Ahhh homemade baby food. Whether you decide to go down the puree or baby led weaning route, like any masterpiece, making it can take time. And we know that when you’re a parent, sometimes you just don’t have those hours.

Mum, Natalie Peall, was in exactly the same position when it came to weaning her baby, so she created the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook, which is full of recipes that are tasty and quick to make. We dropped her a line to grab a few top tips and we’ve thrown in some of our faves too.

Grab a cuppa (because we’ve just bought you a good few hours) and have a read...

  1. Save time and minimise waste (especially at the start of weaning) by investing in bags of pre-prepared frozen vegetables or freeze your own freshly prepared veg! This way you can take what you need and store the rest.
  2. Go big and cook up some big batch dinners, then save the leftovers for baby’s lunch the next day.
  3. Talking of leftovers. If you’re going to friends or relatives for lunch then there’s bound to be leftovers. Be sure to nab a few spare things going, they’re great for freezing or using the next day.
  4. Create some kid free cooking time. Leave the masterchef of the house in the kitchen while the other one takes the nipper out for a few hours. This means they can can spend the afternoon cooking up 3-4 meal combinations and batch-freezing portions - all without having to worry about a lil’ crawler crashing around.
  5. Started weaning on purées? Use any leftovers as sauces for pasta or spread them on their toast. And yours too!
  6. Use a crinkle cutter when you’re cutting fruit and veg. The ridges will make it easier for your baby to grip and get the food into their mouths. Which means you can get on with other things (in the same room) while they feed themselves.
  7. Keep a food notebook to hand so you can jot down any new foods or meals they particularly enjoyed. Great when they’re not feeling themselves and don’t want to try new bits - we all have our comfort food...
  8. Always keep a stash of homemade tomato pasta sauce in the freezer, it’s a godsend when tea time rolls around and you’ve got nothing prepared. The great thing about a simple sauce is that it can be served alone or pepped up with a variety of ingredients such as tuna, chicken, diced olives etc. and you can even go crazy and serve mixed into rice or couscous. Freeze in bags and leave to defrost in the fridge overnight. Not sure about the best way to defrost? Check out the NHS guidelines
  9. Lastly, remember to be kind to yourself. And that sometimes it’s OK to serve scrambled egg on toast for dinner! Meals don’t always have to be complex to be nutritious.

Oh, and because we’re good to you, we’ve also asked Natalie to give us one of her fave quick and easy recipes… we’ll be round to test them out later...

Coconut Scones

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Yields: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) self-raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • ¼ cup (62ml) coconut oil (solid, not melted) — cut into small chunks
  • ¾ cup (187ml) coconut milk (from a carton, or you can substitute for full fat cow, soya, oat, breast or formula)
  • 1/2 cup (75g) diced fruit (optional)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease or line a baking tray with baking paper
  • In a bowl, mix together the flour, desiccated coconut and coconut oil by rubbing the mixture between your fingers until you have created fine crumbs, with no lumps
  • Pour the milk into the bowl and knead the mixture together to create a soft dough, fold through fruit, if using
  • Place your dough onto a floured surface and roll to ½ inch thickness
  • Use a scone cutter (approximately 2 inches wide) to cut out your scones and place them on a baking tray as you go, until all of the dough has been used
  • Bake your scones in the oven for 8 minutes
  • Serve once cooled. These are particularly delicious served with butter and jam.

Enjoy, and save us some.