Weaning - Moving on from first tastes
Following on from our blog regarding First Tastes and First Foods for your baby I asked Ali Brinsford of Mini Morsels to be the guest blogger for this next subject as it's something she talks about on a regular basis.
Introduction to Ali
Foodie mum to 3 year old George and a bump due in early 2017. Ali grew up on great home cooked meals sat around the table with her family. She has continued her passion for food by teaching herself to cook with new and exciting ingredients and flavour combinations. When George started to wean, Ali found it hard to work it all out as there was nowhere to go and talk to other parents and get advice. That’s when she decided to set up Mini Morsels, a friendly business offering courses on weaning. This is what Ali has to say....
Moving on From First Tastes
by Ali Brinsford
Once you have introduced first tastes to your baby you can start to add protein, carbs and fat to your little one’s diet to bulk their meals up and make things a bit more interesting.
This is when things can start to get a bit more fun for both of you!
It’s time to start adding Meat, Fish & Dairy to their diet and really bringing on texture and flavour. Although you can introduce any of this food to your baby once they are 6 months old I still think their little tummies need to try these new foods in a certain order.
I wouldn’t go straight in with a thick cheesy sauce just in case it’s too much dairy in one hit, introduce some grated cheese on top of a bowl of pasta and sauce instead and maybe a little yogurt with fresh fruit for pudding.
When it comes to meat and fish I would go for the white meats and fish first, it’s much easier for their tummies to digest than red meats or quite oily big flavoured fish. It will ease them in to these new tastes and textures and shouldn’t upset their delicate stomachs.
By now you should know if they have had any allergic reactions or intolerance's however, it’s still worth being cautious as you start to introduce dairy and more egg to their diet. In my classes I always advise feeding anything that can have a reaction at lunchtime and during the week simply as you are more likely to be seen by a medical professional more quickly.
At the point of moving on from first tastes I think it’s also great to start introducing finger food alongside their pureed/mashed food, this can be pretty much anything from cheese cubes to roast potatoes. For example, if you have made a roast chicken for dinner you can blitz some in a mixer and spoon feed them to see they are actually eating and leave some veg whole for them to try. They love exploring the texture of food and making up their own mind about what the like to eat.
Here’s a few great finger foods:
- Vegetable sticks and dips (humous, tzatziki and cream cheese work well).
- Any roasted vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, peppers & cauliflower.
- Fruit as long as its relatively soft (pears, raspberries, banana & peach for example).
- Cold cooked pasta is always a winner and can be coated in a veggie sauce or homemade pesto for extra yumminess.
The main thing is to keep things simple and not feel that you have to over complicate their diet or spend hours in the kitchen. Any new food is exciting for your baby at this time.
Mixed puree ideas that introduce new tastes and the added carbs, fat and protein.
- Parsnip and apple - boil or steam
- Carrot and cauliflower - boil or steam
- Broccoli, potato and fish - boil or steam the vegetables and then poach the fish in some breast or formula milk (you can also cook with small amounts of whole milk) Add together then blend.
- Pea and garlic - Boil or steam
- Chicken and sweet potato - Cook the chicken in the oven or poach in stock, boil or steam the sweet potato and blend.
- Squash and lentils - Roast the squash until cooked and cook the lentils to the packet instructions, blend together.
- Blueberry and banana - Blend.
- Rhubarb and apple - Stew together over a heat until soft, you can also add vanilla.
- Swede and carrot - Steam or blend.
- Lamb, pea and carrot - Grill the lamb until cooked and add to your cooked vegetables - blend.
- Leek, sweet potato and pea - Steam or boil.
- Peaches, apples and pears - Stew or steam.
- Sweet potato, broccoli and cauliflower – It’s a lot easier to cut sweet potato in half and roast it than spend half an hour peeling it, it’s also much tastier.
- Potato, courgette and broccoli - Steam or boil the potatoes and broccoli, it's quite nice to fry the courgette to add a different flavour.
Ali says about her business "Mini Morsels main aim is to help parents feel happy and confident to wean their little bundles onto solids. Whether you choose purees or BLW my courses will give you the useful hints and tips along with delicious seasonal recipes. I hold my Food Hygiene Standard Level 2 and have carried out an Introduction to Healthy Eating and Nutrition – accredited by the British Nutrition Foundation, this gives me a sound basis to create healthy, seasonal and nutritious meals for the you and your little ones"
Mini Morsels weaning Courses are based in Cheltenham and the surrounding areas. If you are interested in booking a class get in touch with Ali via her website