Christmas Dinner - Baby-Led Weaning Recipesby Leyla Brooke
Christmas is a magical time of year and to celebrate a baby’s first Christmas adds to it a whole new level of excitement. Whilst your baby might not be old enough to fully understand Christmas they will certainly pick up on the excitement in the air and will love spending extra time with you and the family.
Christmas dinner is a great time for the whole family to sit together, and your baby should be a part of this. Sitting them at the table with you so they can see familiar faces and enjoy the excitement and tradition plus interact with the family makes it even more special. Where possible try and schedule Christmas dinner so it is around the same time that your baby would normally eat at, and not a time they would want to nap. Keeping babies regular routine as much as possible will ensure baby can still nap or rest when needed and not be too overcome with excitement.
There is no reason that the baby cannot enjoy the same Christmas dinner as the rest of the family, there just might need to be a few modifications to make when cooking. Alternatively, you can prepare food ahead of time for your baby and store in the freezer ready for Christmas day. This might make Christmas day run a lot easier if you are cooking for many people or have a very busy Christmas day ahead.
One of the main points to remember is that no salt or sugar should be added to baby food and this includes adding salt to the water to cook food in. Check the ingredients on the gravy for example as this often contain high amounts of salt. If you are wanting to give your baby gravy with their dinner, it might be better to make it from scratch so you know the exact ingredients. You can decide whether to cook food for your baby separately or just adapt your cooking for the whole family to enjoy.
Every baby is slightly different and each will prefer slightly different textures. One of my children liked everything to be smooth and would not eat lumpy foods, the other liked to be able to hold everything they ate so if it wasn’t finger-food they wouldn’t even consider it. Fruits and vegetables can easily be processed to be a smooth consistency and they can also be cut into finger foods for baby to hold themselves. Items such as sprouts need to be cut up into pieces as they could be a choking hazard.
One of my favourite things to make for my kids are savoury muffins. After making the muffin I can add any vegetables or meat I like to adapt to what I have in the house. Prior to Christmas day, I could make savoury muffins with Christmas vegetables such as carrots, sprouts and peas and add some turkey. The great thing is that the muffins can be frozen which means I don’t have to worry about what to feed them on Christmas day. On Christmas Eve I would pop them into the fridge to defrost and they would be ready to enjoy on the big day.
Starting Christmas traditions with baby including having Christmas dinner together makes for a magical Christmas. Tuck into dinner together and watch your baby discover new tastes and textures with their Christmas dinner. Will they be a sprout lover or hater?