01/04/2015 18:42 BST | Updated 01/06/2015 06:59 BST

Weaning Recipe Ideas


Image by Holly Bell

I've been meaning to put all my weaning recipes in one place, but, well I've been busy weaning. Lawrence is now nine months old and eats pretty much what we eat. I have been asked many times since he was born whether I follow baby led weaning or the purée method and quite honestly I've mostly been avoiding the question. It's just so political.

But here's the answer; I do a bit of both. Or, strictly speaking, I offer purées with finger foods before quickly progressing to very lumpy purées with finger foods and then just finger foods. So Lawrence has always had a bit of what we've had. Unless we're eating salty, honeyed food doused in booze. (For current guidelines on what you can and can't feed babies take a look here).

Here are a few of Lawrence's favourite things:

1. Sugar free flapjacks

I think these may be my favourite creation since I began weaning my babies. My youngest son (and his mates) really like them. But please manage your expectations if you're planning on having a bite. These are refined sugar free. Powered by dried fruit and banana only. So if you're used to cupcakes, Mars bars and/or ice cream then these will taste decidedly un-treat like. But then you don't have the unsullied palate of a baby. Recipe here.

2. Garlicky roasted squash, sweet potato and carrot purée

This is one of those purées that makes the house smell divine. Lawrence loved it as a first food but now he won't go near it. He's not into purées now he's a big boy don't you know. So the little bag of ice cubes I had left in the freezer made a delicious courgette layered bake along with a grating of parmesean for Mummy and Daddy. Recipe for the purée is here.

3. Cheesy bread sticks

We all enjoy a homemade bread stick in this house, not least when they've been coated in grated cheese before baking. I reduced the salt by half in these before making them for Lawrence to eat. If you do this remember that salt inhibits rising. As in, your bread sticks will rise super fast with less salt. Recipe here.

4. Cauliflower and broccoli cheese

We all love this. It's tasty, cheesy, veggie rich comfort food. It makes an excellent spread/dip when blended as well as being really good in it's non mushed up format. Recipe here.

5. Frittata

Lawrence finds this easy to hold and is a big pea fan. I personally love a Spanish omelette for the fact they help clear the fridge of odds and ends of vegetables. Recipe here.

6. Salmon and sweet potato fishcakes

I fashion these into croquettes as they're easier for Lawrence to hold. Recipe here.

7. Pancakes

All the boys love pancakes, Lawrence especially. They're very easy for him to shove into his mouth. They're also very easy to spread with various nutritious dips and spreads. Hummus is a fave. Recipe here.

8. Veggie rostis

Anything with parsnip is a big yes here. So these are popular. I serve them with scrambled egg. Recipe here.

9. Roasting tray ragu

This is NOT authentic. I repeat, this is NOT authentic. But it is tasty and it is easy, so it's a favourite in our house. Recipe here.

10. Sweet potato chips

Great for the family, especially loved by babies. I like any recipe where I get to bung it in the oven and forget about it. Recipe here.

11. Carrot fritters

Remove the salt and off you go. Add any other flavourings you (or your baby) fancy. Recipe here.

12. Pork and coriander meatballs

Easy to hold, easy to chew on and incredibly moreish. I dare you not to try and snaffle one off your little one's plate. Recipe here.

13. Apple and pear puree

I like to think of this as a baby version of apple pie. Without the sugary pie crust. It fills the kitchen with a sweet orchard smell and is loved by Lawrence. Also good mixed with natural yoghurt. Recipe here.

14. Carrot, courgette and cheese fritters

Call them fritters, call them pancakes. Whatever you want to call them, they're a big hit with babies. They freeze well too. Recipe here.

Take a look here for advice and tips on weaning including a little video I made with Organix.

There's a whole chapter devoted to feeding kids in my book Recipes from a Normal Mum, out now... on Amazon, The Works, at Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets.

Holly blogs at Recipes from a Normal Mum