Developed over the process of weaning her three children, television presenter Holly Willoughby has published her own go-to guide for parents to help introduce baby to the wonderful world of food.
With easy-to-follow meal plans the entire family can enjoy, these recipes require the minimum prep, make the most of your ingredients and won’t break the bank…
SUNNY SALMON AND CORN CHOWDER
Serves 2–3 (babies/young children)
❄ Suitable for freezing
The turmeric not only gives this fish chowder a lovely golden colour but it’s good for the health of your baby too. Research has shown that it has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which are enhanced by combining it with a little black pepper.
125g/4oz new potatoes (such as Charlotte; unpeeled), cut into 1cm/½in chunks
1 carrot (about 60g/2½oz), scrubbed/peeled and cut into chunks
75g/3oz skinless, boneless salmon fillet, flesh cut into small bite-sized pieces
125ml/4½fl oz full-fat milk, plus extra if needed
4 tbsp tinned sweetcorn (with no added sugar or salt), drained well
½ tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
Large pinch of ground turmeric 1 tbsp full-fat crème fraîche
Freshly ground black pepper
Put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the carrot and cook for another 8–10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes if the skin is thick, or leave unpeeled. Put the potatoes and carrots in a bowl and roughly mash or chop. While the vegetables are cooking, poach the salmon in the milk in another pan with the sweetcorn for 8 minutes until the salmon is cooked. Stir in the parsley 1 minute before the end. Tip the salmon mixture into the bowl with the vegetables and add the turmeric. Stir in the crème fraîche and a half grind of black pepper. Using the back of a fork, mash the salmon mixture, adding a splash more milk if needed. Alternatively, finely chop.
QUICK PAN PIZZAS
Makes 4 x 20cm/8in pizzas
❄ Suitable for freezing (uncooked or cooked)
These quick yeast-free pizzas are a great way to get the kids involved in the kitchen. They can be cooked on the hob or in the oven. The dough will keep in the fridge for up to three days or can be frozen in portioned balls.
350g/12oz self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
3⁄4 tsp sea salt
350g/12oz plain full-fat live yoghurt
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for frying and drizzling
For the tomato sauce
200ml/7fl oz passata 1 tbsp tomato purée 1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
To make the pizza dough, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and mix in the yoghurt and olive oil, first with a fork and then your hands, to make a dough. Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured worktop and knead for 5 minutes into a smooth ball. Put the dough back in the cleaned bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest for 20 minutes. While the dough is resting, mix together all the ingredients for the tomato sauce and set aside.
Preheat the grill to high. Divide the dough into four and roll each quarter into a ball. Take one piece of dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a thin round about 20cm/8in wide. To cook on the hob, wipe some olive oil over the base of a large ovenproof frying pan and warm over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, place a pizza base in the pan and press it out to the edge with your fingers, taking care not to burn yourself. Cook for 2 minutes or until the base is light golden underneath. Smear a quarter of the tomato sauce over and scatter with your toppings. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and place the pan under the grill for 5 minutes until the topping is cooked.
Repeat for the remaining pizzas. If baking the pizzas, preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/ Gas 7. Roll out the dough and top with the tomato sauce and toppings. Place on a heated baking sheet and cook, two at a time, for 10–12 minutes or until the base is golden and crisp and the topping is bubbling and browning at the edges.
COCONUT AND PASSION FRUIT FRO-YOS
Makes about 8 (depending on the size of the lolly moulds)
Made with fresh passion fruit, lime juice, apple and coconut, these lollies are both healthy – passion fruit is high in vitamin C – and full of zingy flavour. I’ve left the passion fruit seeds in, but you could press the fruit pulp through a sieve if you prefer a smoother fruit purée.
Passion fruit, halved
1 tbsp maple syrup
tbsp fresh apple juice (not from concentrate)
Squeeze of lime juice 125g/4½oz thick plain coconut
Yoghurt or tinned coconut milk
You will need about 8 ice-lolly moulds and lolly sticks
Using a teaspoon, scoop out the passion fruit pulp into a bowl, then stir in the maple syrup, apple juice and lime juice. Pour half of the passion fruit mixture into your ice-lolly moulds, top with the coconut yoghurt or coconut milk and then pour in the rest of the passion fruit mixture, filling each mould almost to the top.
Pop in the lolly sticks and freeze for about 5 hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer about 10 minutes before you want to serve the lollies, so they have time to soften slightly.
“The thought of weaning can be daunting to the most self-assured mums and dads. I know I felt that way, even with my third! But while every baby is different, one thing is the same for all parents: the importance of serving them delicious, nutritious dishes with minimal fuss and maximum benefits.” Holly x
Truly Scrumptious Baby: My Complete Feeding and Weaning Plan for 6 months and beyond by Holly Willoughby, Harper Thorsons, Hardback £16.99. Photography © Danielle Wood