Here are some sample meals and simple recipes to inspire you to develop baby’s budding taste buds and groom him into a healthy eater.
Six to Nine Months:
Foods should be coarsely pureed or mashed
Iron-fortified instant cereal; breast milk or formula milk; water in a cup
Mashed fruit such as banana; apple and pear puree (see recipe below), full fat yoghurt; drinks - breast milk, infant formula, water in a cup
Pureed cooked chicken; mashed cooked sweet potato (see recipe below); mashed cooked rice or porridge; drinks – breast milk, infant formula, water in a cup
Mashed steamed carrot or pear; drinks – breast milk, infant formula, water in a cup
Ground beef or finely chopped cooked chicken; mashed cooked vegetable – including pumpkin, carrot, zucchini, spinach, peas, broccoli (choose from the list and ensure they are not mixed together); brown rice; water in a cup
Nine Months to One Year:
Chopped, finger foods
Wholemeal toast fingers with cream cheese; cereal with milk; oats; drinks – breast milk or infant formula, water in a cup
Fresh fruit platter with thinly sliced apple, orange segments (with membranes removed), seedless grapes (quartered with skin removed), pieces of banana, thinly sliced pear; cheese sticks or slices or wholemeal toast with thin spread of peanut butter; drinks – breast milk or infant formula, water in a cup
Pasta with finely chopped tender chicken or salmon mashed; cooked chopped carrot; chopped avocado, yoghurt, water in a cup, breast milk or infant formula
Whole grain crackers
Chopped chicken or meat and stewed vegetables, brown rice, mashed tofu, water in a cup
Apple, Pear and Blueberry Purée
Blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other fruits.
2 ripe pears, 2 dessert apples, peeled, 100g blueberries and 2-3 tbsp water. Makes 3 portions.
• Remove the core from the pear and apples. Roughly chop them and place them in a saucepan with the water and blueberries.
• Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until soft. Whiz until smooth, using a hand blender.
Sweet Potato, Carrot and Sweetcorn Purée
Some vegetables, such as sweet potato, carrot, butternut squash, pumpkin and sweetcorn are naturally sweet and these are popular with babies. Orange-coloured root vegetables are also rich in betacarotene, which is essential for growth, healthy skin and fighting infection.
1 small sweet potato (225g) peeled and chopped, 1 medium carrot (75g) peeled and chopped, 2 tbsp cooked fresh, frozen corn or canned corn. Makes 3 portions.
• Put the sweet potato and carrot into a steamer and cooked or about 15 minutes, or until tender.
• Puree together with the corn and 4 tablespoons of water from the bottom of the steamer.
Cheesy Pasta with Broccoli and Peas
This is a good way to encourage your baby to enjoy greens.
Knob of butter, 1 small leek finely chopped, 1 tbsp plain flour, 250ml milk, 40g grated cheddar cheese, ¼ tsp Dijon mustard, 75g small pasta shapes, 50g very small broccoli florets, 40g frozen petit pois peas. Makes 6 portions.
• Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the leek and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Sprinkle over the flour, then blend in the milk. Bring to the boil, stirring until thickened.
• Add the cheese and Dijon mustard. Cook the pasta in boiling water according to the packet instructions.
• Add the broccoli to the pasta 5 minutes before the end of cooking time and cook for 2 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain, and mix the pasta with the sauce.
Chicken and Gravy Casserole
You could bash the chicken to flatten it and then marinate in olive oil, garlic and lemon.
2 tsp olive oil, 2 chicken breasts sliced into strips, 2 onions thinly sliced, 1 tsp thyme finely chopped, pinch brown sugar, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 300ml beef stock, ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce, ¼ tsp tomato puree, 2 level tsp cornflour. Makes 3 portions.
• Heat the oil in a deep frying pan. Season the chicken. Brown the chicken on both sides until lightly golden, then set aside on a plate.
• Add the onions to the pan. Sprinkle over the thyme. Cover and gently simmer for about 8-10 minutes, until very soft. Remove the lid, add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and fry until lightly golden.
• Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce and tomato purée. Bring up to the boil. Mix the cornflour with a little cold water then add to the gravy. Stir until thickened.
• Return the chicken to the pan. Cover and gently simmer for 4-5 minutes until cooked through. Serve with mashed potatoes.