Friday, 29 August 2014

Seven Fab Baby Foods (That Aren't Designed For Babies) GUEST POST

May I present the lovely Jackie Novels from Meals for Squeals who has shared this post with all of us today.

Seven Fab Baby Foods (That Aren't Designed For Babies)

Supermarkets usually have at least on aisle dedicated to a wide array of baby and toddler foods.

When you're dashing through the shop with a grumpy child threatening to sky dive out of his trolley seat, it's deeply convenient to be able to bung the baby food you need into your trolley and head off to the checkout before tot meltdown sets in.

But away from the baby aisle you can find some excellent baby food - that's not even marketed for babies.

Here are some foods I've discovered while weaning my twins that I wouldn't be without.

1) Co Yo (£1.99 for 125g)
This stands for ‘coconut yogurt’ and is yogurt made from coconut milk rather than cow’s milk. Most babies seem to love yogurt (it would feature at every meal in our house if my boys had their way), and this is an alternative way to give them that creamy texture but with a different set of nutrients to real yogurt. We like the Mixed Berry and Natural flavours (on their own, or mixed with fruit).

2) Kallo Organic Very Low Salt stock cubes (£1.25 for six)
These have the same ingredients list and nutritional values as the ‘baby’ stock cubes you can buy (to avoid giving your little ones salt) – in fact I’d be very surprised if they aren’t identical products in different packaging. Oh, and at different prices. Add the word “baby” and it costs 30p more for a pack of six cubes. I use these stock cubes to cook for both adults and children and have never missed the salt.
3) Ready Brek (£2.19 for 500g)
I’m sure most of us went to school with this in our tummies in winter back in our schooldays. If they’d told us there was no added sugar and salt I expect we might have rejected it in favour of Frosties, but this stuff is actually healthy. Who knew? Takes moments to make (stir in some milk, heat it up if you’re feeling generous) and also costs far, far less than similar instant porridges marketed at babies – around 44p per 100g (less if you buy the supermarkets’ own-brand versions, which seem to have the same ingredients/nutrition), compared to £1.50 upwards for 100g of ‘baby porridge’.
4) Mornflake Oatbran (£1.99 for 800g)
I’m sure other oatbrans are available, but this is the one I’ve seen on most supermarket shelves. Mix a couple of teaspoons with whole milk and simmer in a pan for a couple of minutes to make a smooth, creamy porridge. Tip: Make it really liquidy, because it thickens A LOT as it cools. You can also use oatbran to thicken other dishes if they’re a bit runny.
5) Meridian Smooth Peanut Butter (£1.99 for 280g)
Unlike most other peanut butters, this one doesn’t contain any added sugar, salt or oil. It’s literally just peanuts. Nice to add to toast or in bite-size sandwiches. Or do as we do in our house, and just nick it off the children. Guidelines are for babies to avoid any nuts until they’re six months old.
6) Yeo Valley Natural Yogurt (45p for 150g)
It might seem odd to recommend a particular yogurt, but this one tastes, well, less yogurty than other ones we’ve tried. Which means that our twins will wolf it down without anything else added to it. Even the ‘sugar free’ baby yogurts I’ve tried usually contain concentrated fruit juice and taste very sweet. So I’m glad I’ve found an alternative that my babies accept, so they can get the calcium and other nutrients I’m trying to get into them, without adding to their liking for sweet foods.
7) Tesco Reduced Salt Medium Cheese (£2 for 250g)
There’s 30 per cent less salt in this cheese than standard cheddar. It’s still pretty salty (1.4g salt per 100g compared to around 1.8g in standard medium cheese), which is the nature of cheese, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction when you’re feeding cheese to babies.
Just to note that none of these manufacturers/retailers sent me anything or paid me before I wrote this – it’s my genuine opinion. All prices checked on Ocado (online grocery delivery company) on 15.11.13, apart from number seven, which was checked on on 15.11.13.

Thank you Jackie for this guest post! You can find more of Jackie's hints and tips on cooking for babies and toddlers at her blog, Facebook and Twitter. Go check them out! 

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