Leading author on baby and children’s food and nutrition Annabel Karmel shares some fantastic recipes with us…
Just as you think you’ve got everything sussed with your baby happily slurping his way through pureed carrot and sweet potatoes, you enter new mealtime territory – the introduction of lumps. If you are finding the transition to lumpy food tricky, you’re not alone it can be quite challenging for many babies. Its not a good idea to continue with smooth purees for too long or your baby can become very lazy about chewing and the longer you leave it the more difficult it will be. Another good reason for introducing more lumpy food is that the muscles a baby uses for chewing are the same ones he uses for speech development so it’s a good idea to introduce lumpy food sooner rather than later.
Its surprising what a few teeth and strong gums can get through… but I find that babies don’t like smooth purees with the occasional surprise lump but prefer an overall lumpy texture. Stirring tiny pasta shapes into your baby’s puree is a really good way to introduce texture. To help progress your baby’s meals and get him to love those lumps I have brought out a range of mini organic pasta shapes especially designed for babies from seven months. Here are some of my favourite Baby Pasta Recipes for you to try.
TOMATO, SWEET POTATO & CHEESE SAUCE WITH PASTA SHELLS
Suitable from 8 months • Suitable for freezing • MAKES 6 PORTIONS
This delicious tomato sauce is enriched with vegetables. It is very versatile, you can mix it with pasta, as here, or blend it together with vegetables, fish of chicken.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 225g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced (approx 125g)
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 200 ml vegetable stock or water
- 60g Cheddar cheese,grated
- 100g Organic Baby Shell Pasta Shapes
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion for about 4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. Stir in the sweet potato and carrots, then stir in the tomatoes and vegetable stock or water. Bring to the boil, stirring, then cover the pan and simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet
- Once cooked, allow the sauce to cool slightly, then blend the sauce to a puree and stir in the cheese until melted. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce.
ANNABEL’S TASTY HIDDEN VEGETABLE BOLOGNESE
Suitable from 8 months • Suitable for freezing • MAKES 4 PORTIONS
Red meat provides the best source of iron for your baby and a baby’s requirements for iron are particularly high between six months and two years. The sauteed red onion, leek, carrot and apple add a delicious flavour to this Bolognese.
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped (55g)
- 1 small leek white part only (55g)
- 50g grated carrot
- 20g chopped celery (approx 125g)
- half small apple, grated
- a little water
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- 200 ml passata
- 150g lean minced beef
- 75 ml beef stock
- 1 tsp tomato puree
- 60g Organic Baby Shell Pasta Shapes
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion, leek, grated carrot, celery and grated apple for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with a little water after a few minutes and cover with a lid.
- Meanwhile, brown the minced meat in a dry frying pan. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor, add the passata and whiz until blended. Pour the tomato and vegetable sauce over the meat, add the stock and tomato puree and cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile cook the pasta shells according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, drain and toss with the sauce.
Annabel Karmel baby pastas offer mums a home made solution to fit all budgets. Each 250gram bag provides mum with 12 portion meals for baby. RSP is £1.19 for the Organic Alphabet and Shells pasta and £1.79 for the Gluten free stars. In difficult economic times the best way to save money for mums with babies in their first year is to make their own baby food. The pastas are available nationwide from stores such as Tesco, Waitrose and Ocado.
For further information and recipes visit www.annabelkarmel.com