Ben is now 8 months old and over the past 2 months we have been gradually introducing solids into his diet. He was exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months so having to think about preparing food for him as well as myself adds a whole new level of complexity to daily life. We have chosen to follow baby-led weaning which means that rather than spoon-feeding and starting with purees and gradually making them lumpier over time, Ben eats similar food to us and feeds himself. In some ways this is easier as there’s no need to prepare a special meal for him but it does require some forward planning as meals with sauces or that require more than a couple of teeth don’t really work.
Thankfully Ben is a very independent little boy and loves feeding himself, in fact I doubt we’d have had much success with traditional weaning as he tries to grab the spoon every time! Breakfast is the easiest, and least messy, meal of the day and generally looks something like this:
One adaptation is that instead of spoon-feeding porridge, I have been making porridge bites which Ben can feed himself (while I eat my own breakfast!). Generally I give him “loaded spoons” of yoghurt so I fill the spoon and then he takes it from me, or lunges for it with an open mouth. It mostly ends up in his mouth but sometimes gets wiped in his hair or across his forehead in the process.
Oats: I have been using a combination of Ella’s kitchen banana porridge and normal porridge oats. It will work fine with normal oats, I only use a combination because I was given some Ella’s kitchen porridge and want to use it up.
Milk: Either breastmilk, formula or cow’s milk
You will also need several muffin or cupcake cases, depending on the quantity of mixture. I now use silicone muffins cases as I found when I used paper cases, the bites stuck to the cases.
- Preheat oven to 200 °C/180 °C fan.
- Mix together an equal amount of oats and milk.
- Leave to soak up any excess liquid for 5 minutes.
- Spoon 1 rounded tbsp mixture into the bottom of each muffin or cupcake case and flatten with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 30 minutes until crisp and golden on the outside.
They will keep for 2-3 days in a plastic box in the fridge but haven’t tried to freeze them so can’t comment on how well that would work.
SometimesI replace some of the milk with homemade fruit puree, so far I’ve tried apple and blackberry puree and apple puree and both have gone down well. Apple and blackberry puree also makes the bites excitingly purple!