Healthy baby led weaning recipes for your LO

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Try out these Baby Led Weaning recipes, mummies – your little ones will love you more for it!

To those who seem intrigued as to what Baby Led Weaning (BLW) truly means, it simply refers to allowing your baby to feed themselves hand held food instead of an adult feeding them pureed food via spoon. Fruits and vegetables are cut into chunks, which are given to the baby.

BLW is an alternative to encourage a healthier eating habit which will result in less obese children because babies are taught at a young age to regulate their own food intake. Babies also demonstrated a preference for healthy foods such as vegetables and carbohydrates.

Here are some simple recipes from Baby Led Weaning and Wholesome Baby Food which you can try at home.

Broccoli and Cheese Muffins

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Ingredients:

200g broccoli (1 small – med head)
1 1/2 cups plain yoghurt (360 ml)
1/4 cup oil (olive or corn or your choice)
1 large egg
80g cheese
2 cups self-raising flour (225g)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup skimmed milk if required. (50 ml)

Directions:

Step 1) Preheat oven to 200 C. Put rack just below middle of oven.

Step 2) Cook broccoli (boiled or steamed until tender).

Step 3) Mix yoghurt, oil & egg well together. Add broccoli and roughly crumble in blue cheese. Put mixture in food processor and pulse in short bursts until no large pieces of broccoli left. Try not to puree the broccoli but just chop it finely.

Step 4) Put flour & salt in a big bowl and mix together with a fork. Pour in the liquid mixture and begin to fold together. If you think the mixture looks too dry add the extra milk and fold JUST enough to combine. (The key is not to over-mix it – it should look pretty lumpy and unappetizing!)

Step 5) Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray. Using two spoons divide the mixture evenly between the pans.

Step 6) Bake for 12/15 minutes or until golden-brown and centres spring back when pressed. Let the muffins cool in the pans for 2-3 minutes before tipping out.

Bean dip

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A ‘dip’ recipe that spreads thickly, so, it can be coated on vegetables, spread on toasts, or anything you can think of.

Ingredients:

1 tin of pinto beans

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tomato [skinned and seeded]

1 minced garlic clove

bit of ground cumin

handful [or less] parsley

spring onion

seasoning is optional

Whizz all up in a blender or food processor

Apple Turkey Loaf/Sticks

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey

1 whole egg or 2 egg yolks, beaten

1/2 cup pureed carrots

1/4 cup applesauce

1/4 cup unprocessed natural wheat or oat bran

1/4 cup bread crumbs

pinch of basil

pinch of garlic powder

Directions:

Step 1) Place ground turkey in a large mixing bowl.

Step 2) Add the egg/yolk, carrots, applesauce, spices, bread crumbs and bran.

Step 3) Mix well – If this mixture appears too dry, add more carrots or applesauce. If this mixture appears too wet, add more bran and/or bread crumbs

Step 4) Place mix into a lightly oiled (olive oil) loaf pan and bake at 350F for approx. 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. **You may wish to cover with foil to prevent the top from burning

Step 5) When finished baking and cooled, remove loaf from pan and slice as you would for bread. Break into small bits for finger feeding or mash or chop gently

This recipe may also be made into “Turkey Sticks” for Toddlers and older babies who are able to handle more textured/chunky finger foods.

Home Made Chicken/Turkey Nuggets

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Ingredients:

5 uncooked, thin turkey breast cutlets (you could use a pound of boneless and skinless chicken breasts)

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup wheat germ (raw)

1 egg (you may omit the egg if you wish, refer to the directions below)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

spice mix: sage, thyme, pepper

Directions:

Step 1) Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Step 2: Dice or cut the turkey into small chunks and grind in a food processor.

Step 3) Mix the spices together using equal portions; I always measure my spices in shakes and I used 1 shake of each.

Step 4) Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until nicely combined – If you have decided to not use the egg, add 1 tablespoon of water.

Step 5) Shape mixture into nuggets or logs or anything you please, be sure your hands are moist (dip them into a bowl of water) so that the nuggets will stay together!

Step 6) Pop them into the oven on a baking sheet and keep checking every 5 minutes.

Tofu Finger Cubes

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Ingredients:

1 Package Firm Tofu

Crushed/Powdered Cereal, Crackers, Granola or Wheat Germ

Herbs and/or spices if desired

Directions:

Step 1) Slice tofu into small cubes that are manageable for your baby.

Step 2) Crush up some Cheerios or graham crackers (or similar crunchy cereals/crackers). Add the optional spices at this point.

Step 3) Toss tofu in a Ziploc bag with your crushed cereal/crackers.

Step 4) Close bag and toss to thoroughly coat tofu cubes.

Serve these tofu finger cubes as finger food for a snack, or as the protein source at a meal.

References
Cameron, S. L., Heath, A. M. And Taylor, R. W. (2012) How Feasible Is Baby-Led Weaning as an Approach to Infant Feeding? A Review of the Evidence. Nutrients. 2012;4(11):1575-1609. Available at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3509508/ (Accessed on 15 July 2016)
Rapley, G. And Murkett, T. (2008) Baby Led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food, Vermillion.
Townsend, E. And Pitchford, N. J. (2012) Baby knows best? The impact of weaning style on food preferences and body mass index in early childhood in a case–controlled sample. The University of Nottingham. BMJ Open 2012;2:e000298. Available at:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000298 (Accessed on 15 July 2016)
Wholesome BabyFood (N/A) Baby Finger Food Recipes & Baby Finger Foods for Your Baby, Available at wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/babyfingerfood.htm (Accessed on 15 July 2016)

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