My sister Barbara was pondering what foods to give her four-month-old son Dylan, and how best to wean him onto solids, so she asked me for some advice. But what do I know? Thankfully, our regular guest columnist Garth McColgan – he of Aldi and Food Active fame – came to the rescue. All week, Garth will be bringing us some of his top tips for feeding babies and toddlers. Please feel free to share your own tips – Peter
Potato and Smoked Fish Surprise, by Garth McColgan
Serves 3 (Suitable for 6 months to Toddler)
200g Carrots, topped, tailed and sliced
125g Smoked Coley
120ml Orange Juice
60g Cheddar Cheese, grated
Knob of Butter
2 tbs Milk
1. Put the carrots into a saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil and cook over a medium heat for about 20 minutes until tender; drain.
2. Place the smoked Coley in an oven dish, pour over the orange juice, scatter over the cheese and cover with foil; cook in a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes.
3. Flake the fish with a fork, carefully removing any bones. Mix the carrots, butter, milk and flaked Coley with its sauce together and purée in a blender.
Tips: You can also cook the smoked Coley in the microwave on a high heat for 2-3 minutes, until the fish is cooked and can be flaked easily. For older babies, mash the carrots with the butter and the milk and then mix in the flaked fish.
Garth’s Top 5 Tips for Weaning Baby onto Solids
1. To make sure a baby has a healthy start as they enter the process of growing, learning, and living, introducing major milestones in a positive manner will help establish habits that last a lifetime.
2. Make the introduction of healthy foods a significant and fun part of their developmental growth.
3. Transforming pieces of food into recognizable objects will make a child feel comfortable for example turning a spoon into an aeroplane.
4. Children react to colour so you may find the best results come when flashes of orange, red, yellow, and green are used.
5. Usually, at six months of age, many parents will start to introduce solid foods to their baby. Soft rice-, barley-, and oat-flavoured cereals are common, as well as squash, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, and bananas.