Best selling author on food and nutrition for little ones, Annabel Karmel gives us her insight into the world of weaning and her recipe for baby’s first Fish pie.
Weaning babies can be a very confusing and worrying time. Babies vary in so many ways; some take to solid food quicker than others, appetites and tastes can also vary too. If your baby is eating nutritious food, even just a small amount you are doing well. The important thing is to try and relax and enjoy the weaning process and not to worry about the mess! Here are some tips to help reassure and guide you:
You can use cow’s milk in cooking for babies under one year old – but continue giving breast/formula milk as a drink for the first year.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, vitamins and iron. You can start offering your baby eggs at 6 months, however make sure that they are well cooked and that both the yolks and the whites are solid. Well cooked scrambled eggs make a good breakfast. Avoid desserts that contain raw or undercooked eggs like chocolate mousse or soft meringue.
As a baby only eats tiny amounts, especially in the early stages of weaning, it saves time to make up larger quantities of puree and freeze extra portions in ice cube trays or small plastic freezer pots for future meals. Thus, in a couple of hours you can prepare enough food for your baby for a week.
Reheating food in the microwave
You can reheat food in a microwave, but you must be careful that there are no hot spots, so it is important to stir the food thoroughly before giving it to your baby and always test the temperature of the food yourself first. When defrosting or reheating it is important that food is heated until piping hot in order to kill off any bacteria. Then leave it for a few minutes and allow it to cool down before giving it to your child.
You can use frozen vegetables such as peas as all the nutrients are locked in. Normally you can’t refreeze food that has previously been frozen, but if you make purées from frozen veg you can cook them and then re-freeze them.
‘No cook’ baby purées
There are a number of fruits that make excellent instant no-cook baby food provided they are ripe. Bananas for example make perfect baby food. Simply mash with a fork, maybe adding a little of your baby’s usual milk if the texture is too thick. Papaya and avocado are also very nutritious and make excellent baby food and Avocado and Banana makes a great combination that babies love.
Annabel Karmel’s brand new iPhone App: Annabel’s essential guide to feeding your baby and toddler, offers lots of simple, nutritious recipes and videos, showing you everything from food preparation to step by step guides to cooking. Available at the app store.
Baby’s First Fish Pie
You should continue with formula or breast milk for the whole of the first year. However, full fat cow’s milk can be used in cooking from 6 months.
200g peeled potatoes, diced
80g onion, finely diced
100ml weak fish stock
50g frozen peas
150g cod, skinned & sliced into small cubes
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp dill, chopped
1. Put the potatoes & onion into a pan, cover with milk & fish stock.
200g potatoes, 80g onion, 100ml milk, 100ml fish stock*
2. Bring to the boil, cover & simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add the peas & cod, continue to cook for 5 minutes.
50g peas, 150g cod*
4. Purée then add the lemon juice, Parmesan & dill.
1 tsp lemon juice, 3 tbsp Parmesan, 1 tsp dill*
Read more recipes at annabelkarmel.com