Nourishing baby led weaning recipes by Jessie Bakes Clean

Nourishing baby led weaning recipes by Jessie Bakes Clean

Let me introduce my latest guest blogger, Jess of Jessie Bakes Clean. Jess is a mother of one, practicing nurse by day and baker / blogger by night. I've no idea how she does it. With an interest in nutrition, her blog posts are an amalgamation of tasty treats but with the nutritional aspect ramped up. I fell in love with her feed instantly and we fast became Insta buddies. Fast forward a few months and Jessie's yummy lactation cookie mix launched on the Mrs Rawlinson store to help breast feeding mamas enhance their milk supply.
She's kindly put all her know-how in to creating a fool-proof guide into baby-led-weaning. Over to you Jess.

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Hi lovelies. I have an early two year old on my hands and honestly nothing makes me happier than seeing him eat something that I have made as opposed to launching it at the wall, or smearing it all over my soft furnishings. 
First time weaning in all honesty wracked me with anxiety and there is quite frankly too much information out there with such variations of what’s right and what’s wrong. I continue to wing motherhood day in day out, this post is a tale of our weaning journey with some recipes laced in there for you guys to hopefully try and enjoy. 
I was really gung ho on the idea of ‘Baby led weaning’ but it didn’t quite work out like we hoped at first and so morphed into a combination of finger foods and spoon feeding. At this point I’ll just add that I started weaning at 6 months, which is the current advice dished out by the World Health Organisation. I know lots of the pouch and porridge products on the market say from 4 months though, so to reiterate - this isn’t a manual - just do what feels right for you and your baby. You can always seek advice from your health visitor or GP if you are unsure. I know mums that have started at 4 months and mums that leave it quite a way past 6 months – each kiddo is so different.
At about 5 ½ months old, our son started pinching things from plates and getting very excited when we were eating so we thought it was time to get started. 
Baby led weaning principles involve giving your baby appropriately sized pieces of food, allowing them to feed themselves and promotes babies’ development in terms of motor skills / handling food and chewing along with inclusive meal times. Baby led weaning reports to give the baby control in terms of what they want to eat, when to start cutting down their milk feeds and when she wants to explore a wider variety of foods. 
When weaning my son I definitely offered him plenty of finger foods and made lots of typical BLW recipes however somewhere along the road I let my inner control freak take over and introduced some purée based foods and spoon feeding also. I found BLW options great when we were out and about, during the first stages of weaning {when his diet was predominantly still milk anyway} , however as weaning progressed we met stages of him not liking bits, throwing food everywhere {and I mean everywhere} and the mess! My gosh. On those days – spoon feeding seemed to be the easier and more efficient option for us both. 
The premise of us all sitting down to meals together though is most definitely something that stuck and more often than not, a meal for him now, at 20 months old will consist of a mixture of foods that require a spoon or fork / can be picked up with his hands also. 
I think a common fear about BLW is the gagging and choking element, which wasn’t something we really struggled with too much upon but I did familiarise myself with infant first aid and also ensured that all fingers foods {especially things like grapes and blueberries} were cut into appropriate sizes; I’ll outline some guidance on this via pictures later on in the post. 
Just a quick note on things to avoid with young babies; Advice suggests that cows milk should be saved until after the 12 month mark. Make sure eggs are cooked thoroughly, honey shouldn’t be given to babies under 12 months and there are allergy considerations with nuts and seeds to be aware of.  
Here's a list of the very first finger foods we tried out. This part of weaning was fun and exciting and I was eager for him to explore what he liked and didn’t.

Finger foods
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado 
  • Apple slices
  • Banana 
  • Carrot sticks
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potato 
  • Peppers 
In terms of cooking and chopping; I steamed vegetables like carrots and broccoli for longer than normal to help as he didn't have teeth. I trimmed vegetables and took peel off. Chopping wise I stuck to sticks approximately 1cm in width and long enough for my son to get his chubby mitts round – you don’t want to be giving them something that is the perfect size for getting lodged in there little throats. 
I baked sweet potatoes in a dash of coconut oil. Peppers I kept raw, he loved the sweet red ones. 
Once we hit the 8-9 month mark I started offering him things like toast fingers, porridge fingers and banana pancakes. The recipe below was one of my first go to options, which I found worked really well when we were on the go. There are loads of variations to this muffin recipe & they are so easy to knock up. 

Recipe one: Baby mini muffins

Yields 24 muffins & takes about 20 minutes to make. 
Ingredients 
4 medium bananas
2 medium eggs 
150g self raising flour {you can opt for gluten free if you like}
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp poppy seeds {optional} 
Instructions 
Pre heat your oven to 180. Grease a 24 hole mini muffin tin. 
In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until smooth. 
Whisk in the eggs to the banana mixture.
Add the cinnamon and seeds also.
Sieve in the flour and fold it in.
Distribute into your tray and bake for 15 minutes. 

Recipe 2: Vegetable fritters

My son loves veggie fritters either warm or cold. They are easy to make, freeze well and work well as snacks / part of a meal and on-the-go. This recipe yields quite a few fritters depending how big you roll them – cook them all and freeze the excess. You can add a dip too like humous. 
Ingredients 
1 medium courgette
1 medium carrot
Tbsp sweet corn 
2 tbsp flour 
1 egg 
Instructions
Grate the vegetables in a bowl, mix in the sweet corn (it can come straight from the freezer) 
Add the whisked egg and flour
Combine well
Fry table spoon sized dollops in some coconut oil until browned and cooked through. 
Pat the fritters down when you are cooking them to make them like a mini burger / easy for kids to grab. 

Recipe 3: Spelt and apple biscuits

These little fellas are refined sugar free and again so easy to whip up. I found them to be a great option when my son was gearing up to move onto harder textures. He also loved them when teething, they replaced biccie pegs and teething rings for a while. 
This recipe makes about 24 biscuits pending the size of your cutter. I used a 1.5 inch star shaped cutter. As with most of my recipes these freeze and defrost in a matter of minutes, so pop your excess into that thruster freezer. 
Ingredients 
200g plain spelt flour – either whiter or wholemeal 
75g butter 
80ml apple juice 
½ tsp baking powder
Tbsp poppy seeds {optional} 
Instructions 
Pour the four into a bowl and chop the butter into cubes.
Rub the butter into the flour into bread crumbs, incorporate really well. 
Mix the apple juice in and combine into a dough. 
*you can do all of this in one go in a food processor if you like*
Knead the dough & wrap in some cling film. Pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes or so. 
Roll the dough onto a floured surface and cut your shapes. 
Bake on a lined baking tray for 12-15 minutes / until they start to go golden.
I truly hope you enjoy the recipes and have found their post somewhat informative, please head over to Jessiebakesclean for more recipes. 
J x
 

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