Now that Darling Daughter is 7 months old and is getting confident with picking food up and bringing it to her mouth, I’m starting to deviate a little from her usual chip-shaped finger foods to allow her to experiment with a greater range of tastes and textures. Today I tried her on noodles for the first time, and she had some lovely messy fun holding and slurping them!

They seemed to go down well, as it wasn’t long before she was stuffing them into her mouth as fast as she could!
Although this is the first time I’ve given her noodles, I cook stir-fries pretty frequently as they’re so quick and easy to make. Although stir-fry sauces tend to be pretty high in salt and sugar, as well as often containing honey (which is unsuitable for babies under a year old), it’s pretty simple to throw a few bits into a smaller pan for Darling Daughter. Here are some of the things I’ve found to work best:

– Steamed chicken/pork strips (tenderer than stir-fried meat) – add these at the end so they don’t get tough
– Carrot batons
– Spring onions
– Thick slices of mushroom
– Pepper strips
– Small broccoli florets, or halved/quartered larger ones
– Courgette batons

Once the veg has fried for a minute or two, I add a few sauce ingredients and let it simmer for a little to further soften the veg. Amoy does a reduced-salt soy sauce, and though I still wouldn’t recommend using too much, a couple of drops is sufficient to give it that Chinese-y flavour. A little fruit juice can add some natural sweetness, and garlic, ginger or Chinese five-spice can provide babies with plenty of new flavours to explore.

For today’s meal, I used a little bit of smooth, no-added-salt-or-sugar peanut butter to make a satay sauce, and it seemed to go down well. I’ve experimented with different sauces on different occasions to give her as close as possible to what the rest of us are having.

Satay sauce
1 tsp smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp apple juice
Few drops reduced-salt soy sauce
Pinch of garlic powder

Sweet and sour sauce
1 tbsp pineapple juice
1 tsp tomato puree
Few drops reduced-salt soy sauce
Pinch of garlic powder

Cantonese sauce
2 tsp orange juice
Few drops of reduced-salt soy sauce
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of garlic powder

Of course, the quantities could be increased to make sauces for the whole family’s meal, but I confess to liking my own stir-fries a little more strongly-flavoured, and I also have a weakness for honey in this sort of dish. If anyone wants my adult sauce recipes, please let me know! In the meantime, I shall carry on experimenting as Darling Daughter continues her weaning journey, and I’ll update the blog with any more recipes that seem to be successful.