Your baby’s first Christmas is just around the corner and how exciting is that? Probably as exciting as challenging if you are in the middle of weaning!
Weaning do’s and don’t still apply at Christmas
Whether you decided to carry on cooking your baby’s food or take a break and go with the flow, there are some important points to remember during the holidays with your little one. First and foremost, party food is not the balanced food your baby needs to thrive, so stay well clear of it.
Seasonal foods however are a great way to get important nutrients into your baby’s tummy, so bring on the sprouts, cabbage and sweet root veggies. Just make sure you separate a couple of spoonful’s before you add spices, salt, wine and honey, for babies under 12 months.
Cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower are all veggies from the brassica family which come bursting with antioxidants as well as compounds that help us excrete toxins. These veggies can also taste more bitter to children than adults so the sooner you introduce them the easier it will be for them to accept the new flavour.
Leeks are one of my favourite veggies to make leftover food into something special. Try sweating some leeks in a little butter, add leftover chicken or turkey, some chopped carrots and a few parsnips and cook gently for a few minutes, add a little flour stir for two or three minutes, then add enough milk to create a creamy sauce, cover with wholemeal pastry and voilá, chicken pie ready in less than 30 minutes!
Onions make wonderful soups out of your leftover veggies – just sweat them gently until sweet and soft in a little olive oil add your chopped leftover veggies, some stock, herbs and blitz – to a purée for baby and to a soup consistency for you!
Fruit in the colder months
Fruits are less plentiful than in the summer but oranges, clementines and pomegranates are at the best around Christmas and give us a good dose of immune boosting vitamin C. Don’t forget about the gorgeous blood oranges, that come in early January, that are packed with antioxidants including anti-inflammatory anthocyanins, like our favourite vegetable… purple carrots!
Pomegranates are bursting with vitamin C and their little seeds make a great cake topping as well as a fun finger food but as it may take babies a while to grab those tiny little seeds, so we like mixing them with a little yogurt or blitzing them into a ruby coloured smoothie!
Don’t forget that frozen fruit like berries or mangos are high in fibre and vitamins and antioxidants so they are a good option while not in season.
Leftovers make perfect suppers!
And how about Christmas dinner leftovers? I’ll tell you a secret, they make great baby dinners, especially finger foods! Leftover turkey meat mixed with some of roast veggies and a beaten egg in your Béaba Babycook ®, shaped into little patties and steamed gently in your Babycook too or roasted if you have your oven going are a great supper lunch.
And of course, the grand finally…the Christmas cake!
But how about Christmas desserts? Well, sugar is sugar so you should avoid the refined stuff and honey until your baby is at least 12 months old. After that, you can introduce a little sugar in moderation and, this is really important, always as part of a balanced meal. Last year we created a finger-licking recipe for a child-friendly Christmas cake with no alcohol and lots of dried fruit to add natural sweetness.
Written by Purple Carrot Nutrition: https://purplecarrotnutrition.co.uk/