out and about for lunch time, and it means must less mess if eating on the go.

Cheddar cheese sticks / Babybel

This is a really easy one – chop up some cheese into fingers, or just take a Babybel!

Cooked chicken pieces

Again, I can quickly cook some chicken before I leave, and this can also be eaten cold.

Roasted chantenay carrots

This is a bit of a strange one to have cold, but Indy loves them.  They are the perfect size to quickly cook and to take out with us in a small tub. I’ve also tried roasted peppers and sweet potato, and he also loved these cold.  

Mini bread sticks

I buy these in a big box and just take a few out with us – I find these are good to tide Indy over as they take a while to chew.

Broccoli and cheese scones

These are from my recipe for baby-led snacks – I just take one out of the freezer, and it defrosts while we are out and about.

Kale and tomato pizza muffins

These are also from my recipe for baby-led snacks, and just take out of the freezer to defrost before we leave.  They are easy for Indy to eat and he still enjoys them when cold.

Bananas / Oranges

These are the easiest thing to take out with you as they dont need preparing and they come in their own packaging! You can literally eat bananas and oranges anywhere, so i always make sure I have them in the house to grab in emergencies.

Fruit

Other fruits that i find easy to take out are blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and grapes (cut into quarters).  All are a good dessert after lunch or dinner, or as an accompaniment to a snack.

 

Lunch / Dinner – Broccoli and Quinoa Bites

Indy is going through a ‘fussy’ stage of eating vegetables at the moment, so this was another way I wanted to sneakily give him lots of greenery!  The recipe is from the Holly Willoughby ‘Truly Scrumptious Baby’ weaning book, and was a huge success. I gave him two ‘bites’ for lunch, with a boiled egg, and again for dinner with some steamed cod and roasted peppers.  This will definitely be one of my regulars!

 

25g quinoa

150g broccoli florets

50g cheddar cheese, grated

1 egg, beaten

Cove the quinoa with water in a pan and bring to the boil – cook until tender, then drain and leave to cool.

Blitz the broccoli in a food processor / Nutribullet until finely chopped, and scrape into a large bowl.  

Add the cooled quinoa, cheese and egg and mix well.

Form the mixture into sausage shaped patties – it is quite a wet mixture, but I tried to squeeze a bit out when making the patties!  I made 8 in total.

Place on baking paper in a baking tray, and cook in the oven until firmed and golden

 

Lunch / Dinner – Kale and Tomato Egg Muffins

This is a good recipe when I don’t have time to cook a meal from scratch – these can be pre-made and just heated through in the microwave.  They’re also a great way to introduce eggs so are full of protein, as well as also sneaking in some green veggies! I’ve always struggled to give Indy tomatoes too, but he loves them in this!

15g butter cut into small pieces

4 eggs

20g cheddar cheese

4 tablespoons whole milk

20g kale

2 tomatoes deseeded and finely chopped

Beat the eggs and add the cheese, milk tomatoes and kale.

Grease 4 ramekin dishes, and pour the egg mixture into each.

Place the ramekins in a roasting tin and add boiled water halfway up the dishes which helps the eggs to cook evenly.  

Dot in the cubes of butter and place in the oven for around 20 minutes.

 

Breakfast – ‘Eggy Bread’

This is more of a weekend breakfast, or a midweek quick lunch, and has been a great way for me to introduce some eggs into Indys diet.  I cut into fingers and serve with some chopped avocado.

One egg

2 slices of bread (I use Milk Roll)

Beat the egg and pour onto a plate.

Place one slice of bread into the egg on the plate until it is covered on both sides.  

Add butter to a frying plan, and place in the bread to cook the egg on both sides.

 

Breakfast – Wholegrain ‘Shreddies’

This isn’t so much a recipe, just more of a concoction, but really helped to develop Indys pincer movement and was also a refreshing change to porridge and Wheatabix when I was spoon feeding him.  I buy the Sainsburys Wholegrain Mini Wheats as these are low in salt and sugar, add a handful to a bowl along with whole milk to soften, and add some blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. It’s very messy and the milk goes everywhere, but he loves it!

 

Breakfast – Quinoa and Banana Pancakes

Indy and I love these!  They’re slightly sweet due to the banana, but just taste healthy as opposed to eating a stodgy flour pancake.  As all my favourite recipes, these can be frozen once batch cooked and just popped in the freezer to heat through when you need.  I serve them to Indy cut into fingers, dipped in yoghurt with some blueberries on the side!

220g quinoa – soaked overnight

For the batter:

125ml water

2 bananas

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 egg

Cover the quinoa with water in a bowl and soak overnight.  Rinse once soaked until water runs clear.

Add the quinoa to a blender – add the water and blitz to a smooth batter.  I use a Nutribullet as I find this makes the quinoa really smooth.

Add the oil, baking powder, egg and bananas, and blitz again.  I do this part in a food processor, as the Nutribullet isn’t big enough to fit everything in!

Add butter to a frying pan, and ladle in the mixture in batches.  When bubbles appear in the pancakes, flip and cook until both sides are golden.