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Posts tagged ‘baby food recipes’

Mushroom and Little Tree Risotto (V)


Mushroom Risotto with Little TreesThe first time I cooked this for Aaliyah, the ‘little trees’ kept her occupied for quite some time. It was great because she picked the broccoli out and ate them as a finger food and then tucked into the main meal.

Now we all know broccoli has excellent health benefits for baby, the beautiful bright green colour gives it away. But did you know mushrooms have too? I think these little veggies fungus are totally underrated as they have wonderful health benefits for baby, and there are so many different varieties to choose from in the supermarkets – Shitake, Chestnut, Portobello…. I however, choose to stick with my all-time family favourite – cost-effective white Close Cup mushrooms. Mushrooms can be introduced into a baby’s diet from 8-9 months are rich in vitamin D, copper and phosphorus – two minerals essential for bone health and energy production. The cumin too has fab benefits for baby by aiding digestion, and supporting a healthy immune system.

SuperFoods included – olive oil, onion, garlic, broccoli, mushrooms
SuperSpices included – cumin, black pepper

Total preparation and cooking time: 30mins
Makes 5-6 servings
Suitable for freezing

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion – peeled, chopped
1 bay leaf
½ tsp minced garlic
Pinch of ground cumin
Pinch of ground black pepper
120g (4 oz) white closed cup mushrooms – thoroughly washed, stems removed, finely chopped
100g (3½ oz\ ½ cup) Arborio risotto rice — washed, drained
750ml (1¼ pint) of hot vegetable stock — baby-friendly
120g (4 oz) broccoli florets — washed, chopped (no stems)


Heat the oil in a pot, add the onion and bay leaf and stir-fry on medium-low heat for 4-5mins until the onion is soft and golden. Add the garlic, cumin and black pepper and lightly cook for 10-20secs. Then add the mushrooms and sauté for 4-5mins until they begin to soften.

Pour the rice into the pot, followed by the stock and stir. Bring to the boil and simmer (covered) on a low heat for 15-20mins until creamy and tender.

Whilst the rice is cooking, steam the broccoli in a steamer or in the microwave by placing the florets 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 1½-2mins until tender. Once cooked, drain the excess water and set aside.

Once the rice is cooked, add the steamed broccoli and combine together for a scrummy rice meal. Mash as necessary for baby and serve warm. Yum!
Hardcover front coverYou can find more delicious recipes in Easy Indian SuperMeals for Babies, Toddlers and the Family available to buy now from Amazon.

Recommended by Prima Baby & Pregnancy and Mother & Baby.





Ahmed, ZJ. 2012. Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook. London: Autharium

Nutritional benefits of white mushrooms 


Spiced Winter Pear (V)

My final recipe for the season is a delightful dessert that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family starting from the tender age of just 7 months. Recipe NUMBER 3… my Spiced Winter Pear.

Spiced Winter Pear

Based on an indulgent French dessert, this is the perfect end to your baby’s Christmas meal. The poached pear is aromatic, subtle in taste, soft and also great as a finger food. An excellent way to get your little practicing his or her motor skills.

Pears are also rich in fibre and vitamin C, so combined with the cardamom and cinnamon is great for boosting immunity against cold and flu viruses. Read more

Festive Roasted Vegetable Mash (V)

Christmas is just around the corner and I have some cracking recipes for you to treat your little ones to this season. So keep an eye on my blog over the next month where I’ll be publishing festive recipes with a twist in the run up to Christmas. And here’s one of my most popular recipes – Festive Roasted Vegetable Mash suitable for babies 7 months and up. Loaded with traditional Christmas flavours for baby – apples, rosemary, carrots and parsnips with a hint of Indian spices.

SuperFoods included – olive oil, garlic, carrot, parsnip
SuperSpices included – black pepper, cumin

Festive roasted vegetable mash

Roasting vegetables are a fabulous way to maintain flavour and nutrients so you can be rest assured your little one will reap the health benefits of this meal. The vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) from the carrots, and cumin, both help to support the development of a strong and healthy immune system. Read more

Indian Cauliflower Cheese (V)


This creamy British dish is always a favourite in my household but I like to spice it up a little by adding some yummy garlic and cumin just it give it a little extra pizazz!

cauliflower and cheese

This meal is totally dedicated to white superfoods – cauliflower and garlic. Cauliflower is high in vitamin C, is great for healthy skin, brain function and combined with cumin is great for a strong immune system. This is perfect for the time of year now that the cold is beginning to settle in because not only will this meal boost your little ones immune system, garlic has anti-viral properties which will help to keep pesky cold and flu viruses away.

SuperFoods included – cauliflower, garlic
Superspices included – cumin, black pepper

Cooking and preparation time: 15mins
Makes 4-6 servings

300g (11 oz) cauliflower florets – fresh or frozen
20g (¾ oz) unsalted butter
¼ tsp minced garlic
Pinch of ground cumin
1 ½ tbsp plain flour
130ml (4.5 fl oz) whole milk
Pinch of ground black pepper
25g (1 oz) cheddar cheese – mild or medium

Steam the cauliflower florets in a steamer or in the microwave by placing them in a microwavable dish, adding 1 tablespoon of water and covering with a lid (leaving a small vent) or cling film (piercing a few holes) and steaming for 7-8mins until tender.

Melt the butter in a pot on low heat, add the garlic and cumin and stir for 30secs. Then sprinkle in the flour and keep stirring until a loose paste has formed.

Pour in the milk in a little at a time stirring continuously until all has been poured in and let the sauce cook for a few minutes until it has thickened.

Remove from the heat, add the black pepper and sprinkle in the cheese a little at a time and stir until melted. Continue to do this until all of the cheese has been added and the sauce is smooth.

Stir in the cauliflower and mash or puree for babies as required. Alternatively leave the florets whole for older toddlers and offer it to them as a finger food. Great for helping babies practice their motor skills.

Tip: The sauce should be cooked on low heat throughout the recipe and use the smallest hob on the stove, this way you’ll avoid burning the butter and spices when you begin.


Ahmed, ZJ. 2012. Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook. London: Autharium

Black eyed bean pilaf with lime (V)



black eyed bean pilaf

Black eyed beans (or peas as they are referred to in some countries) are excellent for growing children and for vegetarian/ vegan diets. Classed as a legume they are rich in protein excellent for growing children, fibre, iron and potassium.

This recipe is brilliant for kids and my daughter still loves it today. Whenever she smells the spices when I’m preparing it, she suddenly becomes very interested in what I am doing and insists on being sat on the work surface next to me watching as I cook. Perhaps I have a budding chef on my hands…

Anyway, amongst the amazing aroma this pilaf releases, it’s also:

  • low-cost – you can pick up a tin of black eyed beans for just 48p from Asda
  • a one-pot recipe which is quick to cook and hassle free
  • convenient – stack the tins up in the cupboard and stockpile for a rainy day for the whole family
  • ‘1 of 5 a day’ – one 400g tin of black eyed beans counts towards ‘1 of our 5 a day’ for adults and older children.

Important: you must use tinned black eyed beans for this meal as they will cook within 10-15mins. If you choose to use dry black eyed beans, you will need to soak them overnight and allow at least 1-2 hours for the beans to cook until tender.

SuperFoods included – olive oil, onion, tomatoes, lime
SuperSpices included – cardamom, clove, cumin, coriander, black pepper

Total preparation and cooking time: 25mins

Makes 5-6 servings

Suitable for freezing

1½ tbsp. olive oil

1 onion – peeled, chopped

1 whole cardamom pod – black

1 whole clove

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp ground black pepper

200g (7oz) tinned chopped tomatoes

150g (5oz) tinned black-eyed beans (in water) – drained, rinsed

100g (3½oz/ ½ cup) white basmati rice — washed, drained

Squeeze of ½ a lime – ensuring no seeds fall in

280ml (9fl oz/ 1 ¼ cup) of water

Heat the oil in a pot and add the onion, cardamom, clove and stir-fry on medium-low heat for 5mins until the onion is golden.

Turn to low heat and add the cumin, coriander, black pepper and stir-fry for a few seconds. Then add the tomatoes and simmer for 2mins.

Add the black eyed beans, rice, lime juice and water. Stir and bring to the boil. Simmer (covered) on low heat for 10-15mins checking halfway. If the rice looks a little dry, add extra water and continue to cook until the rice and beans are tender and all of the water has been absorbed.

The rice should look a little moist when it’s done. Stir and set aside (covered) for 5mins.

IMPORTANT: Remove the cardamom pod and clove before serving to baby.

Serve to baby warm with a dollop of unsweetened yogurt. The rice grains should be soft enough to mash between little gums. If not, mash the rice and serve.


Tip: Change things up by adding vegetables to this pilaf – peas, sweet corn, cauliflower… All have unique tastes and nutrients to ensure your little one receives his/ her vegetable allowance for the day.


Dry black –eyed peas – USDA

Baby’s Papaya Shrikhand (V)


Papaya Shrikand

This recipe takes me back to when my daughter was a teeny tiny little baby (7-8 months). I remember it clearly because it was one of her favourite desserts. I remember how her little mouth kept opening for more as I was spoon feeding her…. and I remember the tears that followed when it had finished. I had to quickly whip up some more to keep her smiling, but that wasn’t a problem as it only takes minutes to throw together.

I decided to share this recipe with you from my book, Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook. It’s a great tropical, fresh fruity yogurt snack or dessert that goes really well with the warm weather at the moment, and also doubles up as a wonderful Eid dessert for babies. So give it a go…


“Shrikhand is a traditional sweet yogurt dessert chock-full of probiotic goodness, and contains the golden orange SuperFood Papaya. This exotic fruit is filled with antioxidant vitamins A (in the form of beta-carotene) and C. Both play a vital role in promoting a healthy immune system. Similarly rich in folate, this fruit will aid healthy growth. Only taking a few minutes to prepare, this is an effortless yogurt dessert. Also delicious prepared with mango.


SuperFoods included – yogurt, papaya

SuperSpices included – saffron, cardamom


Total preparation time: 5mins

Makes 1 serving


½ tbsp of whole milk

2 saffron strands

4 tbsp plain unsweetened yogurt

½ ripe papaya — peeled, deseeded, cubed

Pinch of ground cardamom – green


In a cup pour the milk, warm for a few seconds in the microwave and add the saffron (the warm milk will help the saffron to dissolve). Set aside until it begins to dissolve, the milk will change to a light golden orange colour.

Place the yogurt, papaya, cardamom and saffron milk into a blender, and blend until smooth. Place in a small container and serve to baby.”


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Recipe extract from Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook by Zainab Jagot Ahmed, available to buy now from, WaterstonesWHSmith and all good e-bookshops priced from £4.79.