Foods For Weaning and How to Prepare Them

Carrot purée

Scrape a carrot and boil it in a little unsalted water until tender; purée with enough of the cooking water to make a soft consistency. Start by giving a taste of ½ teaspoonful before or after the midday or evening milk.

Swede or parsnip purée

Make in the same way as carrot purée.

Apple or pear sauce

Use sweet apples or pears only, not tart ones that require added sweetening. Peel, core and slice the fruit and cook in 2-3 tablespoons of water until tender. Purée, adding a little extra boiled water if necessary to make a soft consistency.

Banana

Mash the flesh of a very ripe banana thoroughly with a fork, adding a little cooled, boiled water if necessary to make a soft consistency.

Avocado

Cut in half, scoop out and mash the flesh, adding a few drops of cooled boiled water if necessary.

Courgette

Cut off the ends and cut into small pieces. Cook in a minimum of unsalted water until tender. Purée with enough cooking water to make a soft consistency.

Pumpkin

Peel and remove the seeds. Cut the flesh into pieces and cook in a little boiling water until tender. Purée.

Tomato

Suitable raw or cooked. Sieve cooked tomato to remove the seeds. Scald and peel raw tomato and cut out the core, then mash. You can remove the seeds if you like, but the jelly around them is a valuable source of soluble fibre.

Grated apple or pear

Choose sweet apples and well-ripened pears. Peel and grate finely.

Peaches, apricots, sweet cherries, mangoes, papaya, kiwi fruit

Choose really ripe fruit, remove the skin and pips or stones and mash the flesh thoroughly.

Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage

Wash and trim. Cook in a minimum of unsalted water until tender (they should be mashable but not soggy). Purée with a little of their cooking water. (Cooked cabbage and Brussels sprouts can create intestinal gas - if this is a problem, mix with another vegetable purée such as carrot.)

Spinach

Wash thoroughly, remove the stems and shred the leaves. Cook in a saucepan with a little extra water until the spinach is tender. Purée. (Don't give more than once or twice a week as the oxalic acid content affects the body's absorption of some minerals.)

Dried apricots, prunes, pears, peaches, apples

Wash, then cover with boiling water and soak overnight. Next day, simmer until tender. Remove pits from prunes. Purée. (Can have a rather laxative effect.)

Date purée

Put 225g dates into a saucepan with ½ cup water and heat gently for 5-10 minutes, or until the dates are mushy. Remove from the heat and mash with a spoon to make a thick purée, looking out for and removing any stones as you do so; set aside to cool.

Baby rice cereal

This is the best first cereal to give because it is the least likely to cause allergic reactions. Choose one fortified with additional iron and B vitamins, and make up with liquid according to the directions on the pack.

Potatoes

Scrub. Bake or boil in unsalted water. Scoop the potato out of the skins and mash. Very finely chopped green vegetables can also be added, such as watercress or raw spinach leaves. You can also add mashed tofu.

Corn, peas, green beans

Boil until tender and purée. Fresh or frozen are fine; canned are not advised because of the salt and sugar they contain.

Muesli

Buy a mix without sugar and other additives, or make your own from oats, nuts and raisins, then grind to a powder. Moisten with water, fruit juice or plain soya yoghurt. Sprinkle with wheatgerm and mix well. Powdered nuts or seeds or grated apple or pear can be added.

Wholewheat bread

From six months onward, a little crustless bread can be added to vegetable purées. The bran in 100 per cent wholegrain bread and flour is too laxative for some babies; a 50:50 bread (preferably with added wheatgerm for extra iron) or enriched white bread is often a better choice for babies under two years old.

 
 
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