Baby-led weaning is an easy way to feed your baby, but organizing family mealtimes can still be tricky for busy parents. Here are some ideas to make it a little easier.
Cooking with a Baby while making mealtimes simple for baby led weaning.
Even if you are an experienced cook, preparing a meal when you have a baby or toddler can present new challenges especially if you have gone back to work. Babies’ patterns are unpredictable, and most babies will need some attention in less time than it takes to cook the average meal. So you will probably need to take advantage of small chunks of baby-free time whenever you can and to find creative ways of doing things when you can’t. read more about making mealtimes simple for baby led weaning.
Some babies are quite happy to sit for short periods in a bouncy chair or to lie on a mat with their toys while their mom or dad cooks, provided they can see them. An older baby may be content to sit in her highchair with some snacks and watch you. A sling can be really useful preferably one that you can wear on your back or side as well as your front, so that your baby can snuggle up to you safely, away from any hot pans, oven doors, and sharp knives. Most babies will settle in a sling for long periods of time, and may even fall asleep there.
Getting family meals on the table is easier if you can break down your cooking tasks into stages and work out what can be done.
Foods Suitable for Preparing In Advance.
- Main dishes, such as lasagna, meatballs, burgers, chili, stew, and meatloaf
- Stocks, soups, and sauces, including pasta sauces and homemade gravy
- Cooked ground meat with onions (to use for dishes such as shepherd’s pie)
- Preprepared vegetables (especially anything difficult to chop with a baby on your hip, such as onions), fruit, and grated cheese
- Uncooked dough, and batter for bread, some cakes, muffins, scones, and pancakes
- Spare ingredients, such as tomato paste and lemon juice (freeze in ice cube trays).
- Dividing food into small or individual portions before freezing helps it to freeze (and defrost) more quickly. (Sauce can be divided into portions in a muffin tin [or yogurt containers]; once frozen, put them into a single container for storage.)
- Food expands when frozen, so containers should be left around a third empty.
- It can be hard to identify frozen food, so remember to label containers with the contents and date.
- set Freezers at 0°F or below.
- The maximum storage time for most frozen home-cooked food is around two to three months.
- If you defrost food in a microwave, reheat it straight away.
- eat Defrosted meals within 24 hours of removing from the freezer.
- Any leftovers should be thrown away don’t refreeze or reheat anything twice.
Batch Cooking and Freezing.
Cooking in bulk or batch cooking is a great way to save time (and money) and is invaluable when you are especially busy or if you return to work after maternity leave. Many dishes and sauces can be frozen successfully, enabling you to thaw out either a complete meal or one that’s already half-made.
Some parents buy in bulk and spend a couple of hours cooking large amounts and freezing it in smaller portions. Others simply cook twice as much as they need when they’re making something like lasagna, and freeze half. Even preparing and freezing small portions of things such as chopped onions or grated cheese can make a difference.
About making mealtimes simple for baby led weaning Meal Planning.
Planning ahead can make organizing mealtimes, food shopping and batch cooking much easier. It’s also a useful way to make sure you are offering your baby a variety of tastes and textures. Many families get into a pattern of eating the same few favorite dishes each week without really realizing it. planning can help you avoid this.
Writing down an outline of your main meals for a two-week period. This will help you to see at a glance whether there’s a good balance of main ingredients, and to spot “same-old” meals. If you notice any foods, textures, or tastes that are missing, you can choose some new recipes or ingredients to fill the gaps.
Routine Food Hygiene
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water and dry them before handling food, between the handling of raw and ready-to-eat foods, after touching the trash can, after handling cleaning materials, after changing your baby’s diaper and after touching pets, their bedding, or food bowls. Everyone in the family should wash their hands before eating (wash your baby’s hands before offering him food).
clean the Kitchen surfaces before and after you prepare food. washe thoroughly after use Chopping boards and knives, but you need to be extra careful after cutting up raw meat or fish. Having a separate chopping board for raw fish and meat will help to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
Storing and Cooking Food.
Perishable food should be kept in the fridge, which should be set between 34 and 41°F. Adding warm foods or leaving the door open will raise the temperature, so make sure food has cooled down fully before putting it in the fridge and try not to open the door more than necessary. Cover Raw meat and fish, on a plate or in a bag (especially when defrosting), and kept on the lowest shelf, to prevent any juices from touching or dripping onto other foods. Highly perishable foods should be stored on the shelves rather than in the fridge door (which is the least cold part of the fridge).
Cover Raw meat and fish, on a plate or in a bag (especially when defrosting), and kept on the lowest shelf, to prevent any juices from touching or dripping onto other foods. Highly perishable foods should be stored on the shelves rather than in the fridge door (which is the least cold part of the fridge).
Adding warm foods or leaving the door open will raise the temperature, so make sure food has cooled down fully before putting it in the fridge and try not to open the door more than necessary.
cover Raw meat and fish, on a plate or in a bag (especially when defrosting), and kept on the lowest shelf, to prevent any juices from touching or dripping onto other foods. Highly perishable foods should be stored on the shelves rather than in the fridge door (which is the least cold part of the fridge).
Always cook food thoroughly, paying attention to cooking times and temperatures given in recipes. Take care with foods that need special preparation, such as some dried beans, and consider buying fridge and meat thermometers.