Sometimes, this whole “being a parent” thing hits you, and it’s usually at times you wouldn’t expect. My latest wave of realisation came one evening last week. I was chilling on the couch, Little Mister sat on my knee, watching a re-run of Dance Moms, whilst he was munching away on some blueberry tapioca crackers (as an aside, although the packaging says “mess free”, I have a purple crusted pair of joggers that would beg to differ). I couldn’t stop watching him, feeding himself, when it only felt such a short time ago we were decorating the nursery and picking out bottles. And he looked so content, cracker in hand, smiling away at Abby Lee Miller whilst she passive-aggressively crushed the dreams of some child. Then he blew a raspberry with a mouthful of cracker everywhere and kind of bust me out of the moment. I think it’s the finger foods that are making it hit home, that Little Mister is starting those first steps to feeding independence in what feels like no time at all.
As we move onto week 7 of baby weaning, we’re starting to add more texture and flavours into the meals. Alongside the spoon-fed stuff I’ve been sneaking in some finger foods to encourage self-feeding (I think I read somewhere it’s meant to be less messy in the long run, but I’m not buying it right now). Baby snack wafers are a hit, and so are the corn snacks flavoured with veg (even though it smells like I’m raising my baby on Wotsits after a feeding session), so I thought it time to add in some healthier options. At this morning’s breakfast, I thought we’d try out something I’d spotted on Pinterest, making a banana into a little push pop that’s easy to grip. Within seconds the banana was on the high-chair, over his toy, in his hair… in my hair. We’re going to be waiting a few more days until we have the courage to try that one again.
I couldn’t be without my baby steamer blender, so I wanted to start noting down some really simple first recipes to show how convenient they are (and so that I have them written down somewhere…). This recipe is written with the machine in mind, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t be adapted with a steamer and a hand blender.
Carrot and Parsnip “Lumpy as You Like” Purée
- 2 Parsnips
- 2 Carrots
- Few twists of freshly milled Pepper
Makes: 3-6 meals
Time: 30 mins
- Pick a window where Bubba is sleeping/pre-occupied so that the following steps can be completed a bit faster…
- Peel your veg, top-and-tail, and cube into (roughly) 1cm chunks
- Fill the steamer up with enough water for 20 mins of steaming. This can be found on the machine, or in the manual (if you can remember which drawer you stuffed it in/it isn’t crusted in food from last cooking outing)
- Chuck all your cubed veg into the blender, and steam for 20 minutes
- Have a cuppa, or even fit in some lunch. Face the inevitable interruption of baby-waking as you slowly place your hot coffee on the table.
(Optional Step for older babies: to add some texture to the puree, remove about a third of the veg at this point and mash. Once the puree has been created, stir back into the mix).
- Open the lid (watch for steam!), mill in some pepper, replace the lid and upside the jar onto the base. Blend until smooth. If required, add water to the mix to make runnier.
- Spoon into ice-cube trays for freezing, and/or into a bowl for serving.
- Feed baby and weep at the mess to be tackled after.