A baby’s first Christmas is a special milestone, and a great opportunity to introduce them to a whole host of new tastes and traditions. Beaba’s guide to baby food at Christmas includes some must-read weaning do’s and don’ts, as well as some fantastic festive weaning recipes they’ll love.

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Weaning: 10 tips for Christmas – Written by Purple Carrot Nutrition

Let’s talk turkey. You may decide to carry on cooking your baby’s usual foods, or you might prefer to throw caution to the wind and go with the flow this Christmas. There are a few things you should remember, as well as some brilliant inspiration for festive food perfect for the littlest guests at the table.

Weaning with wintertime veg

Avoid party food. It is not the balanced food your baby will need to continue to thrive.

Embrace the sprouts! It’s time to eat seasonably, and introduce your baby to Christmas favourites: think sprouts, cabbage and sweet root vegetables. Don’t forget to avoid hot spices, salt, wine and honey for babies under 12 months. Do feel free to experiment with mild spices and herbs, which your baby will love to experience.

Did you know, veggies from the brassica family (cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower) are stacked full of antioxidants as well as compounds that help us excrete toxins. Sounds good? They’re great, but they can also taste quite bitter to children, so it’s best to introduce your children to these foods as soon as possible, so they can accept the weird and wonderful flavours.

Leeks make fabulous leftover food. Try sweating some leeks in butter, add leftover chicken or turkey, chopped carrots and a few parsnips and cook gently for a few minutes. Add a little flour and stir for 2-3 minutes and then add enough milk to create a creamy sauce. Then, simply cover with wholemeal pastry for a deliciously quick chicken pie!

Sweat an onion gently until sweet and soft in a little olive oil. Add your chopped leftover veggies, some stock, herbs and blitz into a purèe for your baby, and a delicious soup for you!

Weaning with wintertime fruits

Make the most of oranges, clementines and pomegranates, as they taste best at Christmastime, and they’re jam-packed with immune-boosting vitamin C. Top tip – shop for blood oranges, usually available in shops in early January. These are full of antioxidants including anti-inflammatory anthocyanins.

Pomegranates are bursting with vitamin C. Blitzing them into a ruby-coloured smoothie could be great for your little one. For older children over 12 months, their little seeds make a great cake topping as well as a fun finger food but as it may take them a while to grab those tiny little seeds, so we like mixing them with a little yogurt!

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. Simply defrost in your Babycook and serve up babes fav fruity treats in no time.

Weaning: Christmas leftovers and desserts

And how about Christmas dinner leftovers? I’ll tell you a secret, they make great baby dinners, especially finger foods! Try mixing Leftover turkey meat with some roast veggies and a beaten egg in your Béaba Babycook ® and shape into little patties, steam gently in your Babycook then brown in the oven or frying pan for a great supper or lunch..

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.

Here are four delicious festive weaning recipes, nutritionally balanced so you can rest assured your baby is getting everything they need.

Turkey and Sweet Potato Purée with Cinnamon and Cranberry

A classic dish perfect for the winter season, with a pinch of cinnamon and some cranberries for a flavorful and healthy dish your little ones will love!

SUITABLE FROM 7 months

Ingredients

  • 85g Turkey leg, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 Sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 30g Brussel Sprouts, washed & halved
  • ½ tsp Extra-Virgin Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dried cranberries (no added sugar)
  • A pinch Cinnamon

Method

  1. Combine the turkey, sweet potato, sprouts and cranberries in a bowl.
  2. Pour water for steaming up to level 3 in your Béaba Babycook ® and add the combined ingredients to the steaming basket.
  3. Once the turkey is cooked, reserve the cooking liquid.
  4. Purée the turkey, sweet potato, sprouts and cranberries in your Béaba Babycook ® with ½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of cinnamon until you reach the texture you need for your baby. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid to blend if needed.

@my.litytle.food.critic

Ginger, Cranberry and Orange Purée

This flavoursome and festive purée is seasonal, fresh and a great way to introduce new flavours to your little babe. What’s more, cranberries are a rich source of several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, so a great addition to our diets.

SUITABLE FROM 6 months

  • 4 servings
  • PREPARE 5 mins
  • COOK 16 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cranberries
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 orange, peeled and diced
  • 1 date, pitted
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Method

 Add the cranberries, orange zest, orange, date, ginger and cinnamon to the steaming basket.

  1. Fill the water reservoir to level 2.
  2. Select steam cook.
  3. Once steamed, carefully open the lid and remove the steamer basket.
  4. Tip the contents of the steam basket into the blending bowl.
  5. Blitz to purée to your babies preferred texture.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
  7. This puree can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

@my.litytle.food.critic

Turkey Pasta Bake With Cranberry Sauce

 This quick and easy meal is brimming with flavour, comes together really quickly and is sure to be a festive family favourite!

SUITABLE FROM 6 months

  • 6 servings
  • PREPARE  5 mins
  • COOK 45 minutes

Ingredients

For the Pasta Bake

  • 1 cup pasta
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ½  tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 large handful spinach, chopped
  • 300g mince
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup cheese

For the Cranberry Sauce – suitable from 12 months only

  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 date or 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 orange peeled and sliced into chunks

Method

  1. First add the pasta to the Beaba Babycook® Pasta/Rice cooker insert and fill the water reservoir to water level 3 and add 1/2 cup/120ml water to the insert with the pasta. Steam cook. Once steamed, place the pasta into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Then add the onion, garlic, Rosemary, oregano, basil, spinach and mince, to the steam basket of the Beaba Babycook®.
  3. Fill the steamer reservoir with water to level 3 and steam for 15 minutes.
  4. Once steamed, carefully open the lid and remove the steam basket.
  5. Tip the contents of the steam basket into the baking tray with the pasta. Add the cream cheese and half of the cheese and stir.
  6. Top with the remaining cheese.
  7. Pop into the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees c.
  8. While the pasta is baking, make the cranberry sauce.
  9. Add the cranberries, maple syrup or date, orange zest and orange chunks to the steaming basket.
  10. Fill the water reservoir to level 2.
  11. Select steam cook.
  12. Once steamed, carefully open the lid and remove the steamer basket.
  13. Tip the contents of the steam basket into the blending bowl.
  14. Blitz to purée.

@my.litytle.food.critic

Vegetable Christmas Casserole

This wholesome, warming casserole is packed full of nutritious vegetables and flavour!

You can blitz this down to a puree babies if you prefer. It’s perfect for those learning to self-feed as it has a lovely thick consistency.

SUITABLE FROM 6 months

  • 6 servings
  • PREPARE  5 mins
  • COOK 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup/90g Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 150ml milk of choice
  • 150ml no salt/low sodium stock
  • ¼ cup/30g breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup/90g grated cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup/30g breadcrumbs

Method

  1. Add the Brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, black pepper, ground nutmeg, thyme and Rosemary to the steam basket of the Beaba Babycook®.
  2. Fill the steamer reservoir with water to level 3 and steam for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F.
  4. In a bowl combine the melted butter, flour and milk. Stir to combine.
  5. Add half of the cheese and stir. Set aside.
  6. Once steamed, carefully open the lid and remove the steamer basket.
  7. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a baking dish.
  8. Pour over the vegetable stock.
  9. Pour over the creamy sauce and stir to combine.
  10. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top, followed by the breadcrumbs.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes until golden. 

@my.litytle.food.critic

Baby’s First Christmas Cake

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without cake, so why not start this tradition early?

SUITABLE FROM 12 months

Ingredients

  • 50g Pitted dates
  • 40g Dried figs
  • 30g Dried apricots
  • 40g Cranberries
  • 40g Unsalted butter, melted
  • 35g Muscovado sugar
  • 35m1 Runny Honey
  • 1 Unwaxed medium orange
  • ¼ tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1tbps Cocoa
  • 2tbps Wholemeal flour
  • 1tbps Ground almonds
  • 1/8tsp Baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 140C.
  2. Process the dried figs, apricots and dates in Béaba Babycook® until chopped but not turned into a paste.
  3. Zest and juice your orange. Reserve both juice and zest.
  4. Put the chopped fruit and the cranberries in the steaming basket of your Béaba Babycook® and steam for 5min until soft.
  5. Remove the stick fruit mix to a bowl and add the butter, sugar, honey, orange juice and zest, mixed spice, cinnamon and egg. Mix well with a spatula while the fruit is still hot.
  6. Add the cocoa, flour, ground almonds, baking soda and bicarbonate and mix well.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the 6 portions of your Béaba multiportion or use a bun tray and bake at 140C for 30min.
  8. Check the mini-cakes are done by inserting a cake tester. These are gorgeously moist cakes so a little stickiness is expected.
  9. Let them cool down completely in the Béaba multiportion/bun tray on a rack.
  10. These cakes freeze really well in the Béaba multiportion but being fruitcakes they’ll last a very long time in the silicone container with the lid tightly on.

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