I thought it would be handy to keep a record of the dishes that my daughter, who is now eleven months old, likes to eat. When I began weaning her at six months I just wasn’t convinced that a diet of bland slimy pap was the best way to start encouraging a healthy diet and healthy appetite in my child. Instead I decided to follow baby-led weaning techniques and it’s worked a treat. My daughter enjoys mealtimes, eats a wide variety of foods and handles it well independently.
The closest I get to giving her traditional baby food is my homemade hummus, which she loves. She was tired and crabby after swimming today so I whizzed up some grilled sweet pepper hummus and she munched it up on toast fingers.
Here’s my recipe; it makes the equivalent to two supermarket tubfuls of hummus, can be kept in the fridge for up to two days, and (excluding the optional addition of sweet pepper) costs under £1 to make.
1 sweet red pepper (optional)
1 carton/can chick peas
1 clove garlic, finely grated
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 heaped tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
Ground black pepper (I add sea salt to a portion after for the grown-ups)
To prepare the sweet pepper, blacken the skins under a hot grill and then remove the burnt skin from the flesh using a knife and fork. This is well worth doing because it brings out the natural sweetness in the pepper.
Roughly chop the skinned pepper and add to a steep-sided bowl, I use a large flat-bottomed measuring jug for this, along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth using a hand blender. You may need to add more olive oil and/or lemon juice to get to your preferred consistency.
Check the seasoning and add pepper and paprika to taste. Do not add salt to the hummus if you intend to serve it to your baby.
Serve with oatcakes, toast, breadsticks or crudite for a light lunch or afternoon snack.
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