Home-made baby food is best, Asian baby food is better.
I was extremely pleased to see this in the London Metro on Tuesday.
In a nutshell (as you have probably already heard) NEW medical research undertaken by the department of human nutrition at the University of Glasgow have found (well more like re-confirmed) big brand baby food such as Ella’s Kitchen, Cow and Gate and so on contain far less nutrients than home cooked baby food. Not a huge surprise, let’s be honest, but it is great that home made baby food is back in the spotlight.
Weaning is a massively important time for introducing babies to new tastes and textures and introducing children to Asian flavours is a great way to do this. Authentic Asian dishes tend to be aromatic and flavourful so they are perfect for weaning and for exciting young palates. Add a pinch of coriander or a dash of cinnamon to baby food, and any parent can transform the taste and experience of meals for children from seven months up.
And if that wasn’t enough, spices have amazing health benefits. For example, cinnamon is great for teething pains and cumin is great for cold and flu protection. So have a go at my Yummy Spiced Potato Pie recipe from my book ‘Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook‘ and see how your baby gets on. x
Yummy Spiced Potato Pie (V) — Stage 2: 7 months plus
This Indian influenced potato pie is lightly flavoured with lots of traditional, fragrant spices which complement the white and sweet potato beautifully. Bursting with beta-carotene goodness, this pie is great for healthy eyes and skin. The peas too provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties making this fluffy, scrummy pie wonderfully nutritious.
Superfoods included – white potato, sweet potato, onion, garlic, peas
SuperSpices included – turmeric, cumin, coriander, black pepper
Total preparation and cooking time: 20mins
Makes 4-5 servings
Suitable for freezing
1 medium white potato — washed, peeled, cubed
1 medium sweet potato — washed, peeled, cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion — peeled, finely chopped
¼ tsp minced garlic
Pinch of ground turmeric
Pinch of ground cumin
Pinch of ground coriander
Pinch of ground black pepper
60g (2½oz) peas — frozen, washed
1 tsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp of whole milk
Place the white and sweet potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer (uncovered) on medium-high heat for 10-12mins until tender.
Whilst the potatoes are boiling, in a frying pan, heat the oil and add the onion. Stir-fry on medium-low heat for 3-4mins until soft and golden.
Add the garlic, turmeric, cumin, coriander, black pepper and stir-fry continuously for 30secs-1min to lightly cook the spices and set aside.
Next steam the peas in a steamer or in the microwave by placing them in a microwavable dish and adding 2 tablespoons of water. Cover the dish with either a lid (leaving a small vent) or cling film (piercing a few holes), and steam in the microwave on high for 1-1½mins until tender. Once cooked, drain the excess water and set aside.
Once the potatoes are cooked, drain, place in a bowl and add the peas, butter and spoon in the milk and mash the potatoes until smooth.
Add the spiced onion to the mash and combine together for a creamy, tasty pie.
If the consistency of the pie is too heavy for your little one, add some extra milk. Serve to baby warm.