Monday, 5 March 2012

Baby recipe ideas.

It's getting better, the daily grind. At the moment, I'm working on shifting my focus. That sounds awfully psycho-babble, but it's something I decided myself. For the longest time, Daughter was an obstacle to my doing what was necessary i.e. moving house, washing the nappies, making dinner etc. What I'm trying to do now is tell myself that she is no longer an obstacle, that she is the task. It's a very utilitarian way of looking at it, but that's just how my brain works. I like to concentrate on very simple black and white goals rather than the somewhat ambiguous 'adjust my expectations' - the advice I'm usually given.

I feel that the whole thing would be slightly more 'fair' were Daughter to work on her sleeping as I'm working on cheering up. The two things are very much linked.

In any case, I just thought I'd update on where I was personally before I shared my awesome discoveries:

1. Finely chopped frozen vegetables.

Specifically, Aunt Bessie's finely chopped frozen vegetables (most supermarkets do a version but this brand is chopped the smallest and has the biggest selection of veg included). Perfect, as the bag declares, for bolognese and soups. What they're actually super-amazing for though, is feeding babies. I would like to state at this point that I am in no way affiliated with the producers - I just couldn't survive without this handy little bag in my freezer.

I'm not a fan of liquidised baby food as I don't think the lack of texture does them any favours. Whilst it's practical to begin with, I've known babes who grow up to favour bland mush into adulthood. Seriously. I knew one guy who wouldn't eat any veg unless they'd been boiled into a grey sludge.

So yeah, not only are there 5 good staple vegetables in the mixture, but they're cut into tiny pieces - perfect for baby mouths. Cooking time is practically negligible too since they're so tiny. Hooray!

2. Soup pasta

I noticed that in the baby food aisle at the supermarket, you could get minuscule pasta for massive amounts of money. In the pasta aisle, you can get minuscule pasta for a price to match. Intended for use in minestrone soup, this stuff has fast become a staple of Daughter's diet. Again, because of the size, cooking time is nearly nothing.


Here are a few of our favourite things to make from the above. Most of these assume that you have a quantity of stewed down meat ready - I like to cook down chicken, beef, lamb and pork until they disintegrate into stringy bits - very tender, easy to eat without teeth and unprocessed. All of these recipes work as vegetarian too.

Baby Minestrone:

Boil a handful of tiny pasta with the same quantity of frozen veg. When these are cooked through add some tomato puree to the cooking water (thus retaining all vitamins from the veg), add herbs and seasoning to taste and serve. This freezes well.

Baby lasagna:

As above, but drain the mixture before adding the tomato puree. Add pre-stewed meat of your choice to make the base. Top with white sauce (you can make this with formula milk, vegetable margarine and corn flour if you're worried about dairy and gluten. I haven't checked to see if you can get gluten free soup pasta because it isn't something that worries me, however I can't see why you wouldn't) and bake in a moderate oven.

NB: Since a lot of these dishes are bakes, I tend to do a load at once and freeze in portions so I'm only cooking once every 2 weeks or so. It's a life-saver.

Fish pie:

Mix up a white sauce and add the fish of your choice. I use pollack because it's cheap and - at last check - sustainable. I know there's a big fuss about tuna and the mercury levels in it but I have been known to use it because that was the only fish in the house. Add a handful of the frozen veg and either mix in some of the tiny pasta or spoon some mashed potato over the top of the filling in an oven proof dish. Bake until golden on top.


Easiest of all - mix some pre-stewed meat with a handful of the frozen veg, add a little stock and some cooked pearl barley. Enjoy.

Vegetable pasta dinner:

Boil pasta and veg together, drain and add half a teaspoon of pesto and tomato puree. This doesn't freeze well.

Vegetable cous cous:

Add a handful of frozen veg to some cous cous - sometimes I use the plain variety and add my own spices whilst others I use the pre-mixed sachets. Make up the cous cous as usual - the heat of the water will also cook the vegetables.  This doesn't freeze well, but if you add some chorizo, it makes a good lunch for mum/dad too.


  1. Just found this page through a link you left on netmums and it is a life-saver! Over here (USA) they don't want us to give our babies finger foods until nearly a year (10 months or so) but I think as long as it isn't a hazard it should be fine! I also am not a fan of everything being bland for them!

  2. Actually, here in the US, my ped has had our boys on finger foods + since before they were 8 months old... At almost 10 months now, they LOVE their meals!