We have been doing a mix of purees and baby led weaning since my daughter turned 6 months. I love the convenience of purees. They are so quick, easy and mess free especially when we are out and about and I actually enjoy making them. I have a freezer full of ice cubes of home-made purees and I simply defrost them the day before. I was a little sceptical about baby led weaning before I tried it, but I was quickly proven wrong! My daughter adores feeding herself and it is amazing to watch the concentration on her face, the way she develops her motor skills and the sheer joy she gets from feeding herself. Baby led weaning is fun and I'm sure a lot of parents will be familiar with the phrase 'food before one is just for fun' and milk should make of the bulk of a baby's diet until about 12 months. However, it can be a messy affair! A lot of my daughter's food ends up on the floor, in her hair, eyelashes, ears, under her arms and it has on occasion hit the cat on the head! A shower curtain from the pound shop for, you guessed it, one pound, was one of my best buys and I always place it under her high chair to save our 'came with the house' light cream carpets.
The problem is, a lot of our meals are very messy. I make a lot of stews, risottos, pastas, curries, chilli's etc and I love hot and spicy food. Whilst I have stripped my daughter down to her nappy or put on a huge long sleeved type bib on her on several occasions and just let her get on with it (as I secretly cringe at the mess) I have started to look for some meals that I can make for all of us as a family that are easy for my daughter to pick up and feed herself and that also save my carpet... and my cat! Home-made American pancakes that I stuff with whatever fruit I have in have been a big hit as have fish cakes and quesadilla. Today I was stuck with what to make for lunch so made very simple savoury muffins with cheese and cherry tomatoes, simply because that's what I had it! I would really suggest using the best cherry tomatoes you can find as they really add a lovely sweetness and I always use extra mature cheddar (I think the French have got it right with the concept of 'taste led weaning' and I loved seeing a French mother feed her baby an extra strong French cheese when I was over there).
These muffins may not be quite up to The Great British Bake Off standards in terms of appearance, but they were a success all round. They are great as a lunch or snack for all the family so I will stop rambling and share the recipe with you!
- 275g plain flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 225ml milk (if I was making these for myself I would just use semi-skimmed milk, but whole milk is recommended in cooking for babies)
- 110g butter, melted
- 20 cherry tomatoes
- 100g of grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tsp of mustard (I prefer wholegrain)
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.
2. Place muffin cases into a 12-hole muffin tin (or cup-cake tin, if like me, your deep muffin tin actually only holds 6 cases).
3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
4. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs with the milk and melted butter.
5. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds (this is the only faffy bit of the recipe, but it's worth it, I promise) and add the tomato quarters to the egg, milk and butter mixture.
6. Add the cheese to the mixture.
7. Sift the flour mixture straight into the tomato and cheese mixture. Use a large wooden spoon to carefully fold the flour into the mixture until it is just combines. Don't over work it and don't worry that the mixture is lumpy.
8. Spoon the mixture into 12 muffin cases.
9. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown.
10. Place the muffins on a wire rack and serve when they have cooled at least slightly (don't eat them straight away and burn your mouth as I did).
Let me know if you like the look of these or if you give them a go. Do you have any tips for BLW or any tried and tested recipes? I hope to be back soon with some other BLW and puree recipes.