What to feed your growing baby is something most parents struggle with. Getting the right balance of nutrients whilst creating something appealing and delicious at the same time.
I’ve already given you my top breakfasts and desserts that promote sleep so now I’m onto main meal ideas. Finger foods and foods they are able to self-feed are very important for independence. Eat with them and they may eat an extra 25%. At this age, babies need lots of interesting flavours including garlic, herbs and spices. Don’t be frightened to experiment with more exotic foods. In Manchester where I worked previously babies were regularly fed curries and dhals at 6-months-old. And remember I had much fewer sleep problems than I encounter today in Sydney, Australia.
All growing babies will need a healthy snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Here are a few examples of the nutrient balance that also helps babies sleep.
Cucumber rounds or sticks with peanut or almond nut butter spread thickly
Toast and butter and avocado or peanut and other nut butter spread liberally
Lentil patties or falafel with hummus
Raw veggie sticks with hummus or tahini – capsicum, celery, cucumber. Spread hummus thickly on veggie sticks
Wholemeal pasta spirals coated in melted butter and grated cheese – cheddar or parmesan
Dolmades serve with tzatziki and hummus
Sushi rounds with mayo on top
Lunch & Dinner
Babies struggle with chewing meat so choose meat stews, chicken or mince that’s been made into meatballs, sausage rolls or lasagna. Add lentils, chickpeas and pulses to your baby’s diet as tolerated. Here are a few ideas that tick all the boxes for promoting sleep.
Lentil or chickpea dhal (use ghee or coconut oil and don’t scrimp!), butter chicken or lamb korma served with Naan bread – you can always cheat like me and buy the naan bread
Tuna and cheese toasty/jaffle cut into soldiers with avocado
Lasagna made with lamb and lots of cheese in the bechamel sauce – mozzarella and parmesan – recipe coming soon from me!
Pasta spirals coat in butter and parmesan or pesto or tomato passata and cheese, chicken schnitzel cut into slices or chicken drumstick, steamed veggies as finger foods coat in butter
Karens Italian Nonna Meatball recipe soon to appear on YouTube and pasta spirals, steamed veggies
Falafel and sweetcorn fritters with oven roasted sweet potato pieces, oven roast in olive or coconut oil
Chicken satay- omit the peanuts for garnish for young babies until 2 years old. https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/chicken-satay/
Chicken schnitzel cooked in olive oil, oven roasted sweet potato and broccoli as finger foods
Chicken, sweet potato or pumpkin and apricot puree – https://www.nurtureparenting.com.au/chicken-apricot-and-sweet-potato-puree-for-baby/
Fish or fishcakes (add grated cheese to fishcakes) – pan-fried in olive oil, sweet potato oven roasted in olive oil and veggies, grated cheese,
Ocean trout and lentil recipe – add thickened cream or coconut cream to lentil puree, pan fry fish in olive oil
Chicken drumsticks or lamb cutlets, pasta spirals (wholemeal) with butter and parmesan or pesto, steamed veggies, oven roasted pumpkin or sweet potato
Sausage rolls, oven roasted sweet potato chips and steamed veggies – this recipe from The Bourke Street Bakery is easy and seriously delish. I’ve made them myself many times and who doesn’t appreciate a sausage roll –
Always offer dessert after main – see my link below for desserts and yoghurt is not one of them!