Sweet potato and mackerel bites

Mackerel is one of those relatively strong flavours that I’m surprised how readily babies and small children take to – mackerel pate has been a favourite food of my daughter’s since she weaned. She’s always been a fan of various versions of these, but they’re definitely not ‘just’ for children; they make just as good a…

Sugar-free banana bread

  Makes one very large or two medium sized loaves. Ingredients 4 large, very ripe bananas 180g dried apricots or dates 120g butter 2 eggs 250g self-raising flour 50g wholemeal flour 1 medium apple or 80g apple compote 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Method Preheat oven to 180C…

Baby’s first sugar-free flapjacks

This is based on a recipe that went viral among my group of ‘mum-friends’ – for a while, at any playdate, someone would pull out a tupperware of these flapjacks. They were so popular with all the children we called them baby crackjacks…They work with any dried fruit you have around, and freeze well. You can…

Quinoa and celeriac fritters (better than they sound)

Surprisingly delicious for a recipe that sounds off-puttingly healthy, these are great hot and fresh, and work really well for baby-led weaning. They freeze well: make up a batch, then open-freeze the ones you don’t eat before popping them into a freezer bag. The fritters defrost quickly, then crisp back up in a dry frying pan….

Weaning

The NHS weaning page is an excellent introduction to weaning essentials, and Nikki Duffy’s River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook includes a thorough and thoroughly useful chapter on weaning, nutrition, different approaches and the benefits of doing-it-yourself rather than relying on shop-bought. I also highly recommend First Bite: How We Learn to Eat by Bee Wilson, a…

Sugar-free apple cake/muffins

Sugar-free is misleading, of course, as dried fruit is high in sugar – but unlike refined white sugar (or agave syrup, artificial sweeteners or processed honey), it also contains fibre and vitamins. Anyway, come on – what’s life without a bit of cake? As well as being good for very little ones (make sure you…

Chickpea and broad bean falafel

Falafel is a star food: cheap, healthy, easy to make and good for snacks, a starter, finger food for babies, a quick lunch or as part of a salad for dinner. Goes excellently with tzatziki of course: de-seed and grate cucumber, squeeze out the water, then mix with plain yoghurt, a little crushed garlic, a squeeze…