The Christmas day dinner, it happens only once a year and for most people it’s the highlight of the Christmas festivities (even if your aunties turkey is a bit dry)! But from fruit-laden pudding and mince pies to sprouts and stuffing, Christmas dinner can often be better suited to older palates.
However, with a little bit of preparation and planning you can easily make the perfect Christmassy dinner for your little one with elements from your very own family dinner. We all know Christmas dinner is most definitely the BEST dinner of the year and your little one wants in on the tasty action too! Pull up your baby’s high chair to the table and give them some of these festive treats so they can be part of the family fun.
Whether your baby is just starting out and still on the purees, or if they have moved on to mashed and finger foods or if they are at a later stage and having only slightly chopped adult food, Christmas is a great opportunity to offer up some great food to your little one.
If you are planning on feeding your little one elements from your own Christmas dinner, it is important you prepare for this when you are making the dinner. Avoid adding any extra sugar, salt or spices to the dinner to keep your baby’s diet as healthy as possible, even if it is Christmas! If you do like honey on your parsnips or strong herbs on your potatoes, you can always separate your little ones goodies before adding those extra bits of seasoning.
We know Christmas is busy enough with so much going on, taking these extra steps for your little one can mean there's a lot to think about. The Babymoov Nutribaby+ could step up to become your best friend at such a busy time. It's super easy-to-use and offers 4 appliances in 1: a bottle warmer, steriliser, steamer and blender, meaning it's ideal to use for weaning baby as well as hungry parents and older siblings!
It's recommended your little one should be 6 months of age before you introduce them to solid foods, unless your doctor recommends starting earlier but exactly what you give your little one depends, of course, on their age, stage of development and personal tastes.
For younger ones - First-stage weaning
Little ones that are only at the beginning stages of their weaning journey wouldn’t yet be having a full meal. This means they will still be tackling the vegetable purees and blended food. But good news, in a traditional Christmas dinner there is plenty of vegetable goodness, carrots, parsnips, sprouts, cabbage etc. This makes perfect foods for first stages of weaning for your baby. Check out our top Christmas dinner recipes for those early stages.
The mini full monty
Here’s a simple Christmas baby food recipe using turkey – remember to cook your baby’s veggies without salt. Adding turkey as full chunks will be too much for your little one at the early stages of weaning, this recipe blends turkey into a thin mixture.
- 1 large turkey slice
- 1 cooked potato
- 1 medium cooked carrot
- 2 cooked broccoli florets
Blend the turkey in a food processor with water or homemade stock until fairly thin.
Then add the potato (which will thicken the mixture) and the remaining veggies and puree to the desired consistency.
Smashed Carrot & Swede
- 500g swede
- 500g carrots
- 1 Tbs butter
- salt & pepper
- parsley (optional)
Prepare the vegetables; peel and roughly chop the swede and carrots. Place the vegetables in a pan of water. Bring to the boil then cook for 10-15 minutes.
Once cooked, drain, then tip back into the pan. Add the butter and roughly crush together with a potato masher. Then serve!
For bigger ones – second stage of weaning
Your little one may have successfully mastered the purees and are now on to fuller and bigger meals. For older babies, they will be able to eat meat in a chunkier form without the need to blend it to a thinner consistency. By this stage your little one will be able to enjoy a larger variety of food, perhaps even moving on to small finger foods. At this stage you can start to explore their tastes and experiment a bit more.
The bigger full monty
- 150g mashed or minced cooked turkey (swap for ¼ cup of lentils if you’re baby is vegetarian or vegan)
- ¼ onion chopped finely
- 1 small potato, peeled & chopped finely
- ¼ cup of cabbage
- Handful of peas
- ¼ small swede, peeled & chopped finely
- 2-3 sprouts, chopped
- a dash of olive oil
Cook the onions in olive oil until slightly brown. Then add the potato, sprouts and swede, cooking for a further 5 minutes before adding the cabbage.
Cook on a low heat until all vegetables are soft. Use a fork to mash the cooked turkey and add it to the vegetable mixture.
Blend or mash (along with a dash of baby’s usual milk) to desired texture, depending on your little one’s weaning stage. Add more milk to make the mixture thinner or just a little milk to make the texture nice and thick.
Commercial gravies tends to be high in salt and are unsuitable for babies. This recipe allows for your little one to have the real Christmas dinner experience with their very own tasty gravy!
- 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 small carrot, sliced
- 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- baby rice
Place vegetables and meat in a small pan and pour over water to cover the meat.
Bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Strain the stock into a bowl. Discard the bay leaf, vegetables and chicken.
To thicken, add some baby rice.
No Christmas dinner is complete without stuffing, make sure your little one doesn’t miss out with this baby proof stuffing balls perfect for second stage weaning! They could even dip these into the gravy as the perfect Christmas finger food.
- 4 slices bread
- knob of no-salt butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of parsley
- pinch of thyme
- 30ml no-salt chicken stock
Place the bread, parsley and thyme in food processor and process until you have fine breadcrumbs.
Melt the butter in a pan and saute the onion and celery.
Place the onion and celery in a bowl with the breadcrumbs and herbs. Add the pepper and stock and mix well.
Grease a small oven-proof dish and spoon in the stuffing mixture.
Bake with the rest of the Christmas dinner for around 15-20 mins.
It’s a Christmas tradition in most households to have a mountain of left overs. Turkey for all of January anyone? Even though you may be sick of Turkey and never want to see a brussels sprout again until next year, we have the perfect recipe to use up some of those leftovers, ideal for your weaning little one.
- Olive oil
- 500 g free-range minced turkey
- 2 carrots
- 1 bulb of fennel
- 1 medium leek
- 1 x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 x 400 g tin of red kidney beans
- 1 x 400 g tin of chickpeas
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
Heat oil in a large pan, add turkey and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often to break into a mince.
Prepare your vegetables. Add the veg to the pan with the chopped tomatoes, drained beans and chickpeas, 500ml water and the bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer with lid on for 45 minutes.
Remove the veg to a blender. Blitz until smooth, then add back to the pan. Then either blend to a puree, pulse, mash and/or finely chop depending on the stage your little one is at. If it’s a bit too thick, add a little water to loosen, then serve.
Healthy Festive Fun
Festive food for your little one doesn’t have to begin and end with the main event of the Christmas dinner. There are loads of fun and cute Christmas recipes out there that will help entice your little one to try new foods and help them on their weaning journey. Here are a few of our personal faves.
- A banana
- Cottage Cheese
- A black gel icing pen
Take the leafy part off a strawberry
Slice a second slice from the top of the strawberry so it is flat
Slice a disc from a banana
Spread one side of the banana with cottage cheese (relatively thickly, as this will become the beard)
Place the strawberry slice on the serving plate
Add the slice of the banana on top, cottage cheese side down
Take the gel icing pen and add 2 dots on the edge of the banana slice to look like eyes
Place the remaining part of the strawberry on top as the hat
- 2 bananas
- 1/4 of a carrot
- Handful of currents or sultanas chopped
- 3 strawberries
- 6 grapes
- 6 skewers
Cut the bananas into thick slices (approx. 9 rounds per banana). Peel the carrot and cut into small triangular slivers for a pointy nose.
Trim the stem from the strawberries and then cut in half. You should get two hats out of each strawberry. Cut the grapes in half.
To assemble, thread three slices of banana on to each skewer followed by a strawberry hat and grape half. Gently press the currents into the banana slices to create eyes and the buttons on the body then add the carrot nose.
- 2 pieces of bread
- 2 cookie cutters of the same shape but different size
- 1 tbsp butter or spread
- Topping (e.g Jam/Avocado)
Simply begin by buttering one piece of bread and using the large cookie cutter to create the outer shape.
Spread the filling. You can chose to only add it to the centre but you could add it sparingly to the edges of the shape.
Use both the large and small cookie cutter to create the shape that will become the ‘lid’ of your sandwich. The middle star can later become decoration if you choose. Carefully place the lid to the previously prepared base and you’re ready to go!
Merry Christmas from everyone at NBS 🎁
With these simple but yummy recipes in the bag for your little ones, Christmas just got even better! Getting your baby involved in Christmas dinner with the family is a great way to start new traditions with your family.