That of weaning it is an important stage in the growth of our children. L‘self-weaning requires the child to share meals with adults and try to taste their dishes, which must obviously be cooked with some care and cut safely. Those who have chosen this path often wonder what the best recipes for self-weaningin order to bring healthy and tasty dishes to the table for the whole family, including children.

How to deal with self-weaning with serenity?

Generally around 6 months of life, children begin to be curious and want to taste “grown-up” food. This is perhaps the most important sign that tells us that the baby is ready for weaning, even if everyone will have their own tastes: there are those who will prefer dishes with a delicate flavor and those who will be more willing to taste tastier dishes, those who will love creamy textures and those who will prefer to nibble on crunchy foods. The important thing is to let the child try everything, but never force the child to eat when he is not hungry or when he doesn’t seem to like a food; you can patiently try again at a different time. It is then fundamental cut food safely, in order to avoid any risk of suffocation.

Self-weaning recipes

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What can you eat?

With self-weaning, the child can theoretically eat everything on the parents’ table. There are no rules or tables for introducing food, but the precaution to be respected is that of cook in a healthy and light way preferring light cooking, avoiding excess salt and using quality raw materials. In general, risottos, pasta with vegetables, soups and vegetable soups are always good as first courses. As for second courses, you can instead focus on meat, fish, eggs, low-fat cheeses, legumes and vegetables; a good way to offer them can be in the form of meatballs, which can be made of meat, fish, legumes or vegetables.

In this regard the Doctor Chiara Boscaronutritional biologist at the Zucchi Clinical Institutes of Monza, states: “They are certainly preferable healthy foods that follow seasonality. It is better to prefer light cooking, use extra virgin olive oil and instead avoid overly fatty or very elaborate condiments, sauces or heavy gravies. Children should not eat even packaged or pre-cooked foods, foods rich in salt and sugar, and those that contain saturated fats and so-called trans fats; they are those for example of snacks, crackers and so on. We also avoid so-called baby food products, because with self-weaning we tend to make the child try the foods that parents and adults in general eat. The idea is to always cook different dishes and try new recipes and different flavours. Obviously you can use recipes that are inspired by the Mediterranean diet, varying greatly in the type of fruit and vegetables and always following the seasonality of the products. The milk it should remain the main food until one year of age; in addition to this you can try different foods. For example, instead of classic biscuits you can offer homemade biscuits, perhaps with organic flours; then I always recommend tasting bread, pasta, cereals, barley, spelled, but also quinoa, amaranth, always adding a protein source such as cheese, fish deboned into small pieces and well cooked, perhaps steamed or pan-fried or meat soft white or eggs. You can also make very simple pasta carbonara by beating the egg into the pasta. Surely too legumes they can be inserted, perhaps crushing them well or reducing them into small pieces to avoid problems of suffocation. We can then give vent to our imagination, also when it comes to textures, always trying new recipes and new ideas.”

What are the “rules” for creating well-balanced recipes for self-weaning?

“The meal of a child who is following self-weaning must always be balanced – explains the Doctor Chiara BoscaroIt must always have a source of complex carbohydrates, such as pasta, cereals, bread or potatoes, polenta or creams based on corn or other cereals; a portion of proteins, such as meat, fish, eggs or legumes, as little cheese or cold cuts as possible, and finally a portion of fiber, therefore certainly some vegetables, all seasoned with a little extra virgin olive oil. Fresh fruit can always be offered during the day or at meals.”

The nutritionist’s recipe: legume muffins

There Doctor Chiara Boscaro offers us one recipe for self-weaning suitable for our children, but which will certainly be appreciated by the whole family:

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 250 grams of cooked legumes without adding fat and salt;
  • 150 grams of potatoes;
  • 100 grams of leeks;
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil;
  • 20 grams of chickpea flour;
  • 20 grams of type 1 organic flour.

Cut the leek and potato into small pieces and cook them in a saucepan with a spoonful of oil until they become soft. In another pan, cook the legumes or the mix of legumes. Then put the leek, the potato and the legumes in a mixer; you can add a pinch of aromatic herbs to the mixture, avoiding spices or aromas with a very strong flavour: for example, we can use a little oregano, basil or Mediterranean aromatic herbs. Mix until you obtain a homogeneous mixture; then add the flours to give consistency and place the mixture in the muffin molds, to be cooked in the oven at 180 degrees for approximately 40 minutes.

Self-weaning recipes

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The best recipes for self-weaning

There are many quick and tasty recipesto cook in a short time and suitable for meals for the whole family.

Pasta with ricotta and courgettes

This dish is quick and simple to prepare. While the pasta is cooking, preferably small ones, you can cut some courgettes into strips and sauté them in the pan. In a bowl you can put a couple of spoons of ricotta to which you can add a few chopped mint or basil leaves. When the pasta is cooked, simply combine all the ingredients, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve.

semolina dumpling

To prepare this self-weaning recipe you will need about 200 g of semolina, 800 ml of milk, 80 g of butter, 100 g of grated cheese and a pinch of salt. The milk must be brought to the boil; at this point it must be removed from the heat. You can pour the semolina into the saucepan, stirring carefully and then putting the saucepan back on the heat for about twenty minutes. At the end of cooking you can add a pinch of salt, butter and grated cheese. The mixture thus obtained can be spread on a piece of baking paper: try to form a layer about 1 cm thick. When it has cooled, you can make many disks – our gnocchi – to place in a buttered baking dish and sprinkle with a little grated cheese: just cook in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes and serve.

Potato and carrot soup

In a saucepan, place a cup of vegetable broth, two potatoes cut into small pieces and a couple of carrots cut into slices. Cook them until they become soft, then blend them until you obtain a creamy consistency. You can add grated cheese to taste.

The risottos

Risottos can be prepared with any ingredient, for example with always different vegetables such as pumpkin, courgettes, asparagus, cauliflower, tomatoes and so on. You can then add cheeses such as robiola or crescenza or legumes. For children, the vegetables can be blended and then added to the risotto: the consistency of the dish will be even creamier.

Salmon with pesto

Prepare this simple dish for self-weaning it’s really easy. First, peel two or three potatoes and boil them, then cook a couple of slices of fresh salmon in a pan with a little oil. Remove the skin and the central bone, then cut it into small pieces and add it to the potatoes, seasoning the dish with a little fresh pesto.

Omelette with spinach

For this self-weaning recipe you can wash and cook about 400 grams of spinach directly in a pan with a teaspoon of oil for about 5 or 6 minutes, then let them cool and chop them. In the meantime, beat the eggs in a bowl with 4 or 5 tablespoons of milk, a couple of tablespoons of parmesan and 80 grams of stracchino. At this point you can add the spinach, heat a pan greased with a little extra virgin olive oil and cook your omelette with the spinach. Spinach can be replaced by any seasonal vegetable.

Chicken and vegetable nuggets

Take a diced chicken breast and add a cup of mixed vegetables such as peas, courgettes and carrots. Place everything in a steamer basket and cook until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is well cooked. Season with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve.

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In short

There are some self-weaning recipes that are sure to please not only your baby, but the whole family. Here are ideas for healthy, tasty and balanced meals.