Christmas Dinner with little ones
Christmas dinner is my favourite meal of the year and I like to try to eat it as many times as I possibly can in December. It’s such a lovely meal with everyone at the table together and so many different things to put on your plate.
On Christmas day even the littlest eater can eat the same as you. Just remember to leave out the salt until your baby’s portion has been removed from the pans. You can then add the extra seasoning to the rest of the family’s food.
Finger Food / BLW
You can give your 6 month + baby finger food to eat for their Christmas dinner and they can pretty much eat most of the things that you are eating. It may be wise to add a sheet under their high chair so you don’t have to worry about the amount of food hitting the decks whilst you all enjoy your dinner. Just watch where you tread afterwards!
Carrots – cut into batons or coins. Both are easy to pick up.
Broccoli – Broccoli is so easy to handle for a baby so give small florets or cut larger florets in half
Turkey – cut into strips so baby can easily pick them up and eat. You can cut across the “grain” of the meat so bits fall off easily rather than them having to chew long stringy bits.
Mashed potato – pre-load spoons for your baby to pick up or roll the potato into balls for baby to pick up.
Peas – serve as they are. Great pincer grip practice! If this gets tricky we serve a really tasty pea and soya bean puree that other foods can be dipped into or served on pre-loaded spoons. See our recipe here.
Pigs in blankets – limit these to only a small amount as the bacon is high in salt and can get a little tough. I would often unwrap the pig and eat the bacon myself!
Roast vegetables – ensure that these have been cooked without extra salt and don't roast with Honey for under 1's. Try Maple Roast parsnips and Carrots instead and leave the seasoning until Baby's portion has been removed.
Sprouts – To avoid any chocking incidents chop in half or even quarters when serving to baby.
If you are weaning with purees or your baby prefers purees you can combine most of your food together. I secretly found this delicious and would often finish off any leftovers. You can throw it all in together or try combinations as below which are suitable from 6 months +
Turkey, potato, carrot, sprout, roasted parsnip – blended with a little juice from the meat. Add extra water or your baby’s milk* to loosen if it’s too thick.
Cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, cheese – blended with your baby’s milk
If you are weaning before 6 months on;y blend the vegetables with some of your baby's milk.
*Breast milk, formula or you can use whole milk in food
Starting Weaning at Christmas
If you plan to start weaning over Christmas and have your baby join in with Christmas dinner I would suggest that you try a few first tastes now to ensure that there are no allergic reactions. Try a few of the foods that you would like your baby to eat such as Carrot, peas, Broccoli on their own gradually over the next few days. You can do this at a time when your baby is most happy and in between milk feeds.
For a toddler you can do the same as Baby Led weaning but they may also enjoy using cutlery so try chopping it up a bit more with a little gravy to make it easier to pick up with a spoon or fork rather than using their fingers with bigger chunks. My kids have tiny little jugs that they use to pour there own gravy onto their dinner which they love. (look for low salt gravy granuals if you make it that way)
For pudding, how about a pouch of apple puree with a pinch of cinnamon mixed in. Custard can be a bit rich for babies’ tummies but for toddlers you could add a spoonful into the pouch too or add vanilla yogurt instead. Our reusable food pouches are great for serving up home-made puddings and if they can hold it them selves you can enjoy your own pudding.
What shouldn’t babies eat on Christmas day
Cranberries are quite acidic so it’s best not to give these at the very start of weaning but wait until around 8 months. You can then mix some in with their dinner.
Stuffing – my kids always loved stuffing but it can contain a lot of salt. If you are using the packet variety only give a very small amount to babies or omit entirely. Check the salt content and other ingredients in any stuffing’s that you buy at deli counters or try making from scratch with no added salt.
Honey - I'll mention it again as under 1's really shouldn't eat honey.
Salt - omit as much as possible but a small amount on this one day isn't going to cause damage so try not to stress too much about it and just omit where you can.
Custard, Christmas pudding and bread sauce are a bit rich for a baby’s tummy so best avoided.
Tips for the day
Maria from @toddlerandtoast says: "I like to get a lot of my prep done in advance so I'm not spending all day in the kitchen. I peel and chop veg Christmas Eve, make roast potatoes in advance to save oven space too.
A little preparation before the big day goes a long way! Figure out what you could use the slow cooker for.. Make ahead creamy mash leave it on low and you've saved a space on the hob!"
Crackers are a must for Christmas but keep an eye on all the little gifts and bits that fly out when you've got little ones around.
I love that you end up with so many leftovers after a Christmas dinner and it doesn’t take much to stock up your freezer with meals for your baby or toddler to eat throughout January! If you are the one cooking this year – add a bit extra of everything so you can pull them out of the pans before any salt is added and make up some lovely meals for when time is tight in January. Don't forget that our amazing reusable food pouches store your food amazingly well in the freezer and are fab for eating whilst out and about as they heat up really easily in hot water. Our new reusable snack bags are also fab for storing more solid leftovers like roast potatoes, meat, extra veg or mashed potato!
I have scoured my favourite recipe blogs to find you some delicious leftover recipes for kids here
If you have any other tips or recipes, get in touch and we can add them to the list or feature your recipe.
Have a very Merry Christmas and fun feeding your little ones!