When you are starting to introduce solids to your baby, it can be hard to think of new and exciting things they can try that are safe and yet tempting enough to get them excited. Here are a few ideas to try.
These meal ideas use elements of traditional weaning and finger foods as used in baby-led weaning? you can always tailor your baby?s menu to suit your family. These ideas are suitable for babies over 6 months.
Make up some baby grade porridge with your baby?s usual milk (you can use formula or breast milk, just remember that when using formula the porridge will be thicker than when using breast milk). Sweeten the porridge with a swirl of apple puree and serve with buttered toast cut into long slices and chunks of banana. Make sure the banana pieces are large enough for baby to hold onto. This gives your baby three textures; the soft porridge, the crunchy toast and the mushy banana. It also gives a range of flavours and temperatures.
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?Baby Lunch ? Baked pear and veg
Cook broccoli and peas (preferably fresh but you can use frozen) and puree or mash, depending on the stage your baby is at and your own preference. Bake a pear (or two) in the oven until soft and add the flesh of the pear to the broccoli and peas. Serve with chunks of cooked broccoli, some cooked peas and slices of pear. This introduces your baby to different textures and tastes simply by offering them the mashed and unmashed versions together.
?Baby Snack ? Mini sandwiches
A great way to introduce solids is to offer your baby a mini sandwich. Try soft cheese on soft bread, cut off the crusts (cut the sandwiches into fun shapes if you are so inclined!) and watch to see how baby responds to the mixture of flavours and the independence of feeding himself! Try hummus or mashed banana as alternatives.
?Baby Dinner ? Chicken and rice
Finely chop up cooked vegetables (whatever you have to hand, but try to include as many colours as you can; red and yellow peppers, peas, broccoli, carrot and mushrooms) and mix with cooked, chopped chicken breast and rice of your choice (white or brown is fine). If you want to make this into a puree, add a spoonful of soft cheese and around a tablespoon of your baby?s usual milk (breast milk or formula) and blitz. This can be served as a puree, as a mashed meal or as a great first ?proper solid? with chunks of veg and chicken. Let your baby have their own bowl and spoon with a little of the food so they can practice mastering the art of feeding themselves. Even if they never get spoon to mouth, they will have lots of fun trying.
?Baby Sweet Treats
Yoghurt is a great way to introduce new tastes as you can add almost anything to it. Try adding some pureed fruit (if you make yourself smoothies, keep a little aside and add to yoghurt) and make it chunkier when you are ready with some baby cereal or chunks of fruit. Serve this with plain rice cakes to give your baby a new texture and something to hold.