Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

Posts Tagged ‘vegetable’

Spanish Omelette (with peas, because everything Babybear eats Must Contain Peas)

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

The thing I hate about making A Proper Spanish Omelette is getting the damned potatoes fried without burning the onions. Yes, you should do it separately but honestly, who has the time?

So I stick the potato in the microwave and bake it. Heresy, obviously. (Should I expect the Spanish Omelette Inquisition?)

Meanwhile, cut your onion into attractive segments and fry it gently in olive oil or, as Moomin would say, 'the grease of your choice'. Mix up a couple of eggs. Chop up your cooked potato (who can be bothered peeling it, by the way? Not I.) Throw it in with the onions and fry for a while until the potatoes take on a bit of colour. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

Pour over your egg and staunchly resist the temptation to faff around with it. You might have wanted to add a bit more before putting the egg in, by the way. Drop some frozen peas onto the uncooked egg, as popping something green into the recipe will make you feel like A Better Parent. Cook for a few minutes and then flip it or if you are too much of a coward you could finish it under the grill.

This makes enough for Babybear and myself for lunch, she loves it and it's pretty healthy all told, so long as you aren't avoiding eggs for allergy-style reasons.

Related Posts:


Saturday, September 9th, 2006

Well, petis pois actually, because that's what we happened to have in the freezer, but we might buy ordinary-sized peas the next time. Not sure, though. One of my friends (actually the mother of the rather spendid Bubby) pointed out that peas might represent more of a choking hazard. I'll have a think about it, but she is a Canadian and they are born worriers, that lot. If I do buy the normal-sized peas, I was planning to squash them a bit in advance. Your opinions and comments will, of course, be taken into consideration as well.

Oh anyway, she was a hoot with them, though… really the cutest thing. We had microwaved the peas, covered in a bowl with just a splash of water to retain as many vitamins as possible and we served them in the gravy of the rather marvellous beef stew that I've been banging on about. By 'served', I naturally mean 'spooned elegantly onto the highchair tray'.

She grabbed for them then clasped them in her wee fist, flicking them into her mouth like a Pez dispenser. For some reason, prior to picking them up she likes to point at them, move them slowly around the table with her index finger and then make a sudden but deadly  lunge at the pile.

Related Posts:


Thursday, August 17th, 2006

But only my next-door neighbours' organically-grown, hand woven Little Gems, dressed in avocado oil and lemon juice, if you please. She will lift these out of the salad bowl at home, but try and give her some chopped-up iceberg from a cafe salad and it's a straight no. Good girl, we're very proud…

Related Posts:


Monday, July 31st, 2006

The perfect baby led weaning food, I reckon. Not too messy, easy to prepare and it arrives pre-formed into the Rapley 'chip-shape'. Or the shape of a spear or asparagus, if you will.

The one mystery to asparagus is how you get rid of the woody bit at the bottom, but it's really very simple, you just hold it at both ends and gently bend until it snaps. Keep the top bit.

Uum, apart from that, steam the spears for about 6 minutes (obviously it depends on how thin they are). I over-cooked them to a sludgy green when I first gave them to Babybear but now she happily downs them al dente.

I have dipped them in hummus or cream cheese for her – am still a little frightened of putting her in charge of her own dip, since The Yoghurt Incident (see photo) – but I reckon she prefers them unadulterated. The only downside is that the season is so short. Yeah, you can get them flown in from Kenya all year round, but some of us very occasionally try to think about air miles an' that.

Related Posts:

Sweet Potato

Monday, July 31st, 2006

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this orange tuber. I love it and it hates me. (Wow, what a cliché, I really must try harder with this blog…)

My friend bakes them all the time and they are delicious. When I try they seem to drip molten lava onto the bottom of my oven which I will possibly clean the weekend before we move house. No plans to relocate at the moment, I'm just trying to give you an idea of my housekeeping schedule.

The sweet potato stalagmites that litter the floor of my oven have taught me a valuable lesson, though. You can never have too much kitchen foil. (By the way, was kitchen foil much more expensive in the 70s? My mother used to get palpitations if she over-estimated the size of a roasting tray by a wasteful half-inch…she HATES watching me pull screeds and screeds out to lavishly double layer a grill pan).

Having given up on making a baked sweet potato that doesn't explode in a hail of orangey shrapnel, I now tend to cut them into wedges and roast them on the foil-lined grill tray. Toss them in olive oil first, and I have found that smoked paprika makes a sensational spicy substitute for salt.

Roast them at 180-ish if it's a fan oven, 200-ish if not, for about 35 minutes. Again, you'll maybe have to rinse them to cool if you are in a hurry.

Babybear just loves them, though. Being orange they are pretty messy, as they don't make hard chips in the traditional sense but remain pretty squashy. Oooh, I've really tempted myself with this one. We are SO having smokey sweet potato wedges tomorrow. With a salad, natch…

Related Posts:


Monday, July 31st, 2006

So far, my darling daughter has chomped her way through the ever-versatile potato in many guises.

Roast potatoes. Yum. What can I say? Roast your potatoes whichever way you usually do (but no salt, boo, hiss) and then cut up and give to baby. Ta-dah! Actually, I am often forced to run potatoes for Babybear under the tap as they have frankly dangerous heat-retaining properties.

Jersey Royals. Oh, she loves these. Boil or steam (steam, I say) under tender (start checking with fork after ten minutes) then cut into quarters, leave to cool or run under cold water and hand to baby, noting any peach-like prefernce for skin-side up or down.

Chips. Yeah, yeah… What-EVVUR. Give them a chip every now and again for god's sakes. But blow on them first, in that marvelously inneffectual way that parents do. Obviously I wouldn't recommend making them a part of their daily diet (nor yours, now that I come to it) but if you find yourself in a restaurant or cafe and have checked that they haven't been salted then go on… live a little.

Related Posts:


Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

Well, it's not the most interesting ingredient but it's pretty useful to take out with you as it's pretty clean. I used to cut it lengthways in the chip shape stylee (taking the seeds out) but interestingly the baby has recently decided that she quite likes it in the form of a thick-ish disc.  I think it might be because it is nicer to chew on, and the cooler the better, what with her poor teeth…

Related Posts:

Red, Orange and Yellow Peppers

Monday, July 17th, 2006

Not green ones. Why anyone would submit to consuming a sour green pepper is quite beyond me.
Interestingly, the one time Babybear wolfed down a pepper was when I gave her a raw slice of a rather elderly red one that had been lying around the fridge for a while. It was a little bit wrinkly, but probably quite sweet so she really enjoyed it. I have since given her raw and steamed (for about 3 minutes) organic pepper to chew on but it appears her love affair with this vegetable is over. I'm thinking it will be good for dipping in greek yoghurt, hummus or cream cheese in the future…

A note to my husband, however. Dearest, if we are in a Lebanese cafe and you see what you think is a piece of roast red pepper on your plate, please to not automatically hand it to our child. We wouldn't want to blow her tiny head off with a hot, pickled pepper now, would we?

Related Posts:


Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Oh for goodness sakes… you know what to do with a carrot.

Peel it, slice it lengthways into quarters, cut into two inch pieces and then steam it for as long as you feel. Start off by doing it for, let's say, 4 minutes, by which time it should be quite soft. Leave to cool or run under the tap, etc etc then give to the bub.
Apart from a peach which my baby grabbed from my hands, steamed carrot was her first food. To begin with she didn't have the knack of chewing or gumming her food so she would lean forward and bite a big chunk off which would promptly fall straight out of her mouth. It was only when I saw some tell-tale orangey 'material' in her nappy that I realised anything had gone in at all.

Carrots are great to take out with you as they aren't terribly messy, and as the babies' teeth start to come in they will enjoy chomping on some raw carrot straight from the fridge. Not a lot of the raw stuff goes in, so it's really for the teething.

Post Script October 2006
Actually, what I've discovered is that carrots are brilliant steamed for starting off, then great raw when those very first teeth start coming in. However, once Babybear began to get the hang of biting (by which I suppose I mean hanging onto the carrot and wrenching it hard out of her mouth) I began to get a bit worried about choking hazards again. So if she gets raw carrot I now give it to her in big fat discs. Although she's gone right off her former favourite so it's a moot point at the moment.

Post Post Script March 2007
And now she's back on the raw carrot again. I suppose it could be considered a choking hazard still, like everything else. But I wonder if the fact that she's eating it as if it's a sweetie outweighs the potential for a wee cough? Anyway, she never has so I'm not thinking about it just now. She likes the lengths quartered and just bites little bits off with great delight. Oh, and she also thinks it is delicious in spag bol, chilli, stir fries etc. It's weird how they go on and off things…

Related Posts:


Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Cut your broccoli up to make 'trees', but not too small. It's best, I have found, to leave as much of the stalk as possible to be used as a handle, but if you think that it makes the 'tree' part too big then slice up through the stalk to half or even quarter it lengthways.

Steam your broccoli over some boiling water for 6-7 minutes then leave to cool (or run under cold water if you are in a hurry, but remember that if you feel it's too hard still that this will stop the cooking process).

Give it to your child and if they are good and clever they will hold it by the 'handle' and eat the 'tree'. My child resolutely refuses to do anything but dig her fingers into the branches of the tree part and chew on the stalk, which causes the top part to disintegrate in the most alarming fashion and to fly across the room. It goes EVERYWHERE. You know those chubby little folds of fat that you love to tickle? In there. And that beautiful, expensive high chair* you bought? In every seam of the the fabric seat, every hinge, every corner. Broccoli, my friends, is very much a pre-bathtime vegetable. But delicious and healthy and oh-so enjoyable for the babies.

*Please see Top Tips on buying a highchair.

Related Posts: