Wednesday 27 June 2012

Three super easy pasta sauce recipes for baby led weaning

I have taken a baby led weaning approach to weaning with my two, mainly because they refused to take anything from a spoon and it was the only way to get food into them. These three pasta sauce recipes have been huge hits in our household. I make them with macaroni pasta, which babies can scoop up in their fingers and feed themselves with, and later progress to eating themselves with a spoon. If you are spoon feeding your baby then of course you can also use these recipes, and just mix in tiny pasta shapes. They would probably work just as well as a puree too for younger ones.

I make these sauces and freeze them in small portion sized pots (yoghurt pots are ideal).

Green pasta. This is the absolute favourite meal in our house. It is a very simplified version of an Annabel Karmel recipe and makes about 5 portions. This one is very messy, long sleeved bibs and a bath to follow are recommended. It has a lot of cheese in it, so it's good for babies that are not keen on milk.

1 bag of spinach
2 tablespoons of soft cheese (I've used Philadelphia, the supermarket versions and Dairylea all work well)
A large handful of grated cheese
Splash of milk

Wilt the spinach in a large saucepan. Drain the excess liquid and return to saucepan. Add the soft cheese, grated cheese and milk. Return to the heat for a short while until the cheese has melted a little, then blend. You may need to add more milk to produce a smooth texture.

This is one meal that I tend to make for the little ones only. It is incredibly rich with all that cheese!

Red pasta. My own recipe! We eat mainly vegetarian food, which is why I have added lentils. This makes about 8 or 9 portions.

1 can of chopped tomatoes
Large handful red lentils
Teaspoon of herbs (I use Italian Herb Seasoning)

Place the chopped tomatoes in a large saucepan. Rinse out the can with water and add more water to the saucepan, I find that about two thirds of the can is a good amount. Add in the lentils and the herbs, bring to the boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes, or until it has thickened. Blend.

You could increase the vegetable content of the sauce by adding some extra vegetables, perhaps add some pureed carrots or sweet potato. I eat this too, although it is rather bland so may require some salt for adult tastes. I serve with plenty of grated cheese.

Three simple pasta recipes for baby led weaning

Yellow pasta. Also known as cheese sauce. I'm sure that everyone has a tried and tested recipe for cheese sauce, this is the one that I use, or you can find a more exact one here. This makes about 5 portions.

A lump of butter (about 15g)
Small tablespoon of flour
200ml milk
Large handful of grated cheese

Melt the butter then add the flour and mix together. Add the milk gradually and stir until thickened. When thickened add in the cheese and stir.

This is a really good recipe to make for the whole family. I've also made it with extra hidden vegetables blended in - parsnip or cauliflower work well.

I think that my children would eat these three recipes in rotation if I let them!

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