Sweetcorn fritters and Thai chicken balls are a good starting point for your young ones
Two baby-led weaning recipes that will go down well with the whole family
Thai chicken balls with a cucumber salad
These delicious, mildly spicy meatballs are perfect for baby-led weaning, and the ribbons of cucumber will be great fun for your baby to untangle
Serves a family of four
For the balls
500g minced chicken or turkey
2-4 tsp Thai red curry paste
2 tsp oil, for frying
For the salad
1 large cucumber
1tsp sweet chilli sauce
Crumble the minced meat into a large mixing bowl. Add the Thai curry paste. Stir using a spatula or wooden spoon, or use your hands to work the paste evenly through the meat. Pinch off evenly sized chunks and roll into balls, roughly golf-ball sized.
Pour the oil into a large frying pan and warm over moderate heat. Add the chicken balls and cook for 20 minutes, until they get brown on the outside and no pink meat remains inside.
While the chicken balls cook, make the salad. Cut the ends off the cucumber. Run a peeler down it to make a thin, wide ribbon. Turn the cucumber slightly, repeat. Work around it, until you reach the watery centre core, which you can discard. Place in a bowl. Add the sweet chilli sauce and stir.
Serve the chicken balls with the cucumber salad and perhaps some plain rice.
The chicken balls can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for up to 24 hours or so
Halving the cooked balls may make them easier for your baby to handle.
These fritters make for a quick savoury breakfast. They’re delicious on their own, but when served with sour cream or guacamole, provide a great way to give your baby some practise dipping
Makes eight fritters
50g self-raising flour
1 large egg, beaten
1 x 195g tin sweetcorn (no added salt or sugar), drained and rinsed
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1-2 tbsp oil, for frying
Put the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the egg and whisk well to form a thick batter. Stir in the drained sweetcorn kernels and black pepper. Mix everything well.
If you want a smoother texture, pour the batter into a food processor and whizz for a minute or two to crush the kernels.
Heat one teaspoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan on medium to high heat. When the pan is hot, pour one tablespoon of batter into the pan for each fritter. It should be possible to cook about four fritters at a time. Let them cook for about two minutes on each side, until golden brown, and then remove from the pan. Add a little more oil and cook the remaining batter in two or three batches.
Serve warm or cold, perhaps with some sour cream or simple guacamole, with the fritters cut into halves or quarters for your baby.
Recipes from The Baby-led Weaning Quick and Easy Recipe Book ((Vermilion) by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett