One of my favourite baby stages is weaning. Call me sad, but I just love looking for new recipes and of course making different purees for Millie to try. I loved the weaning stage with Oscar, and I just knew I would enjoy making all the baby food again for Millie. With Oscar, I mostly stuck to recipes from different Annabel Karmel books, and I am doing the same with Millie but also after discovering Pinterest about a year ago, I am forever pinning new recipes that I discover to try as well.
Millie will be 8 months old next week and we started weaning her at just over 5 months old with a bit of baby rice. Over the past 6 weeks or so her interest in food has really grew and she has started eating more spoonfuls of the food I offer her as well as being very interested in the food that we are eating too! We started weaning Millie as she began having more frequent milk feeds and began taking an interest in the food we were eating. All babies are different, and each mother (or father) knows their child best. Some babies may not be ready to wean until a later age and thats fine! It is advised that weaning should not before 17 weeks of age though, as babies digestive systems just aren’t sufficiently developed before this time and there is a greater risk of allergies being developed.
Signs your baby is ready for solids:
- still hungry after a full milk feed
- demands feeds more frequently
- wakes at night for a feed having previously slept through
It is advised that the best first baby foods are baby rice (mixed with water, breast or formula milk), carrots, sweet potato, parsnip, swede, apple, pears, banana and papayas as they are all easily digestible for young tummies, have a smooth texture and are unlikely to provoke an allergic reaction. You should also only introduce a new food one at a time, over 2-3 days, in that way, if there is an allergic reaction to a particular food then you will know what has caused it.
Some of my favourite recipes to make for Millie are ones that are freezable as they become really handy on those extra busy days when you don’t have chance to make anything fresh. I often take out a pot of baby food the night before to defrost ready to be reheated in the microwave the next day. So simple and easy!
Green Pea Puree (makes 2 portions) – Suitable for Freezing
- Cover 250g of peas (we used frozen peas) with water.
- Bring to the boil and cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 4 minutes.
- Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Then puree using a mouli.
Courgette and Cauliflower Puree (makes 3 portions) – Can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours
1 courgette, 50g cauliflower, 1 medium potato
- Remove the ends from the courgette and chop into chunks.
- Cut the cauliflower into small florets.
- Peel the potato and cut into small pieces.
- Put the vegetables into a steamer or colander over a pan of boiling water.
- Cover with a lid and steam for 8 minutes, until tender.
- Cool before pureeing with a blender or hand processor until smooth.
Mango Puree (makes 2 portions) – Suitable for Freezing
- Peel and slice down each side of the stone.
- Cut the flesh into cubes and puree using a blender or food processor.
Apple Puree (makes 6 portions) – Suitable for Freezing
2 medium dessert apples, 1-2tbsp water
- Peel, core and chop the apples and put into a saucepan and add the water.
- Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat until tender (about 6-8 minutes).
- Blend until smooth.
Banana Puree (makes 2 portions) – Eat Fresh
1 ripe banana
- Peel banana and chop into chunks.
- Add banana to blender and puree until smooth. You can dilute the puree with some water or formula or breast milk if it is too thick.
Sweet Potato (makes 4 portions) – Suitable for Freezing
1 large sweet potato
- Scrub, peel and chop the sweet potato into small cubes.
- Steam for about 12 minutes, or until tender. Or alternatively cover with boiling water and simmer, covered with a lid, for about 15 minutes until tender.
- Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
- Puree in a blender, adding some of the cooking liquid if necessary.
Pear Puree (makes 6 portions) – Suitable for Freezing
2 ripe pears
- Peel, core and chop the pears
- Add to chopped pears to a heavy-based saucepan and cover with a lid.
- Cook over a low heat until tender, about 4 minutes.
- Blend to a smooth puree.
Recipes and instructions gathered from Annabel Karmel cook books.