Starting solids

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Trio of Vegetables

Orange-fleshed sweet potato is a good source of vitamin C and beta-carotene and is richer in nutrients than ordinary potatoes. Root vegetables are naturally sweet, they purée to a smooth consistency and are unlikely to cause allergies so they make a good first food.
This recipe makes six portions and is suitable for freezing. You can give it to your baby from six months.

Ingredients
200g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
200g carrots, peeled and chopped
100g parsnips, peeled and chopped

Method
1. Steam the vegetables for about 20 minutes or until they’re tender.
2. Blend the vegetables to a purée by adding a little of the boiled water at the bottom of the steamer (about 75ml) or some of your baby’s usual milk to make a good consistency.
Steaming is the best way to preserve nutrients, but if you don’t have a steamer, put the vegetables into a saucepan and cover them with boiling water. Cover the pan with a lid and cook over a medium heat until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain the vegetables and blend to a purée using a little bit of the cooking liquid, or you could add a bit of your baby’s usual milk.

First Beef Casserole

This is a great way to introduce babies to red meat, and beef is a good source of iron, which is important in your baby’s diet. Slow-cooking the meat makes it lovely and tender. The recipe makes six portions, and is suitable from seven months.

Ingredients

20g butter or margarine
1 leek, washed and sliced
125g braising steak, cut into cubes
1 Tbsp flour
100g button mushrooms, sliced
275g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
250ml chicken stock
Juice of 1 orange (about 120ml)

Method
1. Melt the butter or margarine in a flame-proof casserole and sauté the leek for about four minutes until softened.
2. Roll the meat in the flour; add to the leek and sauté until browned. Add the mushrooms and sauté for one minute.
3. Add the sweet potato, stock and orange juice.
4. Bring to the boil and transfer to an oven that’s been preheated to 180°C for one and a half hours, or until the meat is tender.
5. Blend to the desired consistency, using as much of the cooking liquid as necessary.

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