Here are six recipes that are fab for trying out baby-led weaning but are also great at disguising vegetables if your tot is on the fussy side. And they're delicious enough for the whole family to want to eat!
20 small fritters
- 198g / 7oz tin sweetcorn, drained
- 100g / 4oz wholemeal flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
- 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
- Handful of basil, chopped
- 10 cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 100g /4oz grated halloumi cheese
- Sunflower oil for frying
1. Blend 100 g/4 oz of the sweetcorn in the bowl of a food processor, or in a mixing bowl with a stick blender, until finely chopped.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder and eggs in a bowl. Whisk in the sweet chilli sauce and finely chopped sweetcorn. Add the remaining ingredients including the remaining whole, unblended sweetcorn kernels. Season to taste (if using).
3. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. When hot, fry heaped tablespoonfuls of the fritter mixture for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Transfer to kitchen paper.
20 mini burgers
Ingredients (Suitable for freezing)
- 75g/ 3 oz white bread
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 100g/ 4oz grated carrot
- 50g/ 2oz grated apple
- 250g/ 9oz minced beef
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 25g/ 1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Put the bread into a processor and whiz until you get fine crumbs. Add the remaining ingredients and whiz again until finely chopped.
2. Remove the blade and using your hands, shape into 20 mini burgers.
3. Preheat the grill. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease.
4. Place the burgers on the baking sheet. Place under the grill for 5 minutes. Turn over and grill for another 3 to 5 minutes until lightly golden and cooked through.
5. Stamp out cheese stars with a cookie cutter and serve alongside sweet potato wedges.
Mini energy balls
20 minutes (excluding chill time)
Ingredients (Dairy free)
- 200g / 7oz pitted dates
- 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 40g / 1½oz desiccated coconut
- 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 125g / 4½oz porridge oats
- 40g / 1½oz raisins
- 20g /¾oz pecans, very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 20g /¾oz Rice Krispies
- A pinch of salt (for babies over 12 months old)
1. Put the dates in a saucepan with 100 ml/4 fl oz boiling water. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes.
2. Transfer the soaked date mixture to a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth (or blend in a bowl using a stick blender).
3. Place the peanut butter and date mixture in a saucepan and melt over a low heat until smooth. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients to the pan. Mix well, then shape into 30 equal-sized little balls. Place the balls on a plate and chill for 1 hour before eating.
4. The balls will keep in the fridge, stored in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.
Cheese and cherry tomato muffins
- 225g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp snipped chives
- 5 spring onions, finely sliced
- 70g mature Cheddar cheese
- 40g Parmesan, grated
- 30g feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 large egg
- 200ml buttermilk
- 75ml sunflower oil
- 10 cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
(Suitable for freezing)
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3 and line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the chives, spring onion and cheeses in a bowl. Season with a little pepper.
3. Mix the egg, buttermilk and oil together in a jug.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and gently mix.
5. Divide the muffin mixture evenly between the paper cases, top with the chopped tomatoes and bake for 25-30 minutes until well risen and lightly golden.
6. Remove from the oven and transfer the muffins in their paper cases to a wire rack to cool (they will deflate slightly). Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Krispie chicken nuggets
2-3 child portions
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 45g / 1½oz Rice Krispies
- 1 tablespoon finely grated mature Cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 4 tablespoons plain flour
- 200g / 7oz skinless, boneless O chicken breasts, cut into 1.5cm / ½ in cubes
- Dips, to serve (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
2. Place half the oil in the bowl of a food processor with the Rice Krispies and grated cheeses and blitz to evenly combine (you may need to stop and scrape the mixture down from the sides of the bowl a couple of times). Alternatively, crush them in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Transfer the Krispie mixture to a wide, shallow bowl or a large plate.
3. Whisk the egg in a small bowl with the milk and mix the flour with a little salt and pepper (if using) and spread it out on a large plate. Grease a baking sheet with the remaining oil.
4. Toss the chicken cubes in the flour, dip them in the egg, then coat them in the Krispie coating. Lay them on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through and crispy, turning them over halfway.
5. Serve immediately, with dips if you wish (mayonnaise, ketchup).
Broccoli, chicken and potato bites
45 minutes (including chill time)
- 75 g/3 oz broccoli florets
- 110 g/4¼ oz cooked mashed potato (cold)
- 25 g/1 oz grated Parmesan cheese
- 60 g/2½ oz cooked chicken, diced
- 40 g/1½ oz dried or Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed or sunflower oil
- A little salt and pepper (for babies over 12 months old)
(Suitable for freezing)
1. Steam the broccoli florets for 5-6 minutes until tender, then set aside until they are completely cool. Once cool, chop them finely.
2. Mix together the cold mashed potato, chopped broccoli, grated cheese, chicken, half the breadcrumbs, half the beaten egg and the spring onions. Season with salt and pepper (if using).
3. Shape the mixture into 8 sausage shapes, then coat them in the remaining egg and roll them in the remaining breadcrumbs. Transfer to a lined plate or tray and chill for 30 minutes.
4. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Fry until golden and heated through. Serve with ketchup or a dip of your choice.
Get more recipes like these in Annabel Karmel’s new Baby-Led Weaning Recipe Book, out now. Filled with 120 quick, easy and nutritious recipes, there’s essential advice and tips to let your baby take the lead. See Annabelkarmel.com