Hi guys. This weeks post brings you some Baby Led Weaning ideas, however saying that they are really diverse and can be eaten by toddlers / older kids and adults.
My son is 8 1/2 months old and I started to introduce solid foods to him just after 6 months. I was pretty dead set on doing Baby Led Weaning and shunning the more traditional purées however as with all things mum and baby; it hasn’t quite worked out how I had envisioned.
Although our son’s head control / hand to mouth dexterity was well developed & I had researched the risk of choking and what to do etc… I found the whole process difficult in terms of control (I think I exited the womb a control freak!) The slower pace was slower than anticipated & having to have such trust in my tiny little baby was also tricky. And the mess – OH MY WORD the mess! I’m just not going to be the Mum that can give her baby Spaghetti to eat with his hands.
So we now do a combination of both methods, which seems to be emerging as more and more popular. I’m still breast feeding my son (he’s not down with cutting out any of his milk feeds yet, especially the night ones!) If I give him a mixture of purées & finger foods; I feel confident in knowing that he’s had a good helping of greens, vitamins and iron.
Then the bonus card is the opportunity for fun snacks he can have via the baby led method. I really enjoy making lovely treats akin to the recipes below, assured that the best ingredients are in there and that they are nutrient dense.
The recipes are mini hand friendly, sugar free & have sneaky fruits and veggies in there. I like doing the mini muffin versions as they bake quickly & store easily in the freezer. I also remember reading a blog post by someone saying that their toddler thought 3 mini muffins was SO much better than one full sized version; I think this theory would still work on me to be quite honest!
Basic Banana Muffin
4 medium Bananas
150g GF SR flour (or flour of choice)
Pinch of cinnamon
Mash your bananas & whisk in the egg (using a hand blender gets them smooth and lump free)
Add the cinnamon and fold in the flour. Spread the mixture evenly into a mini muffin tin or normal size muffin tin. This amount of mixture will yield 24 minis or 12 normal sized muffins.
Bake for 15 minutes on 160C for mini muffins / 25 minutes for regular sized.
Now for the add ins and variations……
Blueberry / Raspberry
Add 1/4 cup chopped fresh blueberry or raspberries to the basic mixture. Futher add 1/4 cup rolled oats to balance the moisture out. Bake as instructed.
Add 1/2 cup grated carrot (I find Pasnip also works well) & 1/4 cup rolled oats.
Blend in a full cup of fresh spinach inti the Eggs & Banana mixture (stage one of the basic recipe prior to folding in the flour)
Add an extra 25g flour. Bake as insturcted. These guys come out a pretty bright green! I’ve heard Mums refer to them as ‘Incredible Hulk muffins’!
All of these variations work great as a snack, however if you wanted to ‘ice’ them and serve them as a pudding you can top them with either whipped mascarpone or cashew cream. I sometimes blend avocado with cacao powder to give the basic banana version a chocolate topping. I really hope you and your mini me’s enjoy!