Baby Textures 7-10 months

Now your little one has been introduced to the new world of purees, you can move onto the next step but make sure you wait until they are used to the previous flavours and enjoying them before stepping it up a gear onto slightly thicker textures and stronger flavours…

Leak, potato, spinach, watercress & pea blend

Another versatile dish that can be used for babies AND for the rest of the family.  Simply add extra stock and a dash more seasoning and you have a scrummy soup for all!

You need:
30g/1oz butter

1 leek – white part only washed and sliced

175g/6oz peeled and chopped potatoes

250ml/8 fl oz unsalted chicken stock or water

60g/2oz frozen peas

1/2 bag of spinach

1/2 bag of watercress

1.   Warm the butter in a pan.  Add the leek and sauté for 5-6 minutes until golden.  Add the potatoes and pour over the stock.  Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and then simmer for around 10 minutes

2.   Add the frozen peas, watercress and spinach and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender.

3.   Drain the vegetables, mix together and blend.  Voila

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Cod & veggie trio

By keeping the amount of cod introduced to this dish low, the transition to the flavour is extremely mild and extremely moreish for your little one.  As your baby grows more accustomed to this dish – add more of the fillet of cod

Serves four portions and can be frozen for up to four weeks – super money saving dish and extremely nutritious…

You need:
125g/ 4oz peeled and chopped potatoes

125g/4oz cod fillet skinned

125g/4oz peeled and sliced carrots

3 peppercorns

1 bay leaf and a sprig of parsley

100ml/3 ½ fl oz full fat milk

15g/½oz butter

1 tomato – skinned, deseeded and chopped

125g/4oz chopped suede

1.   Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the vegetables.  Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until tender

2.   Meanwhile, place the fish into a pan with the peppercorns, bay leaf and parsley.  Pour over the milk and poach the fish for 5-7 minutes.  Discard the flavourings – but keep the fish!

3.   Melt the butter in a pan, add the tomato and sauté until mushy

4.   Flake the fish with a fork, a tiny section at a time, being ultra-careful in checking for little bones.  Drain the vegetables then add to the fish with the tomato and 60ml/2 fl oz of the reserved milk.  Blend to the desired consistency

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Tomato, cauliflower & broccoli gratin

Veggie, cheesy, soft and yummy.  Need I say more?

Cook it, serve it and freeze the rest for up to four weeks

You need:
150g/5oz cauliflower

150g/5oz broccoli

30g/1oz butter

250g/8oz tomatoes; skinned, deseeded and roughly chopped

30g/1oz grated cheddar cheese

A few shavings of Red Leicester

1.   Put the cauliflower and broccoli florets in a steamer and cook for about 12 minutes, until soft.  Alternatively, bring a pan of water to the boil and add the cauliflower and broccoli and simmer for 10 minutes

2.   In the meantime warm the butter in a pan, add the tomato and sauté until mushy.

3. Drain the cauliflower and broccoli and then mash

4. Remove the tomatoes from the heat and add the cheese.  Continuously stir until melted and then stir through the cauli and broccoli

3. If you want a smoother consistency, instead of mashing, blend all of the ingredients

4. Sprinkle over a few shavings of Red Leicester


Braised beef with carrot, parsnip & sweet potato blend

The combination of red meat and root vegetables is a concoction of loveliness that my sons love even now.  It is a plate of nutritional goodness and easy to blend.  Makes 10 portions that are suitable for freezing for four weeks… If it lasts that long

You need:
30g/1oz butter

125g/4oz sliced leeks

175g/6oz lean beef stewing steak cut into tiny cubes

150g/5oz peeled and sliced carrots

125g/4oz chopped parsnips

250g/8oz peeled and chopped potatoes

450ml/¼ unsalted beef or chicken stock

1.   Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4

2.   Heat the butter in a pan, add the leeks and saute for approximately 5 minutes until softened.  Add the beef and cook through til brown

3.   Add the carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes to the pan.  Pour over the stock and bring the mixture to the boil

4.   Transfer the food to a casserole dish and cook in the pre-heated oven for 1 ½ – 2 hours until the meat is soft and tender

5.   Blend or mash to the required texture

NB: You can even make some teeny, tiny dumplings to pop on the top to mix things up a bit