Ok, so this is a bit off my normal posts, but despite my laid back nature, Weasel’s eating habits are very important to me. One key thing is that I want her to eat with us and eat what we’re eating (this of course means reigning in a few of our bad habits! There be a lot less trips to the chippy in this house…). But in the just past smooth food stage of weaning, life can be seriously dull. You couldn’t live on rice and porridge alone, so if you want your offspring joining you at the tapas bar anytime soon, you might want to try some variety. Here’s a run-down of some different carbs to try out. (disclaimer *I don’t pretend to know jack-all about nutritional value or allergies, so do what you feel cool with. I’m not putting an age up here, otherwise I’m sure I’ll get crap from all directions!)
Stelline – The Italian babe’s introduction to pasta and available in most supermarkets, and even in Boots baby section. Made pasta sauce the night before for dinner? Pop a tiny bit in the fridge, then boil some stelline up fresh with 7 minutes cooking time.
Couscous – Again, cooks in a few minutes and you can add as little or as much as you want to it. It could be dry, so adding a bit of pureed veg can make it easier to eat.
Giant Couscous – This one gives a totally different texture and Weasel much preferred it. Short cooking time and same kind of recipes as with the normal stuff.
Steamed Rice – I’m loving these packets that take just a couple minutes in the microwave and then you add veg/meat/anything your kid will eat to them. Weasel likes to eat the instant she gets in from nursery and these things are vital to my sanity. I add leftover from the previous night’s dinner to them or just leave as is with some finger foods.
Red lentils – A great lentil for those (like me) who can’t be bothered to soak overnight and one that’s full of flavour. You can mix in some puree and move onto tiny cubed veg & shredded meat, or just some baby chicken stock if you like. You can even add a creamy cheese and tiny bits of ham (they don’t just have to be for veggies like I used to think!).
Then there’s always hummus – Given it’s got protein, fiber and iron, it’s pretty much a wonderfood. Just plonk them with a bread stick and a pot of this and you’re sorted.
And, drum-roll for clearly the tastiest – gnocchi! Fantabulous if you are superwoman and make your own, but I suspect, like me, you will buy these in a bag. They are fab – quick cook (2 minutes!!! I can barely make myself a drink in the time it takes to cook!), suit most sauces and are uber-tasty. When Weasel was tiny I cut them into 4 (after cooking), now she mostly eats them whole. Scoff if you want, but we didn’t want to have to do the baby heimlich maneuver* ever again, so cut into four was sensible in my house (I should point out this was caused by a different food, not uncut gnocchi). And you can have the joy of your toddler pronouncing it better than than their grandparents.
Good luck and prepare with a truck load of baby wipes and stain remover!