The first regular meal that I offered the twins when we started Baby-Led Weaning was breakfast. Even now it is my son's favourite meal of the day and my husband and I often stare on in awe at how much Little Master A manages to wolf down at the start of each day (sometimes he manages more than us!).
What type of yoghurt should I use for Baby-Led Weaning?
When we began Baby-Led Weaning, breakfast would usually consist of natural or Greek yoghurt either plain or with a small teaspoon of stewed fruit to sweeten it. I personally prefer Greek yoghurt as it has a thicker, creamier consistency, but both types of yoghurt are great for offering to your little ones as they are full of probiotics and nutrients such as vitamins, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Plain Greek or natural yoghurt will also benefit your baby as many pre-flavoured yoghurts on the market can contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
What are the benefits of porridge oats and homemade porridge for my baby?
Another firm and early baby-led breakfast favourite was porridge. Homemade porridge (as opposed to baby rice which can sometimes contain high levels of sugar and salt) is a great option for breakfast as not only can you make it to the consistency your baby likes, but it is full of antioxidants, soluble fibre (which helps to reduce cholesterol) and is slow to digest which means that your child will stay full for longer with the energy created from the porridge oats being released gradually. Porridge is still one of the twins' favourite breakfasts but I have now moved on from using stewed fruit to dried fruits such as prunes, figs and apricots (this is also my secret method of helping them to "go" if they have been bunged up for a few days) to sweeten it.
Fresh fruit for baby and toddler breakfasts
Fresh fruits such as banana, pineapple or melon (be careful when introducing these if your baby is prone to reflux or allergies) are also a great breakfast treat and can be cut into wedges or sticks for easy handling. They are a brilliant way for your baby to develop their hand/eye coordination.
Alternatively, parents new to Baby-Led Weaning may feel more comfortable with softer fruits as there is less chance of gagging. Fruits that are good for lightly mushing (it is good to leave some texture/lumps to it as your baby will be able to mash these with their gums anyway) are bananas, ripe pears, cooked apples or peaches, very ripe mango, papaya or avocado. I used to stew different combinations of fruit on a regular basis as they were great for sweetening yoghurt, porridge, homemade pancakes, crumpets etc at breakfast or snack time. I would also spread pureed fruit on toast instead of using jam which can sometimes contain high levels of added sugar. Good fruits for stewing are apples, pears, mango, peaches, plums and berries.
Avocado on toast cut into soldiers or small triangles is also a highly nutritious breakfast as avocados are full of vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats (to name a few benefits). The toast will also make it easier for your baby to grip onto.
How does your baby or toddler like their eggs in the morning?
Eggs have been a more recent addition to our breakfast table (my husband is vegetarian but also doesn't eat eggs). I did occasionally make the twins scrambled eggs when they were younger, but I do feel that they seem to have taken to them more now that they are a little older. Eggs are a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals such as zinc, copper and iron. Little Miss E seems to prefer the old traditional favourite of soft boiled egg (Lion Graded so that it is safe from salmonella) with toast soldiers and Little Master A favours poached egg on toast! I do joke with my husband that they are very lucky toddlers because their mother makes them their favoured type of egg for breakfast rather than cooking the same for both children! Little Master A also likes fried eggy bread as an alternative to his poached egg. I do love eggs as they are so quick and versatile for making breakfast, snacks or lunch! Egg mayonnaise sandwiches go down well (be cautious when using mayonnaise for babies because of the salt content; additionally, pasturised mayonnaise is safe from salmonella but freshly made/homemade mayonnaise usually isn't) for lunch or as a snack. Take a peek in our book for this delicious egg and tomato scrumble recipe (see photo) - the twins love it with toast or it is equally tasty with rice as an alternative to egg fried rice.