Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Meals for BLW Babies and their Families

Lots of people ask for suggestions of meal ideas for their Baby Led Weaning babies. Lucinda has always eaten with me at the same mealtime and has enjoyed the same food as I have been eating. This is what makes Baby Led Weaning so easy and hassle-free. There is no need to think of and prepare separate meals. If a baby is able to feed himself then he is able to eat the same foods as you. Here I have compiled a selection of our favourite meals which we enjoy together. Lucinda has eaten all these types of meals since six months old, although they are easy to adapt if your baby and/or family has special dietary requirements or allergies. Quantities and measurements are not specific. Adjust accordingly, depending on how many people you are feeding!...

Risotto / Risotto Balls

Arborio rice
Vegetable stock
Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Start by preparing some vegetable stock. I just use an organic stock cube. Set aside in a jug. Melt approx 10-15g of butter in a saucepan. Add required amount of rice and stir into the butter. Then gradually add the stock to the rice, a little at a time. Let the rice soak up the stock before adding some more. Keep stirring regularly. Enough stock has been added when the rice is nice and sticky with a little bit of liquid left for a few minutes simmering. Add the peas. If making into risotto balls, "petit pois" are best. After a couple of minutes, add some cheese and stir through. Finally, add some freshly ground black pepper and stir again.
You can now either serve as risotto, make into risotto balls or separate and make half and half, etc. If making risotto balls, leave to cool for a few minutes (don't want to burn your fingers!), then take a small amount of the risotto and form into balls. I've made different sizes, anything between a Malteser size to a ping-pong ball size. Your baby may prefer differing sizes according to how developed their pincer grip is.
Risotto can either be served on its own or as an accompaniment. We sometimes have it with chicken.

Toast Pizzas

Chopped tomatoes, passata or tomato purée
Grated cheese
Black olives

Toast one side of bread under a grill. Turn over and lightly toast the other side. Remove from grill. Then spread passata evenly over the least toasted side, sprinkle on cheese and add a few olives. Return to grill and continue toasting until cheese has melted. Just fancy cheese on toast really, but very yummy!
I like mine with coleslaw.

Salmon and Philadelphia Tagliatelle

Tagliatelle (fresh or dried)
Salmon (fresh or tinned)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook tagliatelle as per instructions on pack. Drain the pan. Add salmon and a couple of large spoonfuls of Philadelphia. Stir through. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. This is also tasty with a bit of sweet chilli sauce stirred through. Can be served on it's own or with garlic bread.

Cheese and Beans Quesadilla

Tortillas (corn tortillas if available)
Light olive oil, or other cooking oil
Baked beans

Heat a small amount of oil in a large frying pan or wok. Place one tortilla flat in the pan. I find corn tortillas work better than flour tortillas as flour tortillas tend to go dry and flaky when cooked. I prefer the consistency of corn tortillas. As the tortilla is warming through, spoon on some baked beans. No need to heat first, straight from the tin is fine. Then place some grated or sliced cheese on top of the beans. Don't get the cheese and beans too close to the edge or it can get really messy! Place another tortilla on top and then carefully flip the whole lot over to cook the other tortilla. After another minute or so, carefully slide the quesadilla out of the pan onto a large plate or chopping board. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing into wedges.

Chilli con Carne
(you could also substitute the meat for a selection of your favourite vegetables)

Lean minced beef
Cooking oil
Tomatoes (fresh or tinned)
Oxo cube (or similar stock)
Freshly boiled water
Tomato purée
Chilli Purée
Kidney beans
Mushrooms (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat some oil in a large pan or wok and fry the minced beef until browned. Chop the onion, add to the mince and fry together for a couple of minutes. Crumble in the Oxo cube. Add about half a pint of freshly boiled water, stir in the Oxo cube and then allow to simmer. While simmering, add the tomatoes, tomato purée, chilli purée, kidney beans and mushrooms. Stir well, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for another 10-15 minutes. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste, stir though again and serve with rice, jacket potato or wedges.


  1. Great ideas! We love stirfries too, that way the individual meats/veggies are already cut into strips to make it easier for LO to handle.

    1. We love stir-fries too :) As soon as I cook one worthy of a photograph I shall include it in another selection of recipes! I have another BLW recipe post in progress.