Thursday 8 March 2012

Baby breakfast ideas

I don't know about you, but breakfast was never really my thing. I only started eating it at university because the campus cafe did a cooked one really cheaply (marketed correctly as the ideal hangover cure). In my food-snob days which followed shortly after - and which, frankly, never really vanished - I switched to porridge because it's filling, nutritious and cheap.

After a week or so of giving Daughter that foul baby rice gloop which can be easily confused for white emulsion, I switched her over to my prefered breakfast but thought that after three months or so of having oats, she must be pretty sick of the stuff. Variety, after all, is the spice of life.

The first meal of the day though, is a deceptively complicated affair. I wouldn't want to eat curry, or lasagne, or anything else of a particularly heavy nature, which leaves choices reasonably limited. With honey and uncooked cows milk still out of the question - roll on 1st birthday! - choices were further diminished. After a bit of thought though, I found the following things which Daughter loves:

Fruit yogurt, compote and oats - a nice vanilla yogurt, a sprinkling of oats and some stewed fruit makes a really nice start to the day. Yogurt, oats and banana is also really tasty and requires a little less forethought. Normally I stew fruit in the oven at the same time as I'm baking Daughter's other foods, but since batch cooking isn't for everyone, you can get some nice fruit mush from Ella's Kitchen and Plum.

Banana bread - this has become something of a staple in our house. It freezes well, uses up any leftover bananas and doesn't need any unusual ingredients that you're not likely to have in the cupboard. I make 2-3 loaves at a time so I don't need to worry about it later but it's quick enough to do from scratch. I used the Sainsbury's Little Ones recipe for it but it doesn't look to be online. This one is nearly identical though and is well worth a try.

Tea Loaf - I forget where I stumbled on this recipe but it has no added fat, is wonderfully moist and costs next to nothing to bake. The raisins give most of the sweetness so if you're worried about adding sugar, this is possibly the way to go, rather than the banana bread. I forget where I got my recipe base, but this is how it stands at the moment:

1 tea bag
around 250ml boiling water
ground white pepper
ground ginger
ground cinammon
ground nutmeg
250g raisins
125g sugar (brown is good but white works too
225g self raising flour
1 egg
spash of milk

Make a cup of strong, black tea and soak the raisins in it for at least 4 hours. I've left them for a week in the fridge before as they only get better with time. Mix the rest of the ingredients into the raisins adding the spices to taste and bake in a loaf tin on a low heat until cooked through. Slice and serve. If you're worried about it being too spicy, leave out the white pepper.

Fruit loaf - I've just been toasting Daughter a few slices of the supermarket's own brand fruit loaf for breakfast the past few days and she loves it. Her favourite sort - expensive tastes! - is the Marks and Spencer apple and raisin kind.

Toasted goodies - of course, there's always scotch pancakes, crumpets, toast and jam. Any toastable treat goes down well.

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