Does bub need some new items on the menu?
Coles food editor and mum of three, Emma Braz, has some fresh and healthy ideas to keep them nommin’.
To begin, Emma loves to cook with pumpkin. “When you start with babies, something a little sweeter is better for them and a bit more palatable than going straight to a mushroom or harder vegetable,” she says.
Though that doesn't mean you should just feed them sweet foods! Pumpkin is a great addition to most purees, just to add that little touch of sweetness without overpowering the other savoury flavours you are introducing.
Adding some mild spices for children is also a good way of incorporating new flavours and building their palate up. And yes, you CAN mix fruits with vegetables!
If you’re unsure of a recipe, halve it to see if they like it, before committing to a whole batch.
“Remember it takes nine tries of something before they get the tastebuds to like it,” Emma says. “So they might spit it out at first but keep on persevering with it. Things can freeze up to three months, so in little ice cube trays is the best because then you can get out the portion you want.”
Emma suggests these recipes as a good starting point for making purees interesting for your little foodie.
1. Pumpkin, lentil and orange dhal
Makes: about 1 cup
Step 1: Combine in a small saucepan:
- 200g butternut pumpkin, seeded, peeled and finely chopped
- ¼ cup (50g) red lentils, rinsed and drained
- the juice of 1 orange
- 1 cup (250ml) water
Step 2: Place over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 mins or until pumpkin and lentils are tender.
Step 3: Remove from heat and use the back of a wooden spoon to crush any large pieces of pumpkin. If you want a smoother puree, give it a blast with a stick blender.
Step 4: Add 1 tbs Greek yoghurt and stir to combine. Serve slightly warm or cooled.
Sweet potato, rhubarb and coriander puree
Makes: 1 cup
Step 1: Combine in a small saucepan over medium-high heat:
- 200g finely chopped sweet potato
- 1 large stem (50g) rhubarb, finely chopped
- a pinch of ground coriander
- 1 cup (250ml) water
Step 2: Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 10-12 mins or until sweet potato is tender and the liquid is almost absorbed.
Step 3: Remove from heat. Use a fork or blender to mash to the desired consistency for your baby.
Berry & spinach puree
Makes: about 1 cup
Step 1: Place into a small saucepan:
- 1 cup (130g) chopped mixed berries (such as strawberries, blackberries and raspberries)
- 20g baby spinach leaves
- 1 tbs water
- half an apple, cored, peeled and finely chopped
Step 2: Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 10 mins or until apple is tender. Set aside to cool.
Step 3: Place mixture in a food processor and process to desired consistency. Serve as is or swirled through yoghurt.
Makes: about 2 cups
Step 1: Place 2 peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith apples in a medium saucepan with 1 cup (250ml) water.
Step 2: Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 mins or until apple is tender. Set aside to cool completely.
Step 3: Place in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.
Pumpkin, carrot and cumin puree
Makes: about 1½ cups
Step 1: Place 250g coarsely chopped butternut pumpkin and 1 peeled, coarsely chopped carrot in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water.
Step 2: Place over high heat and bring to the boil. Cook, loosely covered, for 15 mins or until pumpkin and carrot are very tender. Drain well. (Alternatively, you can steam or microwave the veggies until soft.)
Step 3: Return to the pan with a pinch of ground cumin. Use a potato masher or fork to mash to the desired consistency for your baby.
Enjoy this special time with your baby - food is fun!
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