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T


his month I have embarked on the process of gradually turning my six month old into a vaguely functioning human, by starting to wean him onto solid foods. And I can tell you


one thing, it’s fucking disgusting.


So far parenting has largely been a big slice of ‘things I said I’d never do’ (see also: using the phrase, “shall we change your bum?”, dressing him in items of clothing with ears on, and literally kissing another human’s arse) and I can now add ‘eating thrice-spat- out rice cake off my baby’s face’ to that list. Over the past month I’ve changed mine and my son’s outfit approximately 7000 times; I’ve cleaned yoghurt off the walls and porridge off the cat; I’ve hunted high and low for the ultimate baby-friendly pasta shape (fusilli), and I’ll spare you the details of how things have been going at the other end but suffice to say the term ‘apocalypse’ has become a regular in our house. However, I’m pleased to report that my child does seem to be showing a growing interest in eating something other than tits.


Now, nothing makes you sound like more of a dick than detailing a specific ‘approach’ you’re taking to parenting, but on the feeding front we’ve largely been following the school of Baby Led Weaning (BLW). Tis is a fairly recent development in the world of middle- class child-rearing, but it largely means skipping the pureeing stage of weaning and going straight onto proper solids. You start with soft fruits and steamed veggies and swiftly move on to offering them regular meals. And the baby feeds itself, so the phrase ‘wipe-clean’ quickly becomes your favourite thing in the world. We’ve by no means been following this method religiously - there’s no way in hell I’m letting the kid feed himself Weetabix - but to me, on the whole, it makes a lot of sense. Tere’s less faff, it gives your child a certain level of independence, and it encourages a positive approach


36 / July 2014/outlineonline.co.uk


to eating and exploring different foods. Te most common question seems to be, “doesn’t he choke or gag loads?”, but to be honest most of the gagging has been on my part, when clearing up regurgitated vegetables (but I did do a baby first aid course - especially designed for neurotic first-time parents - just in case).


One of the advantages of the BLW method is that it supposedly allows you to eat together more easily, as you’re all having the same thing. Tat’s


SWEET POTATO & TUNA


FOR THE GROWN-UPS INGREDIENTS


Serves two adults and two small children


About 6 medium sized potatoes (mix of sweet and white), cut into chunks


1 tin of tuna in spring water or oil 3 spring onions, finely sliced 1 egg


Small bunch of coriander, chopped


70g plain flour (plus more for dusting) Unsalted butter/olivex oil for frying


FISHCAKE WITH WASABI MAYO


METHOD For the mayo, mix 3 tbsp mayonnaise with a squidge of wasabi and the juice of half a lime. Boil the potatoes, drain, and allow them to sit for a bit, to dry off. Mash and transfer to a mixing bowl with the onions, egg, tuna, coriander and flour and stir thoroughly. Dust your hands with flour and form the mix into small patties, coating the outsides with flour so that they aren’t too sticky (if you make the children’s ones first, you can then season the mix to your taste). Fry in the oil/butter for a couple of minutes each side until crisp and golden. Serve with salad and mayo for the adults.


Morgan writes her own, hilarious blog on the internet. You can visit it and do a laugh wee wee at sodnigella.blogspot.co.uk


as long as you don’t mind eating at 5pm. And you don’t want any salt in your food. Or any spice. Or any vaguely risky ingredients such as honey, undercooked eggs, rare meat etc etc. If you’re fine with all of that then yes, you can all eat together like the perfect nuclear family.Tis has posed quite the challenge for me. What can I make that is reasonably speedy, suitable for a small person, yet not so painfully dull that the big people would rather bludgeon themselves to death with a ladle? Well, I’m still working that out, day by day (I’ve got the ladle shaped bruises to prove it) but these fish cakes were a big hit recently.


Morgan Pickard


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