Beyond the Bottle – Green Beans; Swede
When they start eating solid foods, babies can only eat tiny little portions of pureed fruit or vegetables at a time (1-2 tablespoons to begin with). In some cases it makes sense to steam or boil a large amount and then freeze individual pureed portions of foods that they will eat regularly (like Sweet Potato and Apple/Pear). But invariably you’ll still be left with excess fruit or vegetables in the fridge – if you want to avoid waste you can manage your own meals very easily to efficiently use the same food for both babies and adults.
For the first few months of eating solid food a baby has a very simple diet of pureed fruit and vegetables, so the opportunities to make anything for yourself is limited to using single ingredients. As the baby grows and their palate develops, they start to eat more complex foods like fish and pastas, which gives you more scope to make similar interesting meals for yourself.
We have accompanied this goulash dish with green beans and mashed swede.
For the green beans, top and tail them, and remove the strings if there are any. Wash them, then put them in a saucepan and cover with freshly boiled water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes until tender. Remove enough from the pan as per your babies requirements, and puree using a little of the water to get the right consistency. Allow to cool before feeding your baby. The remaining green beans in the pan can be served immediately with your own meal.
Wash the swede, then peel and cut it into cubes. As per the beans, put it in a saucepan and cover with freshly boiled water. Bring to the boil, cover, then lower the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the pan and puree to a smooth consistency. Remove and put aside enough for your babies meal, and then add butter and pepper to the remaining swede to make a silky accompaniment to meat dishes. According to Nigel Slater, any other swede recipe is probably a waste of time.
Here’s Moveable Feast Jr enjoying his sweet potato and green bean dinner!