Breadsticks are very handy for baby led weaning as they can be used as dippers for lots of softer foods that are hard for little hands to shovel in! Think mashed avocado, hummus, greek yoghurt etc. Teething babies also love sucking and chewing on them. Shop bought breadsticks tend to be quite high in salt though and whilst they are fine to give occasionally if you find yourself using them a lot then it can be a good idea to make your own. The below recipe makes a really nice crispy but chewy breadstick and once bake can be kept in an air tight container for up to a week. Suitable from 6 months or when you have introduced wheat. As with all solid foods you should make sure you are sitting with your baby when they eating to minimise choking risks.
- 250g strong white flour (alternatively you can use strong spelt flour)
- 1 tsp fast action yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 140ml warm water
Pre heat oven to 210 degrees c. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until they are well combined. Then start kneading the dough and carry on until it starts to feel stretchy and elastic (this is quite therapeutic!). Leave the dough, in a bowl covered with a clean tea towel, to prove in a warm place until it has doubled in size, this takes around 30 mins in a medium warmth kitchen. When it is ready cut off baby fist size chunks and roll into a long sausage shape (or feel free to make smaller mini breadsticks if you'd like at this stage) and lay flat on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Once they are all rolled out allow to rest for a further 5/10 minutes before baking for approx 10 minutes. They should be nicely browned and crispy on the edges when they are ready. Allow to cool before eating or storing.
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A refreshing snack for little ones on hot days are homemade ice lollies. Make with a 50/50 mix of fresh 100% fruit juice and water and you can also chop up some fruit to add to them. These ones are apple juice and chopped up strawberries. #babyledweaning#toddlerfood #healthykids #icelolly#littleoneled
These veggie frittata squares are an excellent quick and nutritious breakfast, lunch or dinner for babies and toddlers 6/7 month plus (once egg has been introduced). They can also be stored in the fridge and taken out with you as an on the go snack. Mix 3 eggs in a bowl with 75g peas, a handful of finely chopped kale, 40g grated hard cheese, 1 tbs self raising flour and 50ml milk. Pour into a small non stick lightly greased rectangular oven dish and bake in a preheated oven (175 degrees) for 15-20 mins . Allow to cool and then turn out and cut into squares suitable for little hands.
With Halloween approaching pumpkins seem to be in abundance, these muffins are a good way to use up any leftover squash and a great sugar free treat for all the family. These are suitable from 7/8 months or if using the honey over 1yr.
DAIRY-FREE, EGG-FREE, NO SUGAR
These easy to make cookies are great for older babies (from around 9 months) when they start to need more snacks during the day. They're also really good as an after school treat for older kids. They are dairy and egg free so suitable for little ones who are lactose intolerant / allergic to cow's milk protein or eggs.
1 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup sieved self-raising flour
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
1/4 cup of water
2 tablespoons of raisins
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 handfuls of finely diced mango
1. Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees C.
2. Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
3. Grease muffin baking tray.
4. Make small muffin / balls from your mixture and place in baking tray.
5. Bake for 20 mins at 175 degrees C.
So what happens when your little one turns one? If you've been doing baby led weaning you'll most likely find that by now your little one is very proficient at feeding themselves and hopefully, if they are anything like ours, they are very adventurous eaters! For those babies who have been weaned the traditional route, they will most likely be having a combination of purees and finger foods by now. When it comes to introducing cutlery, it can vary from child to child but what you may find is that baby led weaners might get to grips with feeding themselves with their own spoon quicker than toddlers who have been weaned the traditional route as they will have most likely been practicing with pre-loaded spoons from quite an early age. One thing I discovered though is if you are trying to get your little one to feed themselves with the small baby spoons they are unlikely to get much into their mouths. Moving onto toddler cutlery at one is advisable as even though it might be a little while before they are able to use their own knife and fork, the spoons are much wider so they are able to get lots more into their mouths (and get less frustrated!).
From one, children can have cow's milk as a drink. So if you have been giving formula you can switch to whole cow's milk if you wish. You can also start introducing a cup for milk at this stage. As the amount of milk (breast, formula or cow's milk) your one year old is drinking will have reduced it is advisable to include plenty of calcium rich foods in their diet such as yoghurt, fromage frais, cheese, custard, hummus (sesame seeds which are in tahini are high in calcium), green leafy veg, almonds (so you can try almond butter) and salmon.
Each day your little one should have 3 meals and 2-3 snacks. Nutrients are needed for growth and development in your toddler so it is important that they eat a varied diet with a combination of food from the five food groups:
- They should have starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, pasta etc. at every meal and snack
- Offer 1-2 portions of fruit or vegetables with each meal and some snacks
- Milk, yoghurt and cheese - 3 servings per day (a serving is 100-120ml milk, 125g pot of yogurt). There is however very little iron in this dairy group so if you are worried about the amount your little one is eating and are concerned about their iron intake it is advisable to give them 'growing up milk' which is high in iron
- Meat, fish, eggs, nuts (ground or in nut butters) and pulses should be offered 2-3 times per day. These foods tend to be high in protein and iron
- Vegetarian alternatives such as eggs, dhals, beans and nuts - 3 servings per day with a good source of vitamin C to help with iron absorption
- Foods high in fat such as oil and butter should be eaten in small amounts whilst foods high in fat and sugar (such as cakes, biscuits and puddings) should be eaten in moderation and not instead of the other groups.
When it comes to drinks, offer your little one water with each meal and snack(aiming for 6-8 drinks per day). Water and milk are the best drinks to have between meals. Fruit juice should be avoided because it can cause tooth decay. If, when your little one is a bit older, you do want to offer juice make sure you dilute it well and offer it only with meals. Fruit juice drinks, fizzy drinks, tea and coffee should be avoided.
Toddlers should avoid eating raw eggs, shellfish, large fish such as shark, marlin and swordfish and whole nuts and round foods that are a choking hazard.
In the UK it is recommended that toddlers are given a vitamin supplement containing vitamins A and D, and for poor eaters it is recommended to find a toddler multivitamin that contains iron, zinc and magnesium.
Finally, it's good to remember that toddlers tend not to eat well when they are tired, unwell/teething or when they are over hungry and they can be easily distracted by television, games and being in a new environment (especially if there are lots of other children around which they may find very exciting!).
It is very common for toddlers and children to go through fussy periods with eating. During these periods your little one may refuse certain foods, decide they only want to eat one type of food or they may stop eating foods of a certain texture such as lumpy or sloppy foods. Other fads, normally in older children, may include only wanting to eat foods that are the same colour or not wanting to eat foods that touch on the plate. These periods of fussy / faddy eating normally pass but as parents we are programmed to worry about our children especially if we feel they are not eating well. Here are a few tips to get you through these fussy periods: