We first spoke to expert food writer and mother Becky Gwynne, owner of blog Munchies and Munchkins, to get her top tips for when baby enters the weaning stage! You can read up on them here, now she is back with some delicious, easy to whip up recipes that are perfect for baby whilst you are out and about this summer.
Feeding your baby or toddler can seem a bit daunting at times, they can be fussy and throw food about and you wonder if they are actually eating anything at all. Its also more than a little messy! One thing I found a problem with was finding food I could travel with that was healthy and would keep well out of a fridge. I did buy ready made snacks but its not something I liked to feed my children on a regular basis so more often that not I would bake some savoury treats to take out with us. I found that with one good savoury snack, a dip and some fruit they would be more than satisfied until their main evening meal.
I think it’s great if you can find a recipe which children love but is also tasty for the grown ups too, myself and my partner love these just us much as the little ones – in fact he enjoys them a bit too much I think!
Sweet potato is an ingredient that most babies will be used to, it was the first dish I gave my girls and they still love it now. It also acts as an egg replacement in this recipe. I batch bake sweet potatoes in their skin ready for meals throughout the week ( I just scoop out the flesh ) and also for inclusion in recipes such as this one. You could replace the herbs here with a flavouring of your choice, sweet paprika is a good one as is mild curry powder and also gets your little ones ready for more adventurous flavours. You can cut the dough into whatever shapes you prefer – perhaps animal shapes using a cookie cutter for older ones although I find the finger slices are best for smaller hands and easy to control.
Cheesy Sweet Potato Fingers
100g self raising flour50g unsalted butter
1 tsp chopped parsley (fresh or dried)
50g sweet potato (mashed or cooled)
50g grated cheese – we use mature cheddar but any cheese your child enjoys is fine!
Preheat oven to 180c/350f and grease or line a flat baking tray.
Mix your flour and parsley together and rub in the butter, now add in your sweet potato and cheese and mix well to form a dough. Tip onto a floured surface and knead slightly to flatten. Roll out until its approximately the thickness of a pound coin and cut into finger length slices. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes until golden brown on top. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
My children both enjoy dips such as hummus and my eldest really loves this cream cheese and sweet potato dip. The best thing about this dip is that you can also spoon feed it to your baby as a meal if they don’t quite have the finger control to dip themselves plus its really easy to prepare! It also uses up the remainder of your sweet potato – less waste and less time preparing.
Cream Cheese & Sweet Potato Dip
50g soft cream cheese
50g sweet potato (mashed and cooled
Blend your cream cheese and sweet potato using a stick blender or food processor until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use or take on your picnic – pop in a small cool bag if you will be out for a little while.
Another dip we like to make is natural yoghurt blended with cooked and cooled frozen peas and a little mint. We also serve a little pot of peanut butter with apple slices which goes down well. If you are worried about the salt and sugar content of some store bought nut butters you can make your own easily in a high powered blender using just the peanuts, its remarkable how it just turns into the most delicious, thick and natural peanut butter.
Here are some other fabulous ideas for picnic friendly baby and toddler recipes from some top UK food bloggers: