Baby Tastes 10-15 months

Solid foods should now be the main focus of meal times for your little one. And whilst puree and blended foods at this age are fine the introduction of more and more solids should replace purees to encourage chewing.

Red pepper dip & veggie dunkers

This recipe will make four portions. Try to balance the size of the vegetable chunks so they are small enough to grasp and chew but not so small that they could be swallowed whole.  If you want to add a touch of variety add toasted pitta or cheese chunks

You need:
1 pepper – halved and deseeded

½ tablespoon vegetable oil

1 shallot – peeled and finely chopped

1 ripe tomato – skinned, deseeded and chopped

200g/7oz cream cheese

A couple of sticks of; carrots, celery, cucumber, pepper – washed and peeled

1.   Roast the red pepper; peel and chop into teeny tiny pieces

2.   Meanwhile warm some oil in the pan, add the shallots and sauté for 5 minutes.  Mix the red pepper pieces into the pan with the tomato and cream cheese and blend to make a thick saucey dip

3.   Keep the vegetables raw and cut into sticks.  Alternatively, liven this dish up by cutting the veg out into shapes with metal cookie cutters and if your one of those Mums who has loads of time on their hands, you could even make an entire scenery set for dip dip! Go crazy…


Cheesy Pastaroni

Pastina is the smallest pasta available and comes in cutesy little stars – macaroni isn’t quite as big as pasta and therefore great for developing little chewers and perfect as an introduction to Italian foods for your little one

Makes four portions that are perfect for home freezing. Use within 4 weeks

You need:
200ml/7oz boiling water

30g/1oz butter

100g broccoli – stems removed

45g/1 ½oz grated cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons pastina pasta stars or small equivalent

Alternatively you could also add/or substitute the broccoli for:

125g/4oz carrots – peeled, chopped and cooked until soft

200g/7oz tomatoes – skinned, deseeded and chopped

1.   Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the carrots and cook for 15 minutes until tender 

2.   In a separate pan, warm the butter, add the broccoli/tomatoes and cook through til lovely and mushy.  Remove from the heat and add the cheese until melted to a goo

3.   Meanwhile bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta and cook as stated on the pack and then drain.  Approximately 5 minutes usually though….

4.   Mix the cooked carrot, the cooking liquid and the cheese and tomato sauce.  Blend to a puree and stir into the pasta stars.

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Vegetable chicken cous-cous

This dish is a great versatile meal that can be teamed with sausage meat to bulk it up a bit for the carnivores among us, more vegetables added for the vegetarians (well done guys) or kept simple for a tasty snack

This is also a scrummy dish for older children and us big kids, just add some chorizo and reduced good quality balsamic vinegar (only a dash though)

Makes 4 scrummy portions but unfortunately you can’t freeze this meal… Sorry about that

You need:
20g/¼ oz butter

60g/2 oz leeks – finely chopped

60g/2oz chicken – diced

30g/1oz parsnips – diced

30g/1oz carrots – diced

30g/1oz red and yellow pepper – deseeded and chopped

250ml/8 fl oz unsalted chicken stock

100g/3 ½oz couscous

1.   Place the carrots and parsnips in a steamer, or boil in a pan for 10 minutes until soft

2.   Warm the butter in a pan and throw in the leeks and chicken.  Saute for 5 minutes and then pop in the peppers and continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through

3.   Bring the stock to boil in another pan (sorry a bit of washing up on this one!), stir in the couscous, remove from heat – cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes, or until all of the stock has been absorbed.  Fluff it up with a fork and mix in all the other ingredients – ENJOY!


Beefy bolognese

Some babies find the texture of the chewy mince a little bit “bleugh” so I recommend popping the beefy sauce in a blender before offering to baby.  As your child becomes more attracted to this yummy dish, simply do not blend for as long so a few more beefy bits remain

If they really aren’t keen on the texture of mince, serve Rotini pasta (you know the spiral one) and some sliced soft garlic bread and encourage the sauce to be used as a dip, before you know it, they’ll be loading those spoons up

Again, the Bolognese can be stored in the freezer for up to 4 weeks, however the pasta will need to be cooked fresh each time

You need:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

30g/1oz onion – finely chopped

15g/½ oz celery – finely chopped

30g/1oz carrots – finely grated

125g/4oz lean minced beef

½ teaspoon tomato puree

2 tomatoes – skinned, deseeded and chopped

90ml/3 fl oz unsalted chicken stock

45g/1 ½ oz spaghetti

1.   Warm the oil in a pan, add the onion and celery and sauté for 3 minutes.  Add the grated carrots and cook for an additional 2 minutes

2.   Add the mince and stir until browned.  Splurge in the tomato puree, tomatoes and stock.  Bring this mixture to the boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until the meat is cooked through

3.   Meanwhile bring a pan of water to the boil, pop in the spaghetti and cook until soft – check the pack for details.  Once ready, drain and cut into small pieces.  Transfer the sauce to the blender for a quick blast; stick the pasta and sauce together and serve

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